Affectionately known as “Airport Beach”, Mai Khao is a beachfront town in the north of Phuket, just a stone’s throw from Phuket International Airport. It’s still relatively quiet compared to the island’s more southerly beach resorts and lies on the doorstep of picturesque Sirinat National Park.
Things to do in Mai Khao
Spend a day relaxing on the sands of Mai Khao Beach, which offers a front-row seat for watching the planes coming and going from Phuket International Airport. There are plenty of restaurants lining the shores where you can grab a bite to eat or you can visit the cluster of shops and eateries in the Turtle Village shopping mall.
At the southern end of Mai Khao lies Sirinat National Park, which encompasses several beaches that are known as nesting sites for leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles. You can spot collared kingfishers, white-bellied sea eagles and brahminy kites in the park’s mangrove forests or venture underwater to explore the coral reefs that lie just offshore.
Animal lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to the Soi Dog Foundation’s headquarters in Mai Khao where street dogs and stray cats receive high-quality care. Guided tours of their facilities are available during the week if you want to meet their resident animals, with the opportunity to support the foundation by purchasing Soi Dog clothing and souvenirs from the gift shop.
Getting around Mai Khao
Phuket International Airport is around 10 minutes’ drive from the centre of Mai Khao while Patong and Phuket Old Town are just under an hour away. Buses are the main means of getting around the region or you can hire a motorbike or car to explore at your leisure. Taxis are readily available at the airport for getting to Mai Khao, with the town centre compact enough to explore on foot.