Nai Harn Beach is one of the island’s more popular destinations. Once known only to in-the-know locals, it has been very firmly “discovered”. However, as the small bay is home to only a few hotels, restaurants and shops, it retains its quiet charm. With The Nai Harn nearby, it is a popular anchorage for boats during the high season. Great for swimming from November to April, care should be taken in the low season (May-October). The calm seas are replaced by strong currents, making it better suited to surfers and kite-boarders. The local restaurants just above the beach make a great place to relax with a sundowner. Further south is Ya Nui Beach, a sandy cove that attracts snorkelers and divers. Another out-of-the-way spot nearby is the tiny beach of Ao Sane. Also a great spot for snorkeling, it’s reached by taking the road that starts at The Nai Harn car park.
The Beach of Nai Harn
Nai Harn beach is one of the most beautiful beaches in Phuket with its excellent water quality. It’s encompassed on both sides by jungle-covered mountains and there’s a large freshwater lagoon inland. Never overloaded, even in high season, Nai Harn’s usually busier at weekends as it is popular with both Thais and ex-pats. Many tourists who come to Phuket never make it to this wonderful stretch of sand. At the southern end the lagoon flows into the sea, creating a stream that children love to play in. All year round the water is a comfortable 29 °C. Flat lake-like crystal-clear water invites you for a dip from November to May. From June to October during the southwest monsoon period swells arise with rip tides. You should never go into the water when red warning flags are flying. Small beach umbrellas and mats are available from nearby local stores. There are public toilets at the north end by the shops and the centrally located beach restaurants will usually allow you to use theirs for a small charge.
Nai Harn Beach Restaurants
A large majority of the restaurants installed under the trees at the top of the beach have been removed. It is yet still possible to order sandwiches, ice creams, cut fruit and a range of drinks that includes beer, soft drinks and juices directly from the beach to ambulant vendors, so you don’t even have to interrupt your tanning. The few restaurants that could avoid the demolition are very reasonably priced and have menus that seem to go on forever. Pretty much any Thai dish you could want will be available in addition to many international favorites.
Watersport in Nai Harn Beach
Some of the best snorkeling in Phuket can be found in front of The Nai Harn Resort. Snorkeling opportunities stretch all the way out past Ao Sane (a small beach to the end of the bay). Equipment can be rented easily on the beach or bought at the nearby shops. From May to October at the northern end of the beach, the waves are a little small for surfing but the perfect size for boogie boarding. Kids love to spend the whole day riding the waves in a relatively safe environment and it doesn’t take long to learn. Boards can be bought in the shops around Nai Harn Beach or rented from the sunbed rental people. Although generally quieter than the other beaches in Phuket, rental jetskis do make an appearance from time to time.