Despite glistening reviews of Patong Beach and the surrounding area, travel companies and websites often gloss over the realities. The people who have been to Patong Beach have quite different stories.
Patong Beach has been through a lot, since 2003, when the city decided to redevelop and further commercialize the area. Many people in the local area considered the massive project to have almost no sense of professional or responsible planning, and too much rushing about to get everything finished at the same time.
Local newspaper The Phuket Gazette said that, at the time, the beach front was left looking like “Sarajevo at the height of the Balkans war”. In other words, the beach was left littered with construction debris, and tourists and locals had to fight to get to the water front.
The hard times refused to relent in the case of Patong Beach front. Just as the Phuket area was putting its finishing touches on making the beach itself beautiful, the day after Christmas in 2004 would be a nightmare no-one could ever forget.
The tsunami ravaged the beach and surrounding city, leaving death and destruction in its wake. The cleanup for the beach took several months, mostly because cleaning the city and rebuilding all the stores and buildings took away from reconstructing the superfluous tourist attraction of the beach.
Now, travel agencies are once again pushing picturesque views of the beach to tourists. But what’s the real story behind all the close-up of the water and the supposedly powder-fine white sand?
Many people have attested that Patong Beach is constantly over-crowded and clogged with the debris of hundreds of daily tourists and locals. Many tourist reviews have said that the beach is lacking the relaxed atmosphere that all their travel agencies promised them. Instead, Patong Beach is noisy and dirty.
The commercialized appearance of the beach is most likely to be expected, after all the redevelopment of the area, from 2003, late 2004 and through several early months of 2005.
As evening draws in, there are more thrill seekers milling about, adult entertainment venues drawing people in and prostitutes roaming the beach. The best time to visit is during the months that are far off from the peak tourist season. Patong Beach is at its most quiet from June to September.
For those planning to visit Patong Beach, the best hours to visit the beach are in the early morning. Although Patong Beach is perhaps not an ideal family destination, many other reviews have stated that it is certainly an experience you won’t want to pass up.