Our journey to Phuket, on the west side of Thailand, is no small task. From Koh Phangan, we take a taxi, a bus, a ferry, another taxi, another bus, a tuk tuk, and one more bus. This last bus has overbooked so, even though we paid the same money as everyone else, we ride on the floor for 5 hours and finally arrive at 1 am. Well, the bus actually breaks down, so we have to take another taxi the last 10km to our destination. Needless to say, we are glad to make it to our hotel and pass out.
All the details: Phuket & Patong
Getting there: The quickest way to reach Phuket is to fly into the large international airport, but you can also take a train from Bangkok to Surat Thani (1000THB) and then a 4 hour bus on to Phuket (200THB).
What to do: Don’t miss one of Phuket’s crazy Ping Pong Shows— its disturbing, but also strangely popular. It usually costs about 500THB, but includes a number of drinks at the bar.
Top tips: Hire a motorbike and find your own secret beach.
We all rent motorbikes and zip around Patong, which I actually really enjoy, as far as poorly recommended Thai cities go. Somehow, both Bangkok and Phuket get a bad rap, but I reckon they are quirky as all fuck in an exotic and puzzling way. Our second night, we see a Ping Pong show, a must-see in Thailand as far as I’m concerned. If you aren’t sure what that is, give it a google, but basically it involves Thai women inserting and removing absolutely ridiculous things from their nether-bits. Yes, that’s right, people pay to see this. Really, for me, it was just the novelty of getting to say “yeah, I’ve watched a woman pull a live canary out of her vagina”. And then you’ve pretty much seen it all, haven’t you.
We spend the next few days exploring on our motorbikes (me riding shotgun, as always). Some travellers try to point us towards a secret beach, but we don’t ever find their beach. Instead, we pay a couple dollars to enter a private beach and then swim out along the coastline until we find an empty strip of sand surrounded by cliffs. We make our own secret beach.