Patong Beach (หาดป่าตอง) refers to the beach and town on Phuket's west coast. It is the main tourist resort in Phuket. It contains an important center of Phuket's nightlife and is the center of inexpensive shopping on the island. The beach became popular with Western tourists, especially Europeans, in the late 1980s. Numerous large hotels and chain hotels are located there and the area has expanded into a large tourist mecca.
Patong Beach is famous for its nightlife and 3.5-kilometer beach that runs the entire length of Patongs western side. Nightlife is centered on two main areas Bangla Road and 'Paradise Complex', with Bangla Road being predominantly straight and Paradise Complex being predominantly gay. Both roads are lined with many themed bars, discotheques and go go bars.
Prostitution in Thailand is illegal but tolerated as is the case with Patong Beach, especially on Bangla Road where there are many older Western men drinking with young Thai women and transvestites. Most discos in Patong charge a 100 baht admission fee but rather than being a cover charge, this is actually a drink minimum since you get a voucher and most clubs charge 100 baht for almost all drinks.