Last Updated on November 10, 2023 by Editor G
I spent 6 weeks traveling around Phuket and working from coworking spaces and cafes. I visited as many beaches as I possibly could and Bangtoa Beach really was the highlight for me.
Some beach resorts in Phuket are just too built up for me; Kata for for example has a very nice beach but the place is full of huge hotel complexes. Kata was also 80% Russian during the high season.
Here’s my complete guide to the Bangtoa beach area so you can get the most out of your stay there.
Where is Bangtao Beach in Phuket?
Bangtao Beach, also known as Bang Tao is located on the western coast of Phuket, Thailand. It is situated approximately halfway between Phuket International Airport in the north and the popular resort town of Patong in the south.
Bangtao is part of the larger Thalang district, encompassing several other beaches, including Surin and Layan. It’s one long beach, but each part has a different name – Bangtao, Laguna Beach, Choeng Thale Beach.
How long is Bangtao Beach?
Bangtao Beach is one of the longest beaches in Phuket, spanning approximately 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) from end to end. The northern end of the beach is relatively undeveloped and offers a quieter atmosphere, while the southern end is home to many luxury resorts and beach clubs, making it livelier and more bustling.
How far is Bangtao from Phuket airport?
Bangtao Beach is conveniently located only about 20 kilometers (12 miles) from Phuket International Airport. It takes approximately 30-40 minutes to drive from the airport to Bangtao via Route 4031, making it an accessible destination for travelers arriving by air.
When I flew home in February, I got a private taxi for around 800 THB. I recommend using one of the taxi apps like Grab, Bolt or Indrive.
Note: If you are getting a taxi from the airport, the airport taxis are a rip-off. I was charged 400 THB to do a 10-minute drive to Nai Yang. Next time I will walk out the airport and order via one of the taxi apps – but you will need a Thai SIM card to do this.
Is Bangtao Beach a nice part of Phuket?
Absolutely! Bangtao Beach is one of Phuket’s best beaches in my opinion and I went to around 20 over a 6 week period.
If you like deserted beaches, there are better beaches – but I like my beaches to have a few places to eat and drink. From Bangtao, you can go to Banana Beach if you want one without buildings.
Best places to work in Bangtao?
Bangtoa has no coworking spaces; these are generally on the other side of the island in Rawai and Chalong. Saying that, there are plenty of quality cafes with good internet to work from.
I was staying near Ocean Beach and ended up working every day at Origami Cafe. They also have an upstairs section, which is very quiet if you get there first thing, and I was there in high season. Like the coffee shops in Phuket town, Origami cafe’s internet speed was around 50MB.
Bangtoa Beach has hundreds of bars depending on what you are looking for; I have listed the more higher-end beach clubs below. I’m more of a beach shack kind of person for a cold Chang.
At the time of writing, there was a new complex, Bangtoa Plaza, which had the main concentration of bars – see map below. This area had a lot of new spaces being developed when I was there, all relatively low-key.
I spent most the time at ‘Beach Pig’ bar which was great. I loved just sitting on a beach cushion, drinking a Chang, and watching all the chickens on the beach! I was told the area previously had pigs everywhere, but now its chickens.
Bangtoa does have a few ‘girly bars’ if you are after a bit of female company. These are mainly off the main strip and on the back road of Soi Ao Bangtao 4 – where the Chivatara Resort is located.
Best places to eat in Bangtao
Bangtao Beach offers a variety of dining options, ranging from local street food stalls to high-end restaurants. A lot of good places can be found in the area above where all the good bars are.
If you want to eat Thai food, try a few places on the beach and find one you like. I ended up going to Silmie Restaurant And Bar every day for lunch and just chilling out afterward. If you are getting sick of eating Thai food every meal, try some of these places:
Benny’s Cocktails & Grill
As I strolled along the pristine shores of Bangtao Beach, the inviting aroma of grilled delicacies wafted through the air, leading me straight to Benny’s Cocktails & Grill. The ambiance was a harmonious blend of beachside relaxation and lively chatter. The wooden deck, adorned with fairy lights, provided a panoramic view of the sunset, painting the horizon in hues of orange and pink.
I settled into a cozy corner and was immediately greeted with a menu that boasted an array of mouth-watering dishes. Opting for the grilled seafood platter, I was not disappointed. The prawns, calamari, and fish were perfectly grilled, each bite bursting with flavors enhanced by the smoky char. But what truly set the evening apart was their signature cocktail – the “Bangtao Bliss.” It was the perfect companion to the tropical setting, a refreshing concoction of local rum, coconut milk, and a hint of lime.
The Siam Mumbai INDIAN Restaurant
A stone’s throw away from Benny’s, The Siam Mumbai beckoned with the rich aromas of Indian spices. The restaurant’s decor was a beautiful fusion of Thai and Indian cultures, with ornate carvings and vibrant tapestries adorning the walls.
