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Phuket  Thailand:  hotels and travel guide Karon Beach, Kata, Nai Harn and Chalong Bay, Phuket, Thailand
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South Phuket, Nai Harn & Chalong Bay  

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South Phuket, Nai Harn & Chalong Bay

General Information

Phuket South CoastEverywhere on Phuket Island is beautiful but the south part of the island is straight out of a tropical daydream. The southern coastline is blessed with magnificent mountains covered with lush jungle forest that stretch out to meet the azure blue sea and are framed with white powder sandy beaches and fringed with coral reefs. When you see a photograph of Phuket, it is likely to have been taken in the south part of the island. The southern beaches offer superb vistas and some of the most glorious sunsets in the world. The South Coast Area covers the part of the islandPhuket Maps? click here that lies south of Relax Bay on the west and then across the island to include the Cape Panwa area. Many of the best hotels and restaurants in Phuket and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located here.


Places of Interest

Nui Beach

For a guaranteed remote beach experience that will rival anything you will find on the offshore islands, give this beautiful little beach paradise a try. You might be able to reach Nui beach on a mountain bike or motorcycle but it is not recommended. It is certainly not to be tried on a standard rental motorbike like a Honda "Dream". The trail is deceptively steep and you will fight the whole way to maintain traction on the loose soil and gravel on the path. The safest way to enjoy this truly beautiful and pristine beach is by walking the 2km trail to the beach. It is a beautiful but fairly steep climb as you walk around and down the rocky headland to the beach below. To get there: Follow the road south from Kata to the main lookout pavilion and continue down the road about a half kilometer and you will see a small parking area and sign for Nui Beach.

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Nai Harn Beach

The white sandy beach is clean and rather quiet, nestled in a small bay with striking views. Except for the exclusive Phuket Yacht Club complex, Nai Harn is not as developed as other south coast beaches. This is due in part to the Samnak Song Nai Han, a monastic center in the middle of the beach that claims most of the beachfront land. This beach has a reputation of being dangerous during the monsoon season but it really varies according to daily weather changes. Watch for the warning flags and use some common sense. A number of food venders here offer inexpensive but quite tasty food.


Ao Sehn Beach

A small bay lying northwest of Nai Harn Beach. The rather unusual entrance to this beach ensures that it will remain a secluded little hide-away that few tourists will find. To get there you must pass though the gates of the Phuket Yacht Club Hotel, drive through the underground parking lot on the left and continue on through the hotel to a very narrow and rough road that winds along to the northwest about 1km to Ao Sehn. The beach is small, clean, and dotted with rocks large and small -- very romantic. A great picnic place.

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Yanoi Beach

A sleepy little hide away with interesting rock formations and good snorkeling from the beach. Located at the bottom of the hill between the Promthep viewpoint and the wind powered generators on the next hill to the west, this beach is easy to drive past. Only a small restaurant and parking lot are visible from the road but walk past them a few feet and you are rewarded with a beautiful sheltered bay framed with large rock formations and a coral reef. Being located at the southern tip of the island only a few minutes drive from most of the hotels, this little beach is one of the best kept secrets on the island.


Cape Promthep

Phuket South Coast - Cape Prompthep‘Prom’ is the Thai word for the Hindu God ‘Brahma’ signifying purity and ‘Thep’ is Thai for God. Promthep is a headland stretching into the sea and forming the extreme south-end of Phuket Island. It has traditionally been the prominent feature for mariners approaching the island. No trip to Phuket would be complete without taking a few photos of the breathtaking panoramic vista overlooking the southern tip of the island. The best time to visit is as the sun sets over the Andaman Sea. But don’t miss the sunrise if you can make it there at that hour, as many people feel it is even more spectacular and the crowds are a lot smaller. The view is practically irresistible for photography since the bay reflects images of coral reefs as the waves in changing hues break upon rock boulders.

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Rawai Beach

Is a favored picnic spot for Thais who flock to the seafood stalls sitting under the trees that shade this narrow but picturesque bay. The beach is not so great but the water is shallow and safe for children and it is protected from the wind. There are many longtail boats and speed boats anchored here that you can hire to make trips to the nearby islands. Try to find one with life jackets because when the wind picks up the seas can become quite rough.


Chalong Bay

Phuket South Coast - Chalong BayThis calm and serene bay offers shelter to a fleet of boats from sailing yachts to tour boats seeking shelter against strong winds. It is also a famous take-off to well-known islands like Phi Phi, Coral Island, Mar Thon Island, Racha Island and the dive sites of Dok Mai and Shark Point. It bustles with activity from the crack of dawn till 9.00 am as the boats leave for their destination of the day . From 4.30 to 5.30 PM this bay is again quite busy with the passengers returning from their offshore island tours. Seaside restaurants by the pier attract bus loads of tourists in the evening after they have been to see the famous sunset from Promthep Cape.

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Siray Island

Is a small and hilly island located four km east of the capital and separated from the main island by a canal. The main attractions are a village of Sea Gypsies which occupy the Tokay Beach, and a giant hill-top reclining Buddha. Fishing villages and prawn farms are found along the coast where mangrove forests provide shelter and homes for fish, crustaceans, and shells.


Wat Chalong

Phuket South Coast - Wat ChalongIs Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple and is the biggest and most ornate of Phuket’s 29 Buddhist monasteries. The architecture is typical of wats found throughout Thailand. Wat Chalong is associated with the revered monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang, both of whom were famous for there work in herbal medicine and tending to the injured. During the tin miners’ rebellion of 1876 they mobilized aid for the injured on both sides. They also mediated in the rebellion, bringing the warring parties together to resolve their dispute. Statues honoring them stand in the sermon hall (viharn). Many Thais come here to be blessed by the monks and receive a good luck charm in the form of a string tied around the wrist, which they believe protects them from injury and illness.

Many local Thais and Asian tourists will set off fire crackers and ask for the lucky lottery numbers, and have their fortune told. Just inside the main hall on the floor before the image are two cans of what looks like shaved bamboo chopsticks. Pick one up and shake the can back and forth rhythmically until one of the sticks works its way to the top and falls to the floor. Read the number, then walk around the corner to the right where there is a wooden cabinet on the wall. Open the drawer with the corresponding number and take one of the slips of paper inside. Get someone to translate it for you or hold onto it until you get back to your hotel where the desk clerk can translate it. Also on the floor are several pairs of red wooden blocks made from bamboo roots and shaped like twin halves of a mango. These help you make decisions. Pose a question that requires a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. Toss the a pair blocks in the air and watch how they land on the floor. If both land with the same side up the answer is ‘no’; if they land, one up and one down, the answer is ‘yes’. Whichever form of divination you choose, be sure to leave a donation at the alter. It will go towards the upkeep of the shrine.

From the Chalong traffic circle take bypass road Why 4021 3km (2 miles) and Wat Chalong is on the right.

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Copyright 1998-2005 Plain Paper Guide Book Co., Ltd.
Web design by Andaman Graphics

Published by the Plain Paper Guide Book Co., Ltd. by Gary L. Ebsen

 

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