Bangtao beach Phuket
Bangtao beach is now a beautiful 6 kilometre stretch of white sand on Phuket’s west coast. It’s about 20 minutes drive south of Phuket airport.
It wasn’t always so stunning. Thirty odd years ago it was a wasteland, ruined from years of tin mining. But the regeneration has been amazing, a conservation effort by the Laguna group. The beach and land was cleaned up and the quarries were filled with water and landscaped to form lakes around which resorts and a golf course were built.
Now the Laguna resort complex is the main resort area in Bangtao. It is home to some pretty fancy resorts and holiday homes, including the Angsana, the Outrigger, the Dusit Laguna and the Banyan Tree. Other hotels, guesthouses, restaurants and bars have built up in the areas outside of Laguna. They cater to tourists and a large expat community that lives in the area.
If you stay in Laguna you can easily go outside the complex to eat at local restaurants. This is one of the wonderful things about Phuket, it’s safe to go just about anywhere. The local restaurants can be half the price of the resorts, and often more tasty.
Laguna is still an environmentally conscious business. There has been a sea turtle conservation project since 1994. Mangrove trees are also being planted.
Every year Laguna hold a marathon and a triathlon.
Despite the resorts along Bangtao the beach never feels that busy, it’s just so big. You can easily find and empty patch of beach to lay your towel or rent a sun lounger. There are plenty of restaurants for lunch or a cold beer. Vendors walk the beach selling ice creams and drinks.
If you like to be active on the beach you can para-sail, jet ski or banana boat. Hobie cats and kayaks are also available to rent.
Bangtao beach is good for swimming. In high season it has a gentle slope and calm water. In low season there can be waves and rip currents, lifeguards post red flags as a warning of where not to swim.
There is a small island off the coast of Bangtao called Koh Weao that is okay for snorkeling or even a shallow scuba dive. It’s reached by local long tail boat from the beach.
The beach north of Bangtao is Nai Thon and Surin beach is to the south.