Known for having one of the finest beaches in all of Thailand, Nai Harn is a small town on the rise. Built between jungle and coast, the previously sleepy neighborhood has become a hub for expats and nomads in the past couple of years, and the supply of fine international and local cuisines is meeting the demand. Whether it’s excellent coffee, bakeries, brunch stops, health food cafes, or vegan restaurants you’re after, you’ll find it all here.
You’ll likely visit Nai Harn beach a few times a week if not daily, and take some time out to enjoy the easy hike up to Windmill Viewpoint to look over the rolling sands and aquamarine blues below, but there’s lots more to do here. This charming hamlet is much loved by health nuts, as it is the home to some world class sports facilities. Whether you are fitness-focused or not, Phuket is a great way to get into it and Nai Harn is full of enticing activities. You can get your gains at the palatial Nai Harn Gym, zen out at excellent yoga studios and train in martial arts at Temple Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Or for the joggers, the inland, rectangular Nai Harn Lake is very popular for laps at sunrise or sunset.
After all that exercise you’ll want to treat your aching muscles to a massage and there’s a range of great places in town to choose from. The two 5-star hotels The Nai Harn and Chivitr are top of the pile, with treatments ranging from local Thai style to Swedish and Ayurvedic. You'll find the best at Pinky’s just before Nai Harn lake. Ask for owner Pinky, whose sports massage is second to none.
Long-stay housing options are plentiful and generally of good quality. The area is still low rise in height, with many a soi of bungalows, petite houses, and villas dotted here and there. There are a few condo buildings cropping up, but none that are too high or obstructive to the village vibe as yet. The main coworking space in town is recently refurbished The Project: Coworking Space & Virtual Offices, plus there are many fantastic cafes to work in. The top choice is Cannelle Bakery & Co. where the cinnamon rolls are plentiful and air conditioning stays flowing; BOOST Cafe & Restaurant has a menu of delicious salads and international Thai fusion and they are more than happy to host remote workers, and Coffee Tribe Cafe is the place to go for really good coffee.
Dining-wise, you’ve got most cuisines of the world covered in Nai Harn, as well as fantastic, cheap Thai food. Wilson's Cafe does the best brunch, La Cantina is top choice on the island for steaks alongside a solid Italian menu, Fit Geeks are leading the local health food scene with their protein-focused menu, and Pure Vegan Heaven serve dairy free nachos that are out of this world.
Lucie Grace is a British freelance writer, based in Chiang Mai. She lived in India throughout 2020 and 2021 and misses it daily. You can read her bylines in The Daily Beast, Fodor’s, The Independent and The Times.
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