Escape the crowds and head north to Natai Beach
A quick four-hour flight from Hong Kong, Phuket has always been a go-to destination for beach holidays, but we know it can get a little overwhelming with pushy vendors and busy tourists. If you’re looking for a quiet and peaceful vacation away from the hustle and bustle of Patong Beach, we suggest heading to Natai Beach in the nearby Phang Nga Province – a mere 6km north of Phuket and only 40 minutes from Phuket International Airport. With 10km of unspoiled beach and no crowds, we promise it will be your new secret getaway spot!
Where to stay:
Due to strict building laws on Natai Beach, no hotels in the area can have more than 80 rooms, so you know you’re in for an exclusive treat when booking your accommodation.
Recently opened, Baba Beach Club Phuket is our pick for a girls trip, bachelorette party or even if you’re just looking for chill vibes, great company and mouth-watering food. The luxury beachfront hotel and beach club boasts 16 hotel villas and suites, all designed with music lovers in mind (the Funktion-One sound system is not playing around!). They also offer a variety of residential villas with private pools, perfect for a group vacay.
Part of the internationally acclaimed Sri Panwa Hotel Group, Baba Beach Club delivers the same standard of five star service and luxury facilities – so you can count on your every need being taken care of! This includes an in-room spa, a stunning pool complete with a beach bar and a selection of restaurants offering cuisines ranging from Thai to Italian (how good does a Tom Yum pizza sound though?).
The best part? You’re mere steps away from a 200 meter stretch of pristine sand with unbelievable views of the sunset, so you can Instagram your heart out (#priorities).
If you’re looking for alternative options, we would also recommend checking out Aleenta Phuket Resort & Spa (and its EDGE Beachfront Restaurant) or Akyra Beach Club Phuket, known for its sunset White Parties!
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Where to eat:
Because Natai Beach is so secluded and resides away from the tourist heavy sections of Phuket, food options here tend to be attached to hotels and residential properties along the beach. Rabian Lay Thai Seafood is one of the few independent beachfront restaurants on Natai, which serves local Thai dishes for 100 to 200 Baht each. You can also head to the nearby town of Khok Kloi for more local food and convenience stores to stock up on the essentials. We suggest trying Co-Sea House Thai Food & Beverage for authentic flavours with an affordable price tag.
What to do:
Defintelty take advantage of the stunning natural parks and breathtaking cliffs around Phang Nga bay. Many hotels and independent companies run day trips to take you kayaking around the sea caves in Phang Nga Bay, or to visit James Bond Island, made famous in “The Man with the Golden Gun” – you would recognise the limestone cliffs jutting out of the water instantly! You can also explore one of the many local fishing villages including Ko Panyi, which is entirely built on stilts.
Phang Nga Province also pays homage to many beautiful temples open to the public to explore. One of the biggest attractions is the cave temple, Wat Suwan Kuha, known for its dominant figure of the reclining Buddha inside. You can climb past the Buddha and the cave eventually opens into the forest – it’s picture perfect! Outside the cave, you can (cautiously) make friends with the multitude of monkeys – a few bananas should do the trick – but be careful as they’re known to steal belongings from visitors!
If you’re on the more adventurous side, we would suggest checking out Pung Chang Cave. An exploration through exotic rock formations, the guides will take you first by canoe, then raft and then on foot through the caves where you can observe limestone stalactites with beautiful colours and designs you wouldn’t believe occur naturally. Arrive between 10am and 2pm to take the full tour (headlamps provided on site) and wear shoes you don’t mind getting wet as you’ll be walking in shallow water. Pro tip: as you enter, take a peek at the ceiling to see bats up close and personal!