My favorite Phuket beach

My favorite Phuket beach

CNNGo reader Willy Thuan edges away from Thailand's crowds to spend time on Banana Beach
Banana Beach, Phuket

The world knows Phuket. Every corner of this tropical island in Thailand has been explored, invaded, sold, developed and exploited.

Or so you thought. There is one tiny beach that is hiding itself from the crowd. 

Considering that it is a large beach with shallow, clear, blue waters, large palm trees and excellent sand quality, it's a mystery why it hasn't been developed like the rest of the island.

It's not deserted though; a local family has been running a restaurant here for more than two decades. They'll serve you a good seafood lunch, with ingredients probably caught not far from here. 

Banana Beach, PhuketThe price might feel a bit higher than other local restaurants, but once you see them carrying everything down the hill, you'll forgive them. There are not many places in Phuket where you still can have a quiet lunch on the beach while rubbing your feet in the sand. 

If you are lucky, or if you plan well, it will be low tide and the sky will be spotless. That's the time that this 200-meter-long beach will show off its full glory.

It's a great place to stay for a few hours: great swimming, good snorkeling and you can even rent a pair of beach chairs with an umbrella. A couple of longtail boats will likely be gently bobbing on the clear water.

Only a handful of lucky tourists seem to know about this place. What more can you ask for?

Getting there

Banana Beach is pretty hard to find if you don't know where to look. Just finding the road passing by its entrance is tricky for most visitors, probably one of the reasons it is still peaceful.

Banana Beach is on the island's west coast, between the Trisara and Andaman White Beach resorts, just off route 4018.

Usually, a few parked bikes and cars will give you a hint, and if you are lucky, the sign "Banana Beach" might even still be there. If you reach either resort, you didn't pay attention. Turn around. Most tuk-tuk drivers know Banana Beach, which is called "Hat Gluay" in Thai.

Parking is scarce, but as there is not much traffic you should be safe parking on the roadside. You'll have to walk down a shaded hill.

Luckily it's not too steep and you will be rewarded. The turquoise blue water appears through the trees.

You have reached Phuket's last secret beach. 

Banana Beach Restaurant: Open daily, 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. tel. +66 869 491 091
The restaurant also organizes snorkeling trips aboard longtail boats for 1,000 baht per boat, including equipment.

About the author: Born in France, Willy Thuan started to travel the world in his twenties, from Africa to the Caribbean, from Central America to Japan and never stopped until he finally settled in Thailand in the 1990s. For the past 16 years, his passion for photography has taken him to every corner of southern Thailand where he lives today. Working 10 years as a web director in a large online travel company, he manages content and images for more than 40 travel websites.

Visit his blog at phuket101.blogspot.com.

Willy submitted this piece as part of CNNGo’s iReport section. To find out what other stories we are looking for, go to our iReport page.
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