Patong, Thailand – where is it and what to see?

Patong

Patong is one of the resort areas of Phuket. It is located in the west of the Thai island and covers an area of about 7 km². In Thai, “Patong” means “banana forest”. Although Phuket Town is considered the capital of the island, Patong has enjoyed a reputation as the island’s main resort and tourist center since the 1980s. Here are Phuket’s most popular hotels, stores, and nightclubs and bars.

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Video: Patong

Highlights

Patong has plenty of “adult” entertainment venues, most of which are concentrated along Bangla Road and in the surrounding alleyways. For this, Patong is often referred to as “Little Pattaya” and the “Asian party capital”. Leisure here prefer young and active travelers.

The resort is known not only for its boisterous nightlife. Patong stretches along a 3-kilometer beach, and along the coast placed chairs and umbrellas from the sun. However, in recent years, the beach holiday here has lost its former popularity, because of the sprawling town the sea has become less clean.

Patong is known and sad events. In December 2004 this part of Phuket experienced a massive tsunami. The beach and surrounding buildings were destroyed more than other areas of the island. During the disaster thousands of vacationers and local residents were killed. However, Patong recovered fairly quickly and today almost nothing resembles the former tragedy.

Climatic features and seasons

Holidays in Patong and travel in Phuket can be all year round. In each of the months, Thailand opens in a different way, sometimes contrary to the weather forecasts. But most tourists prefer to come to the island during high season from November to March, when it rains less and is not so hot.

A feature of Thailand’s climate is that the air is heated evenly throughout the year. There are no large temperature differences, there are no long exhausting heat, and the sea water is always very warm. At any time of year holidaymakers are waiting for abundant, bright tropical vegetation and air heated from +28 ° C to +33 ° C. Thai seasons are beautiful and attractive in their own way.

Tourists come to Patong in November. This is the month of farewell to the monsoon winds, when the rainfall almost ceases. By December, the island attracts many tourists from all over the world. The air in this month is not too hot, and the sea water is very warm. Precipitation is a rare exception to the rule, and only for a short time. In January and February in Patong – the peak tourist season. Numerous travel agencies are working for tourists conducted a variety of excursions. The days are sunny, there is very little precipitation and the sea is warm. There are no storms, and small fresh winds on the coast are great for windsurfing and sailing.

March is considered the boundary between the high, dry season and the beginning of the monsoon period. However, Patong is still warm and sunny. In the first days of April the “winter” tourist season finally ends. At this time the resort becomes hot. In May begins the period of monsoon rains – humid and very hot. However, heavy downpours usually take place at night, and the bright sun dries out the ground and vegetation in a couple of hours.

June is considered a month of erratic forecasts, as the weather changes quickly. Constant winds pick up big waves. Storms and many natural sites, such as the Similan Islands, are closed to visitors. But the big waves attract a lot of surfers.

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In July, there are very few tourists in Patong, as the low season continues. Monsoon winds constantly blowing from the south-west make the resort town unsuitable for a quiet beach holiday. On the beach you can often see warning red flags – a ban on bathing. August in temperature and weather patterns is similar to July. Hot days alternate with heavy rains, and swimming is hampered by high waves.

September is the coolest month of the year in Patong, but the daytime temperature does not drop below +29°C even during this time. The monsoon season with its rains and strong winds does not stop. However, in September there are enough sunny days.

The weather in Patong in October is similar to September, but there is a little less rain. The peculiarity of this time on the island is the uncertainty of forecasts and their unpredictability. Sunny days can change with rain and vice versa. Nevertheless, the dry season is approaching day by day.

Beach Recreation and Water Activities

Patong beach is 3 kilometers long. It was once considered the best on the island, and for such an assessment was reasonable. The beach strip is not only long, but also quite wide. It is covered with uncharacteristic for Phuket fine white coral sand. The sea near the shoreline is shallow, and due to the bend of the lagoon big waves here – a rarity. In addition, the beach offers spectacular views of the green hills surrounding the bay.

