a peek inside the fishbowl

08 Sep, 2019

Patong Beach

Posted by andrea tomkins in: travel talk

In the previous post in this series, we battled traffic and scary intersections while coping with jet lag and extreme heat.

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

We timed our first visit to the beach for late in the day to avoid the worst of the heat. I was glad we did. It was still very hot but we didn’t fry under the glare of the sun, which is very intense here. When the sun was on us I was sure I could feel my skin sizzling, despite all the SPF I had applied. I felt as if I was made of white bread, and when I was outside I was exposing myself to an industrial toaster… one that was cranked to 11 unless the sun was down or it was raining.

Clouds were a blessing, to say the least.

This is what the main entrance of the beach looks like (looking back toward the road):

Entrance to Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

(Protip: Click to photos to view them in a larger format.)

Patong Beach itself is a long noodle of a beach and comfortably wide. A line of trees, and in some places, restaurants, divide the beach from the road. (A note to travellers: this entrance has the only washroom on this end of the beach and you pay to use it!)

It wasn’t busy during that first visit, but I could envision the scene during peak season.

It is pretty here, to be sure. The sand is fine and smooth and the water is warm.

View of Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Patong Beach, Thailand

The safe swimming areas are clearly marked but I didn’t plan on going in past my knees. We walked to the southern-most limit and turned back around.

There were some vendors who strolled the beach but they weren’t as aggressive as the ones we’d encountered in the Dominican Republic. Jetski rental and parasailing were the top offerings here.

We sat on the beach and gathered our strength. We had to save the swimming for another day. I’d only had a nut bar for lunch. It was all I could stomach at the time and I felt my energy reserves beginning to sag. After awhile we dusted ourselves off and went back the way we came. This time it was easier to navigate everything and we didn’t feel as overwhelmed. I felt a little bit of hope. Surely we’d get better at this.

The road to Patong Beach

By the time we got back to our place the sun was setting and the sky was alive with colour. We ran up to the roof to snap some photos. The jungle sang at our back and the city glowed before us. It was a wonder.

Rooftop view behind our AirBnB in Patong

Rooftop view from our AirBnB in Patong

Rooftop view from our AirBnB in Patong

That night before bed we went for a dip in the pool to cool down. I floated on my back, face up towards a blackening sky. There was a bright crescent moon but no stars. The last birds of the day swooped overhead – just dark silhouettes, really. The bats would follow soon. The smell of wood burning drifted in the air. Everything was still, and here I was, part of that stillness, suspended in a pool of water that was almost as warm as the air, half a world away from everything I’ve ever known.

(Want to read the previous posts in the Thailand series? Click here.)

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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