Paradise in Phuket? I promise it exists. It’s taken three trips over the course of 8 years to finally confirm this, but yes, you really can still find paradise in Phuket.
My first trip to Phuket involved a hospital trip and a fairly nice few days in Phuket Old Town before catching the ferry to Koh Phi Phi. I was backpacking around Thailand at 18 which might explain a few things there.
My second trip to Phuket was also backpacking and the days we spent there were fairly average, staying near to Karon Beach. Not somewhere I’d strongly recommend visiting unless you like large crowds and restaurants with the menus in Russian.
But most recently, and on my third trip, I discovered two glorious locations with my family. The first, and by far one of the most beautiful beaches I have been to, was Mai Khao. The second area was Panwa Beach in the very south of the island.
Located just 15 minutes or so North of Phuket International Airport, I really didn’t know what to expect. We actually arrived after sunset so couldn’t really get an idea of the beach. We stayed at the incredible Holiday Inn Resort Mai Khao Beach, a real gem of a resort with beautiful landscaping.
Waking up the following morning, I could see the sea between the trees from our gorgeous room at the front of the hotel. It was glistening blue in the early morning light. A quick sprint downstairs, I quickly found we were the only people up and around – and it was incredible. It was exactly as I imagined Phuket to be 20 years ago. Golden, silky soft sand sloping gently into warm calm waters. No rocks, no coral, no rubbish, no bins, no beach huts, no umbrellas, no shops, no stands, no nothing!
Just a long stretch of pure paradise.
As well as the Holiday Inn Mai Khao, there is a Marriott and a few other smaller lodgings, but all are set far back from the beach. This means nothing obstructs your view, no matter which way you look. How refreshing!!
At the opposite of the island is Cape Panwa. Another beautiful secluded spot, far from the tourist hive of activity (and tackiness) in Patong. A number of high end hotels are nestled here as well as the expat enclave of Rawai.
We enjoyed a very pleasant stay at the Crowne Plaza Panwa and if we had more time, we definitely could have spent longer here exploring the area.
If you’re heading to Thailand and are wondering where you can still find some untouched beauty, head to Phuket and to one of these two beaches. Particularly Mai Khao, I could return year on year and pray it stays the same!
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