Mai Khao Beach – Everything You Need To Know

Mai Khao is located on the north tip of Phuket island and is connected to the main Thailand Phang-nga distrust via the Sarasin Bridge.

Searching for a beach getaway and prefer to avoid the hustle and bustle of touristy areas?

Phuket is known for its amazing beaches, and Mai Khao Beach is no exception, with its clear waters and surrounding natural landscape.

Mai Khao Beach is part of the Sirinat National Park, stretching west along an 11km coastline of Mai Khao, and is one of the longest beaches in Phuket.

The beach is less known than other popular beaches in Phuket, such as Karon Beach, but I see that as an advantage because it’s less crowded and more peaceful.

In this article, I will go over some of my recommended things to do, restaurants to eat at, and places to stay while visiting Mai Khao Beach.

Location recommended for: Nature lovers, peaceful getaway, and close to the airport.

Getting to Mai Khao Beach (by road)

Not sure how to get to Phuket from Bangkok? Check my article for multiple options.

Mai Khao Beach is ideally located next to the Phuket International Airport (HKT), so if you’re flying into Phuket, it’s just a 15-minute drive from the Airport.

Getting to Khao Beach from other areas around Phuket can take up to 1 hour.

Transport options available to the beach include taxis, airport transfers, and buses.

Routes and journey times by road

Driving RouteJourney Time
Phuket International Airport
to Mai Khao Beach
15 minutes
Patong (Phuket)
to Mai Khao Beach
1 hour
Old Phuket Town (Phuket)
to Mai Khao Beach
50 minutes
Khao Lak (Phang-nga)
to Mai Khao Beach
1 hour


There are plenty of taxis in Phuket available through an airport agent, your hotel, or using a ride-hailing service such as Bolt or Grab

Insider tip

  • Booking a taxi through your hotel will cost more because the hotel will take a cut of the fare, so download a ride-hailing service beforehand to compare fares
  • Book through Bolt for cheaper rates compared to Grab

Pre-book Airport transfer

I recommend using airport transfer services to compare operators based on reviews and select your desired vehicle class.

Insider tip

  • Prebooking an airport transfer can be cheaper than getting a taxi directly from the airport, but it depends on the operator and vehicle type


If you’re in the south of Phuket the airport shuttle bus will take you to Mai Khao area, but once you arrive at the airport you’ll need to get a taxi to the beach area.

Bus tickets will cost between 30-100 THB.

The Phuket Smart Bus also operates a route to the airport, which costs a fixed fare of 100 THB.

Things to do

Mai Khao Beach has plenty of activities to keep you entertained during your stay, including swimming, beach walks, and even plane-watching the arriving aircraft flying into Phuket.

Beach walks

The beach is perfect for walking along because there are shaded areas under the tree line where you can get protection from the sun.

The beach does have large slopes in some areas, so you’re probably better off taking off your flip-flops and walking barefoot.


Mai Khao beach is one of the best places to catch amazing sunsets over the Andaman Sea.

Grab a drink and some mosquito spray the head down to the beach around 5:30-6:30 PM to watch the sun go down.


Swimming is a popular activity along Mai Khao beach but find a shallow area because the sea group level has a steep drop.

It’s also worth noting that no lifeguards are on duty along Mai Khao, so be careful when swimming in the sea, especially from May to October when they are strong currents.

Plane Spotting

The Mai Khao beach is on the flight path of Phuket International Airport, so you can walk along the beach while watching planes taking off and landing.

The best place to find this is at Mai Khao Beach – Airport Viewpoint but make sure to follow all government recommendations in the area, such as not standing directly in the flight path of the planes.

Sirinath National Park

In the southernmost part of the beach, you’ll find the Sirinat National Park, a protected coastal forest area great for bird watching and admiring nature.

The park boosts over 130 species of birds as-well-as activities such as kayaking and snorkeling.

Other activities/landmarks nearby:

  • Splash Jungle – Water theme park
  • Baan Ar-Jor – Chinese-Colonial mansion
  • Wat Mai Khao – Buddhist monastery
  • Nai Yang Beach
  • Khao Lak

Places to eat

Although food choices are limited along the beachfront because of national park restrictions there are a couple of local and luxury hotel chain restaurants to choose from, with a wide selection of international and Thai cuisine.

Takieng by Marriott – a popular Thai restaurant in the Renaissance Phuket hotel serving Thai cuisine and fine dining.

Open: 12 pm – 10 pm

Sunset Restaurant – local beachfront bar and restaurant serving Thai cuisine and seafood

Open: 2 pm – 10 pm

Sea.Fire.Salt. by Anantara – serving seafood and international cuisine with seaside views.

Open: 12 pm-midnight

M Beach Club by JW Marriott – an exclusive beachfront club-like restaurant serving international cuisine and cocktails.

Open: 12 pm-midnight

Places to stay

Mai Khao beach has many accommodation options, including luxury results, boutique hotels, private rentals, and campsites.

Luxury resorts

Boutique hotels

  • Mai Khao Dream Villa Resort & Spa
  • Melia Phuket Mai Khao


  • Sirinat National Park Campground
  • Phuket Campground
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Written by Nicky

Hi! 👋 I'm an expat who has lived, explored, and worked in Asia for over 10 years. I started to share the knowledge I've picked up over the years with travelers interested in visiting Asia. Find out more on our about page.

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