Nai Harn & Chalong Bay
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 island
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 dont 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.
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
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.
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.
Phukets most important Buddhist temple and is the biggest
and most ornate of Phukets 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.