Close your eyes and picture this: you’re sitting under the shade of a swaying palm tree, sipping from a fresh coconut, watching the Andaman Sea glisten as it beckons you to take a dip. Now, add a few rainbow flags and a dash of well-oiled beach bodies, and you’ve found yourself on the shores of one of Phuket’s gayest beaches.
Gather ‘round as we uncover the absolute crème de la crème of queer-friendly beaches in one of Thailand’s most cherished destinations, the kind that will leave you with an insatiable desire to never leave. From quiet coves where love knows no bounds to lively stretches of sand that are practically runway-ready, Phuket boasts a collection of beaches where the LGBTQ+ community isn’t just accepted but celebrated with open arms. So pack your most flamboyant swimwear, slather on that SPF, and prepare to bask in the warm embrace of queer joy. The sun-kissed sands of Phuket are calling, and they’ve got a special invitation with your name on it.
Surin Beach: Where serenity meets acceptance
Tired of jostling for towel space on crowded beaches? Say hello to Surin Beach, one of Phuket’s best-kept sandy secrets, known for its crystal-clear waters and dreamy, laid-back ambience. Unlike its popular counterparts, this picturesque beach keeps things exclusive with just a handful of hotels scattered around its shoreline, ensuring you won’t get tangled in the tourist tango.
Gracing the west coast of Phuket, between Kamala Beach to the south and Bang Tao Beach to the north, Surin Beach not only captivates visitors with its unspoiled beauty but has also earned a special place in the hearts of LGBTQ+ explorers seeking a more intimate beach experience with uninterrupted moments of relaxation.
If you need a quick, flavourful bite or a refreshing fruit fix after an afternoon of lounging in the sun, a vibrant street adorned with a selection of cafes and restaurants lies just a stone’s throw away. Trust us; you won’t be able to resist the temptation of Thai pancakes or Mango Sticky Rice.
Kata Beach: A must-visit queer oasis
Affectionately dubbed as one of Phuket’s most beautiful beaches, Kata Beach, also known as Kata Yai, is every beach lover’s utopia – an entire mile of immaculate powdery sand, fringed by the endless sea.
Kata Beach is divided into two distinct parts: In the south end, tranquillity takes over, and travellers can surrender to the bliss of a traditional Thai massage or take a stroll around the nearby shops and restaurants. Meanwhile, thrill-seekers find their calling in the north end with a range of heart-pounding water escapades like kayaking, scuba diving, and surfing.
The beach is also just a 6-minute drive away from one of the most queer-friendly hotels on the island, CC’s Hideaway. This fabulous hotel is gay-owned and many of its employees are also a part of the LGBTQ+ community. Between exciting drag shows and gay pool parties, guests at CC’s Hideaway often head over to Kata Beach to relax and unwind.
Nai Harn: A hidden gem for LGBTQ+ travellers
This charming, laid-back beach has earned a reputation as a favourite hangout spot for many expats and queer travellers, and for good reason. It’s more than just the picturesque scenery; Nai Han Beach carries an air of acceptance that makes you feel like you belong – no matter who you love or where you come from. The friendly vibe here is contagious, and you’ll soon find yourself making new friends as you frolic in the waves or share laughs over a colourful cocktail.
Overlooked by the stunning 5-star luxury resort, The Nai Harn, the beach transforms into a delightful meeting place for local guys when the sun dips below the horizon. You might even stumble upon impromptu beach parties if you’re lucky.
Patong Beach: The pulse of Phuket’s LGBTQ+ scene
Drumroll, please! This guide wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the crown jewel of Phuket’s gayest beaches – the one and only Patong Beach. Located on the west coast of Phuket, this shoreline paradise is more than just a beach, but a high-energy, no-holds-barred extravaganza – the heartbeat of the island’s queer community.
This beach caters to all types of travellers. Adventure seekers find satisfaction in a variety of water sports and activities, such as jet skiing and parasailing. Sunbathers and relaxation enthusiasts revel in the simplicity of lounging under the sun, savouring the gentle sea breeze and the sound of waves. And if that weren’t enticing enough, the local gay nightlife here is the stuff of legends: The nearby Paradise Complex has been the epicentre of Phuket’s gay party scene for over two decades and is home to most of the island’s gay bars and nightclubs, including the popular Boat Bar and Zag Bar.
Whilst Patong Beach is undeniably beautiful, it is no hidden gem – this coastal queer haven can get a tad bit crowded. But fear not, for amidst the hustle and bustle, its authenticity remains intact, and for those craving something a little more upbeat, it’s the perfect spot. Sure, you might rub shoulders with a few fellow beach babes, but that only adds to the experience.
Indulge in top-notch hospitality, luxury, and comfort whilst you explore Phuket’s gayest beaches by opting to stay at one of these exquisite LGBTQ+ welcoming hotels and resorts.