Another relaxed start, waking and immediately scribbling down some notes about my dream (a rad idea for a video game involving time travel and changing the future) before going down for our mediocre breakfast consisting once again of eggs and some bits of potato. I’d spend the next few hours trying to fix my stomachache and using the hotel lobby wifi before we would go on a short walk down the road (on the other side of the hotel). The weather was near unbearable, the sun beating us down like a pillowfight with satan, we would only get half way down the road before turning back and heading back to the hotel, we did get to see a temple along the way though, and had a short encounter with a brave lizard (gecko?) who was kind enough to pose for some photos. Back at the hotel, a cold shower, drink and short rest before getting ready to head out for the day’s main attraction of Patong City.
We would be dropped off at the Jungceylon mall and work our way out from there, the mall itself was probably the most modern thing we’ve seen in the entirety of Phuket, though still on an average level of tech compared to the marble paved malls of Singapore, the shops inside themselves were nothing particularly special, a plethora of beauty shops mixed with clothes, and then a cinema, small arcade and an IT square – which is apparently a fancy way of saying a ton of shops selling iphone cases, selfie monopods and charging cables. Lunch was a rather boring snack of thai McDonalds – they do however serve fried chicken here, and it’s really good.
Directly outside the mall itself, things looked rather nice, a collection of fountains and tourist centred restaurants line the outer sections of the mall complex, with the edge leading onto an open market area and the rest of Patong, we had a brief look outside at the surroundings but only really found a small shrine, food market and some bars (overflow for Bangla street most likely – more on that soon). There were also a lot of smaller free standing stalls selling clothes, the majority of them not busy at all and selling nothing special. Down the end of Patong is the most busy beach in Phuket of the same name (Patong Beach), despite the high waves we still got to sit back and people watch for a while, laughing at people falling from jet ski’s and being constantly impressed by the way the locals handle the parasailing (mounting the parachute and soaring into the air by just grabbing onto the cables without harness).
We’d explore the streets and market stands til it got dark, at which point it became time to roam Patong’s infamous Bangla street, an entire strip devoted to bars and nightclubs, the road closes during the evening and the street fills with bar girls promoting happy hours, men trying to entice you to go and see ‘ping pong shows’ and hawkers trying to literally pedal their wares via mobile street grills or fruit stands. We were walking around far too early to see it, but apparently at night there are also pole dancers in the bar fronts and masses of ladyboys (transvestites) roam the streets, we did see a few ladyboys but nowhere near the level we had heard about. Shooting (photography) here was kind of tricky, the dark meant I had to shoot longer exposures without moving, as such by the end of the night I had become pretty good at shooting at 1/8th by hand.
Other things worth mentioning include a few restaurants where you’d pick your own fish/seafood using a shopping basket then pass it to a chef to cook for you, thai boxers passing by on floats doing demonstrations to advertise their fights later that night, and a long awaited return to the fish spa – long time blog readers may remember this one from Malaysia, where you put your feet in to waters filled with ‘doctor fish’ who eat the dead skin, my feet after a week of heavy walking evidently have an abundance of it.
Taxi ride back to the hotel, followed by one of the more disappointing meals of the trip, a restaurant called chilis near the hotel whose food was very poor, the thai green curry and pad thai were alright however. Then back to the hotel room to blog, shower and pack, as that is our time in Phuket Thailand officially over, tomorrow morning we are off to the capital of Thailand, the city of Bangkok.