Have you ever heard of Natai beach? Imagine a stretch of white sands ten kilometres long that’s completely free of vendors and beach umbrellas. There are no big hotels, tailor shops or sleazy bars in the area, and absolutely no buzzing jet skis or speedboats.
Where is this magical place? Natai Beach in Phang Nga province just over the bridge from Phuket. With its sands blissfully free of vendors and sunbed rentals, to spend a day at the beach is to be immersed in a Natai nature nirvana soothed by the sound of the waves.
The balmy turquoise waters are ideal for swimming, surfing, stand-up paddling or kayaking. A bit like the Hamptons of Southeast Asia, with strict local building laws have shielded Natai Beach from all mass development. Instead of mega resorts and shopping malls, the beach is lined with a handful of boutique resorts, private villas and high-end restaurants.
Except one, Raipiang seafood restaurant, which does cater to more normal budgets and offered delicious seafood. Sitting here watching for a sunset dinner, not as spectacular as it could have been, but oh so lovely all the same.