My first home in Thailand was a Condo right next to Nai Harn Lake. I remember arriving in the area (2005), seeing the lake, and riding my bike (then a Honda Click 50cc moped) a couple of minutes away from the Condo I was about to rent to reveal the splendor of Nai Harn beach itself. I was blown away and said right there and then, this is for me.
Having recently watched several YouTube videos on Nai Harn I decided to cover the area and review all the activities one can do when visiting and provide some history and substance to the place I once called home that is visited by thousands of people every year.
An interesting starting point for me was where is the border between Nai Harn and Rawai? The videos that I’ve seen give opinions, however, an area where one YouTuber stated Nai Harn started wasn’t correct as I lived in that area and my address stated Rawai and used the postcode for Rawai. I then remembered that when I lived in the previously mentioned Condo right next to Nai Harn Lake that my address there stated Rawai and not Nai Harn. Further research revealed that the famous Nai Harn hotel right on Nai Harn beach also uses the Rawai address and postcode. I concluded that Nai Harn is just simply an area within the village of Rawai.
With an idea of where Nai Harn is in my mind, I put together a list of areas worth visiting and covered them briefly in this article.
“I love the beach, the weather, to swim and keep families safe”.Alan, Life Guard on Nai Harn Beach, Rawai, Phuket.
01. Promthep Cape.
This cape has to be one of the most photographed areas on the island. Several times a day, locals and tourists will arrive on scooters, in cars or on coaches to walk around and take in some of the most stunning vistas available.
02. The Elephant Shrine.
The Elephant shrine is situated up another flight of steps from Promthep Cape leading toward the Lighthouse. This shrine was built in honor of the Hindu God Brahma who was said to be born from a golden egg and allegedly responsible for creating the world itself.
03. HRH Prince Jimborn Statue.
This commemorative statue was set up in honor of HRH Prince Jimborn who the Thai people believe to be the father of the Thai Royal Navy.
04. The Lighthouse.
The Lighthouse was created as part of King Rama 9th’s 50th anniversary who very sadly passed away in 2016. The building at the time of writing was being renovated, however, I’m told that when finished it will house a free museum that anyone can visit.
05. Yanui Beach.
This beach in my opinion is a smaller version of Nai Harn beach that has a bit more tropical flare about it. A lot more laid back and dare I say bohemian. It also has some great restaurants and cafes that reminded me of my first visit to Islands like Koh Pangan or Samui pre-2000.
06. The Windmill.
The Windmill area also has some incredible views and is a particularly popular spot for Radio Controlled aircraft and Paragliders. The latter taking advantage of the strong thermal air currents the climate provides.
07. Nai Harn Lake.
I do not know anyone who has had a bad word to say about Nai Harn lake. It has a ring road and pavement going all the way around it that is approximately 3 to 5 miles in length. This is really popular with joggers and cyclists who want a break from the hustle of everyday life.
It plays host to several watersports throughout the year and even has its own island where families enjoy dining outside together.
08. Wat Nai Harn (Nai Harn Temple).
Nai Harn does have its own temple and I’ve heard that most of the land leading up to the beach is owned by it. The architecture of the temples here in Thailand is very beautiful and you would be doing yourself a good turn to visit. If you’d like to go one step further I suggest entering the temple and practicing the Thai culture of Tam Boon (Making merit). This is where you make offerings to the monks in the form of food and gifts. From personal experience, this is a rewarding feeling.
09. Volleyball, 10. Snorkeling and 11. Surfing
Most days you will find a volleyball court set up where everyone is invited to join in and play. If you want to go snorkeling you can hire a mask and breath pipe and swim around the rocks near the Nai Harn hotel which is said to be good. At the opposite end of the beach to the Nai Harn hotel is the surfing zone and this is where some prestigious competitions takes place. 3 x Thai flow boarding champion Anni Saa can often be seen practicing here.
12. The Nai Harn Hotel
This hotel is steeped in history and a favorite landmark of mine. Originally called the Royal Phuket Yacht Club it was opened in 1986 by Thai aristocrat Mom Luang Tri Devakol who is a pioneer and said to be responsible for introducing tourism to the island. Since its opening, this hotel has been occupied by Le Meridian and the Mandarin hotel groups. In 2014 it was taken over by equity firm S.C. Capital, refurbished and reopened in 2016 as The Nai Harn Hotel. The hotel still retains its original structure of 130 rooms with 20 being suites all facing the ocean. During the course of its history, this hotel has played host to some incredible visitors such as HRH Queen Sirikit of Thailand, Prince Alberto of Monaco, Prince Henrik of Denmark, US former secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and actors Sir Peter Ustinov, Forrest Whitaker and finally Sir Roger Moore (died 23 May 2017) who famously played James Bond in the Man with the Golden Gun partly filmed in Thailand.
If you get the opportunity to visit Nai Harn do try and visit the hotel and perhaps treat yourself to some lunch.
13. Thai Massage
Of course, one of the most popular activities on the beach aside from sunbathing and swimming is to get a Thai massage. Several women on the beach can do this for you for around 300baht an hour.
14. Restaurants and food.
If you’re wanting to eat then there is no shortage of restaurants to accommodate your every taste.
There are plenty of good Thai seafood restaurants and several others that will serve quick snacks like sandwiches and burgers. You can also get Vietnamese and French cuisine from these venues.
I set out to create something a bit different from what most content creators have when covering the area of Nai Harn. I do hope that the next time you visit you take time to contemplate the sorts of people that have spent time here and what this place meant to them and what it means to the people that visit now.
Thank you to Lifeguard Alan for taking the time to speak to the Farangbowl and thank you all for reading.
The Nai Harn Hotel
The Nai Harn Hotel
Address: 23/3 Moo 1, Vises Road, Rawai, Muang District, Phuket 83130 Thailand
Call: +66 7638 0200-10
Google maps: https://g.page/thenaiharnphuket?share
To watch the video that supports this article please use the media viewer below or go to the Farangbowl YouTube Channel.