The arrival of the winter months marks the beginning of high season in Phuket and the annual arrival of thousands of tourists in Patong. This once sleepy little town hasn’t gotten much sleep in the twenty or so years when Patong underwent a rapid expansion catering to the tourism industry.
Still, if crowds aren’t your thing, there are still some places close to Patong you can get away from most of them for a few quiet moments and reflect on the unquestionable beauty of Phuket that has proven to be such an attraction to tourists from all over the world.
Paradise BeachSometimes you have to pay for peace and quiet and Paradise Beach is such a place. But the entrance fee is only 200 Baht and for that price you are blessed with an absence of beach vendors and jet skis. All of the taxis, tuk-tuks and motorbike taxi drivers know the location of Paradise beach so getting there and back is never much of a problem.
The beach doesn’t open until 9:30 AM, so if you’re looking for a secluded place to take a morning stroll, this may not be the place to visit. And it can get crowded in the high season, so bear it in mind that you’re never alone at the beach. Still, it’s quiet and provides you with a respite from all the boat traffic and vendor activity of Patong beach, so it might be all you need.
Kalim BeachJust north of Patong Beach is Kalim Beach. It’s not very popular with swimmers or sun-bathers as the beach itself is very rocky and the rocks extend into the water, making swimming difficult.
But this is the reason that beach is less populated than nearby Patong beach. So people craving a sunny spot away from the crowds are happy to make the trade-off.
For beach-goers who still enjoy the comforts of conveniently available food vendors and refreshments, this beach may satisfy all your needs. There is a small street market close by the beach where you can buy Thai delicacies to enjoy on the beach.
Freedom BeachThe popularity of freedom beach with some privacy-seekers is because of its relative inaccessibility. To reach Freedom Beach you have two options - a long-tail boat ride from Patong that will cost you 1,000 to 1,500 Baht for a return trip or a strenuous climb down and up from the Freedom Beach car park.
To reach the car park from Patong, take the road heading south out of Patong towards Karon Beach. 80 Metres after you’ve passed the Rasta Baby Bar on the left-hand side of the road you’ll see the path leading to the Freedom beach car park on the right.
It will cost you 100 Baht to park your motorbike in the car park. But the cost and the strenuous climb is worth it. There is one restaurant on the beach where you can buy lunch and refreshments for inflated prices and they charge 120 Baht for renting recliners and 100 Baht to lie on your towel on ‘their’ end of the beach.
But you can go to the north side of the beach where you can simply throw down your towel and lie on the beach for free.
Kathu WaterfallIf you’re in relatively good shape and you don’t mind a tough climb, a visit to the top of Kathu Waterfall may provide you with all the peace you need in a lush, jungle setting with the rushing sound of cool water surrounding you.
Kathu Waterfall is very picturesque and you’ll find yourself stopping all along the climb to catch your breath and snap a few photos. The best time to go is early in the morning before the temperature gets too high. You should also remember to take plenty of drinking water, as there are no vendors along the climbing route.
To reach the waterfall, head east out of Patong on Route 4029, turn onto route 4020 at the top of the hill and continue for about a kilometre until you see a black marble sign for the waterfall. You’ll turn left again on Thanon Namtokkathu (which means Kathu Waterfall Street).
By booking a Stay in Patong with Rentals for the Holidays, you’ll be able to exploreall that Patong has to offer, both the vibrant and colourful and the peaceful and scenic.