Although this is my 3rd time in Thailand, I have never been to Phuket before. During my first visit, other travelers kept on telling me that the island is not worthy because of its party reputation.
This time I had no chance but to enter Thailand through Phuket as it was the only place open in October, and I don’t regret it. Surely I’m not meeting the island as it usually is in “normal times” but I think it’s better this way so I can better enjoy it as tourists here aren’t that many. I will stay in Thailand for a while and in Phuket for a few months, so finding a good spot to actually live was a must.
I struggled a bit to understand where should I stay, but I finally chose Patong beach and I don’t regret that either.
Patong is the first place I visit in Phuket. I will stay near the beach so I can walk there daily and enjoy the amazing sunsets that Phuket has to offer. Trust me, sunsets in Phuket are stunning.
Patong is a good place to be if you are not looking for a very pacific place where nothing is going on. I have visited other beaches like: Kamala, Kata, Karon, and Kata Noi, and nothing is going on over there during nighttime. So unless you really don’t want to meet anyone and do exactly nothing, those places are not the best option for a long stay on the island. *please note this post was written during pandemic
Patong has a lot of foreigners. Many of them are old and looking for cheap sex. That is the thing you will see in Bangla street, the party street in Patong where are all the bars with hookers and loud music. That is the crowdest place in Patong, but if that’s not your vibe you can always step away from it and enjoy the nearby streets or beach that has some improvised places where you can buy a drink and sit next to the sea. You can also enjoy beach walks as the area is pretty lit up. Those other beaches I mentioned before are not that great for a night walk as they are totally dark.
The beach in Patong is wide with many activities to be done. From parasailing (which I did for 800 bahts) to banana boats 500 baths each or renting a jetski. There are different parasailing operatours, Mine was the cheapest as you will find some asking 1200 baths for 5 minutes in the air. At first, I was very excited about doing it, but I can tell you already that the thing is not that exciting as it seems.
I’ve been here for a while enjoying my beach life, so my stay in Patong beach will be longer than 4 months.
But, like everything else in life, it all depends on what you are looking for. If you looking for the most crowded party place, that would be Patong. But, I’m not partying that often and I still live here. I’m happy in my life so other people’s happiness doesn’t bother me at all.
Many people tend to reduce Phukhet’s reputation to Patong, but the island is very big and offers many more options as a place to stay for a while.
Rawai Beach and Nai Harn are the areas where you will find most digital nomads living. It seems to be a place with co-workings and nice cafes where people sit on their laptops. The area is pretty quiet but there is still night entertainment. If you are willing to meet other foreigners living in Phuket, this might be the place.
Another place that few foreigners choose to live is Kamala beach. Kamala beach is a very quiet area, more family dedicated and with a lot of retired ex-pats. Personally, I find the area kind of boring… If you stay here you must rent a motorbike otherwise there isn’t much to do nearby… Café del Mar seems to be the most interesting night attraction on Kamala beach.
Bang Tao beach
If Phuket is the most expensive place in Thailand, Bang Tao is the most expensive place in Phuket. Here are the huge villas and lots of foreigners living a lush lifestyle. Apparently, there are a lot of middle-aged people that have money to spend. It is also a popular place for foreigners to live on the island.
And regards places for long stays in Phuket, those would be the ones you should consider.
You can check my post about all the beaches I have visited in Phuket HERE!