What to do in Patong Beach in 2023?
Patong Beach is the most popular beach resort town in Phuket, with a 3 km long beach and an immense choice of hotels, restaurants and shops, and legendary nightlife. What makes it so attractive to many is often what other people dislike most about it. Patong can be big, bold, crowded, bright and loud in normal years, yet millions of people can flock here like flies on honey every year. If Bangkok is the Big Mango, then Patong is the Big Durian: you’ll love Patong or you will hate it!
The initial success and popularity of Patong Beach mostly revolve around two things: a fantastic beach and legendary wild nightlife. The rest? Don’t blind yourself: shopping, dining, and massage are just the cherry on the cake. Anyway, there is a long list of things to do at night in Patong Beach and everyone will find something to do, even families!
Just walk up and down the notorious Bangla Walking Street at night, and you will instantly understand why it is so popular. Everyone is there: guys, girls, couples and even families with kids. And why not? Patong nightlife has rooftop bars, beach clubs, great live music bands, and world-class nightclubs. For many, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime party experience (once a year for some). For others, it’s mostly a curiosity to tick off their Phuket must-do list as well as something fun and unique to talk and brag about once back home. Just look at the crowd staring at sexy and feminine ladyboys dancing on a street stage in very tiny outfits, and you’ll get the picture. And don’t forget to close your mouth.
Patong Beach Live Webcam
A Quick Overview
Why do people come to Patong Beach for their holiday? The main reason is the fact that your holiday will be as busy at night as it will be during the day, and it doesn’t have to be expensive, complicated or stressful. Party at night can be light and casual or as wild as you want it to be. Whatever you do, the next day, loungers and umbrellas are waiting for you, set on soft sand near warm waters. If you decide to spend the day on the beach, you can rent beach chairs and umbrellas, get a beach massage, try parasailing, or scare yourself by renting a jet ski. Beyond the beach and the nightlife, Patong has a surprisingly wide array of things to do for everyone. There are rooftop bars, night markets, street food, ziplines, cable skiing, cinemas, bowling and huge shopping malls that are much more fun than you may think.
Obviously, the beaches!
The beach is 3 kilometres long and often crowded in the middle part during the high season. Parking your car in the central part of the beach can be challenging, and even parking your motorbike can be a problem.
The northern part of the beach, not far from Novotel Phuket, Four Points by Sheraton and Graceland Resort, is more beautiful and less busy. There are fewer people in this part of Patong, more parking, and plenty of local food and fruit vendors to enjoy. Water is also clearer and bluer during the high season, and plenty of palm trees offer shade. The water at the southern end is not always as transparent as in the north. You can rent umbrellas and beach chairs available on 10% of the beach on this part of the beach (probably more now!). A long floating pontoon allows tourists to board those longtail boats to take them to the beautiful and secluded Freedom Beach during the high season.
More beaches near Patong
After a day on the beach or exploring Phuket, a lot of people gather around Soi Bangla, the heart of Phuket’s nightlife where you will find bars, nightclubs, bars and live music, cannabis shops and of course the famous Go Go bars. The street of Bangla gets packed after 9 p.m. and just watching the crowd is quite entertaining. You will see tourists, people selling toys or flowers, ladies inviting you to have a drink at the bar they work for (normal beer bars), touts flashing their cards displaying go-go bar performances (avoid them, they charge extra), street dancers, nightclub staff inviting you in, and ladyboys inviting you to take a photo with them (it’s not free!)
Jungceylon is a popular shopping and dining complex near Bangla Road where you can spend time when it rains or when it gets too hot. There is a growing number of night markets with a lot of fun street food for everyone to enjoy. They also sell goods, but the dining area is always the busiest one. Shopping in bazaars and markets often ends up buying fake goods: t-shirts, bags and sunglasses. The most popular item on sale nowadays is the super comfortable ‘elephant pants‘ that usually cost 100 to 150 baht maximum.
There are hundreds of hotels in Patong Beach, and you will find yours with no problem. We tried some because they are close to everything, close to the beach or stand out from the rest. Below are some favourites, but there are many more.
Patong Beach is a large and lively city, which can be quite chaotic for first-time visitors, especially when it comes to selecting a hotel due to its complex geography. The city is divided into four distinct areas, primarily determined by the roads that run parallel to the beach:
📍 Beach Road is the best place to stay but often more expensive for obvious reasons.
📍 Ratuthit Road is a second road that runs 350 meters away, parallel to the beach. It offers a good alternative price-wise because you are actually near the beach, shopping and nightlife.
📍 Sai Kor Road, located 650 meters parallel to the beach, is the third road. It’s busy with cars and bikes and is not particularly attractive.
📍 Nanai Road, situated further inland, is approximately 1 kilometre away from the beach. It’s a narrow street with crazy traffic and no sidewalks. It has a lot of small bars and restaurants because this is often where expats live.
