28.03.08 - One Week in Phuket
Just crazy! Apart from the beautiful beaches it's not the nicest place to visit in Thailand. Phuket town is still quiet and filled with historical buildings and temples, but the main tourist resorts of Patong and Karon can only be described as Ibiza on acid!! We stayed in Patong, the craziest of the lot and decided to have a week 'chilling out' here. Luckily we stayed far enough away from the main strip to be able to get some sleep!!
This is one place that never stops...a constant flow of human traffic down the streets, thumping music coming from every direction and the worst sounds of all - being pestered! you have men stood outside shops trying to drag you in to make you a suit, ladies in crazy hats croaking their wooden frogs at you in the street, the shouts of 'TUK TUK' on every corner, women outside salons trying to entice you into a massage or manicure and hundreds of people holding little laminated cards with the 'menu' of what happens at there ping pong show...its all a bit overwhelming by the time you have walked to the end of the strip you have said the words 'no thank you' so many times the words have lost all meaning!
There are so many bars here you would need a good month to have a drink in all of them, most of them Go Go bars with beautiful Thai women and more likely lady boys dancing on the bars and swinging themselves round poles. The most fun game we played there was 'spot which one used to be a man'. These 'people' have had pretty much every operation going - some even have their adams apples shaved off!! Although some still had a hint of a 5 o'clock shadow we found the best way was seeing if they had large hands and feet, a slightly deep voice or if they were lacking the feminine curves to their body shapes!!
The Ping Pong Show - after being pestered to go watch a 'free' show so many times we eventually gave in and had to pay an extortionate amount for a beer each. Sat in a row in a long line of seats next to an Australian family and amongst lots of groups of men, we faced the stage and a horrendously fat, ugly women to which Ed said "I really dont want this woman to get naked" - unfortunately his luck was out! We had to endure almost 20 minutes of not only ping pongs popping out but strings of razor blades being produced, balloons being blown up, cigarettes being smoked, cans of coke being drunk - it was all enough to put us off our beers so we left before even finishing them!!
Patong seems to be the place where anything goes as not only are there lady boys, half naked Thais and Ping Pong shows everywhere but also the most disturbing sight...the grey haired, wrinkly old western men walking hand in and hand with beautiful young Thai women - and our most disturbing sight of all was a seriously old 'granddad' type holding hands with a teenage Thai boy, who probably wasnt even gay! It makes you feel really sorry for what some of these poor people have to do for money.
A week was certainly enough for us in Phuket and we couldnt wait to board our 12 hour bus to bangkok!!