The first thing I noticed in Patong was the smell, Oh my goodness! We had clearly been blessed with fresh air in Rawai (where our hotel was based). Patong is the smelliest place I have ever been too! But don’t worry you do get used to it fairly quickly along with the other “interesting things” around patong, lets take a look below:
Mall Shopping in Patong
After the initial shock (of the smell), you can headed into Jungceylon Shopping mall. It’s much like the Myer Centre in Australia (a large shopping mall with a few different shops within it), what they both have in common is they are both fairly expensive.
Market Shopping in Patong
In search of a bargain or two, you can wander around the streets of Patong for a few minutes and run into street long markets selling everything from designer/fake clothing, handbags and anything else designer you can think of as well as “normal” watches, wallets, clothing, shoes, hats, jewellery, art work, DVDs etc. If you end up at Bangla Street you will likely be were mobbed by Lady-boys, Ping Pong shows and Tailors. It’s definitely an experience I can tick off of your bucket list, although I’m not really sure it should be there in the first place.
Endless Bars in Patong
If you dare to head down Bangla Street you will see that the street is a mixture of strange and weird…. there are markets and small stores spotted along the street mixed in with strangely themed bars littered with pretty girls enticing young (and old) men to come in and enjoy drinks with them… which usually means you will end up spending hundreds of dollars more than you have intended to as the girls encourage you to drink and buy them drinks…
Not every Massage parlour in Patong offers a happy ending
Thailand is famous for the amazing massages and lets face it in this “seedy” part of town there are likely to be massage parlours that will certainly give you a happy ending…. however there are some that pride themselves in proper massages, without a sleazy ending…
Lady Boys in Patong
Should you bare to stop to have some photos with a Lady-boy, be ware it will cost you and in all honestly its unlikely that you will ant to be stopped, more like you are mobbed until you agree to stop and take a photo with them (don’t stress its not a scary experience!) it’s more like an interesting but entertaining experience and hey, “when in Rome”.
The lady boys in Patong are pretty friendly and go to a massive effort to get all dressed up and do their make up – show a little appreciation of the “local art” haha!
Ping pong shows along Bangla Street
The next people to mob you are the “ping pong” show people, who will try to convince you to come and watch some lovely ladies shooting pin songs out of their …lady bits and other fairly disturbing shows but hey no judgment here, everyone has their kinks…. Entrance to the ping pong shows are free however (so i’ve heard) the drink prices are marked up incredibly.
Animal cruelty in Patong
After a little photo-op with the Lady boys and mobbing by the Ping Pong show fanatics you’ll likely have people come up to you and offer to have photos taken with a baby “Slow Loris” and an “Iguana Lizard”. While you might think this is a great idea as its unlikely you would have seen these animals up close. Little do you know that this is actually Illegal in Thailand. Take this as a warning to other “Silly Tourists” (like myself at the time). Don’t fall for this, these animals are not treated well. The mothers and fathers of these little animals are killed and the babies are taken away, once they have grow too old they will be disgaurded like rubbish and the process of getting a new baby starts again! – See the links for stories about this. Here or Here or a story about Gibbons on Tripadvisor
Patong is certainly an experience I would recommend to everyone who makes their way to Phuket, be cautious and have fun!