Four Points by Sheraton Phuket Patong Beach Resort is a recent resort located near the bustling area of Patong Beach. Its prime location is one of the resort’s major attractions as it is situated just across the street from the beach. The resort’s proximity to the famous Bangla Walking Street is another feature that makes it stand out, as it is a short distance from the heart of Patong nightlife. Read more
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Patong Beach Nightlife has changed a lot since the old days when Patong was mostly low-rise beer bars, go-go bars and a couple of discotheques lined up on each side of a small street. There are now great live music bars, beer bars, massive international nightclubs, a couple of beach clubs and even rooftop bars. Of course, Go-Go Bars are still here.
Patong nightlife happens mostly around Bangla Walking Street all the way to Rat-U-Thit Road (the second road parallel to the beach). Every evening from 6 pm, this road closes to the traffic and turns into a bustling walking street. Many entertainment battles to grab your attention, senses, and money on each side!
Night clubs in Patong Beach have reached an international level with a vibrant and lively party atmosphere. Expect great music and sound systems, high-tech colourful lights, and enthusiastic crowds. The venues are now mostly on Bangla Road and often offer free entry, and feature international DJs.
Live bands are very popular in Phuket, and Patong features a few excellent bars with a stage equipped with good lighting and sound systems. The quality varies with the day and the hour, but the bands in Bangla Road are generally pretty good, and it only costs you one drink to enjoy any of them.
Whether it’s with bright light, loud music, ladies wanting you to have a seat at one of the many open beer bars, or even touts inviting you to look at the naughty shows (you should never follow touts, by the way!)
We have a lot more information about parties in Patong, click on the link below to see the full list!
You could say, “There is something for everyone in Patong Beach, ” but it’s very tourist-oriented. As you walk the streets, expect to see souvenir shops, Thai massage-foot massage-soapy massage, suitcases shops, art galleries, and many tailors.
Night markets have become incredibly popular in Patong, and there are no less than four to explore, Otop Market, Malin Plaza being the most popular. There are also two shopping malls here to enjoy. Jungceylon and Central Patong offer a more sophisticated shopping experience and an excellent way to escape the heat with plenty of restaurants, shopping and activities. If you want to know more, read about the Jungceylon Shopping Center, but don’t miss the Banzaan Fresh Market just behind it, it is a chance to see real fresh local fruits, spices and products!
Jungceylon is a massive shopping and dining complex that occupies a strategic location in Patong near the famous Bangla Walking Street. Here you will find a department store, a huge supermarket, a cinema, and many restaurants serving all kinds of cuisines. Travellers often spend time here before the party, when it rains or even when it’s too hot.
Banzaan started as a fresh market on the lower, a bazaar selling cheap clothing on the second floor, and a modest food court. Its popularity grew when it opened the night market where visitors can buy mostly seafood and have it cooked on the spot. It is just a little cheaper than in a restaurant, but it’s more fun, typical of Southeast Asia.
Malin Plaza is a popular and successful night market in Patong. It is an excellent place to spend some time after the beach eating, drinking, and buying inexpensive souvenirs and clothing.
Street shopping is fun and convenient, mostly because it is entertaining as you walk around. Usually, people are not here to shop, but something grabs their attention as they walk. It can be something they need but didn’t think about, but it’s usually just for the fun of buying. The demanded price always starts higher than expected, so bargaining is necessary. That starting price changes with seasonalities, central location (near Bangla), and crowd density: you should bargain harder during the high season, especially if the town is busy. With Covid, people are desperate to sell, so it better not negotiate much.
Restaurants are everywhere in Patong, serving anything from Japanese to Russian, but real Thai food is difficult to find. You’ll get some Thai restaurants serving decent Thai food, but you would hardly see a Thai person eating there, which should give you a clue. For instance, in Soi Post Office, roughly around the middle of the beach, is Sabai Sabai, a Thai restaurant popular among tourists. You will find little places to eat around these small streets, but the taste of the Thai food served is often adjusted and toned down to fit tourists’ palates.
Best Thai Restaurants in Patong
Meg Khram, is an upscale Thai restaurant situated at the northern tip of Patong Beach, right beneath Novotel Phuket Resort. This beautifully designed restaurant boasts a vibrant ambience, complete with a bar and live entertainment from a DJ and saxophonist. Guests can enjoy the breathtaking view of the Andaman Sea as they enjoy drinks and dinner while the sun sets on the bay. Read more
More Thai restaurants in Patong
Best International Restaurants
L’Arôme by the Sea is a contemporary French restaurant serving modern cuisine over Kalim Beach, with amazing views of the Andaman Sea. Chef Yannick Hollenstein shares his passion with sophisticated dishes and surprising compositions in a perfectly balanced menu. Read more
More international restaurants in Patong
Like everywhere in Thailand, street food is omnipresent in Patong, from noodle soup to fried chicken, fish, and rice. It’s cleaner than most newcomers think, very cheap and surprisingly good. You will often see carts along the beach with a little smoking barbecue attached to them. The fruit vendors and banana pancakes are the most popular!
