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Boeing airplan low above Mai Khao Beach on Phuket
Aircraft low above Mai Khao Beach on Phuket

Image: tonjung


In the very northwest of Phuket lies Mai Khao Beach. This beach has the longest coastline of all of Phuket and is part of the Sirinat National Park. Because the international airport is next to this beach, dozens of aeroplanes roar low over Mai Khao Beach every day. That’s why the beach is regularly referred to as Airport Beach or Sanambin Beach. In Thai, sanambin means airport. If you want a great Instagram pic, be sure to visit Mai Khao Beach when you are on Phuket!

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Aircraft low above Mai Khao Beach on Phuket

The beach of Mai Khao

Mai Khao Beach, often called Haad Mai Khao by the Thai themselves, is a lot less visited compared to Phuket’s popular beaches like Kata, Patong and Karon. The beach is situeted in the far north of Phuket, next to the Phuket International Airport (HKT). Needless to say, it’s a lot calmer here. Especially in relation to the size of the beach. There are days that it seems like there is nobody on the beach, maybe that’s even true. With a length of nearly ten kilometres, the beach is the longest beach on Phuket. There is simply more beach per square kilometre. It feels nice having a beach all to yourself!

The northernmost part of Mai Khao Beach is also called Hat Sai Khao. There is a lot of vegetation here, such as a proliferation of bushes and many green trees lining the beach. Apart from that, the beach of Mai Khao cannot be called very special. No powdery white sand and no ideal snorkelling location either. This beach doesn’t deserve a beauty prize, and yet this beach in the north of Phuket has a special attraction…

The kilometre-long Mai Khao Beach on Phuket seen with a drone

During the dry season (November to February), you can swim in the sea at Mai Khao. But in the monsoon period, between May and October, it’s better not to do so. During these months, there is a strong undertow and large waves can cause dangerous situations. Keep an eye on the recommendations and warning flags on the beach.

Sunset and high waves at Mai Khao Beach on Phuket

Do you have the plane on it?

In the south of the normally so peaceful Mai Khao Beach lies the Phuket International Airport. The result, low flying passenger planes full of tourists visiting or leaving Phuket. It’s therefore not surprising that most visitors to the Mai Khao Beach have a selfie or photo of a plane that they can, it seems, almost touch while it’s landing. For many, this is the main reason to visit the beach of Mai Khao. This spot on even got its own name, namely; Airplane – of Airport Viewpoint.

What is there to do in the Mai Khao Beach area?

Apart from some awesome selfies with low-flying Boeings and watching a beautiful sunset, there is much more to do in the vicinity of Mai Khao Beach. Here are some of the things you can do and see when you are in the area.

Sunset with the family on Mai Khao beach on Phuket

Turtle Village Shops & Cuisine

Turtle Village Shops & Cuisine is located near the luxurious JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa and the beautiful Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas. It shouldn’t be compared to the modern Bangkok shopping malls at all. Turtle Village is an intimate two-storey shopping mall with a large plaza. At this central square are shops and catering establishments such as The Coffee Club. There is a 7-Eleven for groceries and snacks and in the area you find an ATM and place for money exchange. Turtle Village is fun for a few hours to browse around in the (tourist) shops after or before having a beverage and a snack.

Wat Mai Khao

If you are in Mai Khao, visit the large temple of Wat Mai Khao and the serene surroundings of the temple complex. Walk through the shady nature, where you may encounter a monk and/or a huge lizard. A peaceful and quiet place except for the chirping of the birds and the praying Buddhist monks.

Blue Canyon Country Club

When visiting the Blue Canyon Country Club, you even can play golf near Mai Khao Beach! Ther is not one, but two 18-hole golf courses. A caddy is included in the price and a visit you wil thank us after you have visited the majestic clubhouse. The golf course is open from 06:00 to 19:00, except on Sundays when it closes at 17:30. Blue Canyon has been providing excellent service since the day it opened its doors in 1991. For the golf enthusiast, it might be nice to know that Tiger Woods won the 1998 Johnnie Walker Classic on this course.

