Patong Diaries

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A smorgasbord of fun filled experiences from beaches, water sports, great food and a vibrant night life makes it a memorable holiday.

Local vendors in Patong
Local vendors in Patong

A beach town on Phuket’s west coast, Patong is known for its vibrant island life. In fact as soon as you land here, the first thing you notice is the large number of people who run beach water sport activities. Apart from the stunning coastline, there is much more to see and do here. And here is your lowdown on the same.

Water sports in Patong
Water sports in Patong

Karon beach

Karon is the third longest beach on Phuket island and is a favourite with travellers. It also offers snorkelling and diving spots at its southern end and has three main areas – the Karon Centre a small city with an eclectic mix of dining, shopping and nightlife entertainment as well as a beautiful Buddhist temple hosting a weekly market. Karon Beach Road is great of a walk post sunset when it is cooler and has several resorts, restaurants and shops. The best part about this beach is that it is not very crowded and the waters are crystal clear and a dip is the best way to beat the heat. A running path and bicycle track alongside the beach is a good way to soak in the sights and sounds without getting wet! Jet Ski Hire, Beach Side Parasale and Speed Boat Rides are available at a cost here.

Simon's Cabaret
Simon’s Cabaret

Simon Cabaret Show

Walking into the Simon Cabaret show theatre in Patong is quite unique as this is performed by the lady boys of Patong! The show happens in a beautiful auditorium with Kenny G saxophone music that has plush seats, top notch lighting, sound systems and a beautiful ambience. The live performers wear glistening sequined and shimmering costumes with feathers and you could be mistaken that you are looking at beautiful girls! Simon Cabaret has been entertaining visitors since 1991 with a potpourri of music, glamour, glitter and cornball and is a huge draw. With clever choreography and colourful costumes, you are treated to a show that is an hour long where the sequences change quickly. The background sets are also amazing and you are bound to have a great time. The transgender and transvestite entertainers are very talented and the show has some sprinkle of humour too. There are songs in Thai, English, Japanese and Korean and the entertainment here is one that the whole family can watch together. After the show the performers pose outside with members of the audience but you will need to pay each artiste separately so think before you get clicked!

Jungceylon Shopping Mall
Jungceylon Shopping Mall

Jungceylon Shopping Mall

To indulge in local food and shopping, stop by at the the Jungceylon Shopping Complex that has two main stores Robinson, a high end department store and the Big C supermarket. This apart, the mall is home to over 200 stores that sells trinkets, bags, shoes, handicrafts, food, branded clothes, spectacles, sunglasses, cosmetics, perfumes, shoes, DVDs, computer games, mobile phones and accessories, electrical goods but and more. It also houses a five-room SF Cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley as well as a food court that allows you to sample a range of cuisines. The lower level has a lot of tiny stores where you can pick some local handicrafts too and souvenirs at reasonable prices.

Restaurant in Jungceylon Shopping Mall
Restaurant in Jungceylon Shopping Mall

Food & Fun

In Patong, the best way to explore the local food is to head to the road side food stalls that dish out local specialties at pocket friendly prices So you can try pad Thai with fresh squid and mussels, green papaya salad, steaming noodle soup topped with Thai basil and fresh long beans, rice and curry as well as fried rice with shrimp, squid and vegetables. Cut fruits – papaya, pineapple, watermelon, dragon fruit, melon and mango are also available. To experience the vibrant night life head to Bangla Road that has a motley mix of go-go bars, beers bars and more. While drinks flow freely here, make sure that you take care of your belongings and if you want to click the lady boys, they expect a tip. The dancers at the go-go bars will let you buy them drinks for a conversation when they are not on stage. Patong also has Irish bars with live music as well especially if you are looking for a more sober experience. In all Patong is everything you want in a fun holiday and it’s for you to experience it for yourself.

This story appeared in Deccan Chronicle dated August 27, 2018 here:

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