Thailand’s largest island, Phuket has tons of sandy beaches that kids bearing buckets and spades will love to visit, but some are better than others. The ideal family beach has shallow waters and shade, child-friendly activities and easy access to food and drink. With these considerations in mind, here are our top picks for the best family beaches in Phuket.
With fine white sand and a shallow bay, Kata beach has long been a firm favourite when it comes to family beaches in Phuket. Club Med occupies most of the land approaching the beach but a public road separates this big resort from the sands and allows for easy access. Older children can catch some waves here in the wetter months of May to October, and the surf shops that are dotted along the beach offer surf and boogie board rental and lessons. Kata is a hive of activity for vendors, which some may find a nuisance, but for those with hungry children the roving food seller with fried rice, sandwiches and fresh coconut water can be a godsend. Kata beach tends to get crowded during the peak season months of December through April, but the section of the beach north of the big resorts tends to be less crowded with broad sands offering plenty of running around space. At the south end are a cluster of open-air restaurants, while many more dining spots are found within an easy walk inland from the actual beach itself.
Nai Harn beach
Boasting a wide stretch of sand and a more local, laid-back atmosphere than some of Phuket’s busier resort beaches. The beach is lined with rental sun beds, and set under towering trees just back from the beach is a row of casual open-air seafood restaurants. If kids get bored of the beach it’s an easy walk across the road to the Nai Harn lagoon, a popular spot for picnics with a children’s play park with swings and slides. Families also gravitate towards the channel connecting the lagoon and sea, which offers a safer place to swim if sea conditions are too rough.
Mai Khao Beach
Nestled on the northwest coast of Phuket, the 11km-long straight beach is still blessedly undeveloped as it is part of the Sirinat National Park. The only significant constructions along it are the Marriott´s Phuket Resort and Phuket International Airport near Nai Yang Beach. The sand of Mai Khao Beach – the name of which translates as “white wood” – is possibly the coarsest of any on Phuket, but is also practically deserted a lot of the time, making it possible to walk for kilometres without seeing a single other person. The water is clean and not too cold, meaning kids love to swim here although during the rainy season of May to November it can get a little rough and stormy.
An eight kilometre stretch of fine sands that offers the most variety of all the best family beaches in Phuket. Most of the central part of Bangtao is taken up by Laguna Phuket, a complex of seven luxury resorts including the Banyan Tree, a golf course, spas and leisure facilities. Kids will love it here due to the fact there will always be plenty of other families to socialize with meaning they are unlikely to get bored during an outing here.