Bamboo Beach, also known as Ao Mae Phai, is the most southerly beach on Koh Lanta Yai’s west coast and also the island’s most photographed beauty spot.
Bamboo Beach is relatively quiet with a small amount of development near the beach front and forested hills in the background. Many visitors consider Bamboo Beach to be best beach on Koh Lanta.
About Bamboo Beach
What keeps Bamboo Beach quiet is its distance from the main town of Saladan where the long distance ferry and speed boats arrive in Koh Lanta. By local taxi its a 50 minute journey from Saladan. People staying at a resort near Bamboo Beach generally get there in car sent by the resort itself, and the majority of the other people who visit get to Bamboo on a rented motorbike. The journey is fairly easy for an experienced motorcyclist. Anyone unfamiliar with riding a motorbike may struggle a bit on the steep track from the main road down to the beach itself.
Bamboo Beach is an 800 metres long stretch of white sand with a steep headland at each end of the beach. The gently curved bay is photogenic, particularly so when boats pull in the bay which they do frequently. The best viewpoint is the Bamboo Bay Valley Restaurant on the main road before the turning down to Bamboo Beach. This small restaurant has two decks built on the side of the hill overlooking the beach which bring them a steady stream of customers who come in a for drink to access the viewpoint.
There are two places to eat and drink on the on Bamboo Beach, Baan Phu Lae and the more upmarket La Laanta Hideaway Resort. Whilst these two establishments very much dominate the area behind the beach, Bamboo Beach is a public beach and there is no requirement to eat and drink at either establishment in order to come and enjoy the beach.
The only thing which is slightly wrong with Bamboo Beach is that about for about half of the length of the beach there are large rocks just off the shoreline which make it difficult to go swimming. There is, however, a clear patch about half way along the beach where there are no rocks on the sea floor.
Hotels on Bamboo Beach
There are two places you can stay on Bamboo Beach: Baan Phu Lae and La Laanta Hideaway Resort. Baan Phu Lae is a small independent hotel with 9 bungalows on the beach and 4 on the hillside. Some of the beach bungalows are all fan cooled and other have A/C. The larger hillside bungalows are all air-conditioned. A fan cooled beach bungalow costs between 900 and 2,400 THB a night depending on the time of year. Baan Phu Lae also has a restaurant and a bar.
By far the better of the two resorts on Bamboo Beach is the La Laanta Hideaway Resort. This resort costs about the same as Baan Phu Lae but you get a much better room with A/C, safety deposit box, cable TV, tea and coffee maker, hot shower and breakfast. The La Laanta Hideaway Resort also has 2 swimming pool, a restaurant, a beach front bar and they treat customers well. Having visited both resorts we would choose the La Laanta Hideaway Resort for sure.
Location of Bamboo Beach
Bamboo Beach is located 24.1 km from Saladan Ferry Pier which is where the Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lipe, Phuket and Krabi ferries arrive and depart.