15 Best Beaches in Phuket For Families – 2024 Guide

by Mama Loves Phuket

Undoubtedly, the stunning beaches are the main reason tourists flock to the southern island province of Phuket in Thailand. With crystal clear water, soft white sand, and a wide range of activities such as swimming, snorkelling, diving, and surfing, there are endless hours of relaxation and enjoyment to be had.

Knowing where to stay by the beach in Phuket and which beaches are worthy of a day trip to can be a tall challenge, especially if this is your first time in Phuket, so I will share 15 favourites I think are great to visit with kids, for many different reasons.

Top 15 Beaches in Phuket For Families

Now, I’m sure there will be those who disagree with some of my picks or think I should have them in a different order!

For the sake of argument on which is truly ‘the best beach in Phuket,’ I’ve gone with their geographic order on the island, from the northwest to the south along the Andaman Sea coast.

Your preferences may be for somewhere calm and shaded, or perhaps where it’s easy to walk to nearby shopping and restaurants, whilst others will purposely seek the hidden coves.

Let’s dive in for a closer look at each beach in Phuket:

NB – All beaches in Thailand are public land; whilst it might be impossible to access some more hidden beaches without crossing private land, remember nothing stops you accessing from the sea! This also means no one can force you to pay for a sunbed either, but there can be fees impossed to get to the beach from land if a private operators enforces this. Our top 15 phuket beaches we have chosen can be easily accessed by families from land, for free.

1. Mai Khao Beach

Mai Khao Beach is a great option for families with children looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience in Phuket. Situated in the north of Phuket island, it is far less frequented than many of the southern beaches.

Mai Khao beach is the most northerly on the west coast in Phuket Thailand

One of the main advantages of Mai Khao Beach is its wide and spacious stretch of white sand, making it a great place for children to play and run around. The beach is also relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches further south in Phuket, making it a peaceful and tranquil place for families to relax and unwind.

A unique feature of Mai Khao Beach is its proximity to the airport, making for occasional dramatic shots of planes landing over the beach! It also makes it convenient for those who only want a short stop in Phuket at the beach.

Mai Khao Beach also offers various water sports suitable for families with children, such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking. Families can rent equipment or take lessons from local vendors who are experienced in teaching children.

In addition to water sports, Mai Khao Beach has several nearby attractions that are popular with families, such as the Splash Jungle Water Park, which features a range of thrilling water slides and attractions that are sure to be a hit with children of all ages.

Partially in Sirinat National Park, the 11-kilometre-long stretch of silky white sand is one of the best beaches in Phuket for families and is still relatively untouched by mass tourism.

2. Nai Yang Beach

Nai Yang Beach is a great option for families with children who are looking for a relaxed and secluded beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Nai Yang Beach is its calm and shallow waters, making it safe for children to swim and play. The beach is also relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches in Phuket, making it a peaceful and tranquil place for families to relax and unwind.

nai yang beach in phuket thailand

Nai Yang Beach also offers a variety of water sports that are suitable for families with children, such as stand-up paddleboarding and kayaking.

In addition to water sports, Nai Yang Beach has several nearby attractions that are popular with families, such as the Phuket Elephant House Sanctuary (update: closed to the public for tours in December 2023), which offers a chance to interact with and learn about rescued elephants in a natural and ethical environment (read more on ethical elephant experiences in Phuket here).

Nai Yang Beach is known for its relaxed and family-oriented atmosphere, with locals known for their hospitality and warmth towards families with children. This makes Nai Yang Beach a perfect option for families who are looking for a peaceful and family-friendly beach experience in Phuket.

3. Nai Thon Beach

Situated just south of Phuket International Airport, Nai Thon Beach is an excellent choice for families due to its calm and clear waters, creating a safe swimming environment for children to enjoy. The gentle slope of the beach allows for easy access to the water, making it convenient for families with young kids.

Nai Thon beach in phuket thailand

Additionally, the beach has a few restaurants and shops nearby, providing convenient amenities and dining options for families to relax and spend a comfortable day at the beach. Its tranquil and less crowded setting further appeals to families seeking a peaceful beach experience in Phuket, and we’d argue some of the softest golden sand on the island!

