We have walked for hours when we finally reach the end of the stunning white sandy Bang Tao Beach. We lay down on the soft, warm sand, in the shadows of the palm trees swaying softly in the breeze. A handful of local kids are playing in the azure blue water. A runner just past us, other than that, we are entirely alone. No pushy sellers, no closeby roads, only the sound of the waves rolling on the sand.
Bang Tao Beach is the closest Phuket gets to what we consider to be the perfect tropical beach paradise. Among all the beaches we visited and stayed at in Phuket, Bang Tao Beach is our favorite.
Here is our travel guide to Bang Tao Beach in Phuket with everything you need to know about Bang Tao Beach:
Why Is Bang Tao Beach The Best Beach In Phuket?
Bang Thao Beach (or Bangtao Beach) is one of the longest beaches on Phuket Island in Southern Thailand. Located on the island’s west coast this half-moon shaped bay stretches on for 8km of soft white sand. Forest and trees enclave the beautiful Bang Tao Beach, and you can not even see the road nor hear the traffic.
It is a peaceful and relaxed beach. Unlike some of the other beaches in Phuket, Bang Tao Beach is not packed with sunbeds and umbrellas, noisy jet skis, banana boats, water activities or pushy sellers. Bang Tao Beach is all about finding that zen moment and enjoy the peace while at the same time have access to some of the best hotels, restaurants, and cafes in Phuket.
The beach is also very clean and has no garbage.
Bang Tao is the “high end” part of Phuket, with luxury resorts and top-notch restaurants. However, there are also some excellent mid-range hotels and some cool hostels in the southern part of the beach.
How To Get To Bang Tao Beach
You can quickly get to Phuket by plane as a lot of international airlines fly directly to Phuket International Airport, from both Europe, USA, Australia, and other places in Asia, and of course from Bangkok.
Getting from the airport to Bang Tao Beach is easiest done by taxi or Grab Car. The drive from the airport takes about 30 min, depending on the traffic.
History Of Bang Tao Beach
It is hard to believe that the Bang Tao area once looked like a war had raged here. Thirty years ago, the beautiful park, lagoon, and beach area that you see today in Bang Tao was a desolate, ruined landscape.
The Bang Tao area used to be one of the most productive tin mines in Thailand and from here came much of Phuket’s wealth. But in the 70s, when the prices of tin and rubber dropped dramatically, they closed down the mines and left the area looking like a total mess.
Bang Tao desperately needed new workplaces and new sources of income, and so the idea of transforming Bang Tao into a holiday destination occurred to some developers and investors from Singapore. The Bang Tao beach itself was still beautiful and untouched. But the mine pits had ruined the land surrounding it and polluted and poisoned the rivers and canals.
The work took several years, but slowly, the area came back to life. The old tin mines turned into beautiful lagoons and park areas, linked by narrow canals. Today Bang Tao is a stunning area and a fantastic place to go on a beach holiday.
Bangtao Beach has a lot to offer for just about anyone. The northern part of the beach is quiet and pristine. Here you can find your undisturbed slice of paradise, put down your towel, and let the days go peacefully by. Further south you have a great choice of restaurants, shopping, bars, and beach clubs.
Southern Bang Tao Beach – Laguna Phuket Complex
At the southern part of Bang Tao Beach, there is a myriad of freshwater lagoons and canals between the beach and the road, covering 1000 acres of beautifully landscaped park. Here you will find some lovely five- and four stars, resorts, and hotels (7 in total), called the Laguna Phuket Complex. These are top-end hotels offering everything you could want for a holiday- big pools, nice bars, top-notch restaurants, gym, sports facilities, and children’s clubs.
It is easy to go between the hotels, restaurants, and shopping, as you can jump on the free ferry to go across the lake to the different hotels and the beach.
There are also some residential villas and apartment complexes in Bang Tao where you can rent long-term apartments.
Northern Bang Tao Beach
The northern part of Bang Tao Beach is much less developed and more of a natural kind of beach.
Here the locals enjoy themselves on Sunday afternoon, having barbeques while the children play in the water. The peaceful bliss at this part of Bang Tao Beach is so far from Patong Beach as you can get.
