Nai Harn Beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket with excellent water quality. It's flanked on both sides by jungle-and-palm covered mountains and there's a large freshwater lagoon inland.

    Rarely overcrowded, even in high season, Nai Harn Beach attracts both Thais and expats for its peaceful and unspoiled character. It’s also in a handy location, not far for all the action and fun nightlife spots on the island. Besides the white sandy beach itself, there are plenty of interesting things to do in Nai Harn Beach, most of which are excellent for families and travelers looking for a laidback vacation in Phuket.

    What are the best things to do in Nai Harn Beach?

    Ao Sane is a rocky beach on Phuket's southwest coast. You can enjoy excellent diving and snorkeling off this beach. There are enough trees lining its perimeters to provide shelter from the sun throughout the day. This 200-meter-long beach enjoys regular visitors in high season. Ao Sane Beach has a series of rudimentary bungalows and a restaurant, making it look like a small community at times.

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    Location: Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Elephant shrine at Promthep Cape

    The elephant shrine at Promthep Cape is surrounded by thousands of wooden elephants of different sizes. It's located up a flight of stairs, close to the viewpoint's carpark. The shrine is dedicated to Lord Brahma, and the arrangement of the sculptures is photogenic, colorful and impressive.

    Promthep Cape is busiest in the evenings, with visitors in tour buses, scooters and private cars sweeping through Rawai Beach and up the island's southernmost hill to watch the sunset.

    Location: Laem Promthep, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse

    Kanchanaphisek Lighthouse was established in 1996 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of King Rama IX's reign in Thailand. It's next to Phromthep Cape, about a 5-minute drive south of Nai Harn Beach.

    This active lighthouse has a beautiful golden peak. Entrance is free, though you'll need to climb the tower steps to get the best view of Phuket's south coast. There's a small museum inside, where you can see examples of vintage lighthouse equipment.

    Location: Laem Promthep, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8am to 7pm

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    Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery

    Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery is a spiritual center for Buddhists from nearby villages in Rawai. If you want to observe the local culture of 'making merit', it's best to visit in the early morning, around 5am. Villagers come to donate food and pay respects to the monks before starting their daily routine.

    Many believe that the Nai Harn Buddhist Monastery helps prevent the area from overdevelopment as it owns most of the beachfront land (which can’t be sold under Thai law). It's best to dress conservatively out of respect for the locals and monks. Remember to remove your shoes before entering the monastery.

    Location: Wat Nai Harn, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 6am to 2pm

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    Nai Harn Lake

    Nai Harn Lake is an inland freshwater lake close to Nai Harn Beach. It spans around 1 km in length, with an islet in the middle. The lakeside is popular for picnicking, jogging, bicycle riding, and various water sports events.

    A causeway, which connects the mainland with the islet, has a children's playground and pedalo concession. At the northeast end of the lake, you can find a cluster of friendly bars and restaurants serving local and international dishes at affordable prices.

    Location: Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Promthep Cape is a prominent lookout point in Phuket, around 3.7 km south of Nai Harn Beach. It's busiest in the evenings, with locals and tourists looking to catch the sunset at its peak. Some people make the rather demanding trek down to the end of Promthep Cape's promontory, though most stay at the top for the view. The hilltop also has a lighthouse displaying interesting historical maritime artifacts, as well as an exotic shrine with thousands of elephant sculptures.

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    Location: Laem Promthep, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Windmill Viewpoint is between Ya Nui and Nai Harn beaches on the south coast of Phuket. You can see large white windmills on the hilltop, which face out to the Andaman Sea. From the viewpoint, you can spot passing sea traffic, ranging from longtail boats and fishing boats to oil tankers and mega-sized cruise ships on the horizon.

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    Location: Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, 83100, Thailand

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    Ya Nui Beach is a small cove, where you can enjoy good snorkeling, kayaking and fishing in Phuket. The sand is soft and comfortable, with plenty of shells for kids to collect. Ko Kaeo Yai is a small island around 700 meters off Ya Nui Beach. When the weather is calm, it's possible to paddle out to check out corals or to visit Nai Harn. You can find Ya Nui Beach between the Phrom Thep and Windmill viewpoints.

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    Location: Rawai, Muang, 83100, Thailand

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    Beach volleyball

    You can enjoy a round of beach volleyball if you want to stay active but dry on Nai Harn Beach. Apart from sunbathing, the beach is popular for watersports, swimming and snorkeling. There's a volleyball net right on the sand that's often used by locals, but you can join in if you fancy a game.

    Location: Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Bicycle tour of Nai Harn

    Joining a bicycle tour is a leisurely way of exploring Nai Harn Beach and the southern coast of Phuket. Action Holidays Phuket by Bike Tours Thailand is among the reputable companies offering half-, full- and multi-day tours at reasonable rates.

    You can tour plantations, jungles, local villages and beaches on a fully-equipped bicycle. A full-day bicycle tour starts in the north of Phuket and ends on Nai Harn Beach. The tour includes a mountain bike with helmet, an English-speaking guide, drinks and snacks.

    Location: Action Holidays Phuket, Kwang Road, Phuket 83000, Thailand

    Phone: +66 (0)76 263 575

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    Snorkeling in Nai Harn

    Some of the best snorkeling in Nai Harn can be found in front of the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, though there are many excellent spots out in Ao Sane. You can rent snorkeling equipment from vendors on the beach or buy your own at nearby shops.

    Location: Royal Phuket Yacht Club, 23/3 Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83000, Thailand

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    Surfing in Nai Harn Beach

    Surfing is excellent on both ends of Nai Harn Beach in Phuket. The southern part has a permanent sandbank that gives a good and often fast ride, even in the smallest swells. You can find a beach-and-reef break in the corner of the beach's northern end, next to the Royal Phuket Yacht Club. This break can hold large swells and can get pretty potent at times.

    The waves at Nai Harn are excellent for boogie boarding from May to October. Kids can also safely ride the waves on the northern end of the beach during this time of the year.

    Location: Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83100, Thailand

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    Thai Boxing in Nai Harn Area

    If you want to learn Muay Thai (Thai kickboxing) in Phuket, many gyms in Nai Harn offer drop-in sessions at reasonable rates. Popular Muay Thai training centres include RAW.FITNESS Naiharn Gym, Sinbi Muay Thai, and Rawai Muay Thai Camp. Those who want to catch a live Thai boxing match by professional fighters can visit Suwit Gym on Friday nights.

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    The Spa at The Nai Harn

    The Spa at The Nai Harn offers a range of wellness therapies for those looking to unwind in Phuket. Onsite facilities include 4 therapy rooms, along with spacious indoor and outdoor Jacuzzis. The spa also offers a personalized detoxing program that runs for 1, 3 or 5 days. It includes a plant-based diet, exercise regime, and holistic wellness practices for those looking to establish a healthy routine.

    Location: 23/3 Moo 1, Wiset Road, Rawai, Muang, Phuket 83130 Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9am to 8pm

    Phone: +66 (0) 76-288 319

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler

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