Thailand’s largest island is renowned for its white sand beaches, lively beach towns, and eclectic nightlife. Water sports, shopping, and the city’s famous shows are just a few of the ways to experience Phuket. With just one day, it’s best to stick to focus on the highlights—here are some ideas.
Patong offers everything from down-and-dirty hostels to high-end resort hotels, but you don’t need to base yourself in the city to get a taste of the area. Scooter tours, coach tours, and minibus tours may include a stop at the beach, sometimes with snorkeling included. Partygoers can get in the spirit and make new friends on an organized pub crawl, or book trips to a match at Patong Boxing Stadium or a show at Simon Cabaret.
Things to Know Before You Go
Patong Beach is a good choice for travelers who like to party.
After dark, Patong is not a family-friendly environment, particularly along Bangla Road.
If you’re riding a scooter, be aware that helmet rules are strictly enforced.
Crowded footpaths and high curbs make Patong Beach a challenging destination for travelers who use strollers or wheelchairs, although many resorts offer wheelchair access and adapted rooms.
How to Get There
Patong sits on Phuket’s west coast. While many travelers opt to rent scooters for transportation, this is far from risk free. A safer option for getting from beach to beach is the Phuket Smart Bus, which runs from the airport along the west coast, stopping at Patong, Surin, Karon, Kata, and more. A refillable fare card can be purchased on the bus, which may be less stressful than negotiating prices with tuk-tuks and motorbike taxis.
When to Get There
Visit Patong Beach by day to enjoy white sand and crystal waters, plus the full range of watersports. Visit by night for neon lights and a wealth of clubs, bars, and eateries. The best season to visit Phuket is from December to March, when temperatures, rainfall, and humidity are lower than at other times of year.
Best Beaches in Phuket
If the hubbub of Patong Beach feels too overwhelming, Phuket has other beaches to offer. Head to Freedom Beach, not far from Patong, via the jungle or by boat; visit tranquil, bayside Laem Singh Beach; enjoy unspoiled and sandy Nai Harn Beach; or, venture to offshore islands such as Koh Racha Yai and Ko Racha Noi.
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