Patong is a large horseshoe shaped bay that’s similar your typical beach break with yes, standard beach break waves. It can be prone to closeouts but you can certainly find some corners along the 3.5 km (2.2 miles) main break. Its wide stretch of open beach and sandy beach bottom makes it pretty ideal for learning to surf. Patong is a terrific spot for beginners to learn the fundamentals and even advance to the next level. It’s also fun those who just want to get wet after a glorious/drunken/memorable/regretful night along Phuket’s most popular party scene.
Patong Beach hosts a number of surf contests and events throughout the surf season such as the annual Roxy Girls Surf Day and the Longboard Classic. The scene is one of the top spots for having lively beach parties as well as educational activities such as ocean safety awareness, beach clean ups, and CPR training.
When there’s swell, the northern part of the bay tends to be a little bit bigger. Be very cautious and aware of jet skis as there is no set boundary for them to be ridden. It’s best to stay within the area where the local surf school is set up to avoid any potential injury from the free roaming water crafts. The longtime surf school typically occupies the center of the bay. You won’t miss them. They’re the tan, lean local dudes wearing bright yellow rashies.
There’s no need to go very far for an alternate surf check. Kalim Reef is in the northern section of this bay and is one of prime surf spots on the island but can draw a bit of a crowd in the lineup. It’s about a 5-10 minute drive (depending on traffic) up from the middle of Patong’s bay. There are no board rentals at Kalim so you’ll need to rent one before heading there.
Known more for its nightlife and shopping, Patong Beach is Phuket’s most popular and most concentrated tourist stop. You won’t run out of options along Patong’s party-like atmosphere bay. Whether you want to jet ski, parasail, snorkel, surf, or just get outright silly on an inflatable banana boat, you’ll find plenty of activities that suits your fancy here.
The local cuisine isn’t the only thing that’s spicy around here. If you look up the terms, “party central”, “shenanigans”, or “night of debauchery”, you just might see a photo of Patong’s notorious Soi Bangla (Bangla Walking Street) and its strip of open-aired bars, night clubs, extremely flexible pole-acrobats, flashing neon lights, or provocatively dressed and sometimes indistinguishable sexy lady boys (if you’re a single and straight dude looking for action, be very wary because regrettable actions have been known to happen…). Unless, of course you’re into that, then by all means.
But “Bangla” is not just for those who want to get wasted and indulge in certain encounters that your mother may not approve of. You’ll see plenty of other tourists, couples, and wholesome families alike who enjoy strolling this pedestrian-only side street for the mere spectacle and experience. There is also a multitude of options of live local bands, street performers, and world renowned DJs as party goers of all ages play into the early morning hours while losing track of time. Yeah, it can be good times.
If you’re looking to party, you definitely want to hit up Bangla. Surely, you will have a unique experience and you’ll likely leave with plenty of interesting stories to share when you return home. That is, if you can recall what happened!
Medium to high
Best Swell Direction:
Beginner to intermediate
May to October
Easy street parking along the beach across from Graceland Resort
Paddle Out Power:
1/10 (1=easy peasy; 10=feels like paddling on a treadmill)
1-6; can get messy when it rains
(1=clean; 10=dingleberries in the lineup)
Overly excited and/or unskilled tourist jet ski drivers; energetic beach vendors; countless bars nearby serving various brands of ice cold refreshing beers