We stayed at the Burasari Resort, about 3 or 4 blocks from the beach. This hotel was heavily damaged in the 2004 Tsunami, but it was quickly restored and today shows no lingering effects. Our room was amazing, with direct pool access straight off our patio.
Part of our room.
Matt hard at work on our patio, which lead straight into the pool.
View of our room from the other side of the pool.
View into the pool from our patio.
We spent alot of time just walking around Patong. Everywhere you looked there were stands selling clothes, electronics, jewelry, knockoffs, and lots of homemade items. If you wanted something, you could find it and buy it here. I was surprised at seeing things like Viagra and Phentermine without a prescription at the drugstore.
Booths at Patong Top Shopping Center. This place also had a ton of outdoor bars as well.
Food choices are endless. Subway, Starbucks, Burger King... they all can be found in Patong Beach. Pizza, seafood, Thai food and even steakhouses. People at carts sell fruits, juices and even pancakes.
My meal on the last night in Thailand. It was de-licious.
Me with my pineapple chicken and mai tai. And I wondered why I kept getting cold sores. I drank more juices and ate more fruit there than anytime in my life.
Matt trying coconut milk. We were surprised that it wasn't like milk we would think of. It was more a thick watery liquid. Matt wasn't a fan at all. Luckily I am allergic to coconut so I didn't try it.
Me with some awesome banana and nutella pancakes. I thought they would be more like crepes, but instead they were fried. You could opt to have it with or without an egg. I choose without as I just couldn't get into non-refrigerated eggs that were usually cooked runny.
Patong Beach was hit quite hard in the 2004 Tsunami. Many of the areas on Beach Road and even further hit were destroyed or damaged and have been rebuilt over the past 3 1/2 years. I have watched videos on youtube of the tsunami hitting Patong, Phi Phi Islands and other parts of Thailand, and it is so heart wrenching. It feels different when you have been there, when you have walked with these people, than just watching it all happen on tv. It was a very surreal experience standing in the exact same spot that people had lost their lives or loved ones.
One thing you will see all over not just Patong, but Thailand in general, are Spirit Houses. The purpose of the Spirit House is to provide an appealing shelter for the spirits, or celestial beings, who would otherwise reside in the heavens. Offerings will often be made at these to keep the spirits happy. We watched each morning food being taken to a spirit house at our hotel, as well as seeing these small houses all over with food and drinks.
One of the many spirit houses we saw.
The famous Bangala Road & exotic nightlife in Patong is quite a pull for people traveling here on vacation. Everywhere you look on this road are rows and rows of bars. During the day there are a few people seen around, but at night it is packed with wall to wall people. No tuk tuks, scooters or cars. Only people.
I need to stop here and explain, if I can, what the nightlife and bars are like here in comparison to someplace like the United States (or even the few places I have been in Venezuela or France).
Few of the places are similar to what we would find here. A small area with a bar section and stools and then tables and chairs. Many others are huge rooms or outside areas filled with "sections" of different bars. At these bars will be the actual bar and then stools.
Outside of the bars, on the street, or by each "section" will be bargirls trying to get people to sit at "their" bar. From what I understand the girl that "brought" the person/persons in will get paid. Sometimes the "bargirl" will be asked to escort around for the evening, whether it be to other bars, dinner or what have you. Other times the "bargirl" will be asked to escort for more than just dinner or whatever.
There is a sex industry, but we are asked not to judge what is seen there, it is more complicated than one thinks. Sometimes I just wanted to weep for these girls. But as Matt told me, they are all hoping that one day they will meet someone who will take them away from this kind of life. And we saw two on our plane on the way to Singapore that did.
The nightlife in Thailand is a completely different world than anywhere else I have been. And from what I understand, there are other countries, particularly a few Asian ones, that has similar nightlife. I pray that someday these girls lives do not need to be this way.
One neat part about the nightlife is everywhere you go you get to play -- Jenga, Connect Four or a neat dice and number game (which we bought and love to play).
While you sit people and even children will come up and try to sell you anything from food to fresh flowers to homemade items. I think I could have a whole garden with the number of flowers I bought off children while out at night. What can I say? I am a sucker.
One part of Patong (and other areas of Thailand) that I haven't addressed are the ladyboys. I have never, ever, seen anything quite like them, even when I went to an impersonator show in Las Vegas. The best was when Matt and I were talking about just how beautiful two ladies we saw walking were while we ate dinner one night, and later on we saw the same girls with the ladyboys. Okay let me rephrase that, they were ladyboys. I swear I have never seen such perfect female bodies before on some of these men. I would kill for some of their legs.
The last night in Thailand was quite interesting. We left right before the Songkran Festival, but that didn't stop people from getting started early. This most celebrated Thai festival starts April 13 and lasts between 3 and 10 days, depending on where you are in Thailand. The Thai people celebrate this festival with water and everyone gets soaking wet.
Make sure you check out the pictures of Matt and I getting caught in the water crossfire on my photo album. This is us after we tried to dry off a bit.
I have to admit this post is bittersweet. I love sharing details of our trip. It was one of the most amazing experiences of my life, and sadly this is my last post on Thailand. Now don't fret yet. I still have to share our experiences in Singapore, but for now I have to say goodbye to Thailand. I am hoping that someday soon I will be able to go back. I love the people, the culture, and the beauty of the country. Don't get me wrong. It's not all exotic, but there is just something magical about Thailand.