If you ever find yourself on Phuket Island, Thailand, you should definitely visit Patong Beach. Although Phuket is a relatively large island with many beaches, Patong is the most famous and most visited beach. It is also the best-developed beach with tourist attractions, colorful nightlife, restaurants, and other entertainment. Unsurprisingly, you can see people from all over the world and hear ten different languages day and night.
Patong Beach is 39 km from Phuket Airport. Phuket Airport is one of the busiest airports in Thailand, with nearly 16 million passengers passing through more than 37 countries each year. And if your first thought after landing is for Patong Beach, then you can reach it in one of the following ways:
- with a taxi or a limousine taxi, it will take you about 50 minutes depending on traffic. The cost of ordinary taxis varies between 700 – 1,050 baht per taxi, not per passenger. The cost of limousine taxis, of course, is higher.
- with one of the two airport buses. You need the cream-colored bus with a blue line, not the bright orange bus. You can buy a ticket from the driver. The bus departs every hour from 7.30 in the morning. The price to get to Patong is 150 baht.
- minivan – around 180 baht, but this option is not recommended as they are often overcrowded; travel may take longer due to the frequent stopping of the minivan by various travel agencies who will try to sell you their services.
Once you have reached Patong Beach and its beautiful golden strip of almost 3 km, which is surrounded by greenery, just stop and enjoy the view. As soon as you step on the warm, fine sand, you will fall in love with the unreal blue waters that seem to merge with the sky far, far along the horizon line. If you want to enjoy this beauty as much as possible, you need to plan your trip from late November to March. This is the best period, with plenty of sun, calm waters and minimal rainfall. By the end of December, the beaches are crowded but with maximum fun. January, when the peak of the tourist party atmosphere is reached, the prices for accommodation, travel, attractions, and shopping are the highest. If you do not have a problem with that, you will also enjoy the ideal weather conditions for a great beach vacation.
If you do not manage to organize your vacation by the end of March, April and May will offer you one last chance to catch the sun, calm waters and a bonus: even fewer tourists to compete for a spot on the beach.
The north part of the beach, which is close to Graceland resort, is more beautiful and less populated. There are fewer people in this area of Patong and more options to park your car or motorbike if you came on one. You can also enjoy a great variety of local food here, like fruits to try under the shade of one of the many palm trees.
If you are one of the people who love to spend the whole day on the beach and enjoy the sun, great! Patong will offer you its warm sand and plenty of sunshine for a tan! You can rent a sun lounger, book a beach massage or relax in the warm waters. Depending on your budget, you can choose the most ordinary massage or a five-star massage experience at one of the hotels and spas, a guarantee for your relaxation on the beach.
But if you do not like sleeping on the beach all day and are a more active type, then don’t worry. During the day, there are plenty of activities to please your sports soul.
Diving – In the months from late November to April, you can enjoy wonderful diving conditions on Phuket Island, with November and December being considered the best for this endeavor. During these months, the visibility is best. As the season progresses, the sea is getting warmer and visibility decreases.
Visit various beach events – if you find yourself at Patong Beach in March, you can enjoy a unique celebration of St. Patrick’s Day. A large number of local pubs celebrate it with Irish live music, traditional Guinness beer and Irish food, such as at Molly Malone’s located on Patong Beach. If you decide to spend December on the island, you can celebrate at the Patong Carnival and Seafood Festival. It is held annually for one week in December, and you can check the exact dates in advance to make sure you don’t miss it. Together with the locals of Phuket, you can enjoy light shows, beautiful and intricate parades, traditional dance performances, live music, and much, much more fun.
You can pick up a small handmade souvenir, to remember this unique December, at some of the small shops that appear during the month. Or grab a bite at one of the small food stalls along the stretch of Patong Beach. If you’re on this beautiful white beach on December 31st, you’ll enjoy an amazing one-of-a-kind New Year with beach barbecue, live entertainment, gala dinners, and a great fireworks show. The biggest free entertainment is right on the beautiful Patong Beach.
Parasailing, jet-skiing, banana boat, water skiing – always negotiate with the operators beforehand and don’t forget to request a life jacket as well. Be careful with motor water sports because most of them do not include insurance and you can often fall victim to fraud. If the conditions of one operator do not suit you, the abundance of beach operators guarantees that you will find something just right for you. And if you want something more controlled, you can visit Surf House Patong Beach, a surf center where you can safely learn to surf on various slides.
Pre-booked Tour – Yes, you can book a tour in advance for one of your Patong days, such as the Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience. Here you can enjoy the jungle in all its beauty. It lasts about 8 hours and the price varies according to the booking period.
Or choose an “8 Popular Beaches day trip in Phuket”, which is a one-day tour where you will explore Patong and 7 other great beaches. The tour starts from Karon beach, followed by Patong, Kata Beach, Rawai Beach, Naiharn Sauna, Kamala beach, Surin beach, and Bang Tao beach. You will have about 30 minutes on each beach.
Talking about booking a tour, you can enjoy one after the sun goes down. Patong can offer you rooftop bars, beach clubs, world-class nightclubs. What better way to see the best of them than a pub crawl.
If you want a complete experience you can book a Phuket Bar Crawl: Underground party tour. The tour lasts about 5 hours. Experienced local and western guides will show you the best places in Patong. Tours are always striving to improve, so expect a different list of unique bars each time. And the end of the tour is at Patong’s best club, the White Room.
Not in the mood for bars and clubs? No problem. Go to the movies.
The only cinema complex is located in Patong. The Jungceylon Shopping Complex, diagonally on Bangla Road, is a paradise for lovers of cinema, shopping, and entertainment. Featuring a five-room SF Cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley, this is the perfect experience for a rainy day or an escape from the heat of the day. With a supermarket and more than 200 different stores, if you like to shop, this is your place. Branded clothing, sunglasses, cosmetics, perfumes, shoes, computer games, and more products await you at this mall.
If you want to enjoy local food, you can try the so-called ‘Food Court’ just meters from Patong Beach. A popular concept in Asia where you can order food at one of the many stands built around the central table area.
Or maybe you would like to visit a good restaurant? Some good options for Patong Beach are La Gritta, with Italian food; Pan Yaah and Kaab Gluay with Thai food or Karlsson’s if you’re a fan of meat and especially steaks. A good rooftop bar is Sizzle.
If you’re not in the mood for traditional local food, you can always go to McDonald’s, KFC or Hard Rock Café.
If you are ready to put up with overcrowding because of the popularity of the beach, and a little push here and there. Maybe stepping on your towel or some sand from passing tourists. Don’t forget to beware of the abundance of sea fun, like jet skiing when you enter the water. Then Patong Beach will surely remain in your memories for a long time. With its beautiful beach and blue waters. With day and night entertainment. With its colorful, always vibrating atmosphere.
And don’t forget! Just enjoy Patong Beach! Drink plenty of water and learn the meaning of “mai pen rai” or “don’t worry, be happy”.