Golf Club House of the Blue Canyon Country Club in Mai Khao Phuket

Image: Blue Canyon Country Club

Splash Jungle Water Park

For young and old, we recommend the Splash Jungle Water Park, fun for the whole family but not cheap. A ticket for adults costs 1,450 baht, for children 700 baht and admission is free for children under five. Despite the price, the water park is a great day out for families near Mai Khao Beach. With water themes from South America, Europe, Africa and even the North Pole, you can easily spend a whole day there. You can spend the night at the Splash Beach Resort, the water park’s resort. Great for a some unforgettable days together with the kids! Splash Jungle Water Park is open daily from 10:00 – 17:45.

Splash Jungle Water Park in Mai Khao, Phuket

Image: Splash Jungle Water Park

Splash Jungle Water Park in Mai Khao, Phuket

Image: Splash Jungle Water Park

Sirinat National Park

Mai Khao Beach is part of the in 1981 established Sirinat National Park. Phuket’s largest national park with 25% land and 75% water. The land consists of forest and some beaches where many different birds and reptiles live. Different species of turtles use the park’s beaches as their breeding ground. One of these beaches is Nai Yang Beach. The park starts all the way in the northern end of Phuket at Sai Kaew Beach and runs all the way to Nai Thon Beach in the south. The entrance fee for the park is 200 baht for adults and 100 baht for children. More information can be found in our extensive article about the Sirinat National Park.

Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

In March 2002, the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation was established. Their aim is clear: To inform visitors about the turtles that live in the Mai Khao area. In this way, it becomes clear to visitors that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for the turtle to survive in this changeable world. There is a lot of attention for the giant turtle but also for all kinds of other turtle species.

Children learning at the Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation on Phuket

Image: Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

With income such as sponsorships, many wonderful projects are financed. This is very important, as there are still a number of turtle species in this area of Thailand that lay their eggs here. The foundation makes sure, for example, that a lot of greenery is planted to improve the turtle’s living environment. The foundation also makes sure that “gatekeepers” are paid to find out where turtle eggs have been laid. With this information, the eggs can be protected until the baby turtles hatch.

Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation at work planting greenery on Phuket

Image: Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation at work planting greenery on Phuket

Image: Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

Once a year, during Songkran in April, small one-year old turtles are released onto the beach at Mai Khao. A very beautiful moment and a nice public event. Several accommodations in the direct vicinity of Mai Khao contribute to this event through sponsorship. But also you can contribute by visiting this beautiful initiative when you are staying in Phuket!

During the opening of the Mai Khai Marine Turtle Foundation in 2002, JW Marriott Phuket Resort and Spa and Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas together donated tens of thousands of euros to this foundation.

Baby turtle released on Mai Khao beach, Phuket

Image: Mai Khao Marine Turtle Foundation

Soi Dog Foundation

Another great initiative in Phuket is Soi Dog Foundation! In Thai, Soi means street, which translates into a foundation that’s dedicated to all street dogs (and cats) in Thailand. And they do this with unbridled dedication since 2003! That is why we also donated to this great initiative in the past. Last year we visited Lanta Animal Welfare and wrote an extensive article about it. We will make sure to visit Soi Dog in the future.

Happy dogs thanks to Soi Dog Foundation on Phuket

Image: Soi Dog Foundation

Happy dog thanks to Soi Dog Foundation on Phuket

Image: Soi Dog Foundation

Did you know that you can sponsor Soi Dog Foundation from a distance? Of course you can make a one-time donation but you can also adopt a dog remotely. You (and your friends) make a monthly donation with which the foundation can take care of your chosen four-legged friend. Of course, you will get regular updates on how Bruno is doing and at the end of the year, you will even get to see a nice video of your new friend. If you are on Phuket, you can pay a visit to Soi Dog Foundation. You will get an informative tour about the good work the team is doing here. Visiting hours are from Monday till Friday between 09:00 and 12:00 and from 13:00 till 16:00. The address of Soi Dog Foundation in Mai Khao can be found here. More info about donations, sponsoring and adoption via this link.

Happy dogs thanks to Soi Dog Foundation on Phuket

Image: Soi Dog Foundation

The building of Soi Dog Foundation in Phuket seen with a Drone

Image: Soi Dog Foundation


Check out Picture This #34, which contains various images of the Sarasin Bridge, Mai Khao Beach, Sirinat National Park, Nai Yang Beach, Nai Thon Beach and Trisara.

