Patong beach is the most touristy beach on the most touristy island in Thailand. It’s hot, dirty, smelly, overcrowded, and overpriced.
On the plus side it’s got Bangla street, which is great if you want to party. The ladyboys there take it to a whole new level, and will leave any red blooded male questioning himself, or maybe that’s just me.
There’s naked dancers, and ping pong shows aplenty, if you like that kind of thing. There’s also loads of live music, with bands belting out anything from classic rock ballads to modern rap. The fact that the Thai singers struggle a little with the pronunciation of some English words gives it all an added charm, if indeed charm is the right word for anything that goes on in Bangla.
If you’re male, beware when visiting the bars’ bathrooms, though. They are usually tended by a guy hustling for tips. Among other rather pleasant things, like daubing your face with a cold towel, he likes to crack your bones. Is there a proper word for this activity?
I casually tipped a fellow twenty baht for offering me a towel; suddenly he had my head in his hands, cracking my neck left and right. Very disconcerting in more ways than one. Next, he began tugging on my ears. Presumably ears are supposed to crack, but after several attempts mine still refused. He gave that up and moved on to my shoulders, then proceeded to dislocate every disc in my spine, or so it felt.
“Good, good, no?” says he.
“Never felt better”, says I.
I shuffled back to my table like a stringed puppet, ears aflame. And it happened all over again in the very next bar.