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Patong Beat

When they think of Patong Beach, many people probably just think about the nightlife - the beer bars and bar girls.

January 2008
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But Patong is far from just a spot for night owls. It's also perfect for anyone wanting to take a break and relax. It has a beautiful beach, many activities on offer both in and out of the water, along with shopping centres, shows and entertainment centres. All these things have made Patong into Phuket's most famous holiday spot. Achirawit Churmung takes his camera on the prowl.

  • Patong has a wide curved bay stretching for four kilometres with turquoise sea and powdery sand. Anyone who comes to Phuket and doesn't see Patong has really missed out.

The town has all the facilities you could possibly need. There are many hotels, from top-end five-star resorts down to small family-owned places. There are restaurants of all standards and prices offering menus from around the world as well as a full range of tourist information centres.

  • Patong Beach is around 15 kilometres from Phuket City and 40 minutes from the airport. Transport is easy with taxis, buses or tuk-tuks, as well as the option of self-drive car rental.
  • The resort is an excellent spot for watersports. If you're looking for some speed and excitement then jetskiing might be for you. Jetskis are available for rent along the whole beach at about 1,000 baht for 30 minutes, though do be careful to avoid areas where people are swimming.

If you want to get a view of Patong from up on high, give parasailing a go. As the speedboat pulls you up into the air, you'll easily understand why Patong has become so renowned for its natural beauty. If you don't want to miss some great shots then you should take your camera with you (don't forget to put a waterproof casing on it first). Apart from this, there are also banana boats, great for groups and families wanting to go out together.

  • After midday, the sun gets rather strong. The heat is sure to make you think of cold ice cream. Recommended for relief is Re Gelato on the road one back from the beach (Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd) near the entrance to the Paradise Hotel. This shop sells real Italian ice cream. Closer to the beach there's also a Haagen Daz outlet.
  • For those wanting to lounge about by the beach, sunloungers and parasols are available for hire. There are also Thai traditional massage services to ease away any aches and pains for around 300 baht per hour, and wandering hair dressers who can braid and bead your hair for you.

 

  • Toward the end of the day, the beachfront throngs with tourists waiting to watch the sun go down, jogging or walking along the beach, or playing impromptu games of volleyball or soccer. Just say hello and join in.
  • When you come to the seaside you just have to eat seafood. In Patong, try Savoey Seafood or Patong Seafood. Both are on the beach road. If you go for a walk around, you'll find rows of seafood restaurants from the top to the bottom of the beach. Restaurants on Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd opposite the entrance to the Paradise Hotel are very popular as the prices are low and the food is fresh and delicious.

The restaurants in Patong have boards with prices clearly written down to avoid confusion.

  • Patong at night is really a sight to behold. It has built up a reputation for its shops, similar to Soi Lalai Sap off Silom Rd in Bangkok, with lots of choice to delight shoppers. Art lovers will also be happy as Patong abounds with art galleries, both large and small, with Thai and foreign pieces. Baan Lai Mai, in particular, has thousands of pictures to suit any taste.
  • For the energetic, hit the clubs at night. Try Banana Disco which has been open for more than 10 years, or Tiger Discotheque on Soi Bangla which is always packed with young dancers and those who still feel young.
  • For fans of Muay Thai, try the Patong Boxing Stadium in Soi Sainamyen near Soi Kepsap 2, off Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd. In this stadium they really put everything into the fights-there are no fakes or stunts here. Look out, too, for the occasional farang getting into the ring to mix it up with the local boxers.
  • For a delightful evening away from the centre and high above the town with a stunning view, try Baan Yin Dee, a boutique hotel in the hills overlooking the south end of the beach. The menu focuses on "fusion" food. On Saturdays the hotel puts on a special set-menu dinner with entertaining ladyboy show.

  Photo gallery : Patong Beat

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