4. Layan Beach

Layan Beach is a great option for families with children who are looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Layan Beach is its tranquil and pristine setting, which offers a peaceful environment for families to relax and unwind. The beach is relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches in Phuket, making it an ideal place for families to escape the crowds and enjoy a more intimate experience.

a kayak sitting on the beach at layan beach in phuket, thailand

Layan Beach is also a great place for families to enjoy water sports and activities, with vendors offering a range of options such as stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkelling. You can hire a long boat to the small nearby island for some off-shore snorkelling.

5. Bang Tao Beach

Bang Tao Beach (Bangtao) is one of the most popular beach destinations in Phuket for families with children, offering a variety of attractions and amenities and a string of luxury beach resorts with excellent facilities that make it an excellent choice for families.

One of the main advantages of Bang Tao Beach is its wide and spacious stretch of sand, providing plenty of room for families to relax, play, and enjoy the scenery. The beach is relatively uncrowded as there’s such a large expansive to spread out on (though this is slowly changing, especially in peak season as the beach grows in popularity).

bang tao beach in phuket thailand

Bang Tao Beach also offers a variety of water sports and activities, including jet skiing, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Families can rent equipment or take lessons from local vendors.

Bang Tao Beach also has a range of relaxed beachfront restaurants through to more pricey but beautiful beach clubs with pools and other amenities.

Bang Tao Beach is known for its family-oriented events and festivals, such as the annual Laguna Phuket International Marathon and the annual Laguna Phuket Triathlon.

Overall, Bang Tao Beach is a great option for families with children who want a spacious and peaceful beach experience, with plenty of activities, attractions, and dining options available nearby.

  • Luxury resort Angsana is an excellent family option in the Laguna area, as is SAii (formerly Outrigger); towards the southern end of Bangtao, Best Western makes a good value pick.

6. Surin Beach

Surin Beach is an excellent option for families with children looking for a quieter and more relaxed beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Surin Beach is its calm and shallow waters, making it safe for children to swim and play in the sand. It gets decent enough waves so kids can get in a little body boarding and wave jumping, too. The small beach is relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches in Phuket, making it a peaceful and tranquil place for families to relax and unwind.

surin beach in Phuket thailand

Surin Beach also offers various water sports suitable for families with children, such as snorkelling and stand-up paddleboarding. Lining the beachfront is a string of small dining and refreshment stalls, with some offering sun lounges under the trees.

Overall, Surin Beach is a great choice for families with children who want a safe, peaceful, and family-friendly beach experience with a range of activities, attractions, and dining options available.

Hidden beach Laem Sing! We haven’t included this one in our top beaches as its pretty difficult to access but I’d be remiss not to mention this super hidden little cove between Surin and Kamala – hidden because a private property blocks land access from the road. You can, however, hike over rocks from Surin Beach or hire a long tail boat from Kamala or Surin, to access this small but beautiful little beach, known for its excellent snorkelling and very few other visitors making the trek. Seasonally a small restaurant operates there on the cliff side, a beautiful setting for those who make the effort.

Laem Sing beach hidden cove on the Andaman sea coast of phuket

7. Kamala Beach

Kamala Beach is another great option for families with children looking for a relaxing and family-friendly beach experience in Phuket with plenty of shade, especially in the mornings.

As well as the shade, one of the main drawcards of Kamala Beach is its calm and shallow waters, making it safe for children to swim and play in. We’ve found the northern end a little more shelly and rough underfoot than Surin, but nonetheless, Kamala has plenty of the soft white sand that Phuket is famous for.

wide open sandy stretch of Kamala beach in phuket

The Phuket FantaSea theme park and Carnival Magic are also located nearby, offering a range of evening entertainment and attractions for families. There’s also a good variety of chilled-out beachfront bars and restaurants, and several resorts and budget guest houses with direct beach access.

Overall, Kamala Beach is a great choice for families with children who want a safe, peaceful, and family-friendly beach experience with a range of activities, attractions, and dining options available.

8. Patong Beach

Patong Beach is the most popular beach destination in Phuket because of its wide range of activities and amenities.

The beach itself is quite long and has calm waters, making it ideal for swimming with children. Plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas are available for rent, providing a comfortable spot for families to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

patong beach in phuket

In addition to swimming and sunbathing, Patong Beach offers various water sports activities suitable for families with children, such as jet skiing, parasailing, and banana boat rides. Several nearby attractions, including mini-golf courses and go-kart tracks, are popular with families.

