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Travel Hacks: Have an UnPhuketable time in Patong

29th January 2019
Patong Beach has a reputation among travellers, especially Aussies. If you mention a trip to Phuket,  you will generally get one of two classic responses:
  1. Make sure you check out Patong. It’s I.N.S.A.N.E.
  2. Whatever you do, avoid Patong like the plague!
Regardless of what you’ve been told, Patong is definitely worth checking out, even if just for the day. As the bustling heart of Phuket, Patong injects you with equal parts curiosity, bewilderment, excitement and an urge to let loose and dance the night away. Whether you are seeking a relaxing day on the beach, a chance to experience the sensory overload of the markets, or the opportunity to party until dawn, Patong is a must see. 
Travel expert, Anji Johnson, is no stranger to the many wonders of Thailand. Check out her tips on how to make the most of your time, and money, in Patong. Before you leave, don’t forget to convert your Aussie dollars into Thai Baht at Travel Money Oz! 
1. Patong Beach
The iconic stretch known as Patong Beach is just under 3km’s long (2850 to be exact). The beach is often quite crowded in the middle, however, you can find a less crowded sanctuary if you head north for a few hundred metres.  Irecommend walking to the beach, as parking is very hectic and definitely not for the faint-hearted. 
Keep in mind that Aussie beach expectations are pretty high (we are lucky enough to have some of the best beaches in the world), so Patong beach can sometimes leave you wanting more. Of course there are exceptions to this, and what the beaches lack in aesthetics they more than make up for with happening beachfront clubs and incredible sunsets. 
Image supplied by @villa.wonders. 
2. Nightlife
Patong nightlife is centered around Bangla road where you will find a club suited to everyone's tastes. Each night Bangla road and its surrounding streets come alive with a neon glow and its music powers partiers into the early hours of the morning. 
What about the drinks? Well, Phuket sure knows how to make a fab cocktail Some of the best can be found in bars, beach clubs and restaurants along Patong Beach. In other great news, beer is also cheap. Just be wary of inexpensive (and nasty) bootlegged alcohol. 
It’s also worth noting that, when out, make sure you keep your wallet close to you. Avoid keeping cash/cards in your back pocket or open handbags, as pickpocketing in nightclubs is not uncommon. 
Image supplied by @villa.wonders.
3. It’s hot
Forget your jeans or that heavy jacket; Phuket is hot year-round with an average temperature of 32 degrees. Instead, pack cotton fabrics, open-toe shoes, and a few pairs of your favourite swimmers. 
May to July is considered the best time to visit Phuket. You may even be able to walk down the street without leaving a puddle of sweat – but then again, don't count on it.
The heat (and the hangovers) means you’ll need to keep hydrated.  Make sure you only drink bottled water and brush your teeth in it too. 
Bottled water is pretty cheap ($0.40)  and many hotels and resorts provide complimentary water. We don’t recommend having ice in your drinks either unless it's a reputable hotel, restaurant or bar. Better be safe than suffer Thai belly. 
Image supplied by @villa.wonders.
4. Shopping
From classic souvenirs, to tailored suits, markets in Patong have everything under the sun (literally). 
Everyone wants a bargain, and every shop owner wants to get the most out of you. How do you find the middle ground? Haggling!
If you’re a first timer, we’ve already put together a few tips to get you started. As a rule of thumb though, always ask how much they want the item for, then drop it down to 75% off the price given, try not to pay anything over 50% of the price.
When it comes to getting clothes tailored, there are endless options available to you. Check out reviews online so you can suss out quality and value for money. Quite often you can get replicated garments tailored to your size for the fraction of the cost of buying back home. 
5. Travel Money
Thailand is super cheap, and you’ll need some Thai baht for your time in Patong. We recommend dividing your budget between cash and a Travel Money Oz Currency Pass. It’s safer (you won’t have bulk cash in your luggage) and allows you to lock in your exchange rate before you go. 
Cash is king for markets and street food - just store it in different locations to avoid pickpockets. It’s also worth noting that ATM fees in Thailand can sting more than your sunburn, so aim to withdraw decent amounts of baht at once and avoid multiple fees. Your Currency Pass is perfect for bigger purchases, like activities, tours and water sports. 
If you are stuck when it comes to your budget, have a chat with one of our travel money experts. They have a few nifty tips and tricks to ensure you are getting the most out of your baht overseas. Here are some general prices to get you started*:
Coffee:  AU$1.25 (regular cappuccino)
Beer:  AU$5 (pint in a bar)
Food:  AU$2.10 (pad thai)
Taxi:  AU$21 (Phuket Airport – city)
Big Mac:  AU$7.15 (pricey but familiar)
6. Getting around
You have a few options when it comes to getting around in Patong. 
There's no public transport to speak of but tuk tuks are super cheap and pretty fun. Taxis and tuk tuks are usually a fixed price, however it is worth haggling the price down by 50 - 100 baht. 
Lots of tourists opt to hire motorbikes and scooters. Just make sure your travel insurance covers you for this (it’s an extra for a lot of policies) and always wear a helmet. Not to mention the fact that roads in Phuket are hectic. If you are keen to hire a motorbike they usually start around 350 baht per day (about $16 Aussie dollars). 
Patong piqued your interest? Check out our Thailand destination guide for more information so you can plan the perfect getaway. 
This blog is provided for information only and does not take into consideration your objectives, financial situation or needs.  You should consider whether the information and suggestions contained in any blog entry are appropriate for you, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.  While we take reasonable care in providing the blog, we give no warranties or representations that it is complete or accurate, or is appropriate for you.  We are not liable for any loss caused, whether due to negligence or otherwise, arising from use of, or reliance on, the information and/or suggestions contained in this blog.
*Cost estimations are based on rates provided on the Travel Money Oz website in January 2019 and are a guide only. Prices may vary depending on your location, the seller and other individual factors.