Ao Patong is Phuket's largest beach resort area, and is mostly made up of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions. There is a thriving nightlife scene, with "entertainment complexes" in every street, where reasonably inexpensive bars are clustered together, and the friendly staff cater to every taste.
Some first time travellers to Phuket can find Patong a bit too much, as Patong doesn't really have the feeling of the Thailand we see in the brochures.
Nightlife is centered on two main areas Bangla Road and 'Paradise Complex', with Bangla Road being predominantly straight and Paradise Complex being predominantly gay. Both roads are lined with many themed bars, discotheques, and go go bars.
Most of the night time action is in and around Bangla road. You will also find places for a quiet drink or to listen to live bands. Banana Disco on the beach road is probably the most popular place to go dancing and is usually packed untill the early hours. Other night clubs at Patong Beach are Tiger, Taipan, and Seduction.
Most discos in Patong charge a 100 baht admission fee but rather than being a cover charge, this is actually a drink minimum since you get a voucher and most clubs charge 100 baht for almost all drinks.
Dancers at the Tiger Complex
One of Patong's main attractions, besides the nightlife, is shopping. Patong is a mecca for the bargain hunter. Many small stalls and markets line the streets offering everything from t-shirts and clothing, silk, carvings, souvenirs, shoes, CDs and DVDs. Always remember to bargain for anything you buy from these stalls, as everything is negotiable in Patong.
Don't forget also that Patong Phuket is situated on a 3km long white sandy beach. The beach vendors offer all watersports, beach chairs, soft drinks and even refreshing chilled coconuts. You can also go surfing at Patong beach and for the more experienced Kalim reef has good quality waves.
Some of the other beach activities at Patong are, parasailing, banana boat rides, bungy jumping, jet skis. A warning though that many people have had serious accidents some resulting in death, from the many jet-skis for rent on Phuket's beaches.
If it's excitment you are looking for Patong is the place, but for a quiet and peaceful snooze on the beach, possibly some of Phuket's other beaches would be more suitable.
Kalim Beach is the northern end of Patong Bay. It has a small strip of sand which when it meets the water is coral reef. The reef set-up creates on its day, probably some of the best surfing waves in Phuket.
The side of the road is lined with small street vendors selling fruit and quick snacks. Kalim Beach is the perfect place to have an uninhibited view of Patongs beautiful sunsets.