It was a beautiful Saturday morning when H and I set off for our tour of Phuket, Thailand. Our driver, Lek, picked us up from our hotel in Patong and from there it was a 40 minute drive to the south of the island.
The first stop of the day was a quiet beach called Ya Nui. We almost missed it, if not for the glimpses of azure blue water and sandy white peeking among the trees.
There was a rocky outcropping in the southern end of the beach. The beach itself stretches about 300ms or so, with crystal clear and blue water. There were also some food and drink stalls, shops renting snorkelling gear and the customary Reggae Bar.
Net searches say that the place is quite busy during peak periods, but it was quiet and tranquil during our visit (November- just after rainy season). Some families were out basking in the sun on beach mats, or playing in the shallow water. In the distance is an island called Koh Keyao Noi.
Fishing boats and some water sports like kayaking and speed boats.
I like how the beach is C-shaped, sheltered by soft, sloping green hills on both sides. The sand was fine and warm. Glad I brought slippers!
We didn’t go into the water because we still had to visit other places and I didn’t have a change of clothes… but the waves sure looked inviting.
After admiring the views for a short while, we hopped onto our car again and headed to Karon Viewpoint, a very famous viewpoint up on the hill.
In Thai, the place is called ‘Koh Sam Haad’, or ‘Hill of Three Beaches.’ There is a viewing platform and a gazebo where you get amazing views of the island’s west coast. True to its name, visitors will get to see the three bays, which are shaped like a fork – Kata Noi Beach, Kata and Karon beach.
Not accessible by bus. You can get a tuktuk to take you up, but the roads are hilly and narrow.. so your best bet is to hire a private driver or taxi. For those driving, the viewpoint is on the main road connecting Rawai and Kata. Look out for a big gazebo on the side of the road. Admission is free.