Published: September 15th 2012September 15th 2012
Heading for Phuket we had another dilemma about where to stay. However due to the lack of time available, we only had 2 nights to spend in this large island and the best accomodation options seemed to be in Patong. Patong is infamous for its erm...specialist night life!
We were picked up in a large ferry from Phi Phi and it was suprisingly organised, it was also only about a third full so we had lots of space. However it was really rough, with storm clouds and thunder and lightning in the distance and the boat being covered in spray. The driver stopped and cut his engine several times, causing a bit of panic. It turned out however we were meeting another boat just outside the harbour. We had seen this before, boats coming together so passengers could change boats, but this time, these two big ferries got tied together. We then manouvered into harbour in some type of parallel park together...crazy! Once in Phuket we were ushered into a mini bus bound for Patong. After being asked several times which hotel we were heading for and despite it being the same one as another couple on the bus, our crazy aggressive driver took us to the wrong hotel, and then after we told him it was the wrong one and he had slammed all the doors, he spent the rest of the way moaning in thai to his friend about how we lied...lovely!
Having thankfully survived the rough boat and the rougher taxi we arrived at our hotel...in the rain! We wanted to head out to do some exploring but the hotel had no map "They have finished" so we headed blindly into the rain...stupidly...making it about 100m to the first restaurant we found before hiding indoors!
When the rain finally settled and after some instruction from the waiter, we walked down the road to find a big indoor shopping centre. (Although he thought it was much too far for us to walk...at least 12 minutes!) We spent the rest of the day wondering around the shops and picking up bits and pieces. On the evening we walked down to the infamous Bangla road...what an experience! This road is pedestrianised on an evening and is packed full of people checking out the action. The road is full of big bars, which are actually several smaller ones all under one roof. Each has a collection of thai girls (or some maybe not so female!) dancing on tables or bars, or in windows over the street.
The road itself is full of touts trying to get you into their ping pong shows or sometimes banana shows...use imagination! There are also lots of people with monkeys....lizards...rodants in coats...trying to get you to have your picture taken. We found a bar with a band on and headed in there thinking it looked the least full of tiny thai girls in tinier clothes, and it was....until the band finished! We got chatting to an Aussie couple there on holiday, they had come to thailand to only go to Patong, and had done the same last year for their Honeymoon. We found this a bit crazy, because Patong is definately not Thailand!
The next day, we mostly just pottered around in the cloudy weather. In the afternoon it cleared up enough for us to have a sit on the beach. The beach was still packed, despite the weather and there were a lot of people out parasailing. This seemed to involve a local lad hanging from the ropes of the parachute with no harness to land it safely in the wind.
Knowing we had a very early start (3am) for our Bali flight we spent the evening at the cinema and just had a relax!
Thats it, Thailand over!! On to Bali now which promises to be another adventure entirely, and we are hoping to slow down a bit! the trip through Thailand has been a bit of a rush, and we feel like we have missed a lot so hopefully we can come back some time and explore a bit more! Its a lovely country with very friendly people and lots to see! And despite what many people seem to think..the transport is much better than anywhere else we have been!!!