PHUKET NIGHTLIFEJuly 02, 2014
Patong is the beating heart of Phuket's nightlife scene - a place that really comes to life at night. What takes place in Patong during the nighttime hours needs to be seen to be believed...for reasons I will get on to later. Allow me to give you a little insight into what Phuket Island has to offer once the sun goes down.
Our first stop is Patong Weekend Night Market; a hotspot for the culinary curious.
Street food is cheap, easy and delicious. It's perhaps one of the best ways to get a diverse taste of Thailand. Phuket Town Night Market is one of the many destinations across Thailand that offer a smorgasbord of street food. Bring an open mind, some baht and of course your best bartering skills.
Displayed on makeshift stalls under dimly lit tungsten bulbs are a myriad of mystery meats, spicy treats, alien looking fruits, sugar coated insects and live produce.
Baby octopus skewers, char-grilled to order and coated in red hot sweet chili sauce. Thai people love to turn up the heat when it comes to food. Many dishes contain very liberal amounts of chili. You've been warned!
My haul; banana and mango smoothie and a BBQ chicken skewer. About 60 baht (around £1) each.
It's all too easy to spend hours engrossed in exploring the weird and wonderful street food on offer. If you need a break from it all you can take the weight off and pull up a pew at one of the many makeshift bars that are located within the night market. Some may wish to ingest some Dutch courage before they can muster up the appetite to stomach some of the more 'exotic' foods - others may need it to come to help them come terms with that they have just eaten.
Next stop, Bangla Road; where the party's at.
I've shown you the relatively innocent side of Phuket’s nightlife, now let me show you the other side of the coin. Its party scene....
Located a short walk from Patong Night Market is Bangla Road, the epicentre of Patong’s party scene. Like moths to a light bulb, crowds of people swarm to Bangla road every night. The place is ablaze with a spectrum of dazzling neon lights and the music is so loud that the earth below you shakes in a seismic manner.
The alcohol fuelled inferno is exacerbated by the cheap booze that is readily available. Forget standard measures, most drinks here are served in buckets and there are countless bars offer beer pong and body shots.
Pole dancing clubs and Go Go bars are rife. Everywhere you look there are scantily-clad Thai women looping around poles. Many of them display what seems to be super-human flexibility (which I couldn't photograph for obvious reasons). The x-rated public displays lure in hordes of predominantly male tourists.
As you make your way down the road past the hustle and bustle, promotional leaflets are thrust into your hands by over friendly reps, elbowing each other out the way to get your attention. On closer inspection you may notice that a lot of them are advertising the listings of ladyboy, transvestite and other deviant shows and performances that take place every night. I won't go into too much more gory detail, instead I will leave the rest to your imagination.
Like I mentioned earlier, it all needs to be seen to be believed. You really couldn't make some of this stuff up.
Final stop, Patong Beach.
At the end of the road lies a tropical white sand beach where many die hard partygoers will party on into tomorrow... where it all happens again.