These days, due to anthropogenic pollution, Patong beach is less quoted. During the high season, which lasts in Thailand from November to March, it is heavily overcrowded with holidaymakers. Today the beach chairs are in a few rows, and every 150 or 200 meters are parked jet skis and boats.

If you want, you can ride a banana and water skis here. On the beach rent jet skis and catamarans, and some tourists prefer parasailing. In addition, there are several dive centers in Patong, offering tourists qualified training and interesting dives.

If you focus only on beach vacation, the choice of Patong will be unsuccessful. However, if you plan to combine trips to the beach with a lot of nightlife and excursions, the place better than Patong!

Nightlife

When the sun goes down resort Patong comes to life. Here start working nightclubs and bars, cabarets and go-go dance, strip shows and discos. Most of these institutions are concentrated in the center of the resort town, on Bangla Road, which runs perpendicular to the beach, as well as on the side of her Soi (alley).

The second nightlife spot of Patong is Paradise Complex, located on Rat-U-Thit Road. It is extremely popular among non-traditional people.

Patong is home to the island’s largest transvestite show, Simon’s Cabaret, which offers musical performances twice a day at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. The local artists are famous for their colorful costumes, great plastique and the ability to show parody numbers. They excel in the art of transformation. The famous cabaret show is located on the south of Patong.

Tourist attractions, attractions and excursions

In the center of Patong is a Buddhist wat (temple) Suwan Khiri Wong. His area is open to all comers from early morning to late evening. The temple was built at a time when this place was just a small fishing village.

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You can get acquainted with the traditional Muay Thai boxing at the Patong Boxing Stadium. Several times a week here are held fights with professional boxers.

In the north of Patong stretches a green park Loma. This is a great place for a walk in the shade of the trees. In addition, the park often hosts local festivals and celebrations.

Boat tours to the islands and trips to sea fishing are popular from the resort town. Memorable excursions can be made to the Mining Museum, located in Kathu, or in the nursery “Kingdom of the Tiger,” the territory of which is at the foot of Patong Hill.

Shopping in the Patong area

A resort town like Patong is a great place to buy beach goods, clothing and shoes, as well as various souvenirs and handicrafts. Inexpensive goods can be purchased from private vendors or small shops selling along Patong Beach.

If prices are less important and you want to see the whole range in one place, it is worth checking out the large shopping center “Jungceylon Shopping Mall”, which appeared in the resort town in 2006. It is a few steps away from the famous Bangla Road and 1 km from the beach. It sells natural cosmetics, handicrafts made of coconut and wood, crockery and national clothing. In addition to chain stores and boutiques, there are many restaurants, bars and cafes in Jangceylon.

Other major shopping centers in Patong are Big C Hypermarket and Robinson Department Store. These stores often have sales, and the range of products they offer will satisfy the most demanding customer.

Useful Tips for Tourists

  • In Thailand it is allowed only to pay in local currency, so the exchange of money at the airport.
  • There are no problems with accommodation in Patong. There are more than 500 hotels and hostels in the city. If you want, you can find very cheap rooms and rooms, for example, with the famous booking service Booking.com.
  • In Patong there are many Russian speaking expats, or as they are called here, “farangs”, so those who do not speak English, usually have no problem getting the information they need.
  • Patong has a vibrant and active life by day and night. If you want to spend your vacation in a quieter and lonely area, it is better to look for options to the south or north. This is especially true for those tourists who are focused exclusively on beach holidays.
  • The prices for services and entertainment in Patong are higher than the average in Phuket. But it is easier to rent inexpensive lodging here.

Tsunami 2004

A tsunami of catastrophic destruction and loss of life occurred on December 26, 2004. It was the peak of the tourist season, when many travelers came to Thailand to celebrate Catholic Christmas and the New Year. The giant waves were caused by a massive underwater earthquake (9.1 magnitude) that struck the Indian Ocean near the island of Sumatra. Echoes of the natural elements even reached the shores of South Africa, where waves up to 1.5 meters high were recorded.

