Saturday, August 11, 2007
Phuket - For the hansum man
“You velly hamsum, you buy me delink, okay?” seems to be standard greeting call at the infamous Bangla Road at Patong in Phuket.
This short stretch in the centre of Phuket’s main nightlife zone has what’s been described as the highest density of hookers per sq ft of real estate anywhere in the whole world. Within this half kilometer, there exists a few hundred bars, nightclubs, brothels, discos, pubs and food establishments. Multiply this by the number of attendant staff, the result is staggering. So much so that Patong has come into its own as a major tourist attraction in itself. Each evening hoards of tourists pour in by the busloads into this area, giving an implicit nod to this sleazy world. Hell, even the tourist police have a station here.
Amazingly, by day, you could walk through it without even knowing the alter ego of this place. With its departmental stores and shops looking like any other tourist trap. But it really comes into its own at night - a man's Disneyland, as someone happily puts it.
It's safe enough to simply walk through the area but be prepared to be accosted by trinket sellers, free lance hookers, katoeys and pimps who will tout their wares from the sidelines.
Soi Crocodile, Soi Dragon, Soi Eric are the zones where most of the '10 stools' bars are located. Transvestites and ladyboys are to be found mainly at Soi Crocodile. If you are taking pictures, know that they expect a tip in return.
From Irish pubs to agogo bars like Dragon Club and Rock Hard, you are spoilt for choice as to where to nurse your drink and ogle their girls. By the way, the girls ARE all available. Its only a matter of your negotiating skills and the bar fine. ;-)