I started the day with a decent breakfast at the Andamantra Resort. They even served it as a buffet. Small, but still some nice alternatives, there were selections of both Western and Thai food. I ate rice porridge and then some chicken with basil followed by the obligatory watermelon. This hotel offers a very good promotion currently for the “Sandbox” program. After breakfast, I followed up with a walk down to Patong Beach.
Excellent weather and clear blue skies materialized after a night with constant rain. The stroll from Kalim bay/beach took me about ten minutes and then I sauntered the whole stretch of the approximately 3 kilometres long Patong Beach.
Curled up in a crescent-shaped bay of white sand, facing the paradisical ocean on Phuket’s famous west coast, Patong Beach is one of Thailand’s top tourism centres.
September is already under normal circumstances low season and a red flag period when it comes to swimming and bathing in the sea here. Some areas of the beach has yellow and red SWIM here flags . So it is possible to swim. There are signs explaining that you should wear face masks on the beach. But the rules are not draconian. Fairly relaxed in general. People exercise and sunbathe without masks on. Important to wear them when you enter hotels, shops, restaurants and so on.
However, with nice weather, it is very inviting to walk, run or do some other exercise by the ocean.
Of course, it is painful to see how hard hit Phuket has been from the Covid pandemic but at least with the Sandbox program, there is an opportunity for some tourism.
Some of the people I have met so far are the ones that simply can not live without Thailand. Frequenters that haven’t been here for two years or more. Some of them look at themselves as tourism ambassadors now. Wanting to help to boost tourism in Thailand during difficult times.
Even though the weather is very mixed, the people I spoke to say that they enjoy the calm – nevermind bars and nightlife. There is some pristine sense about being here at this time. Patong Beach looks very different from what they were used to.
A lot of eateries are closed. But until now I haven’t struggled to find food or good coffee. At least one Starbucks was open in Patong(Banana Walk), but instead of Starbucks, I went for Hern Coffee and Bistro.
Hern surprised me with considerable contemporary design, good coffee and I will for sure be back for lunch or dinner later.
I haven’t stayed in Patong for over 20 years, but I decided to walk a bit through places as Bangla road and the streets surrounding it. Of course, it was quiet. Some tailors were open and still calling for you to make a new suit. A few restaurants were also open as well as some market vendors. But the main impression was, VERY QUIET!
Patong at night. Well, Banglaroad was partly open when I walked through. More or less empty bars. Some family buying souvenirs in knock off shops. For sure nothing could compare to pre pandemic levels but definitely not closed.
Outside Banglaroad some local food vendors sold the usual stuff and restaurants like Harry’s nd Karlssons were open, some taverns as well. Quite a few times I was called by Indians proming their restaurants.
Burger King was my choice of the evening though. Starbucks by Banana Walk also seemed busy. Many Starbucks are closed but this one is open daily.
At the moment I appreciate the local food stalls around Kalim Bay as well as the spectacular sunsets you get there.
One of my favourite places on the island is Phuket Town and I will go there to get some great Thai – Chinese fare one of these days. For interest check out my foodie guide to Phuket Town here.