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The shoreline at Mai Khao is distinctive and delightful

Mai Khao Beachfront Dining, Mai Khao

Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Open: Daylight hours, early evening

Address: Mai Khao beachfront

Style: Thatch roof, Thai beach

Price range: Tourist prices.

Specialty: Seafood

What Phuketwan says: Mai Khao is the hot place right now, with the Renaissance under construction on the beachfront, not far from the Sala Phuket, the Phuketwan Resort of the Year 2008. The newly opened Anantara earned an honorable mention in a recent New York Times travel section article on how the Andaman coast is the ''five-star destination of the year.'' There's a new Turtle Cove shopping centre too, just along from the JW Marriott. By the beach now there is a new stand of local restaurants. It's far from large and, wisely, well back from the Mai Khao sand. As with most new attractions, a vendor or two has sidled up to sell sweet roti as well. The food is good, as good as any beach food stand on the island. A stroll around this part of Phuket makes a pleasant change, and perhaps sets apart Mai Khao when it comes to character. We came here one day and found a Thai woman standing in a transparent raincoat under the large trees at the edge of the beach, looking out to sea. It was raining at the time but the view was sensational. The skylines here can be filled with drama almost as easily as a plate can be filled with tasty seafood. After lunch, we toured the lagoon, opposite the beach. It really is one of the most delightful places on the island. Fortunately, there is no sign at present of it succumbing to excessive development. A great change from more crowded places down south. But don't plan on seeing a turtle.

How to find it: Coming from southern Phuket, turn at the sign to JW Marriott or Sala Phuket and follow the road around until you reach the beach park.

Parking: Plenty of space.

Phuketwan restaurant reviewers pay for their meals. If someone else does, we tell you so

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Saturday April 20, 2019
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