The moment we decided to include Phuket in our Thailand itinerary, I knew the time has come to find the perfect balance between chaos and harmony. Speaking English, this translates to finding the best area to stay in Phuket. If you are wondering why then read on!
Phuket is a famous go-to destination for couples seeking extreme nightlife and fun. As the sun sets, rises the carnival demon, all pumped up to rock the night.
After an exhausting first day full of activities and a night loaded with cocktails, the most important thing that hit our mind post-midnight was to snug inside a cozy bed. This is where reality kicks in if you did not plan your accommodation properly. In my last post, I mentioned the fact that Phuket can be noisy at night with all those blaring speakers feeding energy to the frenzied crowd. You might find yourself digging under your pillow for some quiet moments in the middle of the night if you are staying too close to the party hot spot. Although I was unaware of this at first, but my trip advisor research gave me everything I should have known before booking my accommodation. Hence this post with the hope that since we did the research to find the best area to stay in Phuket, you don’t have to.
All about our research to find the best area to stay in Phuket
So let me start with the most useful advice I got from the experts. On my query about the best area to stay in Phuket for couples, I got the following amazing responses (quoted first person).
“Patong has the largest selection of bars/restaurants etc. but the beach isn’t the best. Karon and Kata have much nicer beaches than Patong and are about 20mins away in a tuk-tuk” (FYI: a tuk-tuk is an auto rickshaw in India).
“I base myself in Patong because everything is pretty much on your doorstep. If I want to I then visit the nicer beaches during the day, which are easy to get to when I rent a scooter”
“Or you could do it the other way around, base yourself in the quieter Karon/Kata and commute up to Patong if you want some busier nightlife. A one-way tuk-tuk ride from Karon/Kata to Patong will cost around 300-400baht”
“Patong is the main tourist part and has everything there, we always stay there but stay in either north or south quieter ends within a 10 min walk into the main area”
Just for your information, the top three touristic beaches in Phuket are Patong, Karon, and Kata. Patong is the party hotspot with majority of the restaurants, bars and water sports. But as mentioned above, the beach is packed with tourists and not among the best in terms of cleanliness and serenity. Karon and Kata are further down south, much quieter and less crowded compared to Patong. Kata is about 10kms from Patong and Karon lies between Patong and Kata.
From the first and second comment, it is very clear that if you want to get the most out of Phuket, invariably you have to stay in Patong.
1. Patong has the largest selection of bars/restaurants etc but the beach isn’t the best. Karon and Kata have much nicer beaches than Patong and are about 20mins away in a tuk-tuk.
2. I base myself in Patong because everything is pretty much on your doorstep. If I want to I then visit the nicer beaches during the day, which are easy to get to when I rent a scooter.
The third comment proposes doing it the other way around. Although I would reserve this for stags than couples. It might not be feasible nor safe for couples to rent a tuk-tuk post midnight to Kata and Karon, especially when you are drunk and don’t want to haggle for prices.
3. Or you could do it the other way around, base yourself in the quieter Karon/Kata and commute up to Patong if you want some busier nightlife. A one-way tuk-tuk ride from Karon/Kata to Patong will cost around 300-400baht
The fourth comment is a gold mine.
4. Patong is the main tourist part and has everything there, we always stay there but stay in either north or south quieter ends within a 10 min walk into the main area
We were so happy to follow this advice while planning our itinerary. The comment is a one liner but if you dig deep it’s a full blown guide in itself when you want to find the best area to stay in Phuket. So let’s dissect the details here. The hotspot for Patong nightlife is Bangla road, which is located right at the center of Patong beach. You can consider a radius of about 500 meters around this zone which would be buzzing with the night music. If you are staying at a fair enough distance, sometimes the direct music will not disturb you but spare a thought to those low-frequency base waves that travel a long distance (forgive the engineer inside me 😉 ). These base waves although the backbone of a catchy track can be downright annoying when they creep into your bedroom silently in the middle of the night, to pick the strings inside your brain. The very first solution to escape this onslaught is to plan your accommodation far from this zone. How far depends on your walking ability and desire. You don’t want to stay too far so that walking back to your accommodation becomes a dreaded challenge. Neither you want to stay too close for those annoying base waves to reach your ears.
Pro Tip 1: As you keep walking to the northern or southern end of the beach road (Thawewong road), the terrain changes from flat to hilly. We chose a nice comfy boutique resort at the southern end of the beach road which was perfect for a good sea view and right at the end of the flat terrain. After this, it was an uphill road to reach the other resorts.
Pro Tip 2: If you want to get a good sea view from any of the resorts along the beach road then it’s very important to book your accommodation above 2nd floor at a minimum. If you book anything lower than a 2nd floor all you get to see is a bunch of electric lines blocking your coveted view. The electric lines in Phuket are over ground and a messy bunch. So make sure to avoid them for a good view.
Pro Tip 3: A very positive thing about staying at the quieter end of Patong was our daily “midnight beach walk”. After indulging in the high energy celebrations at Bangla road, we found it very relaxing to walk back along the beach to our resort, hand in hand and a pint on the other. We used to walk barefoot feeling the wet sand on our feet while watching the wave’s sluggishly crashing on the beach; the music slowly fading away engulfed by the soothing sound of the ocean. There were so many couples like us enjoying the beach walk post-midnight. We saw many couples wishing to sky lanterns. All this made a perfect ending to a happening day.
Coming to conclusion, if you decide to stay at the quieter ends of Patong after going through this post, then there are numerous websites where you can filter your search based on location and budget. Do let us know if you have better ideas to make this post even more helpful.
Disclaimer: The images used for Bangla road are google images labeled for reuse as I lost all my Bangla road pics during a stupid hard drive crash 🙁 .
Signing off for now…..