Patong Beach also has a lively atmosphere and many dining options, ranging from street vendors to upscale restaurants. Families can enjoy local Thai cuisine or international dishes, with many restaurants offering kid-friendly menus.

While Patong Beach is known for its nightlife, plenty of family-friendly options are also available. The beach has several family-oriented events throughout the year, such as sandcastle-building contests and beach soccer tournaments.

I won’t lie, though; Patong is really no longer a favourite family beach in Phuket because of the huge crowds. You’ll be fighting for space to put down your towel, and it’s vastly over-commercialised; we only recommend coming here if you are coming for a look-see at what Patong is like for a day. There are much calmer and quieter beaches for families in Phuket that will make for a more enjoyable day out.

Hidden Gem! Another I haven’t included this one on our main list, mostly due to accessibility it may not be a first choice for families, but Freedom Beach absolutely deserves to be on your radar! Situated just south of Patong, this small hidden cove can be accessed by long boat from the southern end of Patong beach, or from a small parking lot off the Patong-Karon road then a bit of a hike over the hill (not stroller/disable friendly at all!).

freedom beach a quiet cove in phuket thailand

Come and see it early in the day before the hoards arrived, its not staying hidden for long! Facilities at Freedom Beach are limited but it has some if the clearest turqouise waters on Phuket island.

9. Karon Beach

Karon Beach is another popular destination in Phuket for families with children – though, like Patong, I am dubious to state it’s still a personal favourite due to its overwhelming popularity these days and growing crowds of not overly polite tourists.

One of the key advantages of Karon Beach, though, is its spaciousness. The long and wide beach provides plenty of room for families to relax, play, and enjoy the beautiful scenery. The waters are calm and clear, making it safe for children to swim, and plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas are available for rent should you choose, but no one can stop you pulling up a towel.

the wide sand strtch of Karon beach in phuket makes it popular with families

Unlike some of the more party-oriented beaches in Phuket, Karon Beach tends to be quieter and more relaxed, making it a great option for families who want to avoid crowds and noise. Several nearby hotels and resorts cater specifically to families, offering amenities such as kids’ clubs, babysitting services, and children’s pools.

In terms of activities, Karon Beach offers a variety of water sports that are suitable for families with children, including snorkelling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding. Several nearby attractions, such as the Karon Temple Market and the Karon Viewpoint, are popular with families.

Karon Beach also has a wide range of dining options, from street vendors to upscale restaurants. Families can enjoy local Thai cuisine or international dishes, with many restaurants offering kid-friendly menus.

10. Kata Beach

Kata Beach is a great beach in Phuket for families with young children, offering a variety of attractions and amenities that make it a great choice for families.

One of the main advantages of Kata Beach is its gentle surf and vast expanse of soft sand, which make it a safe and comfortable place for families with children to swim, play and relax and even do some body boarding with good conditions. The beach is well-maintained and clean, with plenty of sun loungers and umbrellas available for rent.

under shady trees on kata beach in phuket

Kata Beach also offers a variety of water sports and several nearby attractions that are popular with families, such as the Kata Noi Viewpoint and the Dino Park Mini Golf. The Kata Market is also an excellent place for families to explore, with its colourful stalls selling various local products and souvenirs.

Overall, Kata Beach is an excellent option for families with children who want a safe and comfortable beach experience, with plenty of activities, attractions, and dining options available.

11. Ao Sane Beach

Ao Sane Beach is a smaller, secluded beach that can be a great option for families with children who want a more low-key and intimate beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Ao Sane Beach is its calm and shallow waters, which make it safe for children to swim and play. The beach is also relatively uncrowded, which can be appealing for families who want a quieter and more private beach experience.

small sandy beach Ao Sane in southern phuket Thailand

Ao Sane Beach has a small restaurant that offers Thai and international cuisine, including kid-friendly options. The restaurant is located right on the beach, so families can enjoy a meal with a stunning ocean view.

Finally, Ao Sane Beach is known for its relaxed and family-friendly atmosphere, with locals known for their hospitality and warmth towards families with children. This makes Ao Sane Beach a great option for families who are looking for a peaceful and intimate beach experience in Phuket.

12. Nai Harn Beach

Nai Harn Beach is a great option for families with children looking for a quieter and more secluded beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Nai Harn Beach is its calm and clear waters, making it safe for children to swim and play. The beach is also relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches in Phuket, making it a peaceful and tranquil place for families to relax and unwind.

