THAILAND | From Rainbows to Elephants, the Patong Beach Walk

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Rainbows Over Phuket's Patong Beach

My feet led me to Phuket’s famous Patong Beach. It wasn’t quite morning yet, the sun still sleeping below the gray horizon. It started drizzling. Hurriedly, I put my cameras back on my bag and trotted to the nearest coconut tree where I sheltered myself from the rain.

Long-Tail Boats and Rainbows at Phuket's Patong Beach

I paused for a while, waiting for the drizzle to abate. And I witnessed the old adage I kept hearing as a child, a rainbow appearing right after the rain. It was a spectacular show. Not one, but two full rainbows—one of top of the other. Something I have only seen in photographs.


Morning Swim at Phuket's Patong Beach

A group of long-tail boats were anchored a few feet from the shore. I waded in—letting the soft warm waters of Patong Beach reach my thigh. Eventually, I let go of my cameras and succumbed to the temptations of the sea. I dove down and let Phuket’s waters immerse me completely.


Riding a Tuk Tuk at Phuket's Patong Beach

A quick shower, a flurry of noodles and bacons for breakfast at the Duangjitt Resort and I’m back at Patong Beach. But this time, aboard a tuk tuk, Phuket’s main mode of transportation. Together with photographers from PhilStar and Manila Bulletin, we headed to Camp Chang Kalim to say hi to a few elephants. Goodbye 200 baht.

Elephant Ride at Phuket's Camp Chang Kalim

The previous day’s plan to go elephant riding at Phang Nga didn’t push through due to inclement weather and one of us was really just rarin’ to ride one of these gentle giants. A 30-minute ride costs 900 baht, something I really don’t have anymore. I made other plans.

Elephant Trainer at Phuket's Camp Chang Kalim

After snapping away with our cameras like crazy, my friend took off into the hills of Phuket aboard one of the elephants. Me, I headed back to the road. I wanted to explore the whole stretch of Patong Beach on foot. Camp Chang Kalim is located at the hilly end of Patong Beach, it’s the perfect place to start my beach walk.

Beautiful Wooden Gates on the Road to Phuket's Patong Beach

The road towards Patong beach winds downward. It’s a pleasant morning, the sun in full regalia, filtering through the trees lining the highway. The temperature started to climb as I continued my descent, taking photographs of uniquely Thai houses and restaurants along the way.

An Elderly Fisherwoman at Phuket's Patong Beach

After half an hour, the tail end of Patong Beach, with its fine white sand and rocky shore, came into view. A rushing tuk tuk slowed to a crawl along the road and out came my two companions. Elephant ride’s over, it’s time to walk!

Street Food at Phuket's Patong Beach

The heat of the midday sun finally got to us. Deciding to rest a while, we chanced upon a street vendor hawking local street food. We were having a hard time communicating with her, what the stuff were and such, so we decided to simply buy some and find out for ourselves.

Turned out it’s lanka or jackfruit seeds, coated in a sweet crunchy batter of sorts. Tasty!

A Beautiful Sunbather at Phuket's Patong Beach

Posh resorts started to sprout like mushrooms as we neared the beach. Patong Beach runs across the city’s entire west side and stretches for about three and half kilometers. It is the same beach that was ravaged by the deadly 2004 tsunami. And at last, we were now able to step foot on its sandy shores.

Fishing at Phuket's Azure Patong Beach

On the rocky northern portion of the beach, we saw locals garbed in long-sleeved shirts, wearing face masks and pointed hats similar to our very own salakot. With fifteen to twenty-foot long, thin fishing poles, they stand along the fringes of the rocks protruding towards the Sea of Andaman, waiting for fishes to bite.

I wasn’t able to get as near to them as I would’ve wanted to, but I think most of them are women.

At Phuket's Patong Beach

It took almost an hour and a half before the more familiar stretch of Patong Beach came into view. Our pace was a bit brisk since we have to check out of the resort by noontime and fly back to Manila right after. A leisurely stroll is out of the question.

Blue Skies at Phuket's Patong Beach

It was exactly twelve noon when I decided to stop walking, take a breather and enjoy the view of the Andaman Sea. The sun was now bearing down hard on Patong Beach and umbrella rentals were in full swing. Tourists undeterred by the harsh sun still litter the azure waters of the beach, looking upwards once in a while as parasails fly through the cobalt blue sky.

Surf Boards for Rent at Phuket's Patong Beach

Phuket’s Patong Beach reminds me so much of Boracay, albeit a much more littered one. Not by trash but of plastic lounging chairs and beach parasols. Makeshift tents offering Thai massage at 300 baht also abound, and not a few tourists can be seen lying face down, enjoying each and every hand stroke along their heavily suntanned backs.


Early Morning at Phuket's Patong Beach

Finally I arrived where I started from. I still remembered how Patong Beach woke up to the warm rays of the early morning sun just a few hours ago. Its rays filtering through the wet leaves of the trees and falling towards the creamy sand. The still deserted beach. Its warm waters. The unopened parasols. And yes, the rainbows.

Bangla Road LocationPatong Beach
Address: Patong Beach, Patong City, Phuket, Thailand
Entrance Fee: None
Beach Chairs with Parasol Rental: THB 160.00
Sun Bed Rental: THB 200.00
GPS Coordinates Map: 7.890578, 98.292852

Follow My Phuket 2013 Series

You Might Also Like


  1. i love the beach. i love rainbows. and rainbows on the beach!

    the first photo is so lovely :)