Arriving in Nai Yang after filming at the Phuket Marina, I was a little unsure if this part of South Thailand and I were going to get along.
Phuket has never been on my radar as a must place to go, it is no secret that I favor the mountains of the North over beachey South Thailand so to be honest, Phuket and I were off to a bit of a rocky relationship from the start. Over our next couple of nights in the small town of Nai Yang, Phuket had a lot of work to do to win my heart.
Would Phuket steal my heart?
We checked in to a room at Rimlay Bungalows after it being recommended to us from a skipper on the boat we had been shooting. All was going well as we were told the large room with AC and sea view was just 800 baht per night.
Rimlay Bungalows in Nai Yang
We took it and as we put our bags down a tractor rounded the corner opposite our room and began digging up the sand, making a lot of noise. Hardly conforming to the idyllic perception that a beach bungalow in Phuket should have.
We laughed it off and went out to explore the town, consisting mainly of just one main street along the beach front, it didn’t take us long to get our bearings.
A few restaurants and a couple of convenience stores made up what we could so far see of Nai Yang.
We walked along the long stretch of beach and were treated to a stunning sunset, something we only ever see in the South and one of the highlights of visiting the beach for us.
Stunning Sunset in Phuket
The beach soon became a haven for people with cameras and smartphones, all wanting to capture the perfect Thailand Beach Sunset shot, we sat on the sand and enjoyed the moments of beauty playing out in front of our eyes, with the sun finally dipped below the horizon and the beach losing its crowds of sunset spotters, we went in search of dinner.
Enjoying the sunset on the beach 🙂
As we walked along the street after dinner, with no street lights and the road only lit by the lights from the sporadic restaurants, I felt uneasy. It was a feeling I just couldn’t put my finger on, but something was making me feel jumpy. Whether it was the dark streets, the almost deserted building sites we were walking past or the eerie shadows and dark corners putting me in a state of heightened awareness, I was edgy and looked over my shoulder on a couple of occasions on our walk back to the hotel.
On our way back to our room we passed a few tourists, mainly Russians, grouped together with bottles of whisky just purchased from the 24hr mini mart, at a loss of what to do with themselves, as not even 10pm and the town was already winding down, leaving the streets to the shadows.
My first impressions of Nai Yang were doubtful, messy, run down and dark. Still, I was looking forward to the next day and starting a fresh. With two full days ahead of us, I was anticipating nice long relaxing walks on the beach and paddling bare foot in the sea. It couldn’t all be bad here.
Naiyang Beach at low tide
We woke up the next morning to army officers outside our window and as we ate breakfast at a café next door, our minds were kept wondering about what was happening, the presence of a unit of army men walking along the sand wielding guns and talking into walkie talkies wasn’t very relaxing, it was when the 2 guys with broadcast level video cameras turned up on the sand to film a hotel being knocked down that we realized what was happening.
With Thailand now under military rule, the army were ordering any buildings they deemed to be unofficial, torn down. It explained the emptiness of Nai Yang that we experienced the previous evening and the ghostly signs hanging from trees stating a beach side bar should have been standing where instead just a few bricks and logs remained.
Good Cafe for breakfast, lunch or dinner
Despite the unusual activity around us we enjoyed a very nice breakfast at Nai Yang Coffee and Meal. We ended up back here a few times during our stay as we liked it a lot and there was a large seating area on the beach as well as inside the café. The menu was very good and the staff very friendly.
Our second day in Nai Yang we spent walking along the beach, the large expanse seemed to stretch on for miles and we walked from one end of the beach to the other, we dipped our toes and we enjoyed being so close to the water for a while after being up in the North for so long.
Having fun on our beach day!
The beach was nice and after our day spent wandering up and down the sands, peppered with stops for coffees and snacks, I had forgotten about the previous evenings doubts on the town.
Toe dipping beach walk!
The area, though still relatively quiet didn’t have the same eerie feel in the light of day as it did under the cover of darkness. Families with children of all ages made use of the beach and couples walked hand in hand. The sea seemed calm and overall I began to see the appeal of holidaying here.
Protected forested area in Naiyang
The far end of the beach, away from the resort hotels and restaurants is a protected forest area on the boarders of Sirinat National Park and it was popular with Thai families, enjoying picnics and playing on the sand.
We also ventured away from the beach and found the local temple and market area.
Even after my first initial doubts, I would go back to Naiyang for a beach break. It caters for everyone, be it families, couple or groups.
If a few no fuss days relaxing by the beach is what you are after, Nai Yang could be for you, from what we have heard there were less tourists here compared to other parts of Phuket, it is close to the airport, the beach is vast and you can find good coffee and cheap accommodation. Although food costs are much higher than what we are used to paying in the North.
Nice, quiet beach in Naiyang Phuket
I have never really been a beach person and with sand still in my shoes when we arrived back at our house in North Thailand, I knew yet again, the South had failed to truly win me over. However Nai Yang did a good job and maybe next time I will be fully converted!
Nai Yang Coffee & Meal
This beach side cafe opens at 8am everyday, serves alcohol and has a happy hour between 5-6pm each evening.
I recommend the Thai green curry with Roti. Also has many Western food items on the menu.
Accomodation in Naiyang – Phuket
Our room with sea view in Rimlay Bungalows
We opted for a no frill budget hotel room at Rimlay Bungalows, however there is a good selection of accommodation available in Naiyang for all budgets, from luxury to backpacker.
*Other Useful information
Pet Friendly Hotels in other parts of Thailand? – Looking for Pet Friendly Hotels in other parts of Thailand?
Bringing a dog to Thailand – The ins and outs of Exporting a dog from the UK to Thailand.
Info we have categorized under Pets – Other Posts Related to Edens Dog Life in Thailand. Including cute dog videos and some Pet Friendly Hotel reviews too.
Did you find this post helpful? Thank us with Coffee and Cake
We both love coffee! Why not ^treat us^ to a cafe lunch if you found this info useful.
Jmayel, Sacha & Eden El-Haj