On arriving in Patong, a beach town on the west coast of Phuket, the first stop was food and we were delighted to find a dirt cheap cafe selling all our Thai favourites for just 50 baht (£1). When our bellies were full, we returned to the hotel (which was stunning and only £28 between 4 of us per night) to get dressed up for a big night, which we were all ready for.
When we’d drank a decent amount of liquor and made sure we were all looking our best, we made our way to the main party strip, Bangla Road, which was conveniently only a 5 minute walk from our hotel. As soon as we turned the corner onto Bangla Road, we knew we’d found our destination. Bangla is one huge street made up of go-go bars, nightclubs, tacky live music venues and god only knows what else. And it is BUSY. Khao San had nothing on the buzz of this place, and it was kind of how I imagine places like Magaluf to be (for this reason, it depresses me that I didn’t hate Bangla Rd).
Our first stop was a neon-lit go-go bar full of dancers dressed as nurses, school girls and just about every other slutty variation of a uniform. It wasn’t long until the dancers began hounding us. Of course, it was obvious that they were working for tips, but Paula couldn’t resist saying yes when she was offered a go on the vibrating plate that was conveniently placed next to a shiny silver pole. Hopping up onto the table in her tiny dress and stilettos, she worked the pole better than any of the dancers in the whole bar.
After an altercation with the dancers, who insisted that Paula pay a ridiculous amount of money for their ‘drinks’ (shots of water that they were pretending was vodka), we hurriedly left and tried to find a more suitable place to drink.
At long last, we found a bar that didn’t mind Paula’s slut drops and found ourselves at a pub with a band playing who were genuinely really good. They did covers of loads of our favourite songs, made even better by Paula getting on stage with them. She’s a liability but the cutest kind so it’s okay. Next we found some big hiphop and RnB club full of thirsty guys trying to fuck us. However, they were pretty easy to ignore so we managed to have a really good couple of hours in there before we staggered back to the hotel with ‘meat on sticks,’ buzzing about how good our night had been.
The next day, Simone and I went shopping – Phuket is cheap! We bought floral dresses, harem pants, wall hangings, incense, tiger balm and cute handmade journals before heading back to the hotel to relax in the rooftop jacuzzi with a couple of Russian guys who turned out not to be as creepy as we thought they’d be.
After we’d watched the sun set, we grabbed some food and got ready for some MUAY THAI BOXING.
The four of us arrived at the stadium and were immediately placed in better seats than what we’d paid for, with a perfect view of the ring. Waiters buzzed round taking drinks order, so we got some cold beers and chilled out for the 45 minutes until the show began.
Now I have never been a fan of boxing. I don’t know the rules, and I’ve never watched a single boxing match. However, within 5 minutes of watching the tiny, toned Thai guys in the ring, I was sold. The first couple of rounds were what looked like young teens, followed by a women’s round (the winner of that was a British woman who hurt her opponent so badly that she had to be carried off by 4 people!) and then a few adult male rounds.
I couldn’t get over how strong the Thai men were! Clothed, they look skinny and weak, but only when they remove their shirts do you see that every inch of their body is pure muscle. It’s actually pretty funny how guys in the west think that bigger is better, and mock each other if they have small biceps or whatever, but the Thai boxers were so fit and strong while remaining small.
Watching the fights also brought out the primal instincts in us girls, as Paula and I kept saying to each other ‘just imagine if that was your boyfriend in there,’ hahaha. On a serious note though, the skill involved was incredible, and none of us could take our eyes off the fights for even a second. The eventual winner ended up a bloody mess but with the biggest grin on his face, and honestly, the 2 hours that we were there was one of the highlights of the whole trip for me.