Phuket, Thailand's largest island, with the shape of an irregular pearl, is 21 kilometres wide and 48 long. Driving from one tip of the island to the other would take about 1½ hours.
Located in the sparkling waters of the Andaman Sea just 70 minutes flying time south of Bangkok, Thailand's most popular beach destination has everything that you could possibly want on holiday: beautiful beaches, some of the finest resort hotels, international and Thai cuisine, temples, water sports, coral reefs, turquoise seas, scuba diving and liveaboards, and tropical sunshine — all in plentiful proportions.
Although building sites, new road construction and traffic mar some of the island's scenery, if you are looking for some quality scuba diving and an action-packed time with plenty of night life, Phuket Island remains the place to be in Thailand.
Located 15 kilometres west of Phuket Town and almost 3 kilometres long, Patong Beach has a white sand beach and is set in a deep oval bay, ringed by lush green hills.
Behind the beach promenade, the coast line is almost solidly lined with hotels, ranging from simple guesthouses to luxury international resorts together with other services such as restaurants, shops, banks and tour operators. The town is the main departure point for Phuket liveaboards.
During the day there's a real cosmopolitan atmosphere as you stroll down the beachfront seeing and hearing people from all over the world. At night, this is the centre of all nightlife activity on Phuket. It centres around the main east-west street of Soi Bangla, and here you'll find restaurants, discos, go-go bars and beer bars.
Patong Beach is a public beach and there are no closed or reserved areas for any of the resorts. The beach chairs and umbrellas, however, are rented from private vendors for a small fee. Many other services are available on the beach such as traditional Thai massage, hair braiding, soft drinks, ice cream, and fruit salad.