16/01/2019 Sepp Hatzl 1,473 views Phuket Beaches Directory No Comments
Patong Beach is the one place you just CANNOT MISS when you travel to Phuket Southern Thailand?
This is the main tourist area of Phuket Island, and is located in the southern region of the west side of the island between Kalim and Tri Trang beaches, and almost due west of Phuket Town. This small 4 km2 (1.5 mi2) town is the main area for beach, nightlife, shopping, and just about everything you could want to do on the island of Phuket.
If you’re coming to Phuket, don’t skip visiting Patong Beach!
Patong Beach is a wide and sandy northwest facing beach about 2.8 kilometers long (just under 2 miles) with over 110,000 m2 (1.2 million ft2). Patong isn’t just for people watching, window shopping, and getting dizzy on alcohol – it is also scenic! There is a lovely view from the beach – especially from either end. No, this isn’t the most scenic part of Phuket, but you won’t be disappointed when you arrive. The beach faces northwest and is large enough that sunsets can be experienced all along the soft sandy stretch of beach.
Patong Beach became popular in the late 1980’s when travelers, mostly from Europe, came to spend weeks at a time in a state of total relaxation. Things were much slower then!
In 2017, Phuket International Airport received over 8,000,000 visitors. Many of them made it down to Patong Beach. The Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT) is expecting to beat that number in 2018 and beyond. Most visitors to Phuket are from China, then Russia, Australia, Korea, and then the United Kingdom comes in fifth place.
The beach itself is highly commercialized, as you might expect. There are restaurants along some sections of the beach where you can eat or drink to your heart’s content. There are women offering massage (legit), hair braiding, and other personal services. You can rent just about anything on the beach to stay afloat, or to help you relax. Beach chairs and umbrellas, floats, or blow up chairs are common.
Set in a deep cove with hills at each end, the north and south ends of Patong Beach are protected from some wind. The sand is deep, fine, and soft at Patong Beach, and very light – almost white in some areas.
The beach is very wide and long, and there is a lot of space for the thousands of visitors that spend some time here daily. Patong Beach is definitely the most popular beach on the Island of Phuket because it’s so convenient to reach from all the hotels where most people choose to stay to be close to nightlife, shopping, and good restaurants.
The ocean is calm and good for swimming and wading. When waves are bigger, it’s OK for surfing or bodyboarding. The main feature is that it’s convenient and everything you need to enjoy an easy day is right here within easy reach.
Yes, Patong Beach is mostly clear of underwater rocks and coral reef. It’s a great place for wading, swimming, and even snorkeling at either end near the rocks is fine. During high season the waves are smaller, sometimes no more than a couple inch high waves! Really, the water is smooth like glass during many days from November through March.
Because there are so many people visiting the beach, rubbish is something of a problem. The sand isn’t so clean, with beer bottle caps and broken glass occasionally found. It’s just what you might expect at a beach where millions visit each year. The government has added many more garbage bins in recent years, so it is getting better. Still not perfect! You’ll find this is the case with all beaches in Thailand, there are probably none without trash of some sort laying around. Don’t let it detract from your enjoyment of the place. They’re working on it, slowly.
You can eat at your mat or lounge chair on the beach if you want. Bring your own food for a picnic or buy something you’ve never before eaten while you’re there. Vendors selling fresh cut fruit, fruit smoothies, beverages, grilled chicken or pork, and seafood are always close-by and only a short walk away. The variety of food available is a bit overwhelming. There are restaurants on Beach Road and within one-block walking distance inland are dozens of places to eat – Thai food, or just about anything you crave is available.
Vegetarian dishes are available at the beach, but you may have to search around a bit. The only time you won’t have to look hard for vegetarian food is during the Jeh Festival in October – also known as the Vegetarian Festival. Many locals pledge to eat only vegetarian during this time, and restaurants cater to them.
Yes, there are a couple of restrooms along the beach, but not nearly enough. Most people try to use restaurants or hotel restrooms along the beach instead of walking a great distance to the public restroom. Most of the time you’ll be able to do the same.
The beach is nice enough that most people who just want to spend some time in the water or gawking will enjoy Patong Beach. Nightlife is the main reason people are staying in Patong Beach instead of elsewhere on the island where the geography, the scenery, is so much more stunning.
Patong Beach at night around Soi Bangla – the nightlife hotspot – is going strong from 9 pm. and later, every night unless there is a Buddhist holiday or other national holiday. Bars and clubs close between 1 am. and 4 am. each night, and it’s generally a lot quieter after 2-3 am. Still, there are always some clubs who pay officials extra to remain open later (at least there have been in the past.)
There is a lot to do at the beach, it’s not just all about falling asleep on your beach chair or mat. There is also jogging; swimming; wading; snorkeling; massage; lunch or dinner on the beach; a small children’s area; photography; people watching; bars on the beach (all hours); banana boats; jet skis; kayaks; snorkeling (not so good here); parasailing; longtail boat rides to other beaches or to islands.
Yes! During the months of April to October, there can be ridable waves for surfers and bodyboarders. Sometimes the waves can even reach two meters high (almost 7 feet). Waves are very small during most of the high-season months (November to May), though big storms can increase wave size at any time.
For those of you interested in surfing in Patong Beach there are some small waves, some ridable on longboards, at various times throughout the year, usually associated with a storm front. Kids with bodyboards can enjoy the smaller waves too – there are rentals on the beach when the waves are around 1 meter. Even if the waves are small, kids still have a blast with bodyboards – so consider renting them.
Longboards are usually your best bet at Patong Beach when waves are a meter or so in height. If the swell gets bigger than a meter, short board riding is possible when the waves are coming in fast. You may be surprised that, even with all the people who are are at the beach, you’ll find very few surfers on the water. This is great news for surfers who are here on a day when the waves happen to grow to 1+ meters.
Almost always, the best Patong Beach waves are found at the north end of the beach, close to the piles of rocks. For decades, this has been the best spot to be when the waves start cranking in Patong. Go early morning to get the good waves to yourself while everyone else is sleeping off their hangovers. This spot does get somewhat crowded on epic surf days.
For more information where to surf in Phuket check out the following blog post: 17 Best Phuket Surfing Beaches
A local guy named Day who operates out of the Baan Andaman Sea & Surf Guesthouse can often hook you up with a surfboard rental. He’ll actually deliver it to you at the beach or your hotel in Patong Beach.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org; Phone: +66 126.96.36.199 (local 089.973.2161) or +66 188.8.131.523 (local 083.522.8523). If at all possible, call him because email is hit or miss.
You can feel free to come to Patong Beach anytime, from anywhere, it is publicly accessible from many directions. Beach Road runs the length of the beach, and visitors can enter anywhere along the beach, even walking through hotel lobbies in most cases without a problem. No fees to use the beach.
Yes, offshore is possible. Patong Beach is a deep cove that provides some protection from the wind and waves from certain directions.
There is a small boat pier at the southern end of Patong Beach, but there are longtail boats all along the beach.
There is only one club actually on the sand of the beach at Patong. That’s OK because there are dozens of other clubs close to the beach in Patong. Try the clubs we list below, but don’t stop there! There are so many good clubs in Patong – try as many as you can during your stay.
With our thorough list of awesome beaches within a short 30-40 minutes drive (depending traffic) of your accommodations in Patong, you won’t waste time driving around and looking for your preferred beach! You will have 10 great beaches to choose from, with directions from Patong Beach for each one. Don’t waste any time – grab a towel and swimsuit and get going, the beach is waiting! Click the following link to read the full blog: 10 Amazing Phuket Beaches near Patong Beach.
For more Patong Beach information check out the Blog:
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