When booking the hotel in Patong, the location looked reasonably central on the map. 0.7 miles to the main street and 0.9 miles to the beach doesn’t sound far in theory. However walking for 15 minutes in 35C is a bit like hard work for someone a couple of shades off albino. I can’t complain too much though when most people I know are at work in places where the weather is miserable.
The island of Phuket is extremely touristy and prices reflect this. While hardly expensive, this part of the world can probably not be considered as dirt cheap any more. Possibly the most outrageous price I saw was 288 baht for a foot-long Subway meal. That’s almost £7 for a sandwich. In Thailand and not Norway! The Thai banks also take the Mickey with their ATM charges. 220 baht to withdraw your own money. I’m not sure what the plural of baht is. TripAdvisor is divided between baht and bahts, with plenty of clueless people keen to chime in and presumably guess! It sounds like baht when Thai people speak so that’s what I’ll go with. Anyway that’s over £5 and doesn’t even include what your own bank will additionally sting you for. It’s also 220 baht at every cash machine and I tried a fair few of them! Obviously this must be some sort of coincidence. Far be it for me to imply that such moral institutions would be involved in any sort of collusion or price-fixing! With most money exchanges offering around 99% of the xe.com rate, most people would probably be better off exchanging cash for local currency in Thailand.
I’d imagined that the Thai islands would be the sort of place where the party never ends and bars eventually closing when the last reveller stumbles out. However this isn’t the case in Patong. Most places advertise a closing time of 1am. I asked someone if this was a new law. They seemed to suggest that this has always been the official closing time but in recent times enforcement has been more rigorous. When I headed home at about 12.45am there didn’t seem to be much sign of anywhere closing so perhaps there’s a bit of leeway.
Patong’s main nightlife street is Bangala Walking Street. This contain an eclectic mixture of establishments. There are bog standard pubs that you find everywhere, bars to pick-up a potential wife and places where goodness knows what goes on behind a curtain. I found a decent bar showing the football, accompanied by a live band. Without wishing to make fun of foreign accents or speech impediments, if a singer struggles to say the word “think” I’m not sure why they’d play Another Day In Paradise by Phil Collins!
There probably won’t be a huge amount of photos in the Phuket section of the blog as there’s only so many pictures of the beach and bars that you can take.