Nai Harn beach in phuket thailand

Nai Harn Beach has several nearby attractions that are popular with families, such as the Phuket Aquarium, which is home to a variety of marine life and offers interactive exhibits that are both fun and educational for children.

Nai Harn Beach is a great option for families who are looking for a peaceful and family-friendly beach experience in Phuket.

13. Rawai Beach

Rawai Beach is a great option for families with children who are looking for a quieter and more relaxed beach experience in Phuket.

One of the main advantages of Rawai Beach is its calm and shallow waters, making it safe for children to swim and play. The beach is also relatively uncrowded compared to some of the more popular beaches in Phuket, making it a peaceful and tranquil place for families to relax and unwind.

rawai beach in phuket with longtail boats floating

Rawai Beach also offers various activities suitable for families with children, such as boat tours and snorkelling trips to nearby islands like Coral Island and Racha Island. These trips provide families with a fun and exciting opportunity to explore the beauty of the surrounding islands and marine life.

Rawai Beach also has a range of family-friendly restaurants and cafes, offering a variety of Thai and international cuisine. Rawai Beach a great option for families who are looking for a peaceful and family-oriented beach experience in Phuket.

14. Laem Ka Beach

Laem Ka Beach is a small, secluded beach located on the southeastern coast of Phuket that can be a great option for families with children who want a quieter and more intimate beach experience.

One of the main advantages of Laem Ka Beach is its calm and shallow waters, which make it safe for children to swim and play. The beach also has soft sand and a gentle slope, which makes it easy for children to enter and exit the water.

Laem ka at sunset beach near Rawai phuket

Laem Ka Beach is also known for its quiet and peaceful atmosphere, with fewer crowds than some of the more popular beaches in Phuket. This can appeal to families looking for a more relaxed and laid-back beach experience.

In addition to swimming and playing in the water, Laem Ka Beach has several family-friendly activities that children can enjoy, such as beach volleyball and sandcastle building. Several vendors rent out snorkelling equipment, which can be a great way for families to explore the nearby coral reefs and sea life.

Finally, Laem Ka Beach has a small restaurant that serves Thai and international cuisine, including kid-friendly options. The restaurant is located right on the beach so that families can enjoy a meal with a beautiful ocean view.

15. Ao Yon Beach

Ao Yan Beach, also known as Phuket Secret Beach, is a secluded and hidden gem on the southern tip of Phuket. It is a great option for families seeking a peaceful, less crowded beach experience.

One of the main reasons why Ao Yan Beach is suitable for families is that the waters are calm and transparent. The water remains shallow for a reasonable distance from the shore, making it easier for children to swim and enjoy it. You won’t find big crashing waves here, which may disappoint your older ones, but it’s perfect for toddlers and kids who prefer to wade.

Ao Yon beach at the south of Phuket island in thailand a quiet secluded beach with calm waters

In addition to swimming, plenty of other family-friendly activities can be enjoyed at Ao Yan Beach. The beach is perfect for snorkelling, with abundant colourful marine life that can be spotted in the clear waters. Families can also explore the nearby rock formations and caves, or relax on the soft sand and enjoy the stunning views.

While there are few facilities at Ao Yan Beach, there are some small restaurants and shops where you can purchase food and drinks, rent beach chairs and umbrellas, or buy swim floats and other nik naks.

We have only covered here those beaches on Phuket mainland. There are many smaller islands only accessible by boat where you’ll find the most stunning white sand beaches and clear water that Phuket is famous for – read our guide to Phuket Island hopping next!

A note on the Weather in Phuket and Beach Vacations During the “Rainy Season”

The best time to visit the beaches in Phuket is during the dry season, which typically runs from November to April. During this time, the weather is generally sunny and dry with lower humidity, making it ideal for spending time on the beach and enjoying outdoor activities.

The peak season for tourism in Phuket is from December to February, so be aware that the beaches can be more crowded during this time. If you prefer a quieter beach experience, visiting during the shoulder season (November and late April) may be best when there are fewer crowds but still good weather.

During the rainy season, which runs from May to October, the beaches in Phuket can be affected by monsoon rains and strong winds, which may make swimming and water activities unsafe. However, the rainy season can also bring lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls to the island, and prices for accommodations and activities may be lower.

