SEASON: May through September is drier and cooler, and more crowded.
IDEAL CONDITIONS: Dude cruise.
DAYTIME ACTIVITY: Check out the Sino-Portuguese wares of Old Phuket or snap some photos of Big Buddha.
LODGING RECOMMENDATIONS: Countless hotels from every price range. Pay by the month or the hour.
INGESTIBLES: Thai whiskey, pharmaceuticals, Asian beers.
Is it ironic that an island called Phuket seems entirely populated by prostitutes? We’re not just talking about the go-go dancers in the windows and the hand-job factories lining the streets. It’s also the tuk-tuk drivers, two-for-one suit tailors, DVD bootleggers, Thai boxing promoters, push-cart restaurateurs, cat-calling street bars, and everyone else in this beachy bar-town. All Patong seems hell- bent on furiously shaking their money-maker for you. Please come inside, have a look, just try, morning price, happy hour, happy ending, sucky sucky, come inside.
You should make the most of it.
The sooner you quit avoiding eye contact and start shaking your
booty back, the sooner you can get busy getting sideways, wrong- ways, and everywhichotherways. Because Thailand loves that. At any given moment, fireworks will explode, strangers begin wrestling in the street, and sultry women magically materialize well within your personal space. Embrace the mischief . . . just be sure you know what you’re embracing.
No question Soi Bangla is the epicenter. It’s closed to traffic at night and riddled with lanes and alleys each offering various forms of sketchy entertainment, from gigantic super clubs like Tiger Disco and the swanky, upscale Seduction. Flamboyant ladyboys dance out- side Cocktails & Dreams and Russian girls at Moulin Rouge. The Night Station is the biggest, best known, and raciest spot on Bangla, but one could probably spend weeks discovering their favorite nooks and crannies. (Warning: do not spend weeks here.)
Playschool A Go-Go, Exotica, and Devil’s Playground are the hot- test go-go bars, with scantily clad girls dancing on the bars and happy to spend time at your table for the ramped-up price of a lady drink.
Sai Kor Road hosts Thai boxing matches three nights a week, just upstairs from the wild Tiger Complex of bars and clubs. The intersection at Rat U Thit Road also hosts some top clubs, such as the Harley-themed Nicky’s Handlebar and the tribute-band bar Rock City. The Tai Pan Night Club doesn’t get started until late, but it’s a full carnival of games, prizes, girls on poles, and a stage show you can’t take your itchy eyes off of.
Then everywhere else you look, on and off Bangla, are dozens of tiny street-front bars with beautiful women calling for you to step inside. These “bar girls” love to engage in games like Connect Four or Jenga. Where things evolve from there is strictly between you and your new friend.
While the whole of Patong is paved in clubs, bars, and all-night massage parlors, there are a dozen other ways to fuck yourself up in Patong when you’re not being creepy. Cobra farms. Go-Carts.
Firing ranges. Paintball wars. Sketchy bungee jumps. Elephant wrestling. WaveRunners and parasailing. Just sign the release form and hang on tight.
Remember the rules:
Adam’s apple, hairy lips, deep voice, and strong hands . . . yes, she used to be a man.
Prostitution is not legal in Patong. Just so you know.
You won’t need a paddle for the “ping-pong” shows enthusiastically promoted on the street.
Eye contact is an open invitation to well . . . whatever. It’s an invitation.
NOTES FROM A LOCAL
The day you beat a bar girl at Connect Four is the day you’ve been in Patong too long.
FUCKED UP FIRSTHAND
At some point in the night I got it into my twisted brain that this whole town was just a snack bar designed by vampires to glam- our us into complacent delirium then feed on us without re- course. With my Spidey-senses tingling, I stumbled from the club. Everyone there was staring up at the sky where an open circuit breaker was on fire, shooting sparks into the warm tropical mist and buzzing like a nest of electric bees. Just then an explosion of fireworks burst into the sky and suddenly the entire street went black.
Nobody panicked. Perhaps we were all too wasted to react. Per- haps we all knew it would come to this. From the darkness, a lady- boy appeared beside me and offered me a half-finished cocktail. He/she gave me a brisk package check and asked if I needed a massage.
Rent a beach chair and someone will bring you a coconut to wash down your Vicodin.
From 101 Places to Get F*cked Up Before You Die: The Ultimate Travel Guide to Partying Around the World by Matador Network and edited by David S. Miller. Copyright © 2013 by Matador Network and reprinted by permission of St. Martin’s Press.
Pic via Reddit