Patong Beach is a long strip of golden sand and is one of the most popular beaches in Thailand. There is a row of tropical palm trees along the beach which is lined with snack and drinks stalls, and simple massage parlours. There are many restaurants and bars offering both Thai and international dishes all along the beach.
You will also find a lot of parasailing, jet ski, and boat excursion businesses. At the northern part of Patong Beach, there is a small sandy creek, and at the southern end, there is a river mouth where fishing boats anchor. The best time to visit Patong Beach is between November and April when the sea is flat and calm. From May to October, there can be large waves and dangerous swells.
A short history of Patong Beach
Not long ago Patong was a small fishing village with only traditional Thai houses. Travellers discovered this sleepy village in the 1960s, but in the 1980s the Thai government decided to transform the area into a tourist destination. Patong quickly became popular with Europeans, especially Swedes.
Nowadays, Russian and Chinese tourists have discovered Patong, and many restaurants even have menus in Russian and Mandarin. Patong was badly affected by the 2004 tsunami, and the hotels and restaurants along the beach were severely damaged. Now Patong has been fully restored, and you cannot see any evidence of tsunami damage.
The facilities on Patong Beach
The Andaman Beach Hotel, Phuket, Patong is among the best of the many luxurious hotels to be found along the beach. There are also of course a multitude of excellent Thai and international restaurants to experience. There are ample parking spaces for scooters along the beach road, but they fill up quickly, so it pays to come early to secure yourself a good spot. Sun loungers are to be found all along the beach for a nominal charge.
Some things to do on Patong Beach
Patong Beach is popular for jet skiing and parasailing, and small businesses can be found along the beach, especially around the end of Bangla Road. You should always wear a life jacket while doing motorised water sports, and be aware that many of these small businesses are not insured and scams are widespread. You will also find banana boat rides, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and windsurfing.
If you want to surf, try the northern end of the beach where the waves can be quite good. There is good snorkelling around the rocks at the northern end of the beach too, and it is easy to hire or buy snorkelling gear right on the beach. You will find masseuses set up all along the beach offering traditional Thai massage, oil massage and even reflexology.
Dining on Patong Beach
Along Patong Beach, there are lots of roadside stalls selling drinks, snacks, and street food. Beach Road is full of restaurants, cafés, and international fast-food chains. There’s also a range of restaurants and bars right on the beach, so it’s easy to find delicious food in Patong Beach.