Nick and I decided to go to Vietnam for Anzac Day, 2007. By the time we realised that we needed visas there was not enough time left so we changed our plans and went to Phuket instead.
There are numerous beach resort towns in Phuket, some more suited to families, some for the beach lifestyle and others for the nightlife. We stayed in Patong.
After booking in we went to Bangla Road. We stood at the end of the road sweating profusely and wondering how anyone could possibly live there, little realising that it was an exceptionally hot day that was affecting even the locals. There was a thunderstorm that night and the temperatures were easier to handle after that.
Memories of the December 2004 tsunami were still strong.
We took a tuk tuk taxi to Kamala, the beach immediately north of Patong. The road out of Patong to Kamala is up and over a substantial hill with numerous bends and curves. Our jet pilot overtook a car that was overtaking a truck on a blind left hand curve. Three wide forays are commonplace.
The beach is an important attraction for Patong.
We decided we wanted to see more of Phuket so we booked an ‘Adventure Day’ with nine activities including 4WDriving (200 metres down a dirt track when transiting from one activity to another). Quirky but interesting.
First up was a river trip. We never did work out the reason for this one.
Despite our previous experience with kamikaze tuk tuk drivers we hired one for a four hour tour of Phuket. This guy was older and had a clapped out ute so we felt a little safer. He wanted to charge us only $7 for the day but we did our bit to stimulate the economy and gave him $35.
We met Nick’s mate, Mike, and went dirt biking and go karting.
Time to go to a snake show – the Phuket Cobra Show.
Patong is all about night life. Bangla Road is a ‘walking street’ full of go go bars, music, neon, girls, street entertainment, people from all over the planet, hawkers and the quite regular ‘WTF is that?’
The rest of Patong was booming too.
Since the 2007 Global Financial Crisis Phuket has being doing it tough – but surviving.
© Kim Epton 2007-2021
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