I have been a Catholic since Lord knows when and went to Catholic schools with conservative teachings and rules all my life. My everyday experiences as a grown-up changed my faith a bit, but I still remain a follower of The Creator. I am not practicing as others call it. Considering myself as liberal and open to many more possibilities and ideas (but that’s a different story), imagine the horror I faced upon setting foot on Bangla Road, the heart of Phuket’s nightlife.
Let me give you an idea of what Bangla Road looks like, especially at night.
Rowjie and I arrived in Patong City during the wee hours and had to wait until the sun rose before exploring the city. We decided to stay in Patong against the other towns and beaches because I’ve been reading a lot that it is where the real Phuket party happens. When the sun had finally risen, we went straight ahead to Soi Bangla, a stretch of stores and restaurants by day. What we didn’t know is that the road transforms into a party hub at night with its bars and a-go-go clubs. It also is being closed to traffic at 6 PM and opened at 4 AM to give way to rowdy partygoers.
Came our first night in Phuket, the part of the day when we were most excited because we got to relax and also grab a mug of beer, Rowjie and I had the shock of our lives. The craziest/wildest place I’ve ever been to is Malate, and I couldn’t believe what I saw in Bangla that I got mummed for a while.
The scent of sex, alcohol, and money is everywhere.
In one corner, a lady repeatedly asked you to see their free Ping Pong show. What the fuck is a Ping Pong show, I thought. Using her best English skills, the lady said, “now you see, now you don’t.” When we refused, she offered another show which uses a Banana. Go figure.
Then there were the Katoey or ladyboys/transvestites in their performance costumes who would grab you and force you to take photos of them which afterward would ask for a specific amount as a tip. In our case, 100 Baht.
You got hundreds of old men flirting with young Thai ladies, ugh. Money. I couldn’t tell from what countries they were, but they sure did stink.
And the sex toys, accessories, and all sorts of weird stuff I’ve never seen before. If you smile at the vendors and continue to walk without looking at the items, they will yell at you with unsolicited racial remarks. “Go back to your country, Malaysians!” We look like Malaysians but, hey, haven’t you heard of the Philippines?
Boracay, you gotta be ashamed when you’re boasting of being the Philippines’ party haven. You’re not even close.
I can go on describing what we saw in Bangla Road without getting tired, but I don’t want to continue boring you.
You got to be in Bangla Road to really understand what I am talking about. It was a wonderful experience and eye-opener for me, though. The root of all this, I mean the sexual activities going on in Bangla and as for any other things, is money.
And since I just mentioned money, Rowjie and I ended up buying two bottles of beer in a 7-11 just across the street where our lodge is located to save up. Along with sex, alcohol can be pretty expensive abroad.