You'd hardly believe it today, but Patong was once the island's most remote beach, completely cut off by the surrounding mountains and only accessible by boat. In 1959 a highway linked Patong with Phuket Town, and the tranquil beachfront was bought up by developers who knew the beautiful beach wouldn't stay a secret for long. Today, the cat is definitely out of the bag: Patong is a thriving, thronged beach resort community frequented by both Bangkokians, down for a weekend of fun in the sun and international visitors. Patong is a great place for new visitors to Thailand looking for a nice beach with characteristic Thai experiences, like muay thai, street shopping, and authentic Thai food, as well as familiar facilities, like Starbucks, sushi bars, and chain hotels.