Our journey to Phuket actually began four years ago when we first visited Thailand. In 2013 we did a great tour of Thailand that hit all the hot spots on the mainland. After the tour we took off on our own and visited Krabi
and Phuket in Thailand and Bali in Indonesia.
While in Phuket we fell in love with the totally decadent time we had staying in a Marriott in the northern part of the island.
We knew we had to return. The Marrriott was not available this year so we decided to visit the southern end of the island-Patong Bay.
Long story short the two places could not be more different! In 2013 we had miles and miles of pristine beach with not a soul on them. Patong Bay beach is packed with more humans and umbrellas than one can imagine.
Inflatables are the bomb on the beach whether they be tubes or “beach beds.”
Surrounding the beach are streets full of the biggest bars on earth, shop upon shop upon shop and people everywhere.
As in the rest of SE Asia motorbikes and tuk-tuks are the major form of transportation. Thankfully, the motorbikes are very quiet unlike alot of the noisy motorcycles of New England. The motorbikes are the real workhorses of the area-carrying families of four and their groceries just like our vans. Or they pull a version of an American food truck as a sidecar.
Just so much fun to watch.
This is a motorbike taxi dropping grandma off to do her shopping.
Gasoline costs about a buck a liter and is sold everywhere on the streets in old glass bottle because there are not many gas stations.
Our pool at the Phuket Marriott in 2013.
Our pool at our apartment in Bali.
Our pool in 2017 is right outside our sliding door-not too shabby!
Our timeshare place in Patong Bay, Phuket is built into the very steep hills surrounding the town. A jitney tuk-tuk deposits us at the beach every morning at 10:30. The water here is the perfect temperature and crystal clear and we stay in for a couple of hours-loving it.
Food stalls line the street that runs along the 3 km beach and we grab something delicious for lunch-a schwarma,
smoothie, pad thai, papaya salad, kabobs and more.
Ice cream on the beach is a really neat treat. They take about 3/4 cup of cream, add in whatever you want for a mix in, throw it on a very cold slab and presto! 76EC8757-AF59-4459-A1F4-E1046C710930Delicious ice cream Here’s of video of the lady mixing up our mango ice cream and another one was chocolate morsels 95C07CA8-07D4-413F-BD24-5309679DD457
After lunch we head back in the water before our 2:30 tuk-tuk pick-up. By then we’ve had plenty of sun for the day and head back to swim in our pool and catch up with the world and read.
Late afternoon is all about the commute and there are massive amounts of vehicles on all the roads. The airport is 26klm from our hotel and on the Friday we arrived it took us two hours, yes TWO HOURS to travel that distance. And we think Boston traffic is crazy! Of course there were lots of fun pictures to take along the way.
These are workers heading home.
This is grandma in the sidecar and grandpa on the motorbike pulling what appears to be most of their possessions!
A school bus at the end of a long day of learning.
But, reallly, this is one of those times you really had to be there to get the absurdity of it all.
We were in Patong for the lunar new year. In Vietnam everyone gets a week off. They close up shops and head home. Most stores are closed-according to our guides it is not a good time to visit because temples and stores are closed. In Patong Bay it was much more low keyed-decorations, banquets, fireworks but pretty mild and businesses were all open and offerings in hopes of the gods granting them a healthy new year were left everywhere.
Nighttime is where Patong Bay really shines-neon and crazy drunk people-the “girlie boys” strut their stuff and ladies of the night are out in full force. Bars are huge beyond belief. By 8 p.m. Bangala Walking Road starts to come to life and we are told that around midnight every seat is taken. Noise over the top. Crazy chaotic fun.
These three want to see our IDs before pouring us a shot! (NOT) They look about 13 and were our accomplished bartenders. They did get a big kick out of the old ladies knocking back the tequila.
F27B7A33-51C4-4C1B-9B90-55FE4B215F4BCrazy place.Not that we experienced any of it personally- or maybe just a little-bottoms up!