Patong (pronounced bpàa dtaawng) (หาดป่าตอง) is the largest beach resort on the island of Phuket. This article also includes Kalim, a series of small beaches just north of Patong.
Patong is a party capital of Asia, with a world famous night life and a great beach. Mostly made up of hotels, world class restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions, this is a hedonists’ heaven of night life, with numerous entertainment complexes and countless bars clustered together in and around Bangla Road and the beach road. The town has a very obvious female, transgender and male sex industry to cater to every taste, however to only view it as this is a mistake, it offers so much more, for families and couples too.
Massage parlours of the erotic as well the therapeutic (Nuad Thai) genre provide less alcohol/drug infested venues for punters and wellness seekers. One can even find masseuses practising this medical art atop bamboo mats on the beach sands (100 baht and up).
Prices are higher than in Phuket Town, but there’s more budget accommodation here than at the more southerly beaches. In Dec/Jan is high season so prices are at least double for hotels.You will be lucky to get anything decent (aircon) under B1000 at this time.
This may not be a good destination for the average backpacker, except in the rainy season when prices are far lower. However this is not Patong’s stated market, it is fairly and squarely aimed at holidaymakers and does it rather well.
Patong’s three main axes are the aptly named Beach Road (Thanon Thawiwong) and Thanon Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi (the last bit means “200 years” and is pronounced song roi bee) running parallel a few hundred metres inland, bisected at the midpoint by the world famous Soi Bangla. These roads are one way streets- the beach road runs to the right of the beach as you face it, and Rat U Tit Road runs in the other direction. Transport into the beach comes from Phuket Town/Airport etc, along this road.
Running parallel to the Beach Road and Rat-U-Thit about half a kilometre inland is Nanai Rd which is the residential expatriate area and has many cheaper guest houses and hotels. The restaurants on this road tend to be cheaper as well as beers which can be had for 50 baht a bottle generally.