Patong: More than just a party town
Patong is unabashedly loud, bold and brassy. This hedonistic playground in the dreamy resort isle of Phuket pulses with energy 24 hours a day, offering visitors a heady dose of smells, sights and sounds.
Spa and diving options abound, alongside quirky street-side stalls, upscale cafés and eateries, glitzy shopping malls and exuberant nightlife. Be right in the middle of all the action by staying at the Millennium Resort Patong, which is a mere two minutes from Patong’s party strip, Bangla Road. Bargain hunters will be pleased to know that the hotel is also directly connected to Jungceylon Shopping Complex, a brazen homage to all things retail.
After chilling out by the pool, why not head out to sample all the sizzling attractions on offer?
Here is a round-up of all the activities and sights you simply cannot afford to miss during your stay.
Nothing beats Simon Cabaret for pure brash in-your-face entertainment. This ostentatious musical extravaganza, performed on a scale that would rival Las Vegas, is helmed by glamorous ladyboys decked in feathered and bejewelled costumes sashaying and strutting their stuff on stage. Waltz into the luxurious confines of the exclusive 600-seat theatre, find your seat and feel free to order a drink. After the sensational show, be sure to snap a wefie with the performers to remember your night out. The house is usually packed to the brim, so book well ahead to snag the best seats.
Seduction Beach Club and Disco
Patong’s undisputed top discotheque is still going strong, keeping trendy hordes jumping to commercial beats until the wee hours of the morning. Found on the second floor of Seduction Complex – a nightlife entertainment complex split into five venues – it is a massive space, holding up to 3000 revellers. The party here normally doesn’t get going until midnight, so don’t arrive too early. You’ll find Seduction on Bangla Road, easily distinguished by its brightly framed entrance and black-carpeted stairs.
Baan Rim Pa Patong
This fine-dining institution is renowned for its breathtaking panoramic views of Patong’s splendid coastal landscape in addition to its sumptuous and lavish Royal Thai fare. It is situated in an elaborate teak house perched on the side of a cliff, the service is impeccable, and it is the perfect spot for a seductive tête-a- tête by candlelight with romantic piano music tinkling in the background.
One of Patong’s newest additions to its quirky kaleidoscope of attractions, Tiger Kingdom offers visitors a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of getting close to native Indochinese tigers of various ages. Nestled at the foot of Patong Hill, the tigers roam freely in four enclosures spread over four acres. Unsurprisingly, the adorable baby tigers receive the most attention. To get the best out of your visit, drop by Tiger Kingdom an hour or so before feeding time at 7pm. A word of caution though – while these tigers have been hand-raised from birth and might seem nonchalant and placid most of the time – they are still wild animals and you should be careful when approaching them. Nonetheless, Tiger Kingdom has been incident-free since opening.
Escape Hunt Phuket
Are you a budding Sherlock Holmes? Put your powers of deduction to the test with Escape Hunt Phuket, a challenging madcap whodunit game where players step back to the end of the 19th century to solve a series of puzzles in a race against the clock that will free them from a locked room. Escape Hunt Phuket features eight rooms for groups of between two to five players. Make sure you search the room you are assigned thoroughly for clues (objects, keys, cards, codes and more) – it is much trickier than you think!
Zorbing at Rollerball
If being tossed around in a plastic ball sounds exciting, give Zorbing at Rollerball a try! Squeeze yourself into a specially designed giant plastic sphere and descend head or feet first down 190-metre slopes. Sitting 500 metres from the sea, this attraction offers outstanding views over Patong Bay as well as heaps of exhilarating fun. There are two tracks to choose from – one is quite straight and the other features sharp curves, making the journey a bit bouncier.
Bangla Boxing Stadium
No visit to Patong is ever complete without watching a Muay Thai bout at the Bangla Boxing Stadium. Featuring both local and international Muay Thai fighters, the stadium is the premier venue in town to watch Thailand’s most notorious combat sport in all its heart-stopping gore and glory. If you don’t mind being splattered with sweat (or blood), book the VIP seats right next to the ring. Fights are typically held on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday nights with around nine matches scheduled each time.
Paradise Beach is a secluded, compact sheltered bay of crystal-clear waters brimming with coral and aquatic life. Despite its laid-back vibe, there are loads of things to do. Go snorkelling, sea kayaking or bodyboarding. If you are a qualified diver, enquire about the trips to see the spectacular reefs 100 metres out to sea. The beach is well maintained unlike some of the beachfronts closer to town, which are often littered with debris. Better still, there are no pesky beach vendors in sight. You do have to fork out 100 baht per head just to get in, but for that price, you get a comfortable and snug lounge chair. This is definitely Patong's best-kept secret and it’s a welcome and relaxing end to a busy itinerary.