Fuck yeah its time to hit Thailand! Of course you hear about all the crazy things that happen in Thailand like the ladyboys and the ping pong shows and insanely cheap alcohol, we were about to witness it all. But its also not the whole picture, there are some really beautiful places around the island.
After a 1 hour drive from Phuket International Airport we were in Patong, the party central of Phuket; our place just a few minutes walk from the beach as well as the infamous Bangla Road. It’s too bad our room was 5 floors up without an elevator, but on the plus side we get to wake up to a decent view.
The next day we opted to do a fishing trip out to Racha Yai. Most of the time we were trolling (dragging fishing lines through the water), myself having never fished before am a little unimpressed as it seems a pretty poor attempt at fishing as we catch nothing, looks like fish isn’t on the menu for lunch. By midday we arrive at the island where we anchor down in a little cove where a lot of tour groups also sail to for lunch break and some swimming/snorkelling. Visibility is okay and certainly not the best place to snorkel but a refreshing dip in the water is a welcome change.
After our pit stop we head out to some deep water to do bottom fishing where we attached bait to our lines on lead sinkers and just let it drop deep down. I had felt a fish on my line twice but I had no idea what the fuck I was doing so by the time I had pulled up my line the bait was gone and I was fish-less. Meh. Hardly anyone else caught anything either. Decent boat ride I guess.
Now for the evening we headed our to the nearby Malin Plaza market for some delish street food; 100 baht Pad Thai get in mah belly. Over the week we would eat here a couple more times as it’s pretty cheap and you have a good selection of dishes.
The long stretch of road is decked out in all sorts of bars and nightclubs, many with open fronts so you can see all the go-go girls and bar girls up on the counters doing their business on the poles, it is a sight to behold. Neon lights and an army of touts harass us to come inside their beer bar/go-go bar/discotheque until we settle upon seeing a Ping Pong show. We had some idea of what such a show was but we were all too curious to see for ourselves.
Many of these places are ‘free entry’ yet you must buy one drink. That drink is usually extremely overpriced and is somewhat of like a cover charge. Meh worth it I guess for what we saw was shocking in the least. Cringeworthy and impressive at the same time. Needles, Candles, Cigarettes, Ping Pong balls, Birds, Goldfish and all that stuff. No pictures for this experience ladies and gentlemen but I think this memory will live on in my mind for quite some time. I think I’ll leave it there and not go into too much detail; the story of the rest of that night will be reserved to my close friends if you actually really want to know.
The next night it was time to see the Simon Cabaret Ladyboy Show! We had heard some rave reviews about the show from other holidayers we met on our fishing trip so we decided to give it a go. While I had never seen a cabaret show so I can’t really compare, but the show had quite a good production with seemingly expensive sets and costumes. It was good fun and not really lewd at all and many families were here. Couples of laughs were had when said ladyboys (not the pretty ones) came down into the crowd and motorboated their fake titties on unwitting men.
Now I wish we could’ve spent much longer in Phuket as we learned there is much more to see if you only just get out of Patong. While great for its nightlife, Patong is crowded with many tourists and its beach also suffers as a result with lots of litter and too many touts harassing you to go parasailing or rent their beach umbrellas. If I were to return I would probably stay somewhere like the quieter Karon beach which is still relatively unspoilt and much cleaner, while also still developed and having some nice places to stay. Phuket was still absolutely worth if only just to go and visit the Phi Phi islands from which I will write about a little bit about in another post.