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Along the rocky shores of Phuket's southernmost tip lies Nai Harn beach another of the island's heavenly strips of sand. The beach is powdery and almost white, the waters calm (at most times of the year) and crystal clear, and development on the beach itself is minimal — really!
Seriously lacking in shade, Nai Harn is a favourite spot for sun-bakers, resident expats and everyone else in Phuket — you will see why. The beach also has some quite reasonable snorkelling toward the southern headlands and a mask and set of fins can be easily rented for around 150B.
The main reason that Nai Harn is pleasantly under-developed is courtesy of the Samnak Song Monastery which occupies most of the land off the centre and southern stretch of the beach. As with western Mae Nam beach on Ko Samui, the temple's location brought development in the immediate area to a complete standstill — what a shame there wasn't a large temple in the middle of Patong! Back off the beach, development has also been restricted by a large reservoir where locals fish, paddle in swan boats, go for morning jogs or enjoy the nice park on the reservoir's island.
Surfers on Nai Harn are drawn to the reef break out front of the Phuket Yacht Club, which can hold a pretty big swell well, while the southern end of the beach has a long sandbank that delivers on long smooth rides. Nai Harn isn't far behind Kata Yai when it comes to the best waves on Phuket.
The best snorkelling here is just to the north at Ao Sane where there's a bunch of small coral outcrops just offshore.
Of the few accommodation options near the beach, most are upmarket and new developments tend to be time-shares and private villas. There is one option listed here under accommodation but budget travellers are better off heading to Ya Nui beach to the south or at the one cheapie spots on Ao Sane just to the north (through the Royal Phuket Yacht Club).
Nai Harn has three segments to it. The immediate beach area, a "mini village" behind the lake, and Nai Harn town which is further back again. The latter has the largest range of eateries and bars along with other services like bike hire and travel agents, but it is a long, long walk to the beach. Much of the accommodation is in the mini village which is about a ten to 15 minute walk to the beach. A lot of people chosoe to hire a motorbike.
There is an ATM at the exit of the All-Seasons hotels and various ATMs in Nai Harn town at Family Mart and 7-eleven locations.
WiFi internet is widely available at many of the hotels and some restaurants offer it for free.
By Stuart McDonald .