The journey to and in Patong
This was the first time I was riding on the highway, and it was significantly easier than I thought. In Koh Samui and Phangan, there were hills, turns and potholes to watch out for. This was a flat stretch of highway with broad turns. The only element to watch out for here was speed, which we quickly acclimated to.
One thing to keep an eye on is your gas tank. Your gas meter likely doesn’t work or jumps around so better safe than sorry – fill up before it’s too late, your motorbike probably didn’t come with much juice. Some gas stations are little inconspicuous pumps” the side of the road that you can slide a free bills into. B150 ($4) should fill your tank.
We obviously made some wrong turns on the way from Oldtown to Patong, but it gave us an opportunity to check out the little food kiosks and markets all over the road while pulling over to consult our map. They all sell amazing Thai food, salad wraps for B 40, spicy and delicious.
We eventually made it to our hostel – Platinum Hotel Patong, which charged about $40 on a day of reservation for two beds in a private room. It had a nice room and decent roof top pool, but none of that mattered when the beach is less than one kilometer away. We headed that way and passed a market featuring more of that amazing Thai food. Didn’t eat but the B 50 fruit shakes, about $1.50, were very refreshing and loaded with your favorite, fresh tropical fruit.
The beach was spectacular. Lots of activities there, including skidoos and para boat gliding. There are lots of locals trying to get you to partake so you will have to fend them off if you’re not interested. We wandered from end to end, chilled out in the refreshingly comfortable water, played around with some crabs, and I realized then that I love the beach. I felt so much more relaxed than I did the night before in Oldtown Phuket. Maybe I should just hang along the coast for this entire trip.
The best part of Patong was the nearby Promthep Cape, well known for its beautiful views and sunsets. The ride there was about thirty minutes, but don’t let that be a deterrent. It’s along the beach and a lot of fun on a motorbike, where you can feel the ocean breeze the whole way. There’s also a lot of sights along the way worth stopping for.
The view point is on top of a cliff that rises up off the cape, making for an truly mesmerizing view as the sun makes it’s slow decent.
After the sunset, we headed back for dinner and the night ahead. After hitting an awesome food market in Koh Samui where we sadly decided to give our stomachs a break from Thai food, we decided to redeem ourselves and headed to the Patong Food Park. Again, fend off the various vendors until you find what you want. It’s an authentic Thai food paradise.
We both decided we wanted to top this meal off with a coffee so we headed to The Coffee Club. Not a very authentic option and it rivaled American prices, but at least it wasn’t Starbucks (yes, they have those here), and their coffee was rather decent.
Food, coffee, time to head to Bangla Road, featuring the most nightlife Patong has to offer. There is lots going on here, and most of it is not for the faint of heart. You can find anything you’re looking for so be careful what you enter and wish for. It literally felt like getting on a Disneyland ride which isn’t particularly exciting because of the speed, but rather because of what you see, and what jumps out at you. Promoters trying to lure you into every hole and every alley. Definitely an experience but not somewhere I’d like to go again.
Eventually we stumbled on an Irish fellow that told us about a Bass Jackers show at the White Room, a club just off the Bangla strip. Entry ran us B500, about $15 so similar to the price of a club back home, but this one did have a solid live show and cheap drinks. Definitely a fun night with great music and dancing.
The following morning, we stumbled upon a gym, which are common in Patong but not throughout the country, so we went for a long overdue workout. We went back to the market where I had the best outdoor meal so far: mackerel, alligator skewers and crab skewers. Crab was definitely imitation, but that mackerel made the meal, the lot of it costing under $10.
Great a good call coming here on a night that didn’t involve an early flight the next day. Made for a leisurely morning and a very enjoyable ride back to Oldtown in the afternoon.