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Patong Beach

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Patong Beach photo copyright Suzanne Nam
Patong beach on Phuket is the island's most popular beach and probably the most popular beach in all of Thailand. For many vacationers, it's the best of both worlds - a gorgeous, big, wide beach with white sand and warm water and plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and clubs in the surrounding area.

Getting Around Patong:

The beach and surrounding area are big enough that you might not want to walk from place to place. Rent a scooter or take one of the many mini-buses that ply the streets to get from your hotel to the beach or shopping.

Getting to Patong:

Patong Beach is on the west coast of Phuket and if you're coming from the airport you can either take a taxi for about 350 baht or get on the island's equivalent of a share-the-ride van for about 150 baht. There are no public buses directly from the airport to the beach, but if you don't mind switching, take the public bus from the airport to the bus terminal in Phuket Town, then switch to a bus heading for Patong.

Where to Stay:

Patong is filled with hotels, guest houses and resorts, although there are no accommodations right on the beach. Since Patong is so big, make sure you know how far a walk it is from your room to the beach before booking.

What to Expect:

Patong Beach is a built up, busy beach area but because there is no development right on the beach (and a road separating the town from the beach) it still offers sweeping views of the ocean and relative tranquility. If you just want to relax on the beach, rent a beach chair from one of the vendors who've set up shop on the beach. They also sell beer, water and juice. People of all ages visit Patong Beach but it is particularly popular with visitors in their early 20s.

What to Do:

Patong Beach is action-packed, so if you like paragliding, jet skiing or riding banana boats you are in luck. If you want to get out of the sun for a while, head to the upscale Jung Ceylon Mall in town, or grab something to eat at one of the many food stalls and restaurants.

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