For my first contribution to this blog I went on a mission to Phuket. We have been talking about Pattaya and all its secrets for a while, but don’t forget that Phuket also is a monger-friendly destination. There is not so much choice as in Pattaya but at least this is a true beach resort, and you can even send a postcard to your family without looking like a perv 🙂
I am not a Phuket specialist, but in my opinion 90% of the P4P there happens in Patong (for Farangs I mean) and 90% of the Patong P4P happens in or around Bangla Road. Let’s say from Taipan (on Rat U Thit road, opposite Bangla Road) to Banana Club (200 meters on the left after Bangla Road, on the beach road).
This is where I have focused my investigations, except from a quick (and rather disappointing) expedition to Christin Massage, further down on soi Rat U Thit). Yes I guess you can now call me Bangla-Psycho as well.
First a general observation about Patong Beach: The whole place is quickly growing. I had not been there for more than a year, maybe a year and a half, and there are more hotels, more shops, new venues, etc. Good thing for the tourism industry, but of course with growth and popularity come the annoying part: the Thai people not only lost their smile there, they also lost their coolness and their sense of respect (reminds me of places like Phangan or Samui), the Indian tailors are more aggressive than ever, not only they shoot at you to buy a suit while youÃre going to the beach wearing only a short and a shirt, but they also grab your hand or your arm and try to literally pull you inside their shop.
Same for the massage girls: There are more and more massage places and the girls scream at you and grab your arm and prevent you to move along. And of course the ones who do that are not the prettiest ones. Talk about Zombie movies.
They’ve done a good job at JungCeylon though, as this is now a true upscale shopping and dining center with music, water shows, movie theaters and all the stuff.
The beach is still very nice, but if you want to swim you have to find your way between parasailing boats and jetskis. Why the hell do you want to swim here anyway?. Well, if I came only for swimming I would definitely head south of Patong, but it is actually in Patong that all the fun happens. At night at least.
Back to the night in Patong, then.
I guess everyone would agree that Patong is more about beer bars and clubs than Gogo bars. Most of the Gogo bars there simply suck and this is definitely not there that you will find the hottest girls. However there are one or two Gogos worth checking out. Anyway, the good thing with Patong is that it is so concentrated that you can check all places three times in less time than you would need to walk from Nana Plaza to Soi Cowboy :).
Let’s start the review, from North to South.
Taipan, aka the infamous FBI (Finest Bar In Thailand), is still one of the most famous after hours places in town, with the double advantage of being close to the action and free to go in. However, like most after hours places, the quality of the crowd inside strongly depends on how the action has been, earlier, in other places. During the low season, the place can be very empty. I only went once and not that late, but it was quite empty.
Next to Taipan is the Baya Beach Club, which I never really liked. I didn’t visit, therefore I can not comment. But it is still there, so I guess that the owner manages to do some good business.
And next to Baya Beach Club is the new (at least for me it was new) Rock City. I think there is a Rock City in Pattaya as well, no? Well, anyway, Rock City in Patong is a strange place. This looks like many Thai oriented clubs. A huge stage in the back, a few tables in the middle where you stand and drink, and an empty space in the front, where the bar and the entrance are. And of course a Thai live band that sings odiously wrong and odiously too loud. I didn’t stay there more than 20 seconds.
Now in to Bangla. At the beginning, everything happens on the right side of the road, going south.
First is, in my opinion the best (and only?) Gogo bar in Patong: Rock Hard a Gogo. I like this Gogo. I mean I like the look and the way it is arranged. It is probably the best Gogo in Thailand in that matter. Looks like a Club with 2 large stages, plenty of space to sit and drink, a pool area, good music, not-pushy mamasans, etc.
The only drawback being – The girls! I have never seen a stunner in there. Ok, they have a few that are doable, but even in high season, nothing close to Shark, Doll House or Rainbow in BKK, to name a few.
Next, in the first street on the right after Rock Hard, there is a new Gogo: Roxy a Gogo. Nice place too, but the weird thing there is that they dedicated twice as much space for the pool tables (2 only, but big ones) as for the stage. There is only a small round stage (looks a bit like the small one in the Carousel in BKK) that doesn’t even turn around. You end up spending more time looking at snooker than at dancers I would say the same about Roxy as I said about Rock Hard. Nice place, but don’t forget to put pretty girls in.
Next in the same street is the Seduction disco that opened maybe 2 years ago. Didn’t check.
Then, right on Bangla road, is the Tiger complex. Not much change. But still in my opinion the funniest place in Patong. You can spend a night there, drinking downstairs and then when your drunk, climbing upstairs to Tiger Disco (250 baht with 2 drinks), till you find someone to bring (take you) home. Even during low season both the bars and the disco offer a wide range of girls which allows you to almost always find a few that you like.
