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“Heaven on Earth” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Patong

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Philippines
Level Contributor
8 reviews
17 helpful votes
“Heaven on Earth”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 20, 2008

I didn't know that Patong Beach was badly affected by the Asian Tsunami 2004. You won't even think that this place was once devastated by a calamity. Beach was great. Sand, sea and sun. perfect get away. Friendly local selling food, clothes and fruit. You wont get hungry and restaurants are plenty thou a bit expensive. There's a lot of place that you could stay. From budget hostel to top end. As for me, I stayed in Square One. Very affordable place and great hostel. I don't need to stay in a top end place since I'm out in the sun most of the day and just cool myself down in the hostel pool after. This place is great. I really had a great time. I got a perfect tan too! Don't miss to visit Phuket. It's really worth it.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbournechloe
1 helpful vote
“A different world”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed September 17, 2008

Patong had nice local Thai food and the hotel (Patong Beach Hotel) was okay. The downside about this place was there were many stray cats and dogs, and they were everywhere roaming the streets searching for food. It was sad and i felt really sorry for them. Patong was very poor, very dirty and smelly, it was depressing. The beach was terrible too. The only thing that was positive was the local food, everything else was bad !! It was also depressing to see how much suffering there is.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore, Singapore
Level Contributor
22 reviews
26 helpful votes
“Things to do, eat, drink”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 2008

The best way to see Phuket is not on itinerary, decide how much time you want to spent there and thats it. Most of the entertainment is within walking distance and generally safe. A little advice though, Oct is high season and the young ones tend to overdo the alcohol.

Food
It is abundant, there is a food court at Jungceylon Shopping Centre but the purchasing system is a little strange, the food is cheap but not very appetizing. The sweet tends to be too sweet and the oily tends to be too oily. Within the same building there are many restaurants and fast food outlets. Plus, they have a Carrefour there if you want to buy your toiletries, alcohol and snacks for the hotel.

For easy and cheap food try No: 6 which is located along Rat-U-Thit Road, its somewhere opposite "Coffee Lovers" cafe, you can get just about any sort of food, from Steaks, sandwiches to rice with dishes. Try the vegetable dishes, extremely fresh and crunchy. The seafood outlets is another item not to miss, they come in mutant monster sizes, oysters are the size of a lady's fist. Safety tip, go for the established looking restaurants with the prices clearly displayed unless you want to get ripped.

Drinks
DO NOT drink from the taps. It is not safe. Once you settle in your hotels, head to the 7-Eleven or JungCeylon to get mineral water. Get the 6 litre bottles. There are several brands, I recommend the "Nestle" brand, the other brands test funny to me but ok to the locals. The soft drinks tend to be very sweet (to cater to the Thai taste buds), beer at supermarkets and 7-Eleven cost btw 26 to 31 bd, and cost 70 to 120 bd in a pub or restaurant.

Getting around
Walk, tut-tut, taxi, drive, m/cycle. Grab a map at the airport when you land, its a very detailed map and provides good details of the attractions. A short ride within Patong on a tut-tut should cost btw 150 to 200 bd, engage the driver to state the destination and price before boarding. You can rent a m/cycle at btw 150 to 200 bd and a decent car for btw 800 and 1200bd.

Things to do
Drink, eat, sunbath. Do not worry about showing too much skin cause no one cares. If you want to bake along the beach bring your own towel. The beach benches are for rent at about 80bd (subject to season) for a full day. There are lot to do on the beach, i.e., parasail, jet-ski, surfing, massages, having your beaded, tattoo, making sand castles. The hair beading along the beaches tend to be cheaper but are inferior in quality compare to the salons. You should be able to get a full head done at about 500bd.

They have a zoo but I advise against going, it is miserable and looking at the animals can make you sad. Engage one of those private taxis to take you around the island, they are the best guides and quite eager to please, 800bd for a full day. regardless of stops.