Read our list of restaurants in Patong, and click on the link below to see the full list!
Hidden Patong Beach
Patong is a busy beach, especially during the high season (December to April) and most of the places will go from busy to crowded. If you know where to go you can find peace or hidden gems most people don’t know about.
The Patong Sunset View Restaurant is an excellent place to cap off a day with a delicious meal or just a drink while taking in one of Phuket’s stunning sunsets. Although the restaurant is on the small side, the spacious terrace can accommodate a good number of guests, and the prices are very reasonable. From the terrace, you can take in the breathtaking view of Patong bay and the sun gradually sets over the ocean.
Wassa Bar is a small, unassuming spot situated atop a hill at the back of Patong Beach, offering a panoramic view of the area. Visitors can catch a breathtaking sunset at the site, which consists of a few wooden huts with terraces and thatched roofs surrounded by lush greenery. After a hot day in Phuket, this popular lookout point is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a refreshing drink, snack, or Thai cuisine.
What to Do Nearby
Distance from Patong Beach: 5 km south of Patong
Freedom Beach is one of the most beautiful public beaches in Phuket, and despite being just next to Patong, it has remained relatively untouched because it’s not easy to access.
Distance from Patong Beach: 7 km south of Patong
Paradise Beach is a popular tourist destination known for its clear waters and small white sandy beaches. It is 5 km south of Patong and is a popular spot for swimming, sunbathing, and water sports. Beachside bars and restaurants serve food and drinks and the place is known for its Full Moon Parties.
Distance from Patong Beach: 4.8 km south of Patong
Tri Trang is a beautiful beach situated just a couple of kilometres south of Patong, known to be surprisingly quiet and one of the few beaches in Phuket where you can swim safely in the low season. You will find a few modest restaurants with superb views on the roadside, plus a couple of hotels to stay at, including the luxury Rosewood Resort.
Distance from Patong Beach: 5 km east of Patong
The Tiger Kingdom Phuket might not be to everyone’s taste and opinions. While it aims to educate and raise awareness about these magnificent creatures, concerns have been raised about the ethics of such interactions and the impact on tiger welfare. We went to see for ourselves if the animals were well treated. The place is surprisingly large, clean and very well organised and as soon as you enter, you’ll see the several options offered to the visitors.
Sports and nearby activities
While Patong Beach has a lot of casual things to do, there are a lot of activities to enjoy nearby, such as Surfing, Go-Kart, Tiger Kingdom, Ziplining, and waterfalls.
PATONG BEACH INFORMATION
Getting around Patong
Getting around Patong and beyond is very easy and stress-free. Tuk Tuks are the most obvious way to go anywhere and can be fun, but the price varies depending on each driver, so always agree on the price before stepping in. Motorbike taxis are cheap, fast and a casual way to cover short distances.
While you can easily exchange money in your hotel, exchanging money in street booths always offers a better value. Some are official banks and some are unbranded booths, but they are always safe to use. Just double-check the amount before leaving but we haven’t heard any complaints. ATMs are also everywhere, convenient and safe to use.
Is Patong Beach safe?
Patong Beach is very safe, considering the massive number of tourists visiting it yearly. Of course, just like in any city, there are a few incidents and occasional tourist scams, but if you use your common sense, you will never feel threatened or worried, even very late at night. Patong Beach is very much alive until 4 a.m., and finding a tuk-tuk to return to your hotel is always easy, and it’s a lot safer than driving your motorbike if you have a few drinks!
There are dozens of day trips, cruises and excursions available around Phuket Island and beyond, and all can be booked in the street, at your hotel or even online. What’s great is that all tours include pick up at your hotel and transfer to the pier when your boat departs. It is easygoing and stress-free!
Patong Beach Event Calendar
Fast Facts about Patong Beach
|⛱️ Beach condition:||Good|
|⛱️ Other beach nearby:||Freedom Beach|
|📷 Thing to do:||Bangla Walking Street|
|🍴 Best restaurant nearby:||L'Arome by the Sea|
|🍹 Best Sunset Bar:||Wassa Homemade Bar|
|🛎️ Best luxury hotel:||Rosewood Phuket|
|🧳 Best mid range hotel:||Baan Laimai|
|🛌 Best budget hotel:||The Bloc Hotel|
|🚙 Distance to Kata Beach:||10 km|
|🚙 Distance to Phuket Town:||14 km|
|✈️ Distance from Phuket International Airport:||37 km|
Patong Beach Map
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