Many of the family-friendly beaches we mention here may not be safe to swim with children in the wet season; even on patrolled beaches, you will likely be met with red flags throughout – so please use your discretion when choosing the best beaches for kids in Phuket in the off-season.

It’s important to note that weather patterns can vary from year to year, though, so always check the long-range weather forecast before planning your trip to the beaches in Phuket and never ever, take your eyes off the kids in the water.

More FAQs About Beaches in Thailand

Do I have to use the sun loungers provided on the beaches?

While all beaches in Thailand are public, there are certain territorial patches where operators can get quite aggressive with pushing you to use their sunbeds and other services. It is an unfortunate downside that has improved but can nonetheless leave you with an uncomfortable feeling if you’re simply looking for a spot to splash at the beach with your kids.

There are many beaches in Phuket where you can enjoy a peaceful and uninterrupted beach experience without being harassed by local operators. Some of the less crowded and quieter beaches, such as Mai Khao Beach, Nai Yang Beach, and Layan Beach, are less likely to have aggressive vendors or beach operators.

Additionally, some of the beaches that are part of national parks, such as Nai Thon Beach and Ao Phang Nga, may also have fewer beach vendors due to restrictions on commercial activities.

However, it’s important to note that even on quieter beaches, some local vendors may still offer services such as massages, fruit, or seafood. It’s up to you whether or not you want to use their services, and it’s always a good idea to negotiate prices before agreeing to any services.

Which are the best family beaches in Phuket protected with some shade?

If you’re looking for a beach in Phuket that is protected with trees and shade, you might want to consider visiting the following beaches on the west coast (noting that as the sun moves during the day, all are fairly exposed in the afternoon):
Bang Tao Beach: This is a long stretch of white sand beach lined with tall trees and plenty of shaded areas for relaxing.
Surin Beach: This quieter and less crowded beach is lined with trees and has plenty of shaded areas for relaxation.
Kamala Beach: lined with palm trees and taller casuarina trees that cast a long shadow over at least half the beach well into the middle of the day
Nai Thon Beach: This relatively secluded beach has a beautiful forested backdrop that provides plenty of natural shade.
Nai Yang Beach: This is another secluded beach with a forested backdrop and plenty of natural shade.
Mai Khao Beach: This is the longest beach in Phuket and has a wide stretch of sandy beach that is shaded by tall trees, providing good morning coverage.

It’s worth noting that while these beaches provide some natural shade, it’s still important to bring sunscreen and other sun protection measures as the sun in Phuket can be quite strong, particularly from 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM.

Which are the best swimming beaches in Phuket?

Kata Beach: This is a popular beach for swimming due to its calm and clear waters and a few small waves, making it a great option for families with slightly older children.
Karon Beach: The waters here are generally calm and safe for swimming, with a long and wide stretch of sand to relax on.
Nai Harn Beach: This picturesque beach with clear waters and a gentle slope makes it a great spot for swimming and snorkelling.
Mai Khao Beach: This is the longest beach in Phuket, and its calm and shallow waters make it a great spot for swimming, particularly during the dry season.
Surin Beach: This is a beautiful and secluded beach with clear waters that are great for swimming and water activities, particularly during the high season.

Not that conditions can be more unpredictable in the rainy season; caution should be used when swimming at any beach in Phuket, even those with lifeguard patrols.

Where is the best place to snorkel in Phuket?

Kids just bought a new snorkel set and are now itching to explore underwater? Why not try:
Freedom Beach: This secluded beach near Patong is known for its crystal clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, making it an excellent spot for snorkelling – though a little difficult to find!
Laem Sing Beach: Also quite difficult to access, but the protected cove will reward you with stunning clear turquoise waters ideal for beginner snorkellers
Kata Noi Beach: This is a small and quiet beach with calm waters that are great for snorkelling, particularly around the rocks on the north end of the beach.
Nai Harn Beach: This is a picturesque beach with clear waters that are great for snorkelling and exploring the nearby coral reefs and marine life.
Ao Sane Beach: This small and secluded beach near Nai Harn is popular with snorkelers due to its clear waters and abundant marine life.
Ya Nui Beach: This small and quiet beach is located near Promthep Cape, known for its clear waters and excellent snorkelling opportunities, particularly around the rocks on the north end of the beach.

More Tips For Planning A Trip To Phuket

  • So much to see, so little time! These are the highlights visiting Phuket with family that you won’t want to miss off your itinerary.

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© Mama Loves Phuket 2024

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