Waves 5-10 meter high reached the western coast of Thailand in 2 hours after the underground shocks had started. Particularly affected were the Similan Islands, Phi Phi, Krabi, Lanta, Khao Lak and of course Phuket.

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Patong was one of the first to experience the deadly waves. There was no warning of the approaching tsunami, so the elements came to the resort unexpectedly. The high waves came to the coast at a speed of 500 kilometers per hour. They completely destroyed the beach, flooded the one-story hotels and guest houses, destroyed most of the buildings of the first coastal line, vehicles, trees and all communications. There is no exact data on the deaths in Patong to this day, but it is believed that the victims of the elements were about 3000 tourists and locals, and several hundred people are missing.

It should be paid tribute to the Thai authorities, the consequences of the disaster were eliminated very quickly. After two years from the devastation in Patong no trace was left.

Today the resort town operates a system for monitoring tsunamis and warn residents and tourists about their possible occurrence. It was tested in 2012, when the Andaman coast was threatened by a new natural disaster.

Special offers on hotels

How to get there

Patong is 35 kilometers from Phuket International Airport. By any mode of transport, depending on the traffic, it takes 40-55 minutes to get to Patong.

The easiest, though not the most economical option, is a cab. Such a trip will cost 800 THB. You can not book a cab in advance, as near the airport there are always a lot of cars. Hire a cab conveniently at any of the specialized desks that are open near the exit of the arrival hall. Depending on your wishes, you can order a spacious sedan and a minivan.

The second option is to take a minibus to Patong. The trip by this type of transport costs 180 THB. You can order a minibus transfer at the same cab stand. Keep in mind that the minibus will take all passengers to their hotels, so those who were last (on the list of hotels) have to wait long. The minibus ride’s disadvantages are that you have to wait an hour or so for the cabin to be full. In addition, enterprising drivers try to take tourists to the office selling tours or offer passengers to buy something from them. Minibuses do not run at night.

The third option is to take a shuttle from the airport to Patong. The cost of such a trip – 120 THB. The bus stops near the airport exit and runs about once an hour.

You can take a municipal shuttle to Phuket Town. There, shuttle buses run from Phuket Bus Terminal to Patong. The bus ride takes much longer than the minibus, but it has a significant advantage. All buses are equipped with a compartment for bulky luggage, but minibuses are not.

You can rent a passenger car at the airport. This is convenient for anyone who wants to travel independently in Phuket. However, keep in mind that car rental on the island – a pleasure not cheap.

Patong Beach

If you come to the Thai province of Phuket for the first time, and you are not very lucky with the travel company, you are likely to live on Patong Beach. The beach is quite large, its length is more than 3 kilometers, but because of the countless hotels, hostels and other fairly cheap places to stay Patong Beach reminds Gelendzhik in the peak season in Russia. Perhaps I wouldn’t even be surprised if I heard: “Corn, hot corn, juicy, sweet, hot corn!” (or something like that).

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When I was on Patong Beach for the first time, I have forbidden to visit this place forever, but as a permanent resident of Phuket, which from time to time comes to friends from my homeland, I have to look here.

