Written by Administrator
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 15:48
Accommodation at the Southern End of the Island:
Nai Harn; Rawai; Chalong.
Phuket is a big island with many different beaches, each with its own unique
atmosphere. At the bottom end of the island end we find NaiHarnBeach facing Southwest, a classic
topical beach with crystal clear water ideal for swimming. Just around the
corner from here, at Rawai and further eastwards, everything changes. The water
off the beaches becomes shallow and unattractive for swimming, and in the bays
like Chalong is it murky. The beautiful swimming beaches end at Nai Harn.
Nai Harn Accommodation
This classic beach is set back in a deep bay formed by mountainous headlands and
a hilly island. From the beach only one building is visible, and this is the
strikingly designed Phuket Yacht Club Hotel. Enjoying one of the most
beautiful locations on Phuket, this resort actually lays back against the
hillside into which it is sculpted. The views from the hotel are simply
stunning. While it is on the headland, guests can still step from hotel to the
Despite the name this is strictly a hotel, not a yacht club. In the winter
season many yachts come to anchor in the perfect anchorage that Nai Harn bay
affords, right in front of the hotel.
At the back of the beach and out of sight is The Sands, privately owned
apartments available for rental.
Also back from the beach a little is a new set of rooms that is to open within 2001. Otherwise
there are no other
accommodations at Nai Harn.
Under and Beyond the Yacht Club Hotel
This is quite confusing, but the public road runs directly under the Phuket
Yacht Club Hotel, emerging from under the hotel’s basement and continuing on
for a kilometre or two, where it accesses two small, and very private resorts, The
Jungle Beach Resort and Ao Saen Bungalows. When one approaches the
Yacht Club’s barrier gate, the guards always open to allow the public to pass.
Long-Term Accommodation in the Nai Harn Area
Some bungalows and houses for rent can be found in the back streets of Nai
Harn. Being quiet and green, this is a popular residential area for expatriate
foreigners working in Phuket. One would have to hunt through the back roads
looking for signs to find this kind of accommodation.
Bungalows at Rawai
Rawai, as mentioned above, lacks a beautiful swimming beach; the sand is
narrow, the water shallow, and the bottom scattered with rocks and coral. But
the sand here has been turned into a kilometre-long, under-the-trees
restaurant. There are probably 20 or more vendors and casual restaurants here
which are favourites for the local Thais. On weekends they are packed. Rawai
has a very different, Thai family atmosphere.
Across the road from Rawai beach are a few relatively cheap bungalows.
This was the first international-class resort on PhuketIsland, originally called the PhuketIsland
Resort. It sits atop its own headland on the southeast corner of the island,
surveying the offshore islands. This is the headland separating Rawai Beach and
Chalong Bay, and the hotel access is from the Chalong-Rawai road, half a
kilometre from the water at Rawai.
At first it may seem a strange location to build the very first resort on
Phuket - far from the classic tropical beaches of Phuket’s West coast. But this
resort has other benefits, first of which is peace and tranquillity to enjoy
its magnificent views. The hotel has its own beach club on a nearby island,
connected by a shuttle service.
Chalong Bay; the boat harbour –
bungalows, bungalows, bungalows
There is no swimming beach along this bay, the main boat anchorage in Phuket,
so no major resorts have been established here. But a whole host of bungalows
offer cheap accommodation in this area, another one favoured by resident
foreigners for its non-commercial, residential feel. Anyone staying in this
area will almost certainly need to rent a vehicle of some sort, since the
various bungalows are scattered and isolated. Several of the nicest are found
between the road running from Chalong five-way circle to Rawai and the shore of
a popular restaurant and yachtsmen's haunt
overlooking Chalong Bay, also has a few nice rooms with good views over the
The writer of this web site, John Everingham, also lives in Chalong, in the Phuket
Fishing Lodge which offers long-term rooms at the best prices.
Since both Rawai and Chalong are residential areas for both Thais and foreign
expats there are many good restaurants and bakeries in this part of the island.