Patong's 3-km strip of golden sand is one of the most popular beaches in Phuket. It has plenty of parasailing and jet ski operators, boat drivers, beach vendors and masseuses approaching travelers who are relaxing on the sand.

Patong Beach has a row of coconut, palm and tropical almond trees separating the shore from the main road. This slightly cooler area is lined with stalls selling snacks and drinks, as well as beach massage parlors. You can also find beachfront restaurants and bars offering simple Thai and international dishes, particularly around the middle of the beach, near the entrance to Bangla Road.

The northern part of Patong Beach hides a small sandy creek where the water is very shallow and clear during high season. The southern part is the mouth of a river, where several fishing boats anchor. The bridge over the river leads to a small fishing village and the various bays and beaches around the headland that separates Patong from Karon.

The best time to visit Patong Beach in Phuket is between November and April when the sea is very flat and calm. From May to October, the beach experiences large waves and dangerous swells. While you can go in the water on some days, pay strict attention to the red warning flags when they're out on the sand.

Patong Beach in Phuket - one of the highlights of 5 Best Phuket Beaches for Families and 1st Time in Phuket: Where Should I Stay? (Read all about Phuket Province here)

photo by Roma Neus (CC BY 3.0) modified

Dining on Patong Beach

Along Patong Beach, many roadside stalls and wandering vendors selling a wide variety of food, drinks, snacks, and ice cream. You can also find many sarongs, beach mats, sunglasses, and souvenirs for sale.

A large part of Beach Road (from Haad Patong Alley to Prachanukhro Road) is lined with restaurants and cafés, including international fast-food chains such as McDonald's, KFC, and Burger King. There's a good choice of restaurants and bars right on the beach itself, including Sole Mio, Chez Bernard and Patong Beachfront Food Court.

Facilities on Patong Beach

Public toilets are spaced out along Patong Beach, and you usually have to pay a few baht to use them. There are plenty of parking spaces for small motorcycles and scooters along the beach road, but they can fill up over the course of the day. Due to its popularity, it's best to come early in the morning to find a good spot. Sun loungers are available on small areas of the sand and you can always lay down your own mat or towel anywhere along the beach.

photo by jbremer57 (CC BY 2.0) modified

What to do on Patong Beach

Patong Beach is most popular for jet skiing and parasailing. Operators can be found every few hundred meters, particularly around the end of Bangla Road. Exercise caution and wear a lifejacket if you're interested in motorized watersports. Most jet skis are not insured and scams are quite common.

You can also enjoy banana boat rides, waterskiing, wakeboarding, kayaking and windsurfing. The best place to surf at Patong Beach is at the northern end, where waves can be quite fast and open to the wind.

photo by Roma Neus (CC BY 3.0) modified

You can find some good snorkeling by the rocks at the northern end of Patong Beach. There are many vendors offering snorkel equipment right on the beach.

Local masseuses are set up in the shaded areas of Patong Beach. An hour-long Thai massage usually starts from 200 baht. Other types of massage and foot reflexology are also available.

Patong Beach in Phuket

Location: Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveler