largest beach resort on the island of Phuket. Patong is being
considered as the party
capital of Asia, with a world famous nightlife and a great beach.
Mostly made up of hotels, world class
restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions, this is a
hedonists' heaven of nightlife, with numerous
entertainment complexes and countless bars clustered together in and
around Bangla Road and the beach
road. The town has a very obvious female, transgender and male sex
industry to cater to every taste,
however to only view it as this is a mistake, it offers so much more,
for families and couples too.
Massage parlors of the erotic as well the therapeutic (Nuad
Thai) genre provide less alcohol/drug infested
venues for punters and wellness seekers. One can even find masseuses
practicing this medical art atop
bamboo mats on the beach sands (100 baht and up). Prices are higher
than in Phuket Town, but there's
more budget accommodation here than at the more southerly beaches.
This may not be a good destination for the average
backpacker, except in the rainy season when prices are
far lower. However this is not Patong's stated market, it is fairly and
squarely aimed at holidaymakers and
does it rather well.
Rooming houses ('mansions') a few blocks inland
provide nice, clean a/c rooms and suites as cheaply as
300 baht/day (less without a/c), or 3,000-10,000 baht/month. However
Patong has every type of
accommodation imaginable, from home stays to 5 star palaces.
Beach Road and the immediate surrounding
hit hard by the December 2004 tsunami, however
the only signs now remaining are the "Tsunami" titles on sale at the
Phuket Island in general and Patong
particular are visited about once per year for ships of the
United States Navy. The navy sailors are generally well behaved and are
policed by their own Shore Patrol.
As Phuket is not considered big enough, very large navy ships usually
visit Pattaya instead.
Patong's three main axes are the aptly
Road (Thanon Thawiwong) and Thanon Rat-U-Thit 200
Pi (the last bit means "200 years" and is pronounced song roi bee)
running parallel a few hundred meters
inland, bisected at the midpoint by the world famous Soi Bangla.
Running parallel to the Beach Road and Rat-U-Thit
about half a kilometer inland is Nanai Road which is the
residential expatriate area and has many cheaper guest houses and
hotels. The restaurants on this road
tend to be cheaper as well as beers which can be had for B50 a bottle
Between Nanai Road and Rat-U-Thit is the new bypass
road which is almost open, suitable for motorbikes
at present and braver car owners. This Road runs behind the huge
Jungceylon shopping center and past the
local fresh fish and vegetable market 'Baanzan', well worth a visit if
you are self catering.