Patong Beach (translated as “banana forest”) was once a part of the wild, where tourists occasionally sailed. Gradually, the forest was cut down, and in its place created and improved beach infrastructure. As a result, Patong has become a full-fledged town and tourist capital, and also the most hyped beach on the Thai island of Phuket.
Near Patong there is everything that is necessary for life and everything that tourists can dream about – except for silence and solitude. Immediately behind the coastal sand strip lies a one-way highway with very dense traffic. Behind it is Thaweewong road (foreign tourists call it Beach Road) with many buildings, including a myriad of shops, cafes, restaurants, massage parlors.
Key Features of Patong Beach
Patong Beach is located in Thailand, on the island of Phuket, from its southwestern side. It is 35 km from the airport, and 25 km from Phuket Town.
Patong Beach is one of the longest in Phuket – its coastline stretches for 4 km. The width of the beach strip is 30 m. On the south side of Patong (if you face the sea, then on the left) is the beach of Three Trang, from the north – Kalim.
Like most beaches in Thailand, Patong Beach is completely sandy. The sand is light and very small, very tender – it is pleasant to walk on it barefoot.
Entry into the water is gentle, without sharp changes in depth. The bottom is sandy, sometimes small shells and pebbles can come across.
The ebbs and flows on this coast of the Andaman Sea are not very pronounced, so that the beach is always mild. Of course, during low tide you will have to go a little further from the coast so that the depth is sufficient for swimming, but this distance is not critical.
In the season (from November to mid-May) there are almost no waves, only occasionally in the northern part of the beach. And when frequent rains come and the direction of the wind changes (from June to October), the waves are almost constant.
For swimming, several large zones are indicated – they are fenced with yellow buoys. Lifeguards are on duty at Patong Beach all year.
Even on all advertising photos of Patong Beach, one can see how much it is “clogged” with visitors. Vacationers are mostly young people, but there are many elderly Europeans. Patong is equipped with a spacious and comfortable path where you can stroll with a stroller, but families with children usually choose other beaches in Thailand to relax.
Given the enormous congestion of Patong Beach, it can be considered quite clean. Although the area looks somewhat contaminated, there are no cigarette butts, bits, or bottles in the water and on the shore. Public utilities are regularly cleaned here, but they do not always cope with the huge amount of work on the most crowded beach in Phuket.
The level of cleanliness varies in different seasons and in different areas of Patong Beach:
- The center, located in the neighborhood of Bangla Road, is the most crowded and dirty part of the beach. It is here that there are entertainment points, the buzz of water transport is heard all the time.
- On the north side (starting from the “Patong beach” sign) there are fewer vacationers. There is clear clear water, which is pleasant to swim in.
- On the south side of Patong Beach no one bathes. Tourist boats moor at the very end of the beach area, and a river with sewage flows into the sea at the bridge.
It is important to remember: Thailand has a law prohibiting smoking on beaches. Violators will face a fine of 100,000 baht or imprisonment for 1 year.
It’s a little strange, but the closer to the water, the less vegetation that lushly covers the entire Patong area – only a row of trees stretches between the pedestrian path and the coast. Their shadow is absolutely not enough for vacationers to hide from the sultry sun.
Therefore, in Patong, like on most beaches in Thailand, you have to spend money on renting beach equipment. The coast is closely packed with sunbeds and umbrellas: 5 zones, each of which has 360 sunbeds and 180 umbrellas. For 100 baht per day, you can take an umbrella and a sunbed.
There are areas where you can lie down on your towel or mat (they sell a maximum of 250 baht). But, in some of the most crowded areas of Patong Beach, vacationers are simply not given the opportunity to lay towels: they are prevented from lying calmly, touching their belongings, provoking them in every possible way and literally forced to rent a sunbed.
There are no booths for changing clothes on Patong Beach.
Toilet and shower are paid: 5-20 and 20 baht, respectively. On the territory there are very few of them, just as there is in front of the beach entrance.
Affordable Activities at Patong Beach
Like many Phuket beaches, Patong pleases vacationers with a variety of activities. Although there are established rates, you always need to bargain and often make discounts. The prices are (in baht):
- jet ski in 30 minutes – for 1 person 1500, if 2000 together;
- parasailing (parachuting) – for a child 1200, for an adult 1500;
- banana (tablet) – for an adult 700, for a child 600.
