Escape the Crowds of Karon Beach and Head North to Natai Beach
This is the perfect time of year to be heading to Thailand’s beautiful southern beaches. Countless choices stretch around Siam’s long shores and for decades Phuket has been one of the chief destination for Thais and tourists alike. Over the last decade Phuket has experience a great deal of development and major social changes. While Phuket still brings throngs of tourist from around the world to its shores with its beautiful beaches and nightlife, it has started to experience some of the problems prevalent in Thailand’s other tourist meccas.
It’s not only the crowds, but the sprawl that makes it difficult to even go out for a walk or to find the tranquility you were so desperately searching for. Vendors are constantly hawking wares and the streets start looking like any other tourist trap in Southeast Asia. Many of these changes will only accelerate as economic development transforms Phuket in ways unrecognizable to today’s residents.
But what if you could still find paradise without the glitz and noise?
Head North to Natai Beach
Natai Beach offers all the beauty of better known hot spots but much more. The beach lies along the shore of Andaman Sea on the west coast of Thailand. Its coral reefs are considered some of the best preserved in the world. Just ten minutes north of Phuket, Natai is more than quiet and peaceful, you can literally walks for hours without seeing anyone. It is a ten kilometer strip of pristine beach, whose government protection ensures that it will retain its isolation from the hustle and bustle of Phuket. You’re never going to see a 300 room leviathan rising up from the white sands of Natai. And while Thai law has severely limited the development that will ever be allowed at Natai Beach, you can still enjoy a number of world class facilities that won’t fail to impress.
Getting to Natai Beach
Natai Beach is not hard to get to. Like its more popular cousin Karon Beach, it also lies on the west coast of Thailand only a few miles away. Southern Thailand is now accessible from many of the major airports on the Pacific Rim. Phuket International Airport HKT has become the third busiest airport in Thailand with over 15 million visitors last year. Natai Beach is only a 40-minute drive north from Phuket International Airport along Thepkassatri Road, also known as Route 402. Just several kilometers north after you cross Sarasin Bridge from Phuket over to the mainland, take a take a left turn onto Route 3006. A few minutes later, you will be at the southernmost part of the beach. Route 3006 follows the beach for most of its length. The beach is only a couple minutes from the road.
Facilities at Natai Beach
It is not always easy to protect the environment while creating a five-start boutique hotel, but Aleenta has found the perfect balance. Its innovative design is a perfect marriage of modern technology and classical Thai styling.
Aleenta’s accommodation features striking and original room designs that range from spacious lofts to grand villas with five bedroom, each very different from the last. Many of their accommodations come with a private pool or a beach front view, all will give you the ultimate feeling of privacy.
While the diamond studded beaches and crystal blue waters are the perfect remedy for the tension of modern life, you will also find that Aleenta spa facilities are second to none. Aleenta Ayurah Spa & Wellness centre's professionals work to not only rejuvenate the body but also restore spiritual balance and well-being. Experience Ayurah ′Epicurean Spa′ and their exclusive line of Linda Meredith skincare products and therapies. Aleenta has also developed a special yoga program to help you get back to your spiritual center. The classes are held in the Aleenta's serene yoga studio. You may also book private sessions with Patricia Thielemann or her experienced yoga mentors.
For your dining pleasure, Aleenta offers two amazing restaurants. The Natai provides contemporary Thai dining in a beautiful setting inside the resort. The EDGE Beachfront restaurant is a unique dining experience that takes it name from its steps being located on the very sands of Natai Beach. Whether you are an international foodie in search of award-winning culinary works of art or just enjoy a great meal, you won’t be disappointed. Whether it standard lunch fare or their own unique take on Thai fusion, all dishes are made with highest quality organic ingredients procured locally. The EDGE also has a lounge and a rooftop for private parties. And if you aren’t feeling sociable or are looking for a romantic interlude, Aleenta's epicurean experts will prepare a romantic meal for you right on the beach with your own private chef. Allenta will be glad to arrange for a private barbecue for you and your friends.
Recreation on Natai Beach
Yes you came to Natai to relax and be papered, but there is no shortage of things to do in paradise. To begin with, Route 3006 makes for a wonderful bike route where you can enjoy yourself and not worry about being ran over by a tuk tuk or warding off vendors as is common at beaches on Phuket. While you are cruising along the beach make sure to make a stop at the public pier where locals gather to cast a fishing line. Probably the best time is at sunset. Not only do you catch a spectacular sunset, you will have a chance to visit with local fishermen arriving back from a day’s work with their catch.
You are also lucky to be nestled between several national parks only a short distance from the beach. Just south of Sarasin Bridge is the Sirinat National Park which beaches are home to endangered sea turtles. The park lies just off the main road on the north side of Phuket. To the west of Natai Beach along the bay side of the peninsula, you will find AO Phang Nga National Park. Phang Nga Bay is famous for its limestone pillars jutting out of the sea and its many small islands and caves which can be visited by sea kayak. There are several local fishing villages you can visit including Ko Panyi, a village built on stilts. Finally just north of Natai is Khao Sok National Park. Khao Sok is a sanctuary for many endangered species and is a cornucopia of bio diversity. The park three hundred square miles of virgin forest offers endless trials and can be explored on elephant, raft, or kayak via the Sok River. Nearby the park, you will also find the Tsunami Museum and the Turtle Conservation Center.
While you come to Natai for the peace and solitude, you can still enjoy everything that southern Thailand has to offer. Experience a day trip to the destinations of your choice. The professionals at Aleenta will assist you in planning any adventure you have in mind on land or water. Aleenta offers kayaking trips to Phang Nga Bay and Phi Phi Islands where guests can explore the many limestone caves and lagoons. If you prefer to go underwater, Aleenta offer guided snorkeling and diving trips. You can chose from among the areas most popular dive spots including Shark Point and the King Cruiser ferry wreck. Finally, the area is famous for its world-class golf courses. Aleenta has made special arrangement with the Mission Hills Phuket Golf Resort which is about a half hour from the resort.
Aleenta has also taken steps to make sure that their younger residents have plenty to do. Professionals lead preteens in a vast array of fun activities. Kids can chose from classes in Muay Thai boxing, kayaking, snorkeling, surfing and even chocolate making. Aleenta’s Ayurah Wellness Centre has also developed spa services specifically target toward children. Parents can enjoy a walk on the beach or share a romantic glass of wine knowing their kids are good hands.
Nightlife in Phang Nga
Once the sun has gone down and you had a chance to revitalize yourself in Aleenta's wonderful spa, you may be ready to just lay on the beach listening to the waves roll in while you count the stars. But if you still ready to do some exploring after dark, you won’t be disappointed. There are extremely few commercial facilities of any sort to be found on Natai Beach itself. There is one restaurant directly on the beach ran by locals, Rabian Lay Thai. It serves typical Thai seafood dishes caught locally for a typical sort of Thai price of 100 or so baht each. The nearby town of Kok Kloy has a much greater choice of cheap eateries, as well as a few upscale restaurants. While it may sound like a cliché, Kok Kloy gives one a look at the real Thailand. Kok Kloy is north of the beach on a side road east of Route 4 in the area of Kam Lak-Lam Ru National Park.
For those looking for some entertainment, you can visit many of the small bars that litter the beaches of Phuket. Aleenta will also arrange for you to visit Siam Namarit Theater to the south on Phuket. Siam Namarit offers several award winning shows that chronicle the history and culture of Thailand featuring hundreds of actors in spectacular settings and costumes.
So if you're looking for the beauty that made Phuket a popular beach destination without the noise and crowds, consider going a little north to Natai Beach.