Patong beach is one of the most popular beaches on Phuket. There are many hotels located in the town, right off the beach, as well as tons of restaurants, bars and shopping. I would call it a tourist trap- with many travel agencies marketing tours, open-air bars blasting music into the street, copious souvenir shops and so many more Western food choices than we had encountered elsewhere in SE Asia. We consciously chose to stay away from the party town, but we did want to check out the beach during the day to see what the hype was all about.
To reach Patong beach, we took our free hotel shuttle in late morning. It dropped us off at a shopping mall three blocks inland, and then we made our way to the beach. The sandy beach front is incredibly long, with the waves breaking differently depending on the area of the beach. I’m a body surfer, so we decided to walk down the beach until I found some rideable waves. Interspersed with swim areas were boating areas with speed boats, parasailing boats, and jet skis parked on the beach available for rent. As we walked down the beach, we were heckled by the boat operators, who wanted to take us out in the bay for way too much money. About half way down the beach, we found an acceptable spot marked “swim here” and set up camp.
Almost immediately, a lady emerged from the shade and convinced us to rent an umbrella. We’re not really lay-on-the-beach people, and I doubted we would use it that much, but the sun was so bright that it actually was nice to have a shady spot under which to seek cover. We ate our picnic lunch, dug in the sand, swam, and had a grand time. The beach wasn’t very busy when we visited, but I’ve heard it can get pretty packed at peak vacation times. Austin’s sunglasses broke, and so he bought some knock-off Ray bans from a girl selling them along the beach. He still has them, and they are really good sunglasses!
After a few hours in the heat and the sun, we needed dinner and to catch the hotel shuttle. We walked along the road across the street from the beach until we came to “Ristorante & Pizzeria Da Mauro.” Austin never turns down authentic Italian food, and the boys love pizza, so we settled on this 2nd floor restaurant overlooking the beach. We ordered some pizzas, lemonades and fresh pastas and for a moment forgot we were in Thailand!
The food and service was excellent! Right after we ordered, we looked over and saw that Owen, who had skipped his nap earlier, had fallen asleep at the table! Poor kid, I guess the sun, water, and heat had taken its toll. He ate dinner later, after his nap.
The view from the restaurant, which was right across the street from the beach, was pretty good! I’m glad we visited Patong beach. It is a large, beautiful white sand beach with all the extreme water recreation you can imagine. It was relatively clean and very close to restaurants, bars and shopping. That being said, I would recommend staying in the Patong beach area only if nightlife and a bar/disco scene is an important aspect of your stay. It was a loud place to be, even during the day, and I’ve heard it can get pretty crazy at night. It’s a great place to go for western-style food, if you or the kids need a break from exclusively Thai food. I much preferred our accommodations, away from the crowds in a more secluded setting, but still close to the action by shuttle. We didn’t bring a stroller, just a backpack for Owen, but this would be a good place to bring one if you plan on shopping or walking along the streets for longer periods of time. There were plenty of places to get food, snacks, and drinks, but we always bring tons of water and sunscreen/sun protection so that we don’t run out. Visit Patong in the day time for family-friendly fun in the sun!