Lees over de geschiedenis van de Sarasin brug op Phuket, Thailand
Read all about Nai Thon Beach and its beautiful surroundings in the north of Phuket here
Click here if you want to read all about Nai Yang Beach on Phuket

What are the best accommodation in Mai Khao Beach, Phuket?

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Besides informing you as good as possible, we want to promote Thailand and support the Thai with this site. With your help we can continue to do this. Thank you very much! 

Maikhao Home Garden Bungalow 

Looking for a nice place to sleep in Mai Khao? Then consider staying at Maikhao Home Garden Bungalow. The price-quality ratio is absolutely right, it’s clean and the staff is incredibly friendly and welcoming. There is a large swimming pool and the beach is a half-hour walk away. You can book double rooms or family bungalows. An ideal place for a short stopover or longer during your visit to Phuket!

>>> More information or book a stay in Maikhao Home Garden Bungalow.

Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Our favourite accommodation in Mai Khao is the Anantara Mai Khao! Spread over the huge tropical grounds you will find 91 classic Thai luxury pool villas all designed by Bill Bensley. Bill is a well-known (interior) architect, known for renowned resorts in Thailand such as; The Siam Hotel in Bangkok, the Four Seasons Resort in Chiang Mai + luxury tented camp in the golden triangle, Four Seasons on Koh Samui and The Slate on Phuket. All impressive names such as this Anantara Resort in Mai Khao.

Pool Villa at the Anantara Mai Khao, Phuket
De Sala Pool Villa of the Anantara Mai Khao op Phuket

Families or a group of friends can stay in the Two Bedroom Royal Villa. This magnificent villa was inspired by the work of Jim Thompson. Naturally, this grand villa also has its own private swimming pool.

The extensive article about our visit to the world-famous Jim Thompson House & Museum in Bangkok.

Planning a honeymoon in Thailand? How about a super-romantic dinner on the beach? As lovebirds you receive a specially composed wedding menu including accompanying wines. Yes, also on Phuket, the Anantara team will do everything to offer their guests an unforgettable luxury holiday!

>>> More information or book a stay in the Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Micky Monkey Beach Hotel 

A 15-minute drive from Phuket’s airport lies Micky Monkey Beach Hotel. This nice hotel is located directly on the beach of Mai Khao near the JW Marriott, Anantara, Sala Phuket and the Renaissance Resort. The difference with these luxury resorts is that Micky Monkey Beach is smaller, more intimate and much cheaper than its neighbours. In total, there are only twelve accommodations to book. If you want to spend a cheap but good night in Mai Khao, make sure that you book in time. Mickey offers tents and cottages alls for a great price.

>> More information or book a stay at Micky Monkey Beach Hotel.

JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa 

Any JW Marriott accommodation anywhere in the world always guarantees a carefree, comfortable and superb stay. The JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa is located directly on Mai Khao Beach and has three swimming pools! You can book rooms with a balcony or terrace. If you want than upgrade yourself and book a spacious villa of 340 m2 including private pool. Breakfast, lunch and dinner at the JW Marriott are always great! In this case so good that further on this article you can read about some good restaurants that belong to this resort.

>> More information or book a stay at JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.

Andaman House

If you want something different than a resort, choose a private villa or appartment at Andaman House in Mai Khao. Andaman House is a collection of private houses around a beach club. Useful if you are with a large group, such as a family or group of friends. For a “bargain” (depending on the season) you spend the night in a spacious comfortable villa of 190 m2 including private pool and breakfast for four. In addition, this location offers its own private beach and is located next to Splash Jungle Water Park, one of the most popular water parks in Phuket. Phuket’s international airport is also just around the corner. Andaman House is an excellent base to explore Phuket and its surroundings.

>> More information or book a stay at Andaman House.

What are the best restaurantsin Mai Khao, Phuket?

Despite the fact that our selected locations in Phuket have a very good reputation, it’s possible that due to (for example) new management the quality has become less good. Or unfortunately locations have been forced to close their doors because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic… If you have useful information, please let us know! Also, if you have a favourite restaurant or other great tip for Phuket, be sure to let us know through our Thailand Magazine Facebook group, or Instagram and Facebook page. Via e-mail is also possible. THANKS!

