Whether you’re looking for a quiet place to relax under a palm tree or a chance to lie out all day and party all night, you’ll find it on Samui and Phuket.

Patong Beach, Thailand.

Patong Beach has the most vibrant nightlife scene on the island of Phuket. Photo © Viacheslav Khelnitskiy/123rf.

Best Beaches of Phuket

  • Kata Beach: One of Phuket’s most popular beaches is a great place for families because it’s got something for everyone and it’s also one of the prettiest beaches on the island. You’ll find a wide variety of places to stay on Kata Beach, from resorts with kids’ clubs to inexpensive guesthouses. And if you want to grab a meal, or just explore the area, you can do almost everything on foot, as the village, which connects to neighboring Karon Village, is just behind the beach. There’s no intense partying going on here, but if you want to grab a drink and listen to some music after the kids are asleep, you’ll find plenty of places to do so.
  • Surin Beach: The small, curved beach on northwest Phuket, on the Andaman Sea, is another great choice for families. It’s surrounded by pine trees and hotels, with none of the party scene of the island’s southern beaches.
  • Patong Beach: It’s not just the long, wide beach, soft sand, and warm water that make Patong a great choice for those who want to party; it also has the most vibrant nightlife scene on the island of Phuket. Scores of bars and discos are usually filled with visitors and locals ’til all hours of the night.
Ton Sai Bay along Thailand's Andaman Coast.

Ton Sai Bay along Thailand’s Andaman Coast. Photo © chriss73/1234rf/

Best Beaches along the Andaman Coast

  • West Rai Le Beach: Surrounded by limestone cliffs, this small stretch of beach in Krabi on the Andaman coast has some of the best scenery in the country. Kayak rental on the beach, plenty of rock-climbing routes, and easy day trips to snorkeling spots make West Rai Le a great choice if you’re looking for some adventure, too.
  • Ton Sai Bay: Crystal-clear blue waters surrounded by limestone mountains characterize this bay on Ko Phi Phi, one of Thailand’s most popular small islands. The breathtaking scenery and inexpensive bungalows make Ton Sai Bay a popular spot.
Waves wash onto Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui.

Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui. Photo © pretoperola/123rf.

Best Beaches in Ko Samui and the Samui Archipelago

  • Bo Phut Beach: This beach is home to Samui’s popular Fisherman’s Village and offers a little bit of everything—a pretty beach, good accommodations, and plenty of places to eat, drink, and shop.
  • Chaweng: Samui’s most popular beach attracts the crowds. The wide, pretty beach has lots of hotels and restaurants right on the water, and the nightlife is probably the best on the island.
  • Hat Rin Beach: This beach, on the erstwhile idyllic Ko Pha-Ngan, is home to the infamous drug- and drink-fueled full-moon parties that seem to be getting more and more popular every year.
Travel map of Phuket, Thailand


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Phuket & Ko Samui.