Phuket may be known for its dazzling beaches and spirited nightlife, but some of the island’s most beautiful cultural attractions can be found away from the sand and bars. In the resort city of Patong, visitors can enjoy a diverse art scene that goes well beyond the traditional. From galleries to body art, Patong is full of unique art forms.
Patong has no shortage of great tattoo studios for all your inking endeavours. Local and international tattoo artists are ready to bring your vision to life, whether it be tribal, traditional, custom or any other style. If you want your tattoo to reflect the culture of your destination, try a Sak Yant, or Yantra tattoo. The Thai design consists of sacred geometrical, animal and deity designs. It originated with Buddhist monks who used bamboo sticks to create the tattoos. The body art is believed to bring protection and good luck to their bearers. Aussine Tattoo, Patong Tattoo Studio Phuket, Angel Ink, Patong Studio and Bamboo Studio Tattoo, all offer Sak Yant tattoos, as well as other designs.
Martial Art Dance
At the beginning of every Muay Thai fight, fighters perform a ritual dance called Wai Kru Ram Muay (this translates as “war dance saluting the teacher”). The tradition shows respect to their instructor, their opponent and the spectators. Before entering the ring, fighters are adorned with a headpiece (mongkol) and armbands (prajioud) that have been blessed by monks and offer victory and protection in the ring. This art in motion includes is a sight to behold, making this classic Thai sporting event a deeply cultural experience. It includes traditional Thai music (Sarama), blocking negative forces from the ring and demonstrations by each fighter meant to intimidate their rival. You can enjoy this unique ritual at Patong Boxing Stadium or Bangla Boxing Stadium during fight nights.
Wat Suwan Khiri Wong, which is also known as Patong Temple or Wat Patong, is a representation of the entrance to Patong city and a beautiful example of Thai-Buddhist architecture. The red-and-gold-coated temple roof is decorated with intricate carvings and statues, offering a stunning sight. Inside, the main temple building is equally spectacular with statues of Buddha, religious relics and other eye-catching pieces. Monks live onsite, so if you’re up early enough in the morning, you’ll be able to spot a procession of them walking from the temple through the nearby villages of the Patong area.
If you think street art is just graffiti sprayed by kids, think again. The streets of Phuket are as colourful as its famous shorelines as street art masterpieces continually pop up everywhere. Densock, a French graffiti artist, has several creations such as Patong City Gang mural in front of Patong Hospital or the Thai Khon mask next to the Patong police station on Patong beach.
The unmistakable Thai tradition of fruit carving turns watermelons, papayas and other fruits and vegetables into spectacular works of art. It’s common to see breakfast buffets and restaurant tables adorned with watermelons turned into roses or other intricate designs. This is no recent trend; the art of fruit carving goes back to the 14th century during the Sukhothai dynasty. It was originally used to decorate the tables of the royal family. If you want to get in touch with your inner artist, you can even sign-up for a fruit carving class.
Most art galleries in Patong offer a mix of commissioned portraits, reproductions as well as contemporary and original Thai art (think Buddha heads and Bodhi trees). Both King Art Studio and Patong Inn Art have several talented local artists who master various techniques including oil, charcoal, acrylic and pastels.
From the natural artistry of its beaches to the ritual dance of Muay Thai fighters, the spectrum of art in Patong is as broad as it is colourful. During your stay in Phuket, there’s a different type of unique art to enjoy everywhere you look.
To enjoy the vibrant colours and cultures of Patong for yourself, book your stay at Hotel Indigo Phuket Patong.