The northernmost curve of Bang Tao Beach merges with the beautiful Layan Beach and Gata Island.
Things To Do In Bang Tao Beach
The Bang Tao Beach
The main attraction of Bang Tao is, of course, the Bang Tao Beach. It is perfect for walking or running, and you can in total do an 8 km run or walk from one end of the beach to the other. If you go north, the beach gets more and more peaceful and pristine the further north you get.
Grab your camera/ phone and go for a stroll and explore the beach area of Bang Tao. Buy a fresh coconut or a drink at one of the beach bars and restaurants in the southern part of the beach and enjoy the sunset.
Beach Clubs In Bang Tao
Beach clubs are popular in Phuket, and Bang Tao is no exception. Here you can rent lounges, sunbeds, use the pools, and buy food and drinks all day long. In the evenings, you can enjoy a drink or two while enjoying the sunset. The beach clubs are the place to go partying in Bang Tao as they have live DJs spinning records that get the party started.
However, you have to pay to get into the beach clubs, and they are rather expensive.
There are four beach clubs at Bang Tao beach:
- Catch Beach Club – the first and most famous of the beach clubs in Bang Tao
- Xana Beach Club – at Angsana Laguna Phuket hotel
- Dream Beach Club – at the north part of Bang Tao beach
- Blue Siam Beach Club – at the south part of Bang Tao beach
Bang-Tao Night Market
Markets are a big thing in Thailand, and Bang Tao has a great night market. Here you can enjoy some delicious Thai food, snacks, and drinks, and go shopping for souvenirs, clothes, gifts, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The prices are reasonable, and the market has a great variety of different goods and food. Worth a visit.
- When: Bang Tao Night Market is open every Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from around 14:00 (2 pm) – 20:00 (8 pm). It is, however, a bit empty in the early afternoon. People tend to come to the market at around 17:00 (5 pm).
- Where: The Bang Tao Night Market is located on Soi Bang Thao 2
Sports Activities In Bang Tao
Many different sports activities are on the list of what to do in Bang Tao Beach:
- Kayaking/ Sailing – At the big lagoon, you can rent kayaks and canoes and go paddling on the lagoon. Or you can rent small sailboats and give it a try if the wind is present.
- Bicycling – Bang Tao is perfect for exploring on a bicycle as it has little traffic, and there are many roads to explore. Many of the hotels have bicycles for rent (or for free), or you can rent high-quality bicycles (including e-bikes) at one of the bike rental shops in Bang Tao, like the Siam Bike Tours & Road Bike Rentals (located in Boat Avenue) or Ridenow Phuket.
- Horseriding – You can go horseriding along the beach of Bang Tao by contacting Phuket International Horse Club which is located in Bang Tao.
- Golfing – Golf is a big thing in Bang Tao, and there are several golf courses in the area. You can go golfing at the 18-hole golf course Laguna Golf Phuket, or the 27-hole golf course at Phuket Country Club. There is also a Phuket Golf Center in Bang Tao with a golf school and lots of fun activities for families and kids.
- Mini Golf – If golf is not your thing, mini golf might be. Great fun both for adults and kids! Head to the 18 holes Adventure Mini Golf in Bang Tao Beach. They also have a restaurant and bar.
- Muay Thai Training/ Yoga – Bang Tao has a Muay Thai gym, the Sitsongpeenong, where you can work off those calories or take a boxing or yoga lesson. You can even join a Muay Thai training course over several weeks and months.
- Diving/ Snorkeling – There are several diving centers in Bang Tao where you can book diving tours or snorkeling tours.
Relax and wind down at one of the many quality luxurious spas in the Laguna area of Bang Tao. Here you can get massages, facial treatments, manicure, and pedicure. Many of the hotels have spas, but there are also several independent spas.
If you want to splurge and get a real luxury spa treatment, you should head to the spa at Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary, world-famous for their massages and body treatments.
Wat Cherngtalay Temple
If you want a break from sunbathing and relaxing on the beach, you can visit the small but beautiful Buddhist temple Wat Cherngtalay in Bang Tao area. The temple is not that big, but it is gorgeous with its bright white and red colors and gold decorations.
