Patong beach Phuket
Phuket’s first beach
Patong Beach is over 3 km’s of golden sand beach and it’s the most popular beach on the island. It gets more annual tourists, it has more restaurants, bars and clubs than all the other beaches combined. It’s a year round destination, it’s noisy and it’s bold. Some people love it, others hate it.
Patong beach is as notorious for it’s nightlife as it is for the beach itself. There is nowhere else quite like Patong. Even if you stay on another beach, a holiday in Phuket would not be complete without visiting Patong.
Some people like to put Patong down for being over crowded, “not really Thailand,” over priced, a rip off and so on. But hundreds of thousands of people come every year and have a great time. If you want a deserted beach it’s not for you. But if you’re looking for fun it’s impossible not to find some in Patong.
Patong was the first beach discovered by backpackers in the 70’s. They stayed on Patong because of it’s incredible natural beauty. Of course in those days there were just a few bamboo huts to stay in and now Patong is completely developed. But the beach is still great for swimming, and now there’s all sorts of other activities to keep you occupied. Jet skiing, parasailing, windsurfing, wake boarding, banana boats, beach football. The list goes on.
If you need a beer or a kebab there are restaurants on the beach. Fancy a massage or a pedicure? You can get that on the beach too. Or just sit back and people watch, Patong beach has half naked humans in every shape and size. Vendors will come by selling ice creams, drinks, snacks and souvenirs. If you are interested you can bargain down the price. If you are not they’ll move on, no hassle.
Patong accommodation ranges from budget hostel to 5 star resort. Actually Patong can be cheaper to stay than other Phuket beaches because there is so much supply of rooms.
Every type of food is available in Patong, from every country. You can eat in 5 star restaurants if you like but we strongly urge you to try “real” Thai food from a local restaurant or market. Like noodle soup or some padthai freshly stir fried at a mobile food cart. You will find someone selling food pretty much everywhere at any time of day in Patong, it’s generally clean, fresh and safe to eat. The food is one of the best things about Thailand. If you can’t eat spicy food ask for “mai pet.”
Patong restaurants can be a bit more expensive than other parts of Phuket, a definitely more expensive than other parts of Thailand. That’s the price you pay for holidaying in one of the world’s most popular tourist resorts.
The best restaurants on the beach are just north of the Patong Immigration office.
Rat-u-tid road, the middle road that runs parallel to the beach road, is also full of restaurants. “Number 6” is popular, people queue to get in there for good cheap Thai food.
Jung Ceylon mall has all your fast food needs and a supermarket if you want self catering supplies.
There are too many good restaurants to mention here. You could stay a month and eat at a different place every evening.
When the sun goes down Patong gets going. The centre of the nightlife scene is Bangla road. Most of the go-go bars are down soi Seadragon, off Bangla. Do not go in with a tout, go by yourself. Check the price of drinks before you order to avoid being scammed.
If you like clubbing try Seduction (Bangla road), Thai Pan (top of Bangla), Banana Disco (Beach road), Famous (Jung Ceylon rooftop) and Tiger Disco (Bangla).
Patong also has a famous ladyboy cabaret called Simon Cabaret.
If you are staying in Patong you will almost certainly find yourself in Jung Ceylon mall at some point. Apart from the shops it also has restaurants, bars, a nightclub and a cinema. You can change money at the banks there (or at any number of other change bureaus in Patong). There are ATM’s all over Patong.
Patong is also the place to buy copy designer brand goods, t-shirts, fake sunglasses and watches. Don’t pay the first price they throw out, it’s normally double what you should pay. Negotiate hard, but with a smile.
Nearby Patong beach
Just around the coast from Patong beach, heading south, there are some smaller bays. Some you can reached by road, like Paradise beach or Tritrang beach. Others like Freedom beach require a long tail boat ride. Longtail drivers will also give you a tour across the bay for a price.