Patong Beach is the most popular destination in Phuket Island. The resort town is mostly renowned for its three-kilometre long beach and for its tremendous and hectic nightlife, but there are also a good number of natural and manmade attractions and sites that add to Patong’s appeal. Discover our Top 10 Attractions in (and near) Patong Beach, from its infamous nightlife’s heart – Bangla Road, to its attractive and secluded beaches – Freedom and Paradise – to its waterfall and rain forests, to the Kathu Mining Museum, there is something interesting to see and do for everyone at Patong Beach, Phuket.
Patong is the most famous beach resort on Phuket. With its wide variety of activities and nightlife, Patong is an ideal place to party and play. By night the town has a bustling nightlife which includes literally hundreds of restaurants, beer bars, Go Go Bars and of course night clubs. The nightlife is centred around Soi Bangla (Bangla Road) however there are quiet parts of town. Visitors hoping for a glimpse into the exotic East might not find it here, though the steaming hot streets, neon lights and chaotic atmosphere of Patong can be overwhelming for the new arrival. The key to full enjoyment of the place is to pace yourself, drink lots of water and learn the meaning of ‘mai pen rai’ – which translates roughly to ‘It doesn’t matter’ or ‘Don’t worry, be happy’.
Karon features the third longest beach on Phuket Island. Located on the west coast, between Patong to the north and Kata (with which it shares a common municipality) to the south, Karon Beach is the second favourite holiday destination in Phuket. The beach itself has excellent snorkelling (and even diving) spots at its southern end and is wide enough for beachgoers to never feel crowded. It features three main areas, each with their own assets: Karon Centre is a lively small city in which visitors can find a good choice of dining, shopping, and nightlife entertainment opportunities as well as a beautiful Buddhist temple hosting a weekly market. Karon Beach road is ideal for taking an evening stroll and is mostly occupied by large resorts interrupted by restaurants and shops (including the popular Karon Bazaar). The third main area of Karon is centred around Luang Poh Chuan Road, towards the southern end of the beach, which houses excellent restaurants and the ‘hottest’ nightlife spot of the resort town.
The pleasant bay of Kata, just a few minutes south of Karon Beach, entices and charms many visitors with its white sands and clear waters. Very popular with families, Kata is an all round favourite due to its spectacular palm-lined beach, great restaurants, lively but not raucous nightlife and varied accommodation options – all close to the beach. From May to October surfers flock to catch Kata’s waves and from November to April the beach is alive with sunseekers. Kata is split into two focal areas: Kata Centre, which is at the northern end close to Karon and Kata South, home to several resorts. Visitors will find an abundance of shops to browse in, from souvenir and ready-to-wear outlets, to 7-Elevens and local mini-marts, to name-brand fashion stores.
Kamala Beach lies just north of the lights and noise of Patong and is a quieter stretch of sand with a more relaxed feel. This well-enclosed bay and fishing village surrounded by forested hills is one of the most beautiful places in Phuket. With its quieter pace, over the last few years, Kamala has become a favoured spot for retirees and other longer-term visitors staying in small hotels, villas and apartment rentals around the village. On the headland to the south, are a number of luxury villa developments, with great views of Kamala Bay and beyond along its winding road. Whilst Kamala doesn’t attract tourists in the same numbers as other places it has a certain niche, those who do come say ‘we like it just the way it is, don’t tell anyone as they’ll all come and spoil it’.
Naturally beautiful Surin is known as ‘Millionaire’s Row’ due the the top-end celebrity haunts amongst the luxury resorts there, including Amanpuri, Twinpalms and The Surin. They stand alongside the US$ 1 million+ houses that dominate the prime spots on top of the hills overlooking the Andaman Sea. Although popular with tourists, it’s not a busy resort town and is more like a coastal village. Fine white sand and turquoise water has ensured that the picturesque beach is very popular with tourists and Thais alike. The whole area is awash with high-end hotels and housing which, in turn, has created opportunities for high-end restaurants and wine bars.
6.Nai Harn Beach
Nai Harn is one of the island’s most popular places with in-the-know locals. This relatively tranquil place has only a few hotels including the The Royal Phuket Yacht Club and is a popular anchorage for boats during the high season. Great for swimming from November to April, care should be take in the low season (May-October) when there can be strong undertows. The local restaurants just above the beach make a great place to relax with a sundowner. Further south is Ya Nui, a sandy cove that attracts snorkelers and divers. Another out-of-the way spot nearby is the tiny beach of Ao Sane, a great spot for snorkeling, reached by taking the road that starts at The Royal Phuket Yacht Club car park.
7.Kata Noi Beach
This cosy little bay is found at the end of a beachside cul-de-sac, just a few minutes’ drive over the hill from Kata beach. There’s not much to do in Kata Noi apart from admiring the wonderful scenery, which is precisely the point of coming here. Relax, take a walk along the soft sands, snorkel or swim. It’s long been a popular spot for surfers in the monsoon season of May to October, though swimming can be dangerous during this period. The popular Kata Viewpoint, offering a stunning vista across the three bays of Karon, Kata and Kata Noi, is only a five-minute drive along a winding road towards Nai Harn.