Tucked away on the northwest shore of Phuket is one of the quietest beaches on the island – Nai Yang. Despite being close to the airport – you can watch planes take off and land – it’s quiet and relaxed.
Nai Yang has a five-star resort, the Indigo Pearl, along with more recent entries ,such as the Adamas Resort and Dewa Phuket, yet it remains peacful and laid-back.
The beach area is still lovely and it’s one of the cheaper areas on the island, though the facilities are fairly limited and you shouldn’t expect much in the way of nightlife or a huge selection of international restaurants.
Nai Yang Beach has lovely white sand, as with much the rest of Phuket’s beaches, and also comes with some fairly good swimming. The main feature of Nai Yang is that it remains largely undeveloped, though, with a single cul-de-sac road entering from the north.
On Nai Yang Beach you can enjoy a quiet breakfast on the sand without the hustle and bustle of the larger resorts on the main beaches of Phuket. However, it’s certainly a low-key place and after dark is almost totally lacking in atmosphere. For any partying, you’ll have to catch a taxi south, which could take 40 minutes or more.
However, for anyone content with the quiet life, Nai Yang is as closer to perfection as it gets on this island. Seldom will you find the beach loungers full, there are no noisy jet-skis or long-tail boats and you needn’t crack out your credit card for a decent seafood lunch; all part of the appeal of Nai Yang.
For visitors to Phuket who are concerned with the inflated prices in the popular areas, Nai Yang is about the best solution. Don’t expect girlie bars and loads of shopping, and you’ll need to rent a motorbike and drive quite a bit to get to the main attractions and beaches of the island, yet Nai Yang is still a pleasant beach to return to.
Nai Yang is not totally devoid of services; you’ll find a tour operator and travel agent, the island’s only kite-surfing school, a dive shop, car hire, and restaurants that are open fairly late. They serve up a variety of food, including some excellent pizzas. Also on Nai Yang is a supermarket, small vendors, an internet café and several comfortable bungalows that are very close to the beach but cost less than 1,000 baht a night in high season, offering superb value for money in this neck of the woods.
The land along the northern half of the beach (just north of Dewa Resort) falls within the Sirinath Marine National Park; a favourite area among Thais for weekend picnics. For a foreign family, however, the toll of 200 baht per adult, 100 baht per child and 40 baht per vehicle can add up to a considerable amount for a day at the beach. On the other hand, if you are not carrying too much beach gear, simply leave the car outside the park and walk along the beach for free.
During Songkran – traditional Thai New Year – those who do not relish the idea of the furious water battles that take place in Patong and other tourist centres on the island, could head to Nai Yang for some quieter fun. Visitors will still get throughly soaked, albeit without the blitzkrieg feel of the larger resorts.