If you are interested, you can engage one the travel agents dotted everywhere and visit Phi Phi islands, it's a day trip and cost about 1000bd.

Get a tattoo, depending on the size the price can be negotiated. In fact everything can be bargained.

Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Topsham, Maine
Level Contributor
61 reviews
48 helpful votes
“Very busy beach town”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2008

If you are looking for a busy, hustling, and bustling beach town than Patong is it. There are shops, taxi's (TukTuk's), people, restaurants, massage shops, tour shops, hotels...oh yeah... and a beach. The beach is big and the sand is soft, but you have to cross a street to get to it and push your way through the many sales folks to get there. No lie, I think I said no at least 15 times before reaching the waters edge... and some of the guys still kept coming up to us asking about boat rides, jet skis, and tours. Also, it is a public beach so the hotels do not own the lounge chairs... yet another sales guy will ask for 100baht for three hours to use the chair. UGH! Not exactly the beach getaway we had hope for.

The town of Patong is also just too much... Tons of hawker stores and fake goods, for which the price has to be haggled over. Calculators are the means in which you are told how much something costs, they won't say it out loud if anyone else is around becasue the guy next to you may be paying hundreds of BAHT's less than you...sucker! Don't get me wrong...if you like to play those kinds of games while on vacation, go for it...I just thoguht I would warn you. We never ventured out late at night so I cannot directly report about the nightlife, but I heard about some crazy stuff, just not our scene. Again, personal choice, just reporting our perspective.

If I had found the TripAdvisor site BEFORE I made our hotel booking we would have chosen a more quiet beach to stay at... but...Oh well... we made the best of it and went out to the shops and the street vendors near the hotel. Hubbie got a suit made at what we think is a reasonable price... at least by our dollar standard. We bought some souvineirs and called it good. I honestly cannot imagine being in this town during high season!!

I had hoped to be able to get a better perspective on the tsunami of 2004, but there seems to be no markers, memorials, museum or anything other than the few stories we overheard being told at the pool bar and restaurants. It is possible that no-one really wants to remember, but being a foreigner I was curious. I tried not to pry or ask too many questions about it becasue I did not want to offend, re-open wounds or hurt the locals feelings, but I have since come home and looked at photos on the web and tried to see just where we were and it is incredible to me that the town has just sprung right back up in such a few short years. Amazing and resilliant.

We were able to do a few wonderful things while in Phuket though...and that is thanks directly to TripAdvisor forums. I fear our vacation would have been much less fullfilling if we had not come across them. The first was Phuket Sail Tours and Captain Mark. We were able to go out on a wonderful old sailboat by the name of the TomYum for a day in the Andaman sea. We saw caves, hongs, islands, beaches, and had the most delicious lunch on the beach with some terrific people. Captain Mark is a gracious, salty, kind, and fun host... just a fabulous real down to earth person. It was a terrific adventure to remembered for a lifetime.

We also hooked up with a great taxi/tour guide Daj. He took us around the island and stopped at many different locations, landmarks, shops, etc. It was great to get a feel for the island, other than the Patong beach experience. I do not think we would have had pleasant memories, or much good to say, about our visit to Phuket had it not been for these two trips. So thank you to TripAdvisor folks for you last minute help.

So if you are looking for a busy beach town, Patong is it... otherwise keep looking and reading. I know I will head right to the forum boards before making our next trip plans...

Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
bradford, west yorkshire
Level Contributor
3 reviews
12 helpful votes
“Wow!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 4, 2007

Never been anywhere like this before.

Busy everywhere, people try to sell you everything from tuk-tuk rides to suits, difficult to cross the road - the traffic (slow-moving) stops for no-one, thousands of restaurants, bars and people, you will mix with prostitutes and lady-boys in the central area.

The atmosphere is the best I've experienced anywhere in the world. Everyone drinking and having a good time without embarrassing drunks.

Sick back enjoy quality booze and food at budget prices and watch what seems like the entire world go by.

An unbeatable experience. Enjoy!

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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