Kin Dee Restaurant 

Kin Dee Restaurant is located in the town of Mai Khao and is a very popular and well-known restaurant on Phuket. Kin Dee is decorated with many flowers and greenery which gives the restaurant an atmospheric ambience. Take a seat at one of the stand-alone covered tables which are placed outside instead of inside the restaurant. The tables offer a nice view over a small lake. The friendly staff is welcoming and relaxed. Visitors are enthusiastic about the delicious dishes that are prepared here. Not without reason, because Phuket’s cuisine is famous all over Thailand.

Kin Dee means good food in Thai. That promises something! 

Two good restaurants of Anantara Mai Khao Phuket Villas

Sea Fire Salt

Dining at Sea Fire Salt of Anatara Villas is in short, delectable food in a beautiful setting with perfect service. The November 2020 menu features main courses like grilled sea bass, tournedos and lamb chops. We recommend the Grilled Seafood or Surf & Turf Tower. This is for two persons and is served with various small bites.

La Sala

La Sala is also part of Anantara Villas in Mai Khao. At La Sala, guests enjoy the oh-so-tasty Indian cuisine. The restaurant is highly rated and praised for its numerous quality dishes from India but also from Thailand. Some guests consider La Sala as the best restaurant in Mai Khao.

Sea Fire Salt Restaurant in Mai Khao (part of the Anantara Villas)

Image: Sea Fire Salt

La Sala Restaurant in Mai Khao (part of the Anantara Villas)

Image: La Sala

Three good restaurants of JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa 


Italian cuisine… we love it! At Cucina, which means kitchen in Italian, the classics of Italy are conjured up on your plate. From lasagne to a perfect pizza. Of course, there are also plenty of Italian starters, fish or meat dishes and desserts to order. At the weekend, la vita is extra bella at the grandiose buffet that you can enjoy as much as you like. A good move by JW Marriott in Mai Khao, fantastico!


Besides Italian and Thai cuisine, we also love Japanese food. Right, you guessed it, at JW Marriott in Mai Khao that’s possible! This Japanese restaurant used to be called Kabuki Japanese Cuisine Theatre but now it’s know as Benihana. This is the place where you can fully enjoy the art of Japanese cooking also known as Teppanyaki.. A beautiful spectacle delicious feast including fresh ingredients and a lot of fire. A real treat for all your senses!

M Beach Club

M Beach Club is the place to be for a fun drink and relaxing evening during your stay in Mai Khao. M organises various theme parties and you can eat and drink there all day long. From breakfast on the beach to a late night snack in your easy chair (with or without a good glass of wine or cocktail). You find M Beach Club at Mai Khao Beach opposite the JW Marriott Phuket Resort & Spa.

Nice dishes at Cucina part of the JW Marriott in Mai Khao, Phuket

Image: Cucina

Benihana part of the JW Marriott in Mai Khao, Phuket

Image: Benihana

M Beach Club on Mai Khao beach on Phuket

Image: M Beach Club

Noonit’s Kitchen

The friendly staff at Noonit’s Kitchen speak English well and are more than happy to explain all the goodies they have to offer. There even are some Russian dishes to order as there are many Russians visiting Phuket every year. If you are looking for a cosy restaurant, good service, a quick but delicious meal, visit Noonit’s Kitchen!

The Coffee Club

The Turtle Village shopping centre is home to one of our favourite franchise coffee shops. Personally, we like The Coffee Club so much better than Starbucks but that’s a matter of taste. At The Coffee Club you can have a great lunch and enjoy the many kinds of hot and cold coffees! The price is a bit higher compared to normal Thai coffee shop but the service is very good and it’s always clean.

How to get to Mai Khao Beach on Phuket?

From popular beaches such as Patong, Kata and Karon, you can be on Mai Khao Beach within an hour. The same from Phuket Town. Follow Phuket’s main road (402) to the north and then take the exit to the airport, the 4031. This road will take you to the famous Mai Khao Airplane Viewpoint. As the beach of Mai Khao is kilometres long, you can choose to continue on the 402. Then you come all the way to the northern part of Mai Khao Beach.

Our map of north Phuket

Especially for you, we’ve made a map of North Phuket. It shows the beaches, the best places to eat and drink, nice sights and other activities. Have fun!

Images: ThailandMagazine.com

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