Phuket may have busy beaches, but a short drive north up the coast of Thailand takes me to a tranquil National Park at Thai Muang.
You can rent tends overnight next to the beach, buy some fish from the town market and barbecue it next to the beach on a moonlit night.
The beach at Thai Muang is almost empty, this strip of land is cut off from the mainland by a river, at the end a small hill is there for hiking.
I arrived at the campsite in the afternoon, to find the few bungalows they have were all full. No matter, I'll stay in a tent. It will take me closer to nature anyway.
Entry to the national park is free for Thai people, and about 130 baht for foreigners. Once in, a tent will cost around 250 baht more. None of this is expensive, the tent includes a mattress, sleeping bags and pillows, but I brought my own. I prefer to sleep on my own bedding.
Thai Muang has a market, and if you go around 3pm you can avoid the crowds, I found a lot of fresh fish and vegetables. Perfect, I can have a fish barbecue on the beach. The campsite has a place to prepare food, and three barbecue grills, but they were full, so I used my own charcoal grill at the Sala next to the beach. You're told not to barbecue near the tents, because of the fire risk.
In the kitchen area, under the sink was large bags of sea-salt! I think salted-fish next to the beach is a common idea! They also have electricity points so I can charge my phone and drone ready for the next day. Most were already in use, some with electric grills, but mostly smartphone after smartphone on charge.
How to eat fish in the dark and avoid fish bones? Perhaps I should have brought a torch, but for the moment my smartphones flashlight feature would have to do. The woman at the market was telling the truth when she said this has hardly any bones. Delicious.
A few does and don't: Try to get there in the afternoon, its difficult to get a tent after 4pm. Basic padded mat and bedding is available with the tent, but better to bring your own. This is not a booze trip, officially alcohol is not allowed in the camp site, no-one will search you but they don't want a boozy beach party! Don't get a tent near the facilities or you'll hear people going to the toilet all night. Toilets and showers are provided, bring your own towels and soap. You can spend the day there until late afternoon the next day, you don't need to flee the scene at 12 noon like a hotel! If you have your own tent, you can use that.
Arrive, find the main lodge, get assigned a tent, pay, the next day, simply pack your gear up and go. Keep the park entry ticket so you can get out and in while you're there, at night they don't want you driving, so get everything you need during the day.