You like to party, spend money, be a little flashy….Phuket is just the place for you. Everything under the sun is at your fingertips, and it is the perfect place to dig a little deeper and see what its like behind the scenes in a tropical getaway.
Phuket was a last minute addition to my little Thailand excursion, and it was well worth it. I’ll skip the long backstory of how Phuket was a major trading route, linking France, the Dutch, and other soverign nations in the UK to natural resources found in southern Asia. Instead, i’ll get to the nitty gritty, and talk about how a country boy like me found Phuket to be so much fun.
Imagine Times Square; the hustle and bustle of commerce, food, people, cars, nightlife and parties, mixed with a beautiful warm beach, in a raucous college town. That’s Phuket. Not much wildlife to explore, but I found a few nooks and crannies to investigate.
We stayed in an airbnb again, this time down an alley and in a renovated but empty apartment building. Our room faced the beach, and the patio offered unparalleled views of the sun. I initially noticed the ABUNDANCE of counterfeit goods. Everything and anything was available on the streets, from yeezy’s to computers to whale bones, and there were tons of tourists to drop Baht (Thai cash) for everything. Honestly, I don’t know if i’ve ever been anywhere where there have been so many foreign tourists. While I emjoyed the mixing and mingling with people of different nations, it can be overwhelming if you want a little isolation. There also is an abundance of luxury, we passed resort after resort while walking around the small town, and exploring the scenery.
Patong beach is the main beach in Phuket, and it is a well worn path. There were no real designated sections, just tons of beach for everyone to sunbathe and roam. There were also lots of outdoor activities available; water skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and parasailing!
I had quite a bit of time to get myself a little lost in Phuket, and it was well worth it. What I discovered was similar to my travels in Mexico, a completely different world behind the normal tourist experience. My first mission was to find the LGBT friendly area, and it wasn’t hard to locate lol. There is a strip of clubs on the other side of Phuket’s busiest street that is home to about 6 or 7 gay clubs and bars, all with slightly different vibes. I made sure to steer clear of the ones that seemed a little….seedy…., but spent all night at the few that had great vibes and open energy. The nightlife in Phuket in general, was INTENSE. There are hordes of people, and plenty of places to spend your time and money after hours.
Next on my list was checking out where the actual Thai residents of Phuket live, and what I found was startling. Just behind some of the biggest resorts there are small encampments where people live together seemingly in support of each other, and commute back and forth to the beach for work. There were a few homeless people, and lots of trash washed down from the beaches, but there was still an undeniable beauty to it all. I snuck past a few barriers and got some up close shots of boats, a small gathering of people, and a shrine under a bridge.
Phuket, simply put, is disneyland for adults. It is a must see destination for anyone of drinking age, and highly recommended by an average traveler such as myself.