After the epic night and morning in Koh Phangan, it was always going to be a long and tiring journey across the country to Phuket for my final night. I ignorantly hadn’t realised, however, that the majority of the trip was overland on a long bus trip. I nabbed a window side quickly and was able to sleep for most of it.
When I arrived back at Bodega Phuket, the same place I had stayed at in 2013, I quickly checked into my fantastic and great value private room just across the familiar alleyway (I only wished I had had more of a chance to appreciate it) before very quickly showering, getting ready and jumping down to join a group of hostelmates who were gathered around in the common area / bar having a drink and a chat.
The group quickly grew and we all played some merry card games until 12:30, when we finally headed out. I was a little worried when we weren’t heading out earlier, as I explained to everyone that it was my final night and only one in Phuket and I wanted to experience it (tired as I was); however, I was assured by the hostel worker that you could party in Patong all night, unlike on Koh Phi Phi. At around 11pm Mike showed up, having endured a harrowing and much longer than scheduled journey over from Koh Phangan on the dodgy ferry company Songserm; which, if I had realised he was taking, I would have warned him against: however, he hadn’t booked ahead and the comfortable Lomprayah service I took was already booked out so close to the Full Moon Party. No matter, he and his travel mate would still meet us out.
We first hit a bar with a Thai cover band, then the White Room, before a brief appearance at a final club eventually saw me too tired to continue when some of our number said they were heading off to see a ping pong show. I walked back to the hostel – impressively remembering the way from two years’ prior – via a trip to McDonalds.
The next morning I was sleeping so soundly that I was woken at 10:50am not by the very loud construction work going on next door but by my alarm. I begrudgingly checked out and wandered down to the nearby Patong beach to at least check it out. It wasn’t very appealing at this time of morning, as there was not much sand and some rubbish on it. However, I had a tasty pad thai at a restaurant that was on the beach, and an incredibly delicious fruit shake, which hit the spot perfectly. It was then I lamented not having had any earlier!
I decided to flag a songthaew to one of the better beaches, I asked to go to Karon beach because it was one of the closer ones on the map. Although in hindsight it may not have been the best one, and was probably reminiscent of a basic Victorian beach so nothing special by Thai or Australian standards; I immediately asked for a sleeping mat and umbrella from a nearby vendor, who quickly laid out two mattresses for me with an umbrella over them. This turned out to be blissfully comfortable, and I proceeded to have a nice long nap on the beach. After a while, a Russian lady asked me to take beachy photos of her and she returned the favour. She also lamented that the surf was too rough to go in the water: personally, I was content with my beach mattresses.
Eventually I had some food at one of a long string of almost empty restaurants – and drained another delicious fruit shake – before heading back into Patong.
I walked around the shopping centre and the streets a bit and caught some of the very nice sunset before running out of time and having to head back to my hostel to catch the taxi they called for me to the airport.
I had a fun time for my one final night and day in Patong, but stand by my assessment that one night is enough and I would probably skip the place altogether if it were possible (which it isn’t, unless you fly into Samui or Bangkok).