Patong Beach on a map of Phuket

How to get there

  • Cab. There are two ways. 1) You can take a car from a special counter marked Taxi Service or book a tour bureau (small stalls, offering tours). The cost should be clarified immediately, even before ordering a car and haggle for half the price. The trip from the nearest areas (Rawai, Chalong, Kata, Nai Harn, Patong) to Karno Beach will not cost less than 200 baht. 2) Catch a car marked Tahi-meter and don’t forget the magic phrase turn on meter or “turn on the meter”. Insist on it until the cab driver fulfills the request.
  • Tuk-tuk cabs are small 4-, 6- and 8-seat cars mostly red or blue (sometimes green, pink, yellow), which are ubiquitous on the island. You can catch them right on the road. The cost of your trip should be negotiated immediately. So just haggle, haggle, haggle till the driver says “Ok. Journey from the nearest areas – from 100 baht.
  • Motorbike-taxi. On the roads of Thailand go uncles and aunties in vests (red, blue and orange) with a number and offer motorbike-taxi services. The fare is 3-4 times lower than the cab by car, and you’ll get a breeze to anywhere on the island. The cost of travel – from 50 baht. It is worth noting that this type of travel is the most extreme.
  • Bus from Phuket-town or Kata Beach. On the main roads of the beaches go island buses: large blue, something like a tuk-tuk. They say where the bus is coming from and where it’s going to, in Thai and English. For a small fee you will get to the main beaches of the island. The cost is 35 baht. Read more about public transport in Phuket here.
  • Motorcycle or car for rent. Any self-respecting Thai neighborhood is full of signs Bike for rent. Without hesitation go in, look at the “park” and choose to your liking. The cost of renting – from 150 baht a day (it all depends on the model chosen). Deposit: passport or 3,000 baht. Please note that when renting you filled out a bike card is such a form on which the bike. The administrator marks on it where the bike has scratches and abrasions. On the card be sure to put your signature, I also write something in Russian. I advise to even videotape the entire bike in a circle, with emphasis on places that may confuse you later. Absolutely identical situation with the car for rent, though the cost, from 600 baht per day.

Infrastructure

Patong Beach is not far from Kata and Karon beaches. So, a little more about the beach. The sand is fine, golden, the bottom is gentle. But despite the efforts of Thais and the constant cleaning of the beach, keep track of the crowds of tourists is impossible, and the culture of “clean where you rest” instilled not everyone. Therefore, in the sand are often found unpleasant “impurities” in the form of cigarette butts, caps, and sometimes a larger and less pleasant garbage – shards from bottles, bottles themselves (both plastic and glass), condoms.

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On the beach, of course, you will find not only garbage and tourists, but also well-known entertainment: water-skiing, jet skis for rent, you can do parasailing (fly on a parachute behind the boat), surfboards for rent and play volleyball on specially equipped courts. Well, of course, you can always get sun loungers and umbrellas (150 baht a day) – in specially designated areas, of course.

The water on the beach is quite clean, but for this we have to thank the active sea in the area. It is worth remembering that all Patong is “freshly rebuilt” after the tsunami of 2004, which destroyed the first two lines of Patong Beach. On the walls are now visible writings “during the tsunami run there” and arrows – where to run.

Patong is famous for a very well-developed infrastructure. Here you will find the famous fast food chains, and just restaurants with European cuisine. Even the Thai cuisine here is more Europeanized, less spicy, but in my opinion less tasty. In addition, the food portions here in the hotel area are smaller and more expensive. But if you are not afraid to go deep into the alleys, you can find authentic Thai food courts where you can taste delicious Thai food, find inexpensive fruits and soak up the Thai spirit without being burdened by Europe.

Where to Eat

I love the food courts that are on the third line. By the way, Patong is the only beach with not one main road, but three. They are perpendicular to each other and the beach. Accordingly, the first one goes directly along the beach, the others – 500 meters from each other and are connected by both large roads and small alleys.

If you are already intrigued, walk to the third line and just walk along it. I am more than sure you will find a place that will interest you. I won’t talk about the big and hyped restaurants, but at the local food court the normal price for pad thai is rice noodles with egg and vegetables, meat or seafood. Pad Thai with chicken is 60 baht.

Where to go

Sightseeing, however, near Patong Beach is not so much a few, they are almost non-existent. The only sights are Wat Suwan Khiri Wong temple and Bangla Road (you can read more about it in the article about Bangla Road).

Perhaps Patong is one of the few beaches that are bustling with life around the clock. There is always something to see here, even without leaving the beach. There are always motorcycle cabs, tuk-tuks and just cabs. Tired of the bustling life, with Patong Beach, you can always, at any time of day to go to a quieter place.

Conclusion: the beach itself is dirty and crowded with tourists, food prices are quite high, there are almost no attractions. In general, the beach is suitable for those, who are not going to sit in place, or have arrived with one exclusive purpose – parties and clubs.

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