Give Patong a chance
Opinions about Patong are usually polarized. People either love Patong or they absolutely hate the place. While in recent years, Patong has garnered a reputation as being a sleazy party town, the area has been changing and there are numerous businesses trying to shake off Patong’s seedy side.
Perhaps the most obvious point to make about Patong is that the beach isn’t what it used to be. Nobody could deny that. The beach in Patong is crowded and a lot dirtier than most of Phuket’s other beaches. However, other beach spots such as Freedom Beach, Laem Singh Beach, Kamala Beach and so on are just a short distance away.
Bed Supperclub opening a branch of its famous Bangkok nightclub-cum-restaurant is a sign of the times in Patong. The beach town is changing and there is a continual push to make Patong more upmarket.
You only need to visit places such as White Box and BYD Lofts to realize that Patong has more going for it than go-go bars and bar girls.
Patong is also a great place to see Phuket’s artistic community at work. The Playhouse theater regularly hosts productions by the Andaman Players and the Holiday Inn has become the home of the Phuket Comedy Club and its regular comedy nights.
Perhaps even more telling is that there are a large number of luxury resorts and hotels in Patong that are often overlooked by travelers. The Burasari resort is a prime example. It’s located centrally in Patong and is one of the Phuket’s best accommodations. It’s also the resort that brought Keith Floyd to Phuket for his much-loved Floyd’s Brasserie.
The Baan Yin Dee Boutique Resort is another Patong resort that is worth looking at if you’re trying to find high-end accommodation in the area. Blue Marine Resort and Spa is another one.
Sure, Patong does have those beer bars and it does have lots of guesthouses, but much in the same way as Khao San Road has changed, so we’re seeing Patong being pushed into a more family-friendly corner.
Patong is developing rapidly. The new road between Nanai Rd and Rat-U-Thit 200 Pi Road should help ease congestion and who knows what might be next. There is even talk of the beach road becoming a parking-free zone.
We continue to see Patong receive a lot of bad press on websites and blogs. We’re not going to deny that Patong does have a seedy side, but we don’t like to see people making out that there isn’t more to Patong than first meets the eye.