We landed in Phuket, our first stop on our round the world adventure, and were greeted with a heat wave. I forgot what it was like to be in weather over 4 degrees, take me back to the snowy mountains of Japan! Our Thailand adventure started in Patong, the most famous party town in Thailand. The streets are lined with hundreds of massage shops, with the girls of all shapes and sizes trying to lure you in for massage, nails and more I am sure. The lingering smells of spicy street foods, and sweet mangoes hit your nostrils and beg for you to taste. And of course you can’t escape the bars lining the streets, each with a refreshing beverage waiting for you with your name on it. It was chaotic, crazy and absolutely fantastic city.
How to get into Patong
It is a long drive into Patong, there is only 1 road in and out, so if there is traffic it can be bloody annoying. But never fear here are a couple of possible ways to get from the airport to Patong/Kata/Karon areas.
This will be roughly about 800 baht (AUD$30), normally it would be cheaper if you leave the airport and barter with a taxi driver… if you are confident enough to do it. I would recommend as the shared shuttles take a fair while, and the drive into Patong takes about an hour.
2. Shared Shuttle
This is what Blake and I choose, as soon as you walk outside the doors you will see shared shuttle companies, and they are cheap! Hey why not we thought, there are a few, it doesn’t matter with one as they all cost roughly the same. We paid our 200 baht (AUD $8) each and off we went with about 10 other people. However along the way they stop at a small stop to write down where you are going, takes forever, and then unless you are the first stop, there are about 7 other stops before you get to your hotel. Cheap, but I would spend the extra money to get right to my hotel after a long flight!
Staying in Patong
This part of our trip was party time, we knew that from the start. So we booked the most party hotel we could find, The Slumber Party Hostel. Wow, they do not lie when they say “you didn’t come to Patong to sleep”. I barely made it through, Blake thrived of course and I am sure they are going to offer him a job! But here are my tips for staying in Patong.
The heat of the action is of course, Bangalor Road. One of the most famous strips of road in Thailand, lined with countless bars and clubs, all with stripper poles with Thai women in next to nothing. Yep this truly is Thailand in all it’s party glory.
If you are looking for something a bit more low key though, Kata and Karon beaches are only a 20 minute drive over the mountain. They are a lot less chaotic, have nice beaches, but still have some great bars to hit up.
1. Slumber Party Hostel Patong
These guys literally have warnings everywhere that they are a party hostel, ‘expect to see drunk, naked people’ that is one of the first things you see on their website. So if you want to sleep, book elsewhere. This place is the BEST place to meet like minded people, about 70% are taking 3 months off to travel asia, so it is a good place to meet a crew. The age demographic is young, you can only book if you are 18-35, so think Topdeck or Contiki.
The dorms are clean, modern and the beds are comfy! Winner, when does that ever happen when you are paying minimal dollars for a bed. You will have a rain shower and the toilets are fine.
There is a common area downstairs where the food is cheap and delicious (about 100 baht for fried rice), the beer is cold (80 baht for Leo) and there is free vodka from 8pm – 10pm.
They hire people called entertainers, which they fit the description perfectly. They know as soon as you arrive, they will come up to you and make you feel welcome. They bring ‘room service shots’ around to your dorm at 6.30, and know to party… i mean, they really know! Every night at the hostel there is a drinking event. A pub crawl every other night, beerolympics, beer pong tournaments, and drinking games to get to know people. The hostel normally moves everyone on by 11pm, so if you are hungover as anything (like I was) don’t worry you can get some sleep.
The hostel can also help with day tours (they run a few cheap island tours themselves) and ferries out to the Islands, or buses up north. There is also a spot just down the alleyway where you can hire scooters to explore for the day.
For a party hostel and a place to meet people, the Slumber Party Hostel is the way to go.
AUD$14 a night, 4 bedroom dorm
2. The Kee Resort Patong
I haven’t stayed at this resort, I am doing the whole 9 yards with backpacking hostels, however I have sold this hotel thousands of times. The location here is ‘key’ (see what I did there), and the modern, chic style of the hotel is what makes the stay. Located just a few blocks away from Bangalor Road, you are far enough away to not hear the thumping of the night clubs, but close enough you can stumble home with a kebhab you will most likely wake up next to.
The pool area is the centre of the action for this hotel, and yes I hear you Australian’s, “is there a swim up bar pool”… of course there is! Yahoo! This is what I miss the most about hostels, the pools! Where you can jump in, cool off from the 30 degree weather.
So if you are looking for more than a hostel, great location and a modern hotel, The Kee comes highly recommended.
AUD$111 a night, standard room