As we had to find someplace to spend a night and a day because we mistaked our flight date to Bangkok, we decided to spend the night in Patong Beach in Phuket.
At the beginning of our trip, we already decided that we won´t spend our time in Thailand partying in some huge tourist city, so Phuket wasn´t really on our list originally. As we had seen countless beautiful beaches beforehand, we decided to save money and get a hotel in the center of Patong, a few streets away from the beach.
We strolled down the main road and did a bit of shopping at the stalls, but the heat nearly killed us so we nearly ran for the Hard Rock Café as we saw it 🙂
Patong beach during daytime is really exhausting, because there´s women in the shortest skirts offering “massages” and men trying to get you into their restaurants everywhere. Also, all the honest, friendly and happy island-charm we enjoyed the previous days was gone…totally. There were people waiting to rip you off your money everywhere here now.
At night, we wanted to just once see what all the hype was about the party-district Patong. We thought a small bar down a quiet-looking street was a good place to start, until we noticed after the first round of drinks that it was a gay bar, so we went on. A “sports-bar” was the next place we went to, which turned out to be a strip club. On the Paton-Beach Main Street you nearly get overrun by people offering you Ping Pong Shows, and after a few drinks we agreed that it was something we wanted to see once in our lifes, and followed a guy up the stairs to such a club. After the most expensive cocktail of my life (1000 baht)and a few disturbing sights we went on and were happy to find some life-music without any strippers or whatsoever.
The following day we went to see a snake show and the Big Buddha, which was really interesting and the Chalong Temple, which was the total contrary, because it had no spiritual air at all to it, you couldn´t even see monks or local people, it was just like a temple built for tourists.
After that, we were happy to leave this place behind and head to the airport for Bangkok.
Here we already had ourselves booked into the “D-Hostel”, which was really newly furnished, clean and well-situated, so totally recommendable! (http://www.dhostelbkk.com/)
A friend of Lissy who has been living in Bangkok for a while wanted to show us the city, but she got ill and so we headed out to explore it by ourselves. Again, we were lucky to meet a woman in a laundry service we went to who recommended us a tour by longtail on the Chao Phraya River and got us the most amazing deal we ever had on a taxi: 20 baht for all five of us together for a 10 minute ride (about fifty cents!)
We did a one- and a half hour boat ride and didn´t stop staring: by the side of the river, beautiful mansions stood side by side with poor people´s huts and sheds. In general, we found out that Bangkok had no actual slums, because the living places of the rich and the poor were all mixed up.
Afterwards we totally got lost in the Siam Center, the biggest shopping center of southeast Asia: The shops were way out of our travelbudget, but there was a really cheap food corner with a great variety of Thai Dishes. Also, we got the chance to try out the new Samsung Gear glasses, which was so much fun!
Afterwards we did the obligatory stop at the Hard Rock Café and for dinner we headed to Chinatown to try out unknown crazy dishes.
The next day we visited an english mass in a catholic church in the embassy distric, which was really beautiful, and we were surprised to find out that more than 1 million catholics live in Bangkok!
Then we finally did all the shopping we saved up until the last day in order not to carry all the stuff around throughout our trip at Pratunam Market, which was great. The only downside was that you are not allowed to try on the clothes (not even just on top of your clothes!) and Thai sizes are so much smaller than Europeans…so we mostly bought souvenirs. As we didn´t get enough of the markets we also took a Taxi to drive out of Town to a floating market, where we got loads of herbs and spices, but had to bargain really hard, because the vendors started at such crazy prices that you only got good deals after fighting a lot.
On the way back home, we got totally stuck in the traffic, which is so bad in Bangkok as nowhere anyone of us has been so far, because they only have 2 subway lines and a horrible bus system. We also stopped at Wat Pho, beside the Great Palace, to admire the 46 meter long golden lying Buddha.
In the evening, we planned to go to a rooftop bar after dinner, but loved the restaurant we ate in and finding out this was the last evening of our trip we decided just to relax and chat there over a few cocktails.
The next day we took a Taxi to the airport train, with the help of our lovely receptionist who stopped it for us we even got an amazing deal! This is a good advice: if you can, kindly ask the receptionist of your hotel to stop it for you and let the driver charge you by taxometer, because it´s SO MUCH CHEAPER!
So, this were our 17 incredible days in Thailand…full of great food, adventures, new experiences and fun!
…more travel tips and detailed travel guides will follow soon! 🙂