Arriving In Patong Beach
We were off to see another beach area on our visit to Thailand. After our planned lazy week in Krabi, we wanted to taste test the fun at Patong Beach in Phuket. Pronounced as ”Poo-ket”, with the P is softened slightly, the K can sound more like a G and the final T is not a hard T. Don’t call it “f-it”.
Everyone will tell you that Phuket in general and Patong Beach specifically are known as party central. You can certainly find fun at Patong Beach! We did NOT go to Phuket because we are big partiers, but more to see something different from the quiet resort ambiance of Krabi. We booked only 2 nights because we knew that would give us enough. Booking a hotel on the north end of the beach, we hoped we would be away from some of the crazy party fun at Patong Beach.
It was about an hour drive from the port in Rassada where we arrived by ferry from Krabi. This was a much more developed area of Thailand.
Night Fun at Patong Beach
Arriving at our hotel, we quickly showered to cool down and headed back out into the heat for dinner. We had heard there was lots of seafood in this town and that was our goal. While originally targeting an air conditioned spot, we were enticed by the large display of fresh fish in the Nana Lobster restaurant much closer to the hotel. No air conditioning but the menu had a wide variety to tempt us.
We wandered around after dinner. The beach road was busy as packed taxis raced past. Since the beach was dark, we were a bit hesitant to do a night beach walk.
As we headed up to our room, we could hear music blaring and the bass pounding. There was party fun at Patong Beach going on somewhere close by. Sitting on our balcony looking over our pool, we were entertained until the party seemed to soften around 10pm.
But before the music shut down, we heard the familiar thunder sound that we had now come to recognize as fireworks. David rushed to get his camera. The fireworks were just out of sight and by the time we had our shoes on, the noise had stopped. We would not get a light show this night.
Crazy Fun at Patong Beach
In the morning, we headed down for some beach fun at Patong Beach before the mid-day sun arrived. Our day bag contained just the bare minimum to get us by for a few hours – towels, a few bottles of water, a wet bag for my iPhone and reef shoes (which we didn’t need because the beach was all sand).
It was clear as soon as we neared the beach that this was where the day fun at Patong Beach happened. Safe swimming areas were well marked off, separated by large sections of the beach that were signed with “Caution” for water activities.
When we hit the beach we could see 4 paragliders up. The paragliders were launched from the shore with a line to the boat. While the passenger was harnessed in, his “driver” stood on the ropes of the paraglider over the passenger’s shoulder and holding onto the ropes, pulled them to steer.
The paraglider moved up and down and in and out over the beach until the “driver” expertly put the passenger down back on the sand. This was certainly great fun at Patong Beach!
We were not sure how crazy you had to be to as the paraglider “driver”. Your job was to ride high in the air holding onto just the thin guide ropes, moving like a monkey to pull the ropes for guidance. I am sure there was no safety agency approving this job! But the passengers got a great ride and a pretty guaranteed soft landing back on the beach.
When there were no paraglider customers, the boats were quickly changed out to pull banana boats and large tubes. These rides looked nowhere as exciting as they pulled people around in small circles. There were jet-skis for rent as well. I am sure that if you walked far enough along the beach you could find almost anything you wanted to try.
At the end of the day, you could see all of the water craft loaded on trailers and hauled away in a long convoy.
Lazy Fun at Patong Beach
If you were more interested in suntanning, you could either plop down on the beach with a towel or for a small fee rent an umbrella and mat for the day (about 200TBT or $7.50CAN). If you were one of the many people really partying on Patong Beach, you could drop face down in the sand and pass out. Just be careful you don’t get run over as the beach comes to life in the morning.
For our beach fun at Patong Beach, we spent some time just bobbing in the water cooling down and watching the show go on around us. The water was warm and the waves were gentle, very unlike the surfing beaches we had been pounded on in Bali.
We were pleased to find the hawkers missing on the beach. We were not entreated to buy beach toys, hair braids or get a beach massage. The water sports guys were not aggressive if you said “no” once. Some of the beach road stands we walked past while we were in Patong Beach had much more aggressive sales people who chased us down more than once. But even though there were big signs warning about phoney sales of timeshare condo properties, we were rarely approached about this scam.
Night Market Fun at Patong Beach
If you visit Thailand, you need to make sure to visit the night markets. Every town will have several.
The Loma Night Market on the north end of the Patong beach offered great night market fun at Patong Beach. This market was mostly focused on food and the vast majority of the food was a wide and fresh selection of seafood. You could have almost any kind of seafood you wanted – including such rarities as skate and cockles – cooked on the bbq in front of your eyes.
If you wanted meat you could get anything from gator to deer!
You could get fresh cooked Thai food, a broad selection of fruit or smoothies and of course, a cocktail (how about a spicy mojito) or beer. There would be no better place to get your fill of great food than the night market fun at Patong Beach.
This market had a small row of shops selling anything you could possibly want. While everything appeared to have authentic labels, we were sure that most of this was either black market fakes. Since we really had nothing on our shopping list, we looked but passed by with a smile.
We Enjoyed Patong Beach
We would eat well in Patong Beach. As we had found first in Bali and then again in Thailand, there was great Italian food to be had. We were also lured into a new restaurant on the main beach drag (Patong Marina) and found the food to be fast, reasonably priced and good. The menu was diverse enough that we could have piping hot Thai spring rolls for an appetizer with good Spaghetti Bolognese as a main course.
It was a quick visit to see the fun at Patong Beach in Phuket. Whether it is night excitement, beach play or night market fun at Patong Beach – you will find something to watch.
Heading to the airport to return to Bangkok, we saw a much more diverse view of Phuket than the party beach Patong. There are other parts of Phuket that we may enjoy more. Phuket was certainly a great gateway to other areas in this part of Thailand – Krabi, Phi Phi or Lanta. If you found the right place, you could use Phuket as a base for day trips.
Did you have fun at Patong Beach in Phuket? Would you recommend somewhere else in Phuket? Did you use Phuket for day trips?