Patong is Phuket’s most popular and famous beach holiday destination with its long white sandy beach. The beach is 3 kilometres long and often crowded in the middle part during high season. Patong is where the tourism boom in Phuket started, and the beach itself is stunning. So don’t expect to have this wide white-sandy beach to yourself. It gets particularly crowded around sunset. You can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, get a tan, go for a swim in the sea, do water sports, and watch people.
The northern part of the beach is more beautiful and a lot less busy. In this part of Patong, there are fewer people and more parking, plenty of local food and fruit vendors to enjoy. Water is also bluer during high season, and there are plenty of palm trees to sit under.
The water at the southern end is not always as clear as in the north, because below a large bridge, a river flows into the sea. Under the bridge is a surprisingly old-fashioned fishermen village, where most longtail boats are parked when not in use.
Once upon a time, it was just a small fishing village filled with traditional Thai houses and huts. Backpackers first discovered this sleepy village with a stunning beach in the 1960s and 70s, but it wasn’t really until a decade later that the government decided to transform Patong into a tourist destination. Patong became a massive hit among Europeans, and especially Scandinavians. Phuket became so popular among the Swedes that for a while Phuket was referred to as “Little Sweden.”
Patong Beach is the true heart of Phuket, and what makes it so attractive to many, is often what other people hate most about it. Patong is big, bold, crowded, bright and loud. And yet millions of people flock here every year like flies on honey. The original success and popularity of Patong beach mostly rotate around two things: a fantastic beach and a legendary wild nightlife. The rest? Don’t blind yourself: shopping, dining, and foot massage are just the cherry on the cake.
Tips to the Traveler :
1) Forget about parking your car anywhere around there, and even parking your motorbike can be a problem.
2) If you love water sports and don’t mind the crowds then Patong beach might be just what you are looking for.
3) If you want to experience the crazy party side of Phuket or have a night’s out, then, by all means, come to Patong on an evening trip or stay a night or two.
4) The key to full enjoyment of the place is to pace yourself, drink lots of water and learn the meaning of ‘mai pen rai’ – which translates roughly to ‘It doesn’t matter’ or ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.
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