- The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. Marcel Proust
Visit Patong Beach, Thailand
Patong refers to the beach and town on Phuket's west coast. It is the main tourist resort on the island of Phuket, and is the center of Phuket's nightlife and shopping. The beach became popular with Western tourists, especially Europeans, in the late 1980s. Numerous hotels are located there and the area has expanded into a tourist Mecca.
As the prime destination in Phuket, Patong Beach hosts a great choice of attractions and must-see places. Famous for hosting the best nightlife on Phuket Island, Patong also offers a wide variety of entertaining activities as well as natural and man-made attractions, including Simon Cabaret (the biggest transvestite cabaret show in Asia), Patong Boxing Stadium, Kathu Waterfall, Wat Patong (Patong Temple), Kathu Mining Museum, and a lot more. This beachside town has a lot to offer when it comes to interesting and fun attractions. Besides the three-kilometre-long beach, some tiny picturesque hidden tropical strip of sands such as Paradise Beach or Freedom Beach can be found around Patong by exploration-minded visitors.
Bangla Road Nightlife
Bangla Road really comes to life once the sun sets. The road is closed to vehicle traffic and becomes a 400 metre festival of neon lights, loud music, cheap beer and sexy girls. Jammed most nights of the year, it is quite a friendly and lively place to walk around as bars and clubs compete with each other for customers. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Bangla Road should be your first (and, often, only) stop. Almost all of the bars are outdoors, so the music from each one blends into a deafening mess of sound. Beer bars occupy most of the street's length, with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants, discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street performances are also common most nights, which can make dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping pong show touts more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.
Simon Cabaret Show
Walking into the Simon Cabaret show theatre in Patong is just like entering a movie house. There's the same Kenny G saxophone music, the same plush seats and the same dimmed lights. It's only when a basso profundo voice announces the show and the curtain rises on live performers glistening with sequins and shimmering with feathers that things are different.
Yes, this is real live showtime and the flash and flesh are pure Vegas except for one thing – the 'girls' on stage are actually men. Since 1991 Simon Cabaret has been entertaining visitors with its mélange of camp, glitter and cornball and it still is one of the island's biggest draws.
Freedom Beach is an exclusive gem on Phuket’s west coast; the 300m-long strip of white sand is set in a superb bay dotted with granite rocks and surrounded by hills covered by thick and luxuriant jungle. Essentially, Freedom Beach’s exclusivity comes from its rather difficult accessibility, although things are getting a bit better nowadays. Apart from sunbathing, popular activities that can be enjoyed at Freedom Beach are beach soccer (two mini-goals are available), beach volleyball, and snorkelling. There are no jet skis or other noisy marine leisure activities at Freedom Beach; the only audible engines are those of the long-tail boats bringing and taking away visitors.
Paradise Beach will surprise you. For a start, it's stunningly beautiful; one of the most attractive of the many wonderful beaches Phuket has to offer. It also features safe swimming all year round. It's compact and has great views right across Patong Bay. The beach itself is barely 150 metres long and there is another small beach next to it, reached by a path through the rocks. It is also the home of Phuket's only Koh Phangan-style beach party venue.