I was immediately drawn to the butter chicken, a classic Indian dish. The chicken was tender, bathed in a creamy tomato sauce with just the right amount of spice. Paired with garlic naan, each bite was a symphony of flavors. To cool down, I ordered a mango lassi, a traditional yogurt-based drink that was both sweet and tangy.
The Lazy Coconut
The final stop on my culinary journey was The Lazy Coconut. True to its name, this laid-back eatery exuded a relaxed vibe, with hammocks and bean bags scattered across the sandy floor. Palm trees swayed gently, casting dappled shadows on diners as they enjoyed their meals.
I decided to try their signature dish, the “Coconut Curry Bowl.” Served in a hollowed-out coconut, the curry was a delightful blend of creamy coconut milk, fresh vegetables, and tender chunks of chicken. The flavors were both rich and subtle, with hints of lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves. To quench my thirst, I opted for their coconut water, served straight from the shell, which was the perfect end to a delightful day of gastronomic exploration.
A lot of the beach clubs (see below) also serve good food, but these places are expensive.
Does Bangtao have beach clubs?
Bangtao Beach is famous for its upscale and trendy beach clubs, each offering its unique atmosphere and vibe. These beach clubs are perfect for a day of relaxation, mingling, and enjoying the beachfront amenities.
- Catch Beach Club: One of the most well-known beach clubs in Bangtao, Catch Beach Club offers a luxurious beachfront experience with stylish sunbeds, cabanas, and a large swimming pool. They serve a wide selection of Mediterranean and Thai dishes alongside refreshing cocktails and an extensive wine list. Catch Beach Club is also known for its vibrant beach parties, live DJ sets, and performances.
- XANA Beach Club: Another popular destination, XANA Beach Club, offers a relaxed yet stylish setting with its beachfront infinity pool, private cabanas, and sun loungers. The club serves a diverse menu of Asian and Western dishes, as well as a wide range of beverages. XANA Beach Club is famous for hosting lively events, themed parties, and live music performances.
- Dream Beach Club: This beach club offers a more laid-back and bohemian vibe, with its rustic décor and relaxed atmosphere. Dream Beach Club features multiple swimming pools, private cabanas, and comfortable sunbeds. They offer a menu of international and local dishes, as well as a wide selection of cocktails and drinks. The club often hosts live performances, fire shows, and themed parties.
- Maya Beach Club: Located at the southern end of Bangtao Beach, Maya Beach Club offers a unique beachfront experience with its stunning design and luxurious amenities. The club features an infinity pool, private cabanas, and comfortable loungers. Maya Beach Club serves a menu of Mediterranean-inspired dishes, fresh seafood, and an extensive list of cocktails, wines, and champagnes. They frequently host exclusive events, pool parties, and international DJs, making it a hotspot for beachfront entertainment.
- Carpe Diem Beach Club: A relatively new addition to the Bangtao beach club scene, Carpe Diem Beach Club offers a relaxed and modern atmosphere, with its minimalist design and beachfront setting. The club features a large swimming pool, private cabanas, and sun loungers. Carpe Diem Beach Club offers a menu of international dishes, fresh seafood, and an extensive selection of drinks. The club is known for hosting lively events, beach parties, and DJ sets, making it a popular destination for visitors looking for a vibrant beachfront experience.
Each beach club in Bangtao offers a unique atmosphere and experience, catering to different preferences and moods. Whether you’re looking for a relaxed day by the beach, a lively party atmosphere, or a luxurious beachfront experience, Bangtao Beach has something for everyone.
There is no shortage of activities to enjoy at Bangtao Beach. Some of the most popular activities include:
- Snorkeling and Diving: Explore the rich marine life and colorful coral reefs around the beach.
- Beach Sports: Join a game of beach volleyball or try your hand at paddleboarding or kayaking.
- Spa Treatments: Relax with a traditional Thai massage or spa treatment at one of the beachside resorts.
- Golfing: Play a round of golf at the nearby Laguna Phuket Golf Club, featuring an 18-hole course and stunning views.
- Island Hopping: Take a boat trip to explore the nearby islands, including the famous Phi Phi Islands.
What is Bangtao Muay Thai?
Bangtao Muay Thai refers to the Muay Thai gym and training center in the Bangtao area. Muay Thai, also known as “The Art of Eight Limbs,” is a traditional Thai martial art that involves striking and clinching techniques. Many visitors take Muay Thai classes during their stay in Bangtao to learn the basics of this martial art and get a great workout.
I did a one-hour session 1-2-1 (1000 baht) and it was very hard working in the January heat, I was shaking for 2 hours after.
How long does it take to go from Bangtao to Patong for a night out?
Patong, known for its vibrant nightlife and bustling beach, is located about 20 kilometers (12 miles) south of Bangtao Beach. It takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes to drive from Bangtao to Patong, depending on traffic conditions. Whether you’re interested in exploring the lively clubs, bars, and restaurants of Patong or catching a thrilling Muay Thai fight, it’s an easy journey from Bangtao.
Gareth Evans is a travel writer and entrepreneur living life as a digital nomad. Gareth has been based in Bangkok for the last 8 months.