Elephant Retirement Park Phuket
I must admit that I am always skeptical about parks and tours that include wild animals as you never know if the animals are well looked after or if it is just a set up to make money from tourists. I am against riding elephants, so please, whatever activities you choose to participate and book in Phuket, do NOT go on any elephant rides!
The Elephant Retirement Park in Bang Tao in Phuket does not do elephant riding, nor do they chain or beat the elephants. The park is enormous, and the elephants roam free.
At the elephant park, you get to meet the elephants upfront, feed them, and even bathe with them in the river and the mud. The park has two sessions each day when you can visit; each lasts 3,5 hours:
- Morning session: 08:30 (8:30 am) – 12:00 (12 pm)
- Afternoon session: 13:00 (1 pm) – 16:30 (4:30 pm)
Included in the elephant park visit are round-trip hotel pick-up, lunch buffet, and a t-shirt. You also get to shower at the park after your visit, as you might get muddy after bathing with the elephants. 🙂 They also have a honeymoon elephant care program, if you are planning a honeymoon trip to Phuket.
Alternatively, you can book a private VIP elephant care program if you are a group of 2-10 people. The private VIP tour is 4 hours where you get to go on a jungle hike to a waterfall together with the elephants and English speaking guides. You can choose between two sessions each day for the private VIP elephant care program:
- Morning session: 07:30 – 11:30
- Afternoon session: 13:00 (1 pm) – 17:00 (5 pm)
It seems like the elephants are loved and well looked after, and the park gets good reviews on TripAdvisor.
- Where: 392/5 Thanon Bandon-Cherngtalay, Bang Tao (a 15 min drive from Bang Tao Beach)
- The webpage of Elephant Retirement Park Phuket
Where To Eat In Bang Tao Phuket
The restaurants and cafes in Bang Tao are mostly clustered in two areas – Boat Avenue & Tinlay Village, and at the southern Bang Tao Beach.
Boat Avenue & Tinlay Village
The Boat Avenue and Tinlay Village is an upscale shopping complex/ village near the Laguna Phuket Complex located inland in the Bang Tao area, between the lagoon and the canals. Most hotels have free shuttle buses taking you between your hotel and the shopping and dining areas.
At Boat Avenue and Tinlay Village, you find some of the best international restaurants in the entire Phuket, hip and trendy shops, as well as the supermarket Villa Market (with globally imported food and an impressive wine cellar).
Fun Friday Avenue Market
And if you are in Bang Tao on a Friday, you must visit the Fun Friday Avenue Market where you can eat a lot of delicious street food, drinks, and snacks, as well as do a little shopping. The small Fun Friday Avenue Market pops up at the Boat Avenue every Friday afternoon (16:00 – 22:00). Night markets are an important part of the culture of Thailand and are a real must-do experience when visiting Thailand. Night markets are vibrant, colorful, and great fun.
Southern Bang Tao Beach Restaurants
You will find several small beach restaurants just south of Outrigger Laguna Hotel selling Thai food, but also some western food, at a lower price than at Boat Avenue and Tinlay Village.
The Thai food restaurants here serve some delicious seafood, and the location is beautiful right on the beach. The beach restaurants all look the same with tables made of bamboo on the beach and colorful umbrellas. You will also find a couple of small reggae bars in this area, great for a sunset drink.
Where To Stay In Bang Tao Beach Phuket
Dusit Thani Laguna Phuket Resort
We stayed at the Dusit Thani Laguna Resort and loved it. From the moment we stepped into the beautiful open-air Thai-decorated lobby and were greeted warmly with drinks and a wet towel, we felt very welcomed. The lady that did the check-in also showed us around the property and guided us to our room. Such a great service!
Although Dusit Thani Laguna is a stunning 5-star hotel, with an excellent breakfast buffet, big swimming pool, well-equipped gym, and a beautiful garden, it is the location that is the real star of the hotel. Dusit Thani Laguna Resort is located on the best part of the Bang Tao Beach.
Many of the rooms have seafront views, and to get to the beach, you walk through the beautiful garden. The hotel has plenty of sunbeds on the beach, so here you can relax and enjoy the beach and sunbathing. You can quickly get to the other hotels, shopping, and dining areas of Bang Tao as the hotel provides free shuttle buses and boats.
