Beaches of Phang Nga: Phuket’s quiet neighbor to the north
Phang Nga, just north of Phuket, might not receive as much hype as neighboring Phuket and Krabi, but this untapped province has one of the most stunning coastlines in all of Thailand.
Most of the info written about Phang Nga focuses on Phang Nga Bay, home of famed James Bond Island and Panyee Village. But we’re talking about the serene mainland beaches of Phang Nga, directly north of Phuket. Visit this area and you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a white sand beach to yourself.
Quiet Phang Nga beaches line the coast from the town of Thai Muang in the south to Khao Lak and beyond. The highway running parallel to the coastline makes these beaches easily accessible by car or motorbike. And with less tourism than the islands, you’ll get a quintessentially Thai experience at these little beach towns.
So, here are the pristine Phang Nga beaches that deserve to be added to your next island hopping tour.
Thai Muang is a 13 km stretch of white sand beach that runs north of Phuket. The clear water is great for swimming. This is also where sea turtles lay their eggs from November-February every year. There is an annual event called “Sea Turtle Releasing Festival” in March when baby sea turtles hatch on shore and make their way to the sea. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Baby turtle selfies? No, ok then.
Photo: Thai Muang Beach / tofucoyote
Khao Lak is how people refer to the 30 km of Phang Nga coastline above Phuket, from Thai Muang in the south to Bang Sak in the north. But Khao Lak Beach is actually a small beach with pebbly sand and epic sunsets. The best thing to do on this beach is sit back and relax the day away. Shady pine trees and coconut groves line the beach. Life is slow and relaxed here. Savor it.
Photo: Khao Lak Beach / TravelingOtter
The 1.5 km long beach of Bang Niang is sandwiched in between Khuk Khak and Nang Thong Beaches. The water is filled with sediments, making the ocean appear a bit murkier than you might be used to. But the water is calm and shallow, and the sand is free of rocks and pebbles, making it possible to swim any time of the day, low or high tide. This beach is great for families and little kids.
Photo: Bang Niang Beach / Kullez
Khuk Khak means lively in Thai, and we’d say this beach has earned the name. There are a number of resorts here. There’s also a small fishing village where each evening you can catch local fisherman preparing their gear for a night of fishing.
Photo: Khuk Khak Beach / Curtis Foreman
During the rainy season dead coral washes up on this beach, giving it its name, Coral Beach. It’s near Coral Cape, or Laem Pakarang, where an offshore shipwreck makes a cool visit. Pakarang Beach is quiet and shady with a smattering of beachside massage huts and restaurants.
Photo: Pakarang Beach / Paul 012
Just north of Laem Pakarang is Pak Weeb Beach, and perhaps the most beautiful stretch of Phang Nga’s coastline. (Le Meridien did decide to plant itself here after all.) There are a few other beach restaurants and beautiful hotels, such as The Sarojin, located here. Stay all day at the beach or head inland, across the highway that runs parallel to the beach, and check out the Pak Weeb, Sai Rai Rung and Bor Hin waterfalls.
Photo: Pak Weeb Beach /TravelingOtter
Haad Bang Sak, or Bang Sak Beach, is a beautiful, somewhat isolated beach that’s great for peaceful lounging and swimming. There are just enough shady pine trees, food stalls and accommodation near by to make it comfortable. Hang out with the local guys and gals who come to picnic and watch the sunset every afternoon.
Photo: Bang Sak Beach / Herr S
Header Photo: Khao Lak Beach / Allen
Read more Beach articles:
Koh Nang Yuan: The island less traveled
Haad Rin: Party hard in paradise
Lamai: The Koh Samui beach you haven’t been to
Searching for Thailand’s most beautiful, uncrowded beaches
Battle of the Phuket beaches: Kata vs. Nai Harn