While Phuket remains Thailand’s most popular island destination, there is one area of the island that visitors have a love-hate relationship with. That area is, of course, Patong Beach.
Patong Beach was the first area of Phuket to be heavily developed. As a result, it is an absolute mess, with concrete everywhere. The beach is filthy, the people are an unwholesome bunch and the whole vibe of the place is decidedly uncomfortable. Yet because it was the first area to be developed, it remains the most popular place for tourists, who are usually ferried to Patong Beach straight from the airport.
What Patong Beach has going for it is that it’s easy. There are budget accommodations, exotic nightlife, and cheap booze all around. The nightlife at Patong Beach is its primary draw, but it is also the reason why many people hate the area.
There are a few go-go bars and lots of beer bars where you inevitably come across numerous bar girls. If you can see past that, there are some fun nights out to be had in Patong, but otherwise, what else are you going to do there?
There’s no point in going to the beach because it’s horrid. The shopping is expensive and the food is overpriced. Yet people still flock to Patong Beach.
What’s amazing is that people visit Patong Beach and then think they have seen Phuket. Madness. These people have only seen the side of Phuket that the tour operators want them to see.
Patong Beach is a decent place to start off your Phuket adventure. You can get yourself settled and plan where else you will go. It’s easy enough to get around, either by songthaew (like a bus) or by hiring a motorbike. Forget about taxis, because there are none. Tuk-tuks are way overpriced, too.
A trip to Phuket is what you make it, so don’t make it all about Patong. To give you an idea of what the place is like, here’s a video is taken from some of the nightspots at Patong Beach.