faranging it up

Phuket Travel Blog

 › entry 51 of 56 › view all entries
Bangla Rd, Patong Beach
Flying into Thailand you get a wonderful view from above of the most clearly blue/green water. It's vibrantly turquoise, especially around the various islands and rock formations where you can see the different colors more clearly.
Known as the "pearl of the south," Phuket (poo-get) is Thailand's largest and most visited island on the Andaman coast. Inland still supports rice, cashewnut, pineapple, and coconut plantations, but the main beaches on the southwestern corner resemble more the likes of western tourism.
Phuket Town, the main city of the island is a crowded market town with food and clothing stalling lining streets and telephone wires strewn everywhere! There's little to attract tourists to stay for long, although the plethora of food stalls makes eating pleasantly cheap.
Patong Beach
Don't expect menus in english though and stear clear of coffee or tea as it comes already tooth-rootingly sweetened. Soup is cheap but greasy and floating with numerous things I couldn't identify. The veggie market is nice in the morning for grapefruit or papaya, but with the heat of mid-day smells rather rank as fish heads heat up in the sun.
Along the western coast lies Patong Beach, Phukets main attraction. McDonalds, Burger King, Starbucks and Subway have invaded, along with countless restaurants and go-go bars. Farang (foreigners) may just outnumber Thai's on this strip of sand. I've heard it's popular to see white men with Thai wives, but I didn't realize HOW popular! About 1 in 3 couples is a middle-aged white man escorting around a tiny Thai woman.
Patong Beach
This is a popular place for westerners to settle once tired of their homelands. It offers the creater comforts of westernization along with the glassy turquoise water and white sand of Thailand. To say the water is beautiful is an understatement (the sand however, is littered with chairs and umbrellas). You can see the sand moving underfoot with each step you take in the water and you can walk a great distance before it even reaches waist high. The only waves on Patong are generated by para-sail toting speedboats and jetskis. It's a giant luke-warm bachtub and a very welcome dip from the burning sun.
About 6km south of Patong are the more classy and upmarket beaches of Karon and Kata. I did spot one Starbucks nessled on the headland between the two beaches, but no golden arches in the skyline! The amenities are much the same here as in Patong: beach oriented attire and over priced restaurants offering Italian and English menus.
looking back at Patong Beach from the water
Luckily the "authentic" Thai food is always cheaper, with pad thai, fried noodles, or curry usually under 60 baht. The street stalls offer a better deal (and the better ones offer plastic chairs on which to enjoy the hastily prepared dishes), but areas where foreigners outnumber locals are sparse with cheap eats. Karon and Kata, while still offering more than enough bars, are much toned down from Patong and, in my opinion, make for a more enjoyable experience. They feel a bit more "quaint" rather than overbearing.
The beach towns are all laid out relatively similar (with Patong just craming more onto haphazard soi (alley-like streets)). There's random stalls along the beach front road selling clothing or food. There's one or two main roads leading into town that are lined with more restaurants (bars in Patong), package-oriented hotels, and tourist shops. About two blocks in is the "main" road that runs north to south and houses a greater array of dining option (with better prices), 7-11's, and usually more locals.

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
Bangla Rd, Patong Beach
Bangla Rd, Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
looking back at Patong Beach from …
looking back at Patong Beach from…
Im assuming the zebra crossing …
I'm assuming the "zebra crossing"…
Patong Beach
Patong Beach
a massage parlor in Patong...
a massage parlor in Patong...
the main drag in Patong
the main drag in Patong
the quaint little towns of Kata/Ka…
the quaint little towns of Kata/K…
Kata/Karon
Kata/Karon
Kata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata Beach
Kata
Kata
some seafood stalls across from th…
some seafood stalls across from t…
Karon Beach bumming
Karon Beach bumming
Karon Beach
Karon Beach
Karon
Karon
sunset at Karon
sunset at Karon
Green Chicken Chili! Vibrantly gre…
Green Chicken Chili! Vibrantly gr…
Phuket Town
Phuket Town
Phuket Town
Phuket Town
Phuket
photo by: Aclay01