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Travel Tips - Getting the Most From Your Patong Stay

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Offering palm-fringed beaches with fine white sand and crystal-clear water, nightlife ranging from lavish shows to pumping dance clubs, and a mouth-watering array of Thai and international food, Patong makes a great tropical vacation destination. Accustomed to welcoming visitors, the locals are friendly and helpful, and most speak excellent English, so communication won’t be problem.

Best time to travel

 

While Phuket is an year-round vacation destination, like much of Southeast Asia it has dry and wet seasons. Dry season is November through mid-March, and January is usually the peak month for visitors. Dry season temperatures average between 23 degrees C (74 F) and 31 degrees C (88F), with calm seas and lots of sun. The monsoon season spans May through October. Although rainstorms are common in wet season, they’re usually short-lived and you’ll still have plenty of sun. You can expect discounts on flights and accommodation during off-season, although sea conditions are not optimal for diving or snorkeling.

Not to miss

 

Patong's lively entertainment and nightlife scene is what the city is best known for, and you couldn't miss it if you tried. Between extravagant, all-singing all-dancing stage shows and international DJs at vast clubs, popping out for a sunset drink and bite to eat often turns into a late-night adventure. Beautiful beaches are a another attraction, and the area is great for diving, snorkeling, and sailing. Indulging in a daily massage at one of Patong's excellent spas is also highly recommended.

 

Getting around

 

Phuket International Airport (HKT) welcomes flights from numerous international hubs, although many travellers fly in via a Bangkok connection. Many hotels will offer a pick up service, and the Phuket Express Airport Bus makes the roughly 2-hour journey to Patong around 10 times a day. Patong itself is compact and quite easily walkable. Auto and motorcycle taxis are available, however only those marked “metered taxi” are regulated. It pays to agree on the fare before your journey - and be prepared to haggle. A hire car is worth considering if you’re planning to travel around Phuket.

 

Cuisine

 

Patong offers a mouthwatering array of cuisines both local and international. Thai restaurants and hawker stalls can be found along every street. You'll find tom yam goong soup, made with shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, along with aromatic lemongrass and galangal, sold everywhere. Som tam (spicy papaya) salad, chicken rice, and green and red curries are also local favorites. There are lots of restaurant options along Bangla and Rat-U-Thit roads, and you'll find more upscale eateries north of Patong beach along the coast road, and on quieter Kalim Beach.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

Although Patong is a major tourist destination, you’ll usually find the locals friendly and helpful. The Thais generally love children, so you can expect your family to be warmly welcomed at most places. At market stalls, haggling is expected - bargaining hard with a smile is the best way to ensure a fair price for your goodies. When visiting places of worship, it's respectful to cover your shoulders and legs, and to always remove your shoes before entering.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 380,000 (Phuket island)
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  • Spoken languages: Thai, English
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  • Electrical: 230 volts, 50 Hz, plug type A, B, C, O
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  • Phone calling code: +66
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  • Emergency number: Ambulance: 191; Fire: 199; Police: 191