Ya Nui Beach
Ya Nui beach seems to have remained pretty much unchanged since I first saw it more than 10 years ago. Quiet, undeveloped, easily missed if you don't know where it is - squeezed into a small bay in between Nai Harn beach and Phromthep Cape. Ya Nui is a different side of Phuket compared to the main beaches. Ya Nui has no big hotels or shops, not much at all except one small restaurant and a few shacks which serve as little groovy bars. There are some nearby bungalows, invisible from the beach itself and if you were to stay in this area, would be best to have your own transport. The view below shows Ya Nui beach, photo taken from the viewpoint just to the north where you find the big wind turbine. Nice views from up there!
I don't remember the last time I stopped at Ya Nui beach. Never seems to be enough time to visit old hangouts. We used to like it. We have good memories from many years ago. A photo of our daughter when she was about 3, pretending to play drum on a wooden stall at the little cafe. We visited with my parents, this must have been in 2004. Later that year, Ya Nui was hit hard by the Phuket tsunami. We found new places to hang out, had another baby and I can't seem to recall stopping at Ya Nui for years now. Should go for often to all these nice places, but .. I am not on holiday here, I normally work 6 days a week. However, last month, right at the end of my holidays on October 12th, I went back to Ya Nui beach with Mum and Dad. Looks like we should have gone the next day for free beer :)
The weather on that day was a real mixture of sun and sudden showers. We walked on the beach in the sun at first. Ya Nui is a small beach, quite rocky at low tide, and in high season the snorkeling is said to be good here. They do put beach chairs on the beach sometimes, which uglies things up a bit.. there's just the one restaurant, run in very casual local style :
We wandered the beach for a while trying to find an interesting photo of rocks and waves - it was still low season and the sea was pounding away. Mum enjoyed getting her feet wet - you can see the sky behind her (below) - blue skies and sun, with a side dish of dark clouds and rain. The kind of low season day when you can get sunburn or soaked, and we played "dodge the shower" all day.
We were almost alone at the beach, only a couple of young ladies there at the same time. Crowded Phuket? Get out and explore and lose the crowds. The photo below, with added foreground interest, is looking more to the south over the jumble of rocks at the south end of Ya Nui. It's only 1km from here to Phromthep Cape.
Oh, there was one other guy at the beach - a good old fashioned beachcomber, armed with metal detector....
Should you go swimming at Ya Nui and get into trouble, don't worry, be happy.. There is a Lifeguart on hand. Nobody was swimming that day, but in high season when the sea is almost always calm, you can certainly swim here, or snorkel or dive - I have a friend who likes to dive here, starting at Ya Nui and swim round the corner (about half a mile) to Nai Harn then get a tuk tuk back to Ya Nui.
The rain did come that afternoon for a while, so we sat in the restaurant, had a beer and then went for another little walk. At the far north end of the beach I found several memorial plaques dedicated to loved ones who had died in the tsunami. That seems a long time ago, and yet very recent.
The southwest corner of Phuket is good for a day out - including Ya Nui, Nai Harn, the windturbine viewpoint, the Karon viewpoint, maybe a sunset beer at the After Beach Bar or dinner at Phromthep Cape restaurant. A very nice part of Phuket.
(added later) Found the photo - our daughter age (nearly) 3 at the cafe, Ya Nui beach in July 2004. For this reason, the place has an emotional attachment and seeing the tsunami plaques brought it back. Ya Nui is rebuilt of course, it happened 7 years ago. We were there before. We are here now.
UPDATE 2015 - The one restaurant right at the beach is now gone. There are a few just over the road (like 10 meters away). It's still very quiet.
Ya Nui Beach - Location Map
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