Patong Beach, in Thailand, is a large tourist hub on Phuket Island. Here you will find a large concentration of resorts and hotels, restaurants, shopping centres as well as a wide range of adventure activities and entertainment, making Patong Beach, not quite the island paradise you might be looking for. Patong is for those travellers who like action.
Patong Beach is one of the most popular areas on the island, with tourists flocking to the area all through the year. The area hosts the largest number of accommodation options on the island, from cheaper backpacker style hostels to large high-end resorts catering for all types of visitors and all budgets.
Besides the large shopping centres set up in the town, there are also street markets which provide for an enjoyable shopping experience. Open both days and late into the night, vendors selling mostly clothing, accessories and souvenirs are always keen to meet visitors and encourage customers to barter for their goods. A laugh and many smiles are to be had when bartering in the area, as the local vendors seem to enjoy meeting visitors and always show interest in where you have come from.
Patong caters to even the fussiest of eaters and has a large range of restaurants, offering everything from Thai, Australian, Italian, middle eastern, Chinese, Japanese and many, as well as chain restaurants and cafes such as Burger King, McDonald’s, Starbucks and a large supermarket filled with imported products. The large range of meal options and the close proximity of these from the beach are a drawcard for holidaymakers, as other means of transport is not needed to get around the town.
Things to Do in Patong – Activities
The area provides all the ‘usual’ holiday destination activities and services such as spa and massage parlours, yoga classes, cooking classes, cinemas, bowling and shopping. The area is also an excellent base to access islands off the coast, such as Phi Phi Island, Maya Bay and Khai Island (see my post on my island day tour). Besides all of this, Patong has great action-packed activities suitable for all ages and although the general costs of the Southern Areas of Thailand are the highest in the country, they are still more affordable than such activities in western countries.
Just outside of the main town area is Patong Go-Kart Speedway. Go-Karting is always a great activity and suits those of all ages, from families to groups of younger holidaymakers as well as older adults. It is usually that go-to activity for fun seekers to do on a quiet day where you have no plans but are up for something different than just heading down to the beach. The race track itself is 750 meters and has some seriously sharp curves and bends as you race your way along the course.
Patong has several shooting ranges, to suit those with experience as well as those who have never used a gun before (which I would assume is most people). The large shooting range is just outside of Patong, near the Golf Club, caters to experienced sporting shooters, with a wide range of cardboard targets and many gun models to choose from.
Inside the Jungceylon Shopping Centre, there is also a shooting cafe. This small set-up is well run and offers inexperienced shooters a chance to aim for either fixed or moving bulls-eye targets with easy to use, low throwback guns. I do not condone the use of guns for any other use outside of a shooting range, not for weapons, protection, hunting or shooting anything other than artificial targets.
Muay Thai Boxing
One night at the Muay Thai Boxing might just see you return night after night for the duration of your stay in Patong. The stadium is on the edge of the town, less than 10 minutes tuk-tuk ride from the town centre. You will hear when the boxing is on, as trucks drive around the town streets during the day with a speakerphone announcing when the next fight is on and handing out posters with all the details. Tickets can be purchased from all of the small travel booking places all around town, and usually starts after dinner and runs to around 11 pm.
Zorbing is fast becoming a popular activity at many resort holiday destinations. The rollerball area is set up outside of Patong, at a hilltop overlooking Kalim Beach so a tuk-tuk or taxi will be needed to reach the area. The zorbing course here is one of the longest in the world and allows participants to descend down the 200-metre hill inside the large plastic rubbery ball. This activity is great for families with older children as well as anyone up for rolling down a hill.
If you have always thought about bungy jumping, but the price has made you put it off then bungy jumping in Patong might be for you. The Jungle Bungy Jump is set up just outside Patong on the main road that leads towards Old Phuket Town (just jump in a tuk-tuk and tell them that’s where you want to go). The jump is set up over a small lagoon and drops 50 meters, and is sure to satisfy those looking for a thrill.