The first thing that attracted us to Nai Yang Beach was its incredible proximity to the airport.
That’s not a joke. As much as weekend breaks are great, there’s an associated amount of travel faff which takes the gloss off. Phuket is a prime example. Although it’s a scant hour and a bit flight from Bangkok, you can spend at least that long again in an (overpriced) taxi getting to your end destination.
Not so if your end destination is Nai Yang Beach. Literally 5 minutes from the runway, you can leave Bangkok at 5pm on a Friday and be here well before 8pm.
If this were the UK, a location 5 minutes from the airport would doubtless be a grim industrial estate drowned in the noise of jet engines. This being Thailand, Nai Yang has a rather more relaxed vibe.
Like most Phuket beaches, Nai Yang is utterly gorgeous. A small national park runs right to the beach, meaning that the beach has its very own forest running towards postcard blue water, where boats bob gently in the shallows. The water is bath warm and clean. The beach is fairly angled towards the sea, so the waves come in with a decent crash! Swimming is not a problem but be aware that the waves have a fair bit of oomph when you’re trying to make your James Bond glamour exit from the water.
This is monsoon season so it’s extremely quiet and peaceful. There’s a busier stretch of touristy stuff in the middle, but head to the north for unbroken peace and quiet. You’ll also spot occasional planes taking off from the airport. It’s not advisable to walk all the way up to the airport as there’s due to be an exclusion zone around this area.
At the south end of the beach is an abandoned hotel project which is worth a look at. On the beach itself are the usual litany of activities involving boats, kite surfing, fishing etc. As it faces west, Nai Yang is a great place to take in the sunset over a cool cocktail. Assuming of course it isn’t raining, heavily.
“Monsoon season” in Thailand doesn’t quite mean full on rain all the time, contrary to popular belief. We’ve been here 3 days and only experienced one storm, at night. Best to buy a rain cape from 7 Eleven just in case you get caught out though. It can quickly go from dry to torrential. And with a rain cape , you always look super stylish.
Hotels at Nai Yang
Low season also reflects in the prices for accommodation. We stayed at the 4 star Dewa Phuket Resort just a stones throw from the beach which has nice rooms, excellent facilities and a majestic breakfast (obviously most important) for about 2000 THB a night. We also only booked 5 days, in advance.
Check out the below for other options. Agoda generally always has the best price from our experience. We always double check against Google to make sure the reviews line up as well!
Food at Nai Yang
Phuket has a justifiable reputation for being pricey, especially for food and drink. Nai Yang is no exception especially on the main strip. There are some reasonable food places on the beach such as Phen, MamaNang and Almond Sea that specialise in seafood, but expect to pay double Bangkok rates for quite average fare.
For better eats at Nai Yang, head inland slightly, up the road past Dewa Phuket. There is a local market on the left about 5 minutes up the road, or better still a place called Thai Foodbar just at the intersection with the main road.
This is a literal description, as it’s a ramshackle lean-to counter staffed by a large family, propped against a 7 Eleven. However they churn out cracking food, including deep fried prawns (crispy heads and all), Tom yum fried rice, and a range of extremely tasty curries. This is better food for less money than you’ll find on the beach.
At lunchtime, stay at the beach but pick up a gai yang (bbq grilled chicken) and som tam (papaya salad) from one of the roadside carts. Again, a better use of your money than the beachfront places, and a proper way to eat like a local! Sit on the beach and enjoy your food – the local dogs may come to enquire as to the leftovers, but they will maintain a respectful distance.
And really, that’s all there is to it at Nai Yang! For a simple weekend of relaxation away from Bangkok, or just a break without the pain of travelling too much, Nai Yang Beach is a great option. So conveniently located, with beautiful scenery and surroundings and good food in the right places, you will enjoy a relaxing couple of days here with very little hassle, cost or planning. An ideal weekend getaway.