(Haad Mai Khao) is a beach on the northwestern side
of Phuket, Thailand. It's also known as Airport Beach
or Sanambin Beach (the Thai word for "airport"),
as it's very close to the airport. The northern portion
is known as Hat Sai Khao (Haad Sai Khao), a long sandy
beach with groves of Casuarina trees along the shore.
was once a nesting area for the endangered Giant Leatherback
turtle but unfortunately due to egg poaching, resort
development and pollution they no longer exist here.
Mai Khao beach is often incorrectly described as 'pristine'
by some of the resorts brochures and websites which
in reality is far from the truth. There is much pollution
scattered along the length of the beach especially during
low season which to date (18th July 2011) has never
been cleared except areas directly in front of the few
resorts. Most of the rubbish could be avoided by regular
cleaning by the National Park and sustainable wast management
programs supported by improved education to protect
the environment in the local schools. The area around
Mai Khao is still very quiet and natural but although
declared a National Park in 1981, it is seriously in
danger of over development in the near future as landowners
give in to the high prices offered by foreign funded
developers and plans are approved by corrupt government
officials without public enquiry.