Patong (หาดป่าตอง Hat Patong) is the largest beach resort on the island of Phuket. This article also includes Kalim, a series of small beaches just north of Patong.
Patong is a party capital of Asia, with famous nightlife and a great beach. Mostly made up of hotels, world-class restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions, this is a hedonists' heaven, with numerous entertainment complexes and countless bars clustered together in and around Bangla Rd and Beach Rd. The town has a very obvious female, transgender, and male sex industry to cater to every taste, however to only view it as this is a mistake, it offers so much more, for families and couples too.
Massage parlors of the erotic and therapeutic (nuat Thai) genre provide less alcohol- and drug-infested venues for punters and wellness seekers. One can even find masseuses practicing this medical art atop bamboo mats on the beach sands (100 baht and up).
Prices are higher than in Phuket Town, but there's more budget accommodation here than at the more southerly beaches.
This may not be a good destination for the average backpacker, except in the rainy season when prices are far lower. However backpackers are not Patong's target market. It is fairly and squarely aimed at holidaymakers, and does it rather well.
Rooming houses ("mansions") a few blocks inland provide nice, clean air-con rooms and suites as cheaply as 300 baht/day (less without air-con), or 3,000-10,000 baht/month. However Patong has every type of accommodation imaginable, from home stays to palaces.
Beach Rd and its immediate surroundings were hit hard by the tsunami of 26 December 2004. The entire region is seismically active, with earthquakes and tsunami: see under Thailand#Stay safe. Local memory of the tragedy remains strong but the damage has been repaired, and the only reminders are the evacuation route road-signs and the inevitable catchpenny merchandising.
Patong's three main axes are the aptly named Beach Road (Thanon Thawiwong) and Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Rd (the last bit means "200 years" and is pronounced song roi bee) running parallel a few hundred metres inland, bisected at the midpoint by the world famous Soi Bangla. (For the sake of brevity, in this article it is called "Rat-U-Thit Rd". Running parallel to Beach Rd and Rat-U-Thit Rd about half a kilometre inland is Nanai Rd which is the residential expatriate area and has many cheaper guesthouses and hotels. The restaurants here tend to be cheaper as well, with beers to be found for 60 baht a bottle generally.
Between Nanai Rd and Rat-U-Thit is the bypass road. This road runs behind the huge Jungceylon shopping centre and past the local fresh fish and vegetable market, Baanzan (well worth a visit).