Here are the beaches we visited while staying on Phuket Island.
Patong Beach – Patong beach is a garbage, tourist saturated beach. Plop yourself down and within seconds you will have a million crafts people approach you wanting you to buy their wares. You will also have someone come up to you yelling, “Beer, Beer!!!” We did accept the beer offers and it was totally worth the $. For a very cheap price you get a bucket of ice-cold beers to enjoy on the beach. They also have tons of jet skis and parasailing companies taking tourists out on the water, if that’s your thing. The water isn’t really nice – piss warm and not clear water.
There are tons of restaurants on the beach you can choose from if you so want to eat there. Patong city is crowded. When you walk down the main street there are what feels like hundreds of people advertising “ping-pong shows” to you with placards. By the end of walking down the street you feel aggravated by the amount of people aggressively shoving pictures of sex workers and “ping-pong” menus in your face. I think there is a night market there and muay thai fighting but we didn’t check them out.
WE DID experience a tourist gimmick/scam in Thailand that I’ve always wanted to try which was getting our feet eaten by small fishies. You stick your cleaned feet in a fish tank and the fish are supposed to nibble away at your dead skin. I didn’t notice a difference between before and after but it was a fun experience in which Paul and I laughed our asses off for 20 minutes due to the absurdity and the ticklish nature of this experience.
Freedom Beach – Freedom beach is located 30 minutes south of Patong beach. There are far fewer people there and it’s water is clear turquoise. But there is still trash floating around in various nooks of the beach. There is one bar/restaurant on the beach for food and drinks. If you get there early the crowds are not there. Climbing up and down to get to the beach was a bitch and I sweated my ass off. Steep, uneven, stone stairs. Once you get down to the beach you must climb over a large rock formation that separates the beach in half. Leaving the beach the waves nearly busted my head against one of these rocks and that was the only time on the trip I’ve thought I might get really hurt. Thankfully I was able to block my head with my hand and get up quickly before the next wave hit me.
In the later afternoon a Russian Bachelor party came running down the beach, drunk, screaming at nearby groups of women and carrying a loud boombox. Get there early to avoid the crowds from Patong.
Banana Beach – We drove cautiously to Banana beach – they drive on the left in Thailand so this was new for Paul and I. We only died once with me screaming and a semi truck honking at us on the round of a mountain road.
Banana beach was on northeast side of the island. It was very quiet and not commercialized – meaning there were no beach seats or restaurants or bars on the beach. Just sand and people with their beach blankets.
Kata Noi – This was a beach with a nice mix of resort, laid back, and quiet vibes. The water was beautiful and the beach chairs didn’t take over the entire beach.