Sunday, July 01, 2007

Patong Beach, Phuket

After a good flight with fly12go, we touch down in Phuket, and I grab my bag. Apparently the airport bus has finished for the day, after all it’s 8pm now, who would expect it still to be running, so I settle for a minibus which purports to be going to Patong, but in fact drives round the whole of Phuket, going to Phuket Town first to drop off two passengers before Patong where the other 10 want to go. Perfect sense.

My hotel is fine, the Lamai Hotel (not to be confused with the Inn of the same name three doors down that the minibus helpfully drops me at), cheap and cheerful, they seem friendly. I’m up on ghd 5th floor, where there are all the washing machines, the roof, and just two rooms. Strange, but the room is fine, if hot (get the AC on pronto). I later discover that the room is always too hot with AC off, and too cold with it on, even on lightest setting. No pleasing some, eh?!

Walking into town without my camera (shots below are from following day), past the scores of girls offering massages, some perhaps genuine massages without “the happy ending”, I also pass a large new shopping complex, with Boots, Starbucks, Haagen Dals, and much more. It’s not so hard, roughing it in Asia, you know! Then I reach the amazing Bangla Street. I’ve been somewhat shielded from seedier side of Thailand in the past, and found the district I stayed over in Bangkok fun, but here..

Bangla by day


My goodness! A whole street, pedestrianed at night, lined with bars, discos, and hundreds upon hundreds of prostitutes, in every bar, on the street, sitting around or already chatting up potential clients. It’s a sight to be seen to be believed.

World famous indeed

Fight listing

Neon everywhere, a Thai Boxing Stadium, thumping music, girls pole dancing on tables right next to the street, most bars just open to the pavement, with girls employed there beckoning you in. After a pizza on the corner at the start, I walk the length of the street, down to the beach, which is quiet now it’s dark, then turn around and head back.

The beach

Next day I have my first proper Thai food since arriving in the country, at Sabai Sabai. I order the Glass noodles salad, with lime, pork and shrimp, ,Tom Kha soup and after seeing the table across from me tuck into them, Spring rolls too. Too much food, very tasty, I finish it all! Slowly but surely, washed down with plenty of water, as it’s hot, very hot, even with me picking out the chillis in the dishes!

An afternoon relaxing, with a Green Tea frapp in the evening. Perhaps I am the only single Western traveller in the whole town alone in his room! Maybe I'll try a massage tomorrow..!

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