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Movenpick Resort Bangtao Beach Phuket
The luxurious Movenpick Resort has a sweet location right on the beach. The hotel has 40 spacious and well-equipped apartments, all with private balcony. The sea view villas have a stunning ocean view, and some come with a private pool. Some of the residences have several bedrooms (2 or 3) making it perfect for families with kids.
The hotel has a free shuttle service that takes you to the Boat Avenue shopping and restaurant area. The breakfast buffet is impressive with a great variety, and the onsite restaurant the Palm serves delicious Thai and western food (including in-room dining). Don´t miss the chocolate hour by the pool, and the happy hour. And if you feel that you have overeaten, one option is to head to the hotel gym or hop on one of the hotel bikes and go for a bicycle ride around the Laguna and Bang Tao area.
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Banyan Tree Spa Sanctuary
The Banyan Tree is as luxurious as you can get, close to the beach. There is a free shuttle bus that takes you to the beach where the hotel has some comfortable sunbeds at a beautiful part of the beach. The Thai-styled villas are stunning, with private pools/ jacuzzi, a sunken bathtub with spa toiletries in the bathroom, and a vast living room decorated with pure Thai silks.
Their spa is one of the best in the whole of Thailand, where you can get massage and beauty treatments. Wellness is the focus at this hotel, and you can do yoga classes, Thai boxing, or a mindful practice session. The whole resort oozes of peacefulness, tranquillity, and beauty. The turndown service every evening even offers a surprise gift.
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Pai Tan Villas
A small quiet and relaxed family-driven hotel with 11 apartments built around two swimming pools. Pai Tan Villas has a great location with only a 5 minutes walk to the southern Bang Tao beach and the restaurants and shopping. It is a good value for your money. They have family apartments too, with two bedrooms. The breakfast is good, especially the pancakes with fresh fruits.
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Both my parents and my brother have stayed at the Cassia Phuket Hotel, and they all loved it. Cassia has a beautiful location right by the big lagoon, close to the Bang Tao Beach. You can easily take the shuttle ferry from the hotel right to the beach. Cassia is an apartment hotel with new, big, and comfortable apartments all with a balcony.
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Momento Bantao Beach
A brand new and stylish hotel (opened January 2019) only 100 m (3 min walk) from the southern part of Bang Tao Beach with beachfront restaurants and cafes. All rooms have a balcony, and some have a small kitchen. The patio is super cozy. I love the design of the hotel and the modern decor in the rooms. A great value.
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A new fresh and modern budget hotel (opened June 2018) located close to the Boat Avenue shopping and dining area of Bang Tao. The hotel is not directly on the beach, but you can rent bicycles for free at the hotel and easily get to the beach, or rent a motorbike. The hotel has an outdoor swimming pool and a beautiful garden, and you can use the shared kitchen if you want to cook food yourself. Excellent value for your money.
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This stylish and clean hostel is located close to Bang Tao Beach (only a 3 min walk to the beach). The shared bathrooms are spotlessly clean and modern, and you can choose between mixed dormitory or female dormitory rooms (bunk beds) which are air-conditioned all day.
The hostel has a lovely garden with hammocks, a pool, and the dormitory rooms have patios.
As the name implies, this is a chilled place perfect for meeting new friends and partying at the Catch Beach Club (only a 3 min walk away from the hostel).
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Map Of Bang Tao Beach, Phuket
Map of Bang Tao Beach, Phuket with our recommended Bang Tao hotels and things to do
If you are looking for a comfortable and high-class stay in Phuket, with the most beautiful and peaceful beach, then Bang Tao Beach is the place. Among all the beaches we have visited and stayed at in Phuket, I must admit that Bang Tao Beach is my favorite beach to stay at in Phuket.
It is relatively close to the airport (only a 30 min drive), Phuket town, and the other highlights of Phuket. And you can easily take a taxi or Grab car from Bang Tao Beach to get to the more well known but busier beaches like Patong Beach (a 30 min drive) if you like to check them out. Hope you like this travel guide to Bang Tao Beach in Phuket. 🙂
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