Mai Khao

Mai Khao is a beautiful beach nearly seven miles long that is situated on the northwestern coast of Phuket. The beach is also known as Sanambin Beach, which translates to Airport Beach, due to its close proximity to Phuket International Airport. Mai Khao is part of the Sirinat National Park, so most of the beach is undeveloped. In fact, the only major property on the beach other than the airport is the JW Marriott Phuket Resort. As a result, Mai Khao is practically deserted on most days where one could walk for miles and not run into another person. Although swimming is possible, there is a distinct drop off into the Andaman Sea a short distance into the water, so swimming is considered dangerous from May to November.

Mai Khao is an ideal beach to visit for those who enjoy long walks on the beach or simply relaxing. Since the beach is located on Sirinat National Park, it is also a great place for nature lovers as visitors can see many types of plants and wildlife such as lizards and rare species of birds. The best time to visit the beach is during January when the seas are calm, although this is one of the busiest months of year in Phuket. Therefore, even though Mai Khao is normally not crowded, travelers should book their accommodations well in advance. Although most major shopping destinations are elsewhere in Phuket, Mai Khao does have Turtle Village (http://royalgardenplaza.co.th/turtlevillage/#_=_), a shopping village with a variety of stores selling jewelry, clothing, souvenirs and other products. In addition, Turtle Village contains a convenient supermarket as well as several pubs and restaurants.

Mai Khao can be accessed from the 402 Highway via several public roads. However, the easiest way to reach the beach is to follow the signs to Turtle Village, pass the large hotels and continue straight to the beach area. There is no admission fee for entry to the beach, and there is plenty of free parking along the public roads. It is not recommended that guests park at resort parking facilities unless they are staying at the particular resort. If traveling to Mai Khao from International Airport, there are very limited public transportation options so a taxi is recommended. It generally takes about 20 minutes to reach Mai Khao from the airport by taxi or rental car. In addition, some Mai Khao hotels offer transfers from the airport to their resort, so this may be an option for some travelers. Although motorbikes and cars can be rented throughout Phuket, it is recommended that bookings be made from the airport as the prices are more competitive at that location.

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