For extreme sportsmen, a surfboard rental is organized on Patong Beach. Prices for a regular board and a board with an oar, respectively (in baht):
- 1 hour – 200 and 300;
- 2 hours – 300 and 500;
- 3 hours – 450 and 700;
- half a day – 500 and 900;
- 1 day – 900 and 1500;
- 3 days – 3200 and 3600;
- 5 days – 4000 and 4500;
- week – 4500 and 5000.
There is a good surf club with artificial waves ( address: 162 / 6-7 Thaweewong Road, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand). There are always a lot of people there, but the training is provided by excellent professional instructors! On the beach, flyers are often handed out for which you can get a discount. Rates are as follows (in local currency):
- 1 hour – 1000;
- 2 hours – 1800;
- 3 hours – 2200.
Tourists vacationing in Patong are taken to the islands of Thailand closest to Phuket. Wakeboarding is available on the islands for tourists: for 2 hours – 950 baht, for the whole day – 1600. A ticket for children costs half the price.
Cafes and restaurants
With so many luxury restaurants, reasonably priced cafes and fast food chains like in Patong, it’s hard to be hungry. Many people like to eat in unlimited buffets: just pay the standard amount (about 250 baht) and you can eat as much as you like.
Compared to other island resorts in Thailand, the price of food in Phuket is slightly overpriced due to the high popularity of the resort.
Shopping centers and shops
The main and largest shopping center in Patong is Jung Ceylon, located at the intersection of Soi Sansabai and Thanon Ratuthit Songroipi Road. In Jang Ceylon, you can buy branded clothing, sports goods, goods for children. The shopping center has a cinema, a Strike Bowl bowling club, cheap cafes and expensive restaurants. On the central square of Jung Ceylon, where there is a johnka and numerous fountains, a light music show is held in the evenings.
On the beach street of Beach Road is the newest shopping center in Patong – Banana Walk. In this complex you can buy branded clothes, jewelry, computer equipment. At Banana Walk, you can improve your mood by visiting the spa, or you can make yourself even more attractive at the hairdresser or at the Momento aesthetic center. You can also eat in this shopping center – for this, branded restaurants and cafes work here. The center has an indoor beer garden where live music is played at night.
As elsewhere in Phuket, Patong has many 7Eleven and Family Mart grocery stores. Estimated prices for products in Patong stores (in Thai currency):
- eggs – 40-44;
- 2 liters of milk – 70-90;
- ready-made food (noodles or rice with meat) – 30-40;
- cooked fish – 121;
- French fries – 29;
- cookies – 12-15;
- water (0.5 l) – 7-9;
- mango (1 kg) – 199;
- papaya (1 kg) – 99.
If you want to save money, you need to go shopping at the Super Cheap online hypermarket (the local population is buying up there). Prices in Super Cheap are 1.5-2 times lower than in stores. The closest to Patong is located at the new Phuket Town bus station – for 30 baht the blue songteos will be taken there.
The best way to get to know the real culture of Thailand is to walk around the market, watch the merchants and local buyers, buy something from food for yourself and souvenirs for friends.
As in any Thai market, Patong markets have a rule: when making a purchase, be sure to bargain!
Banzaan Market is a two-story indoor complex located next to the Jung Ceylon. On the 1st floor they sell vegetables, fruits and seafood. There is a food court on the 2nd floor where they can cook seafood or other food bought on the 1st floor. Here there are a couple of stalls with clothes, souvenirs, cosmetics, various household goods.
The indoor complex is open from 7:00 to 17:00. From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m., food vendors set up stalls next to the main building.
In the indoor market, products can be bought at the following prices (indicated in baht):
- pineapples, coconuts (1 pc.) – 60-70;
- mango (1 kg) – 40;
- shrimp (1 kg) – 750-1000;
- crabs (500 g) – 400-750;
- lobster – 1000-1800;
- oysters (1 pc) – 50.
On the night street market, prices are as follows (also in Thai currency):
- fruit smoothies 50-60;
- Freshes – 20-40;
- boiled shrimp (5 pcs) – 40;
- grilled shrimp (kebab) – 100;
- chicken kebab – 30;
- soup tom yam (portion) – 120;
- rolls (1 pc) – 6-7;
- boiled corn (1 pc.) – 25;
- ice cream – 100.
