Patong's three-kilometre strip of golden sand is probably the most popular beach in Phuket. It's a place to watch the world go by amidst a hive of activity, with parasailing and jet ski operators, boat drivers, beach vendors and masseuses all vying for the attention of the many visitors relaxing on the beach. The best time to come to Patong Beach is from November to April (during the northeast monsoon) as the water is very flat and calm.
Some welcomed shade can be found all along Patong Beach, under a row of coconut, half flower, palm and tropical almond trees separating the beach from the road. The slightly cooler area also house small snack and drink stalls and beach massage parlours. There is also a selection of beach-side restaurants and bars from which to enjoy the great sunset views and simple Thai and international dishes.
The northern part of Patong Beach, where the Novotel Phuket Resort is located, hides a beautiful small sandy creek where water is very shallow and clear during high season. The southern part, near the bridge leading to Amari Coral Beach Resort is the mouth of a river where several fishing boats anchor. The other side of the bridge leads to a small fishing village.
From May to October (during the southwest monsoon) there are larger waves and dangerous swells. Although it is possible to go in the water on some days, you should pay strict attention to the red flags when they're out.
About the Beach
Patong Beach Restaurants & Food
Small stalls and wandering vendors sell a wide variety of food, drinks, snacks and, of course, ice cream along Patong Beach. You can also find sarongs and beach mats, sunglasses and handcrafted souvenirs, and more.
A great part of the length of Beach Road (from Haad Patong Alley to Prachanukhro Road) is lined with restaurants and cafés, including a choice of international fast food chains such as McDonald's, KFC, and Burger King. On the beach itself, a good choice of restaurants and bars – including Sole Mio (former Barefoot Beach Shack), Chez Bernard, Patong Beachfront Food Court, The Beach Seafood, and more - is available between Bangla and Sawatdirak roads.
Patong Beach Facilities
Three sets of public toilets are spaced out along the beach and are reasonably clean, though you usually have to pay a few baht to use them. There are plenty of parking spaces for small motorbikes and scooters along the beach road – car and big bike renters may be asked to move their vehicles elsewhere – yet, due to the massive popularity of the beach, it is best to come early in the morning to find a good spot. Sun loungers are available on small areas of the sand and you can always lay down your own mat or towel anywhere along the beach.
Patong Beach Activities
Some good snorkelling can be found by the rocks at the north end of the beach and equipment can be rented on the beach easily.
Thai massages are readily available and excellent value for money. Masseuses are set up in the shaded areas under the trees. Other types of massage and reflexology are also available.
Patong beach is jet ski and parasailing heaven. Operators can be found every few hundred metres, particularly around the end of Bangla Road. Exercise caution and wear a lifejacket when participating in motorised watersports - most jet-skis are not insured and jet ski scams are well documented. Also popular is the banana boat, waterskiing and wakeboarding. Hobie cats are available, as are kayaks and windsurfing equipment. The best place to surf at Patong Beach is at the north end, where the waves can be quite good, fast and open to the wind.