Dave's farewell and the craziness that is Patong
Patong Travel Blog› entry 46 of 62 › view all entries
February 5th, 2010 – by: sshaunaa
I was quoted a rate of 800 baht from Naithon to Patong from the Naithon Taxi cartel. Instead, I went with Dave in the 250 baht taxi to the airport and then took a shuttle bus to Patong for 150 baht.
Seeing as I'm in Thailand and cheap transportation means detours, the shuttle bus stopped at a travel agency, where we had to get off the bus "so they could check out tickets" and then make sure if we didn't have accommodation at our destination, that they would be happy to book it for us.
I didn't have accommodation booked, so I got out of the bus at the first stop in Patong where the bus dropped off a couple passengers at their hotel. A man on the bus had given me his tourist map he picked up from the airport, so at least I could kind of know which direction to go. After a very lucky guess, and about a half hour of walking, I found the hostel I was aiming for: Cheap Charlie's Backpackers. It had good reviews on hostelworld and now that I'm slumming it, 300 baht per night for an air conditioned female dorm room sounded fantastic.
I had heard various things about Patong, mostly negative, but decided for my first solo night, I might as well be where the action is. Seeing the beach for the first time, I was appalled.
Without trying to sound rude, the one thing that struck me while walking along the shoreline, was the absurdly large number of obese people. And I don't mean slightly overweight, but men that looked pregnant or with large man-boobs and just fat, hanging out of bathing suits everywhere.
I guess my idea of a vacation is not to rent a lawnchair for a day and spend the day rotating between sleeping on said chair and munching down way too much food.
In saying that, the beach did redeem itself slightly when I returned for sun set and saw a few people running along the length of the beach. A couple of them were very fit men in their mid-twenties, and not too bad to look at. By this time, the hordes of fatties had already left the beach and were munching down on that night's feed.
For my sunset stroll, I had taken a different route to the beach and ended up at a dead end. The only way past it was stepping over a barbed wire fence, walking along a rickity plank an then walking through a construction zone. Feeling way too hot and tired, I decided against turning back from where I came from. I wonder what the pickup truck full of about 15 men thought of the white girl in a sundress walking along the dirt road of a construction site where the only other things in the area were a bunch of stray dogs.
After the sunset and beach perving, I went to the giant shopping mall in search of some reading material for Laos. It's a huge mall with shops with about everything you could want, including full blast air conditioning. There's also one of the anchor stores called Carrefore, which is like Walmart, with a full service grocery store inside. There were lots of things that struck me as weird, but the biggest oddity would have to be the chicken breasts and thighs that are in left out in the open, for the customer to pick and chose, like buying it in bulk but without it being chilled behind a glass counter. So the chicken, beef, seafood, etc is all left uncovered in the aisles. Needless to say, that end of the grocery section didn't smell so great.
My last stop for my tour de Patong was an accidental walk through a fair trying to find the street I needed to get back to the hostel. I had flashbacks of northern Thailand, although on a much lesser scale. I did see a sign with a painted crocodile and then a shed where people were looking at something. I didn't check it out because I couldn't read the Thai signs posted on the door, although a crocodile would have been an interesting sight.
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