On the street Prachanukhro Road is one of the newest markets Patong – Malin Plaza. It works from 14:00 to 23:00.
There are clothes, bags, souvenirs, cosmetics – the range is huge, so there are many buyers. Food stalls are also present. A very large selection of seafood that can be cooked immediately. All food is very tasty, everything is always fresh.
Since Malin Plaza is tourist-oriented, prices here are slightly higher than at Banzaan Market.
The OTOP market is located at Rat U Thit 200 Pee Road, it is open every day from 10:00 to 24:00.
People come here for various souvenirs, including handicrafts. There are clothes too, but only inexpensive consumer goods for leisure: bathing suits for 200-300 baht, shorts and T-shirts for 100, glasses and hats for 50.
It is here that at the best prices you can buy aloe gel – the most effective remedy for sunburn.
Of course, on the OTOP Market there are bars and restaurants where you can eat deliciously.
Loma Market is located on Beach Road, opposite Phuket’s eponymous park. It is open every day from 12:00 to 23:00.
This food market, visitors are offered a varied Thai food. A lot of seafood that can be cooked here.
Prices are approximately the same as at Malin Plaza.
A huge advantage of Patong Beach in Phuket is a large selection of accommodation, from cheap guesthouses to expensive hotels. Even in the high season, housing can always be found, but the best options, like in other resorts in Thailand, must be booked in advance.
When compared with other places in Thailand and Phuket, the housing prices in Patong are quite reasonable. For example, a guesthouse room can be rented for only 400-450 baht per day. A hotel room with a convenient location will cost more – from 2000 baht per day. A 10-minute drive from the beach (on a motobike) you can rent a nice house for 11,000-13,000 baht per month.
The array with guesthouses and hotels is not located on the first line, but very close to the beach.
A selection of the best hotels in Patong, see here .
There are no less massage salons on Patong Beach than cafes and restaurants, so finding them will not be difficult. It is generally accepted that the best massage therapists work at 4 * and 5 * hotels, but this is not entirely true: there are good professionals in almost every salon, the main thing is to find “your” master.
It is immediately worth noting that everything that is offered on the beach is not serious, and not always beneficial. Especially need to protect the spine!
We need to tell you more about prices, and it should be clarified that traditional Thai massage is always the cheapest. The average cost at which it is proposed to be done is as follows (Thai currency is indicated):
- in hotels and special SPA salons – 600-800;
- in salons located in close proximity to the beach – 400-500;
- in the salons, which are located on the 3rd, 4th line from the beach, – 200-250.
If you liked the quality of the massage, especially if you plan to continue visiting the salon, massage therapists decided to leave a tip in the amount of 40-50 baht.
Many tourists recommend the institution Emotion Day (address: Rat U thit 200 Pi Rd., Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand). The salon is not luxury, but everything is very decent, neat and clean. Masters are good, friendly. Prices – 200-250 baht for 1 hour of Thai massage.
When choosing a massage parlor, you need to consider that there are those that work as cover for prostitutes. Usually, right on the street, girls dressed in the same color uniformly invite tourists (usually men) to massage. If you need a regular massage – you do not need to approach them.
Nightlife in Patong
In the evenings, the area next to Patong Beach looks like a solid party. Bangla Road is becoming the epicenter, since at 18:00 the traffic is blocked. The concentration of entertainment facilities on 1 m² on Bangla Road literally rolls over: discos, bars, nightclubs with “go-go-shows” and striptease. Deafening music is heard from every establishment, girls in revealing clothes at each door are invitingly invited to come in, noisy barkers are poked right in the face with advertisements for a porn show. Entrance to many nightlife venues is free if you buy a drink. On Bangla Road, you can take a picture with a ladyboy – many people like to have such an original photo from Patong Beach in Phuket.
Among tourists, the Simon Cabaret, located on the south side of Patong Beach (8 Sirirach Rd), is well known and popular. It hosts the largest transvestite show in Thailand – a vibrant musical with dances and songs to the soundtrack, with impressive scenery and special effects. The 1 hour show begins every day at 18:00, 19:30 and 21:00. At the box office, a ticket costs 700-800 baht, and some travel agencies offer them 50-100 baht cheaper.
Patong Beach is a bustling, youthful area with lots of entertainment options. It is ideal for lovers of parties and noisy festivities, for seekers of sexual adventures.