Both Ends of the Phuket Spectrum

After a thoroughly relaxing time on Koh Lanta it was time for our final fling in Phuket. Henry had some friends over in Patong and Katie and I wanted to go out with a bang and spend some Starwoods points staying at The Westin, so we split our time between both. And wow, how different they were.

The ferry didn’t get us in until about 5pm and after a rip off cab ride (THB 600) we got in late to Patong. We checked into our 1970s looking “resort” hotel – Tony’s – and headed straight for dinner. Patong is a crazy place; a seedier Las Vegas where anything goes. There are lots of tourists that come to see the Thai girls – we saw a particularly gross guy wearing a “tonight I’m single t-shirt” – but fortunately as we had a girl with us we were mostly left alone.

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After a few casual warm ups Changs and some games of Connect-4 at the Flamingo, we headed to the Tiger bar. It’s an absolutely surreal place covered in neon lights, huge tiger models and about 50 identical small U-shaped bars with moody go-go girls dancing on all under one roof.

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We moved on to another area where the choice game seemed to be “hit a nail into a tree trunk using the small end of a hammer”. You play all these games with the bar girls (who draw a questionable line between bar staff and prostitutes) with he aim of you hanging around longer, plus if you loose you’re meant to buy them an over priced drink. Unsurprisingly, we were all crap (Henry being the worst) and they were incredible at it.

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We moved on to the Honkytonk, bought some tack, ploughed through more Changs then egos took over and the arm wrestling began.

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The final stop for Katie and me was the Monsoon who were blaring some great live music. Henry made a new man friend and we scoffed a few more Changs before wrapping it up. The next morning, feeling thoroughly broken, we heard stories including the words “we kept going, club, 6am and got on the back of a Thai man’s scooter looking for food”. We were delighted the Westin was on the horizon.

This was a great way to go out and we knew we’d have a great time after our golf cart driving, whilst taking us up the hill, stopped the car, turned around and said “Welcome to the Westin” a la Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park. Our driver Ti, a large Thai man of about 50, was a huge Liverpool fan and took care of us throughout our trip.

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We had a beautiful view from our balcony and began our final relax with days mostly consisting of sun-bathing (which the boys continue to do religiously), pool play and eating. Tough breaks.

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On our final night we noted a buy one get one free two hour happy hour, so, true to form, we got our money’s worth. The night began quite quietly, but as we realised Long Island iced teas were on the menus things escalated quite quickly as the sun set.

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We met a bunch of people from Seattle and Austria. Then this happened…

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We took it back to our room to smoke a victory cigar, which Henry had kindly brought out, and Ti saved us by giving us his lighter.

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We reminisced about the journey we’d just accomplished and really started to get excited about our new life in London that began tomorrow.

Until then, over and out…

– M&K

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