Disclaimer: This blog post will not have any cute little monkeys or beautiful sights.
Day 8 I arrived in Patong, Phuket and pretty much went straight to my hotel room after having a quick wander round. I was pretty tired and had an early night. Day 9 I woke up early-ish and decided to do some exploring.
Phuket is Bangkok on crack. No. Bangkok on Viagra.
I had been warned against it but I thought it may have been one of those hipster opinions that basically goes against anything popular. I think I should have listened to the warnings in hindsight.
I went to the most popular area of Phuket… Patong.
Just walking down the road gets pretty annoying, there is an endless stream of Thai’s shouting at you. Seriously, it really doesn’t stop.
Suit? Tailored Suit for you!
I mean, there was a bit of it in Bangkok and the islands, but nothing like this. The amount of massage parlours was insane. Pretty much every other building was a massage parlour. It was absolutely brilliant for my self esteem being called handsome young boy 357 times within an hour, but… I had to get away from it.
I went back to the hotel before braving it out again.
The thing about Patong, it doesn’t seem to have soul. There’s a lot of lights, but no ones home. It’s full of sleaze, feels cheap… but actually very expensive compared to the islands like Phi Phi.
It’s very commercial with shopping centres, McDonalds, Hard Rock Cafe, that kinda thing. It doesn’t feel like an island.
It also didn’t help that it was raining which added to the gloom.
Ping Pong Show & Bangla Road
After an exhausting day walking around being shouted at by Thai’s I felt like staying in the hotel out the way of the mean rainy sleazy streets of Patong, but I decided to brave it. I headed in a tuk tuk down to Bangla Road, which is where all the night life is.
Even the tuk tuks were mental. Flashing lights and loud music in the back where you sit.
Upon arrival to Bangla Road and paying the very expensive tuk tuk, I headed out into the pouring rain, and as expected got approached within seconds.
“Ping Pong Show!” – more of a demand than a question.
“Nah, nah… maybe layer”
“Ping Pong Show!”
“Nah… Erm… Actually. Hmmm”
I decided to go to it. After speaking to a few people they all recommended it – but wouldn’t tell me anything about it. They just smirk about it and keep repeating… ‘You’ve gotta go.’
I got that it wasn’t actually a game of ping pong. But that was about it.
The guy then let me get under his umbrella and told me to follow him. He took me down a dark lane.
Scary stuff really.
I carried on walking with him down this road past a few more massage parlours and bars and tried to drown out the background noise of ‘massage massagggee’. Eventually we got to a bar and there were other people there. Looked quite safe, he pointed me to the door and I walked in.
Very quickly a Thai man came up to me sat me down right next to the stage and explained the show was free but I had to buy a drink. And that I weren’t allowed to use my phone AT ALL.
The drinks were 1000 BAHT. £22 for a bottle of beer. Sound.
Then what happened next I’m not including in detail the blog. On stage were a succession of women, doing various ‘tricks’ with bananas and ping pong balls. I left when men started going on the stage.
I’m gonna say. It is an experience. If you’re in Thailand, go do it. It’s probably not the culture of Thailand I had in mind though. I spent most my time in there heavily frowning and shaking my head.
Thai Bands in Patong
The one thing I liked about Patong was the live music. There was loads going on, playing very western US & UK songs, and they are brilliant but get some words wrong, but it’s quite funny.
Hearing Wonderwall by Oasis played by an all Thai band on stage is quite surreal in itself. I spent the rest of the night watching a band in another bar on Bangla Road.
Going Back to The Hotel
I left the bar at about 12ish. I decided that I’d by far exceeded my hangover quota for this trip.
As you get closer to 30 and beyond you no longer plan your nights out, you plan your hangovers.
I was in the sweet spot where I’d just have a bad head in the morning, whereas If I’d have continued it would have cost me 2-3 days of hangover. I didn’t want that for the last part of my trip.
After making my way through an absolute obstacle course of Thai women literally grabbing me to come to their bars I got a lift of a guy with a motorbike and hit the sack!
- Don’t go to Patong – if you really want to visit Phuket, I’d say go to a quieter area like Phuket Town. Patong is pretty impossible.
- Do a Ping Pong Show (you can do them in PatPong area in Bangkok too)
- Go see a Thai band if you find one playing