Once a hidden gem, then a tourist trap, then a paid beach before being blocked to tourists altogether. What is the current story of Laem Singh Beach (also known as Haad Laem Sing, Limsingh) on the Andaman Sea coast of Phuket? Can you still visit this “secret beach?”
Laem Singh is at the bottom of a steep hill and surrounded by tropical vegetation. It’s easy to forget you are still on Phuket mainland here. The waves are calm, and the water conditions are crystal clear – exactly what you would expect of a stunning Thai beach! But why so few tourists?
The issue here is accessibility. Previously, cars could park on the coastal road near the Laem Sing View Point, and then take the steep staircase up and down to this tropical paradise.
A property dispute which arose in 2017 saw the beach cut off from road access. For a period of time, the landowner was charging ฿100 per person to access the beach, but this was cut off altogether in 2017(1). Barriers were erected, and guards were put in place to police anyone trying to access the beach by foot.
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How to Get to Laem Singh Beach
It’s important to note that beaches in Thailand are public property. Whilst land access may have been restricted, there’s nothing stopping you from arriving at Laem Singh from the sea.
The public can once more get access to enjoy Haad Laem Singh, albeit it’s not as straightforward as other popular family beaches in Phuket to access.
Laem Singh By Foot
The small cove of Liam Signh is again accessible by foot if you don’t mind a little rock scrambling. Setting out from the southern end of Surin Beach, look behind the little restaurants at the far end for the signs to “View Point Restaurant”. This may be difficult to pass at high tide and in stormy weather. Use your common sense.
We’d very much recommend footwear such as water shoes or appropriate water socks rather than flip flops (thongs to us Aussies!) or bare feet. Allow 15-20 minutes, and you’ll arrive at the cliffside restaurant (it’s polite and probably very much needed to grab a refreshment here!), then continue just a few more minutes down to the beach.
Laem Singh By Boat
If you’re not one for scrambling (heck, there’s enough palaver and stuff we need for a family day at the beach!) look for a boat to take you around the headland. We were told longboats were operating all day, but the only frequent service we have found from Surin Beach is this orange speed boat.
You need to look out for their sign at the beach’s southern end. Arriving at Surin Beach, it’s fairly immediately to the left. The price is pretty non-negotiable at ฿100 per person one way (though maybe infants they’ll allow free; we’ve been charged for our slightly older kids). We pay ฿200 pp though for surety of our return journey – you’ll need cash.
They do operate a timed system for your return pick-up, but it’s incredibly flexible by the looks of things. Tell them approximately when you want to come back (they do note it in a book, so there’s somewhat of a system!), but they are shuttling pretty much all day between the two trips; if you miss one, they won’t be much more than 10-15 minutes until they’re back.
Note there’s no jetty for boarding the boat at either beach; you’ll need to work with the tide and expect some wading through water, so you’ll be getting wet from the get-go. The staff will help you with loading and unloading children, bags etc.
We also understand a boat service also runs from Kamala Beach, but we have yet to find the exact launch point for this longtail boat. When we find it, we’ll update you exactly where!
Facilities at Laem Singh Beach Phuket
Due to the remote nature of this beach, features are pretty limited to natural beauty these days – gone are the days of row upon row of deck chairs and beach vendors. We believe there’s just one deck chair operator there now, taking only a small portion at the beach’s northern end, so there are still loads of shady spots to enjoy completely free.
Dining at Laem Singh Beach
The only dining spot is a restaurant perched on the cliff side, aptly named “View Point” – it has always been open when we visit, but we’ve seen several reviews off-season saying that there’s no restaurant, so we’re assuming it only, understandably, opens seasonally.
The prices are a little higher at this premium location than you’d expect to pay for a meal on Surin Beach, so between the boat and a meal and drink for all the family, you can easily blow ฿2000 on your small day trip to this secluded beach!
Note that the restaurant also occasionally sends an ice cream vendor down to the beach. If you want to pack your own picnic but enjoy an afternoon treat, this could be a good compromise.
Remember no facilities means no bins – so please, please take away everything that you bring with you – and more if there’s been a storm and you see rubbish washed up, please help to keep it the beautiful, pristine beach that it is.
We understand the restaurant has a bathroom but haven’t investigated this.
What to Do at Haad Laem Singh
This is not where to come for your adrenaline activities and shopping at the beach; it’s quite purposefully a quiet cove, so please keep it this way! The turquoise waters here are crystal clear, and it’s a beautiful spot to don your face masks and search for the marine life below.
You’ll find the rocks at the southern end of the beach are best for exploring. The northern end, where the boat lands, has slightly bigger waves, but it’s not really known for this; we wouldn’t bother dragging out bodyboards, etc.
Note there are no lifeguards at this beach, so enter the waters with kids at your own risk. Be mindful that the water drops away quite abruptly beyond the beautiful soft sand. There are also many rocks, great if you snorkel, but not so great for swimmers.
Being no vendors here, you’ll need to come equipped with your own snorkelling gear (though we did note the restaurant seemed to have some sets to rent). You can pick up an inexpensive snorkel set from one of the beach vendors on Kamala beach or Surin Beach.
All up, Laem Singh makes for a fun day out on a stunning beach. It’s relatively peaceful compared to other West Coast beaches and provides hours of water-based entertainment and chill time.
© Mama Loves Phuket 2024