Phuket Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Phuket Patong Beach
Patong Beach is a 2km strip of golden sand and as one of the most popular beaches in Phuket is often crowded.
As such a popular spot with tourists there are plenty of activities on offer including parasailing, jet-skiing, masseuses, beach vendors and boat drivers, banana boat, water skiing, Hobie cats, kayaks and windsurfing.
Facilities along the beach are in abundance with plenty of sunbeds and umbrellas available to hire whose vendors also offer the convenience of serving drinks and snacks. The beach road offers numerous dining options including some well known fast food chains.
November to April there are very few waves and the water is crystal clear. During May to October there can be a very dangerous heavy swell. Pay attention to the red warning flags when they're flying and don't go into the water.
Things to do in Phuket
There's no shortage of entertainment options on the island of Phuket for both night and day; day trips, boat trips, scenic spots, temples (wats) and nightlife are all in abundance.
Phang Nga Bay is a unique bay in the north east of Phuket, a popular day trip for tourists there are many islands in the bay the most famous of which are the James Bond Island, which featured in the movie 'The Man with the Golden Gun' and Koh Panyee notable for its buildings built on stilts.
Phuket Town is a great place to explore, easily enjoyed by foot preferably in the early morning or when the heat of the day is done, it features unique shops, numerous shrines, historical buildings and an Old Town featuring some beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture.
Phuket has around 40 old and new Buddhist Temples (wats in Thai) and Chinese shrines to be found all over the island, providing visitors with an interesting insight into Buddhism and Taoism. When visiting these sacred places its worth knowing that you may be asked to remove your shoes for certain areas, respectable clothing is a must and there are generally no admittances charges.
A trip to the Phi Phi Islands is top of the list for most visitors to Phuket, around a 90 minute ferry boat ride away beautiful beaches, stunning rock formations and crystal clear water awaits.
For families and the young at heart the Splash Jungle Water Park on the Mai Kao Beach is great for a fun day filled with thrilling rides and fun aqua pools or relax along the lazy river and in the hot springs pool.
The Phuket Aquarium is ideal for viewing a diverse selection of tropical and colourful marine creatures. There are over 30 tanks of freshwater and saltwater creatures, one of which features a transparent tunnel through its centre giving a clear view of its inhabitants.
The Phuket Butterfly Garden and Insect World provides an interesting number of exhibitions showing the life of insects and butterflies. The outdoor tropical garden is home to hundreds of varied species of beautiful butterflies.
The islands biggest night-time attraction is the Phuket FantaSea theme park, based in the resort of Kamala Beach this Thai cultural extravaganza features live shows with elephants, tigers, traditional Thai dancing, acrobatics and indoor pyrotechnics.
Dino Park is a mini-golf course with a difference and can be enjoyed at night or day, though the evenings are cooler and better for enjoying the regularly erupting volcano. The course has 18-holes with an accompanying bar-restaurant and can be found on the beach road between Karon and Kata resorts.
Out and about
The resort features a number of shopping opportunities from the beach vendors lugging their wares along the hot sand to a large air-conditioned shopping centre with some 200 stores, a large department store and a supermarket it also has a bowling alley and five-screen cinema. At night the resort beach road and side streets are filled with stalls selling everything from handicrafts to silk scarves, and electronic gadgets to leather goods.
Going hungry in Patong is not an option with the highest concentration of restaurants on the island; expect to find everything from the cheaper street stalls and well known fast-food chains to the more expensive high-end restaurants and everything in between.
Patong's nightlife can be found along Bangla Road which is closed to traffic in the evenings; along the street are numerous beer bars, several GoGo bars and discos. There's a lively gay scene in Patong particularly centred in the Paradise Complex where there's a large number of late-bars and gay friendly guest houses. Patong also hosts Asia's largest transvestite show in the Phuket Simon Cabaret.
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