Mai Khao – About Mai Khao in Thailand

Located on the northwest coast of the popular beach destination of Phuket, Thailand, Mai Khao is an 11-kilometer-long undeveloped beach. It is part of the beautiful Sirinat National Park—the only nearby buildings are those of Phuket International Airport. Mai Khao Beach’s proximity to the airport is the reasons for its other common names: Airport Beach or Sanambin Beach.

Formerly a very significant breeding ground and nesting area for leatherback turtles, the steady development of the area and poaching has resulted in the complete demise of these amazing creatures. Although Mai Khao Beach is often described as pristine, pollution is, in fact, a real problem. As the surrounding area develops and resorts keep moving in, environmental problems emerge as well.

That being said; Mai Khao Beach is still part of a protected national park and is less-visited than other beaches in Phuket. Its rather significant length and virtual desertedness makes it possible to go for long walks along the beach without seeing another human.

Popular Activities and Attractions

The main attractions around Mai Khao Beach are all related to nature and the outdoors. Although the sand is rather coarse and the steep drop-off in the water don’t make it the best beach for sunbathing or swimming, it is an amazing place to go for strolls or even long hikes. The fact that it is located within Sirinat National Park offers some options as well. The park is home to numerous birds and other wildlife.

A stop at Turtle Village is a popular, of not the most popular, thing to do in Mai Khao. People who want to go shopping and enjoy other kinds of entertainment are required to travel to other parts of Phuket.

Food and Accommodation

There is plenty of accommodation around and even on Mai Khao Beach. Camping is, for instance, on Mai Khao Beach as well as on nearby Nai Yang Beach. The national park’s visitor center is located at the beach’s southern end and offers tent rentals and has facilities for campers. Cheap bungalows are available for rent as well.

There are also several mid-range and luxury hotels and resorts in the area, including excellent ones such as JW Marriott Resort and Spa, the Black Pearl and West Sands.

Although there are no bars in Mai Khao, the resorts and hotels almost all have their own restaurant(s). Eating venues, ranging from street food stalls to locally owned restaurants are found in Mai Khao village.


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