Moving on on soi Bangla, the next soi you meet is soi Sea Dragon, the only soi featuring a few Gogo Bars. The beer bars are in the middle of the soi and the Gogos on the sides. The Gogos have the same names as some in soi Cowboy (Play school, Suzy Wong), and maybe the same owners, but apart from the names and the owners, they have nothing in common with their BKK counterparts. They look like old and dirty versions of them actually. In a way, the whole soi reminds me of the worst part of Patong. Dirty beer bars, weird Gogos bars, and even the touts that want to drag you inside for a ping pong show or something like that. In my opinion Sea Dragon is the worst soi in Patong. As far as girls are concerned, this is also true.
And now comes soi Eric.
Soi Eric is now a funny place. The whole soi has been transformed so that each and every bar has the same look and feel in the soi, with purple neons and small spotlights. Kind of club atmosphere for beer bars. The result is pretty convincing (photo). They are so proud of what they did that they sell a Soi Eric t-shirt for 100 baht. The weird thing is that there is nothing on the black or white t-shirt, but Soi Eric written on it. WTF?
In comparison with soi Sea Dragon, soi Eric offers nice and clean beer bars and a very good atmosphere, like a huge party all over the place. Girls are not only prettier than in the previous soi, they also are more friendly, dance on the tables, etc. I would rate soi Eric second after Tiger complex.
The next soi, soi Crocodile, is also now referred as soi katoeys, because the main attraction is the bunch of katoeys who dance on a small stage at the entrance of the soi. And in my opinion, there is actually not much to see on soi Crocodile besides that. And there are so many tourists taking pictures of the katoeys, than you could end up with your picture on hundreds of websites “my holidays in Thailand”.
Soi Gonzo (who came up with such a name???) is a bit away of the action as there are some construction in front of the soi and one need to go thru a small alley to reach the soi. Therefore it is pretty quiet, especially now with the low season.
Soi Easy is not really a soi, but is worth mentioning because it hosts the new club in town: Hollywood (talk about being creative!). Well, just another club in my opinion. Was free, but also empty, when I checked it.
Then in an interesting way, the action moves to the left of soi Bangla with a few beer bars, whose only interest is that they are open from noon or something and are the only ones to offer afternoon action.
Once youÃve reached the end of Bangla Road you make a left and walk for 200 meters. Here is the Banana Club. 400 baht with 2 drinks. I gave it a miss for this time 🙂
Let’s talk about price!
Suk Psycho does not only look and report. He actually tries. Here are the prices you can expect to pay.
Well, at least these are the prices I paid.
First a general observation: prices have moved up. They are now close to BKK prices. Actually this is not a big surprise as everything in Patong, from water bottle to accommodation, from food to transportation is at least as expensive as it is in BKK. Patong is not Pattaya in that matter.
In the Gogos, the bar fine is 600 baht. Short time is 2000 baht and LT 3 to 4000 baht. In the beer bars, barfine is between 300 and 500 baht. You will find several girls quoting 2000 baht ST. This can be reduced to 1500. Some quote 1500 and this can be reduced to 1000, but this is rare. One beer bar girl did not negotiate the price upfront. When finished I handed 1000 baht and she was happy with that. Go figure. LT is also in the 3 to 4000 range.
A common scam in the beer bars is to charge you for more than the actual barfine price: let’s say the barfine is 300. If you ask to the girl, she will say 500 and mention that to the cashier. She will then make an extra 200 for her. Patong is the only place where I saw this. Don’t ask for the barfine price. Always assume it is 300, but be prepared to pay more in some cases.
Christin Massage: This is the only Massage Parlour in Patong. Well, at least the only one I know. Went there once at 3pm and once at 7pm. Both times the guy in there showed me three sets of girls, all ugly, with prices from 1800 to 2800 baht, all included. The second time, when I mentioned that they were “not that hot” – he said that the best time to come is 6pm. I guess there is a small slot when you can find a few good looking girls in there, but I’m not sure.
Naughty massages: I don’t know of any teen massages in Patong, however there are a few naughty massages (not designed for P4P but where P4P happens), mainly on Kepsab road and around. I paid 1500 baht for a massage + fool job there, which is rather a good price compare to the overall prices.
All in all I would say that there are some good experiences to be found in Phuket, but it is nothing to compare to BKK or Pattaya. It’s good to have a few girls you know in case you don’t find anything else. If you have a good experience on your first night, make sure you keep the opportunity to come back!