Patong Beach is Phuket's main tourist resort. There are plenty of great restaurant bars and clubs to make sure you’re kept constantly entertained, whether travelling as a family or just looking to party.
The beach stretches along three kilometres of idyllic golden sand, surrounded by green headlands and clear water, which by day is lined with rows of sun loungers and umbrellas. Grab one (for a small daily fee), lie back and be waited on hand and foot by vendors selling a variety of delicacies including cooling ice cream, cocktails, delicious Pad Thai and juicy burgers. For a self-indulgent treat, book yourself a beachside massage.
If you don’t like to sit around too much, hire a jet ski, windsurf or kayak and take to the water. Adrenaline junkies can sign up for a banana boat ride, or go water skiing, wakeboarding or parasailing. Equipment is available from vendors throughout the length of the beach and no level of experience is necessary. For fun beneath the waves, the rocks at the north end of Patong offer excellent snorkelling, while back on the beach, there are usually games of beach volleyball taking place in the afternoon, which anyone can join.
Literally hundreds of locals walk along the beach selling goods such as jewellery, silks, clothing and carved wooden ornaments, so it’s a great place to pick up souvenirs. Do as the locals do and try out your bartering skills, or politely refuse and they’ll move on. Away from the water, Patong’s bustling streets are filled with shops and restaurants. At sunset, market stalls line the pavements selling beachwear, leather goods and electronics. To get a taste for the local culture away from the beach, take a Thai cookery class, or ride an elephant to see views of the town from another perspective!
Bangla Road and the Paradise Complex are Patong’s main clubbing areas—you can’t miss them with their bright neon lights and colourful go-go dancers. If the party scene isn’t for you, it’s probably best to give them a wide berth. The Paradise Complex area is also home to many of the local gay clubs.
Patong Beach is on the west coast of Phuket Island. It is around 16 kilometres west of Phuket Town and 36 kilometres from the International Airport.