At the very top of Bangtao Beach on the northwest coast of Phuket Island is "Layan Beach". The beach is not separate from Bangtao Beach, it is more of an area known as Layan. This is traditionally a Phuket local's area where you can find Thais as well as expats in the know. You're welcomed to visit as well! You'll find it to be very low-key and quiet, and this is why people come here instead of one of the other beaches in the area. There are lovely tall coconut palm and soft-wood pine trees overhead, offering a respite from the strong sunshine.

The beach is typically flat or with light ripples, and it’s generally safe for swimming and playing in the Andaman Sea for children on calm days. There are squalls which come up quickly, so do keep an eye on the wave situation, as always in Phuket. As the beach is sheltered by Koh Kala, a small island located at its northern part, the sea is pretty calm in Layan.

If you walk up the beach toward Koh Kala island, you'll be able, at low-tide, to walk across, chase crabs around and spot birds. If you’re lucky, the water will be low enough to walk to the other beach just across the water where the Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is located. The resort has about 600 meters of sandy beach in front of the resort and, though there is a mostly sandy bottom, you can find good snorkeling in the rocks on the north side of the bay as well as on the north side of Koh Kala! Sea kayaks can be rented from the restaurant on the beach in Layan – you’ll see the kayaks in the sand.

At night, Layan gets going with one of the top-rated clubs in Phuket, theDream Beach Club. They feature electronic music, cocktails and good food. The club is right on the sandy beach and offers heaps of outdoor seating. Some reviewers mentioned too many kids running around, but that probably isn’t the typical experience from 9 pm. onward.

How to Reach Layan?
From Laguna Beach, take the beach road going north and you will see Soi Layan 2, you can park anywhere here and walk to the beach. Or you can take Highway 4018 to Soi Layan 2 and make a left to the beach.

Places to stay in Layan:
- The Anantara Layan Phuket Resort is the reason why most people have heard of the Layan area. This is a world-class 5-star resort with breathtaking views right on the beach. The beach is virtually private as it is inaccessible except for people staying at the resort and those who sneak across the sand to reach it as mentioned above.
- If you really want to stay at an exclusive resort, the Trisara upscale villa resort with private pools just past the Anantara at the end of the rocky point. They offer exceptional accommodation and service, with rooms and villas.
* A vehicle is a must if you need to get into Phuket Town or Patong Beach, or you can simply rely on the taxi service at the resorts.