Trippin' in Thailand 2019
Updated: Feb 18, 2021
From beach bodies to pad thai, and ladyboys to ping pong balls! I had a grand time in Phuket, Thailand this past winter vacation! Finally, let me tell you ALL about it!
I spent nine days in Phuket at a quaint hotel, walking distance from Patong Beach.
Patong Beach- Patong City, Phuket, Thailand
Meet my beautiful friend and travel buddy, Chumi!
Our trip began with a double whammy of anxiety and stress! First we sat in panic mode as we waited to check-in because we didn't know if Chumi (from South Africa) needed an official visa for our layover in Beijing, China. Once our hearts calmed down and we checked-in successfully, everything was fine. Or so we thought. Until we arrived in Phuket.
I must have walked around the baggage claim carousel at least five times looking for our bags before we headed to file a report with the airport customer service. It took some effort not to take out my frustration on the sweet customer service agent. But I was tired. I wanted to shower, and get some rest. But I could do neither, knowing my bags were stuck in China.
Fortunately, our bags arrived the next evening. But it was the longest 18 hours of my life! (Apparently its a common occurance, because the hotel receptionist said they arrived faster than normal. Imagine that!)
Anyway, after a shower and a quick change, we were able to head out and see what the nightlife in Phuket was like.
The most obvious difference between Thailand and Korea is the amount of foreigners. There were Russians everywhere! Upon doing a little research, I learned that many Russians vacation in Thailand from Christmas until late January. Honestly, we saw just as many Russians as we saw Thais.
Another stark diffrence? Everyone was naked! My eyes! Okay, I exaggerate. But more than 50% of people were casually walking the streets in swimwear, as Patong City is a beach town. They might as well have been naked as I have gotten used to the conservative way of Koreans! But I quickly joined in, wearing bikini's and short shorts too! I never felt so free!
Another lesson we learned? Regarding traffic: EVERY. MAN. FOR. HIMSELF.
If you're not crossing the street with a group of people you can consider yourself a dead man walking. Honestly. Motor bikes and tuk-tuks are great in number and pedestrians do not have the right of way! We learned this lesson fast. Walk at your own risk!
Now for something a bit less morbid...What I found most charming about Thailand was the scenery. I couldn't really tell that night, but the next morning I was so pleasantly suprised by the amount of trees and greenery. This is one thing I miss while living in the city life in South Korea. Grass, trees, hills, and valleys were in abundance in Phuket.
Even better than the greenery was the beach! There are a few beaches in Patong City. But because we were walking distance from Patong Beach we just went there. According to the locals, Patong Beach is the most crowded with tourists.
There was plenty to do! Jet ski, speed boat, paraglide etc. But we opted to relax and people watch. One day we did get henna! Here's a few photos!
My temporary henna tattoo
And how could I come this far without mentioning the weather!? Thailand weather in the winter was perfect! Around 80 degrees fahrenheit during the day and no less than about 60 degrees at night. It rained once, really hard for about five minutes, while we ate dinner one night. But that was it!
We did some excursions and events as well!
First was the Phuket City Tour. This was a morning group tour and there were about eight of us that rode around viewing many tourist attractions in the city.
Viewing Point at Karon Beach
Site seeing at Big Buddha!
Old Town Phuket
Next was the Island Tour. This was also a group tour. There were at least 15 of us. This was a speedboat tour where we island hoped all day long. Lunch was also included!
Before boarding the speedboat!
Living my best life at Mama Beach
Back at the Island Tour dock
Then there was the Upside Down House. This is a museum strictly for the purpose of taking photos. The house itself is upside down and everything inside it is upside down too! You're suppose to flip the photos so it looks like you're upside down inside the house, but I didn't bother. It was a fun place, and the guy who worked there was a lot of fun too. He helped us take a lot of pictures!
Again, Patong City was full of tourists. So its only right that the locals milk the foreigners for as many coins as possible. Right?...Anyway. Enough delay. While walking down Bangla Road, crowded with people, lights, and bars, there's always something to see or buy. But one thing in particular stood out. Each night, there were men and women wearing matching shirts and holding white signs. The color of their shirts varied each night, but they were working for the same company. What was on their signs? Proceed with caution..
These people were holding signs that read: PING PONG SHOW. They were smiling and making obnoxious suction noises with their lips. Now, my friend was already aware of what a Ping Pong Show was when we arrived in Thailand. Once she informed me, we unofficially added it to our list of things to see. But we kept putting it off until there were only a few days left of our trip.
On the night that we went, as soon as we finished dinner, we ran into a woman with one of those signs. The funny thing was, we were about a five minute walk from where the actual location of the show. So for five minutes we followed behind a Thai woman in a bright orange shirt waving us along with her white sign. We attempted to linger far behind her, but it was probably obviously thanks to her inccessant waving.
We followed her down a broken escalator, into a dark hallway and then, a dimly lit club. I was slightly taken aback, because that club did not match the image I had in my mind. I thought we would be going to a theater. A THEATER. You know? With a distinct stage and and distinct seating for an audience. Nah. This was not that.
This was a club. A STRIP CLUB. Like Magic Mike. Like Chocolate City. Like Showgirls!
How naive of me.
Inside there were already men and women sitting around the room, on the plush sofas and chairs. The first thing we had to do was buy an overpriced drink. Because people don't throw money, and there are no tips (expect for the mandatory one we had to give the waiter). So you pay anything from $15-$35 for a single drink. Ouch.
Honestly, I do not want to go into great detail about everything we saw. Again, you can do the research!
But I will say this: A Ping Pong Show is a glorified strip show. During the show, girls are known to do strange tricks with their private parts. One of which includes shooting ping pong balls. And though the ping pong ball trick was the grand finale it paled in comparisson to all the other tricks.
The truth is every country has some form of sex industry. Whether you agree or disagree with it, does not make it cease to exist. I imagined the show would be much more classy, but I was mistaken. I was not scarred by what I saw. It was a unique expereince, that I will probably never participate in again. But I do not regret going.
Another shocking discvery we made was the abundance of Ladyboys in Thailand. While out having a meal or just walking around, there would be times were we had to give a double take to our waitress or cashier. Somewhere underneath the stiff wig, large hands, and 5'o clock shadow was in fact a man, not a woman. But other times they were disguised so well, only the locals could point them out to us. This continued to happend and I ended up doing some more research of my own. It's really a legnthy rabbit trail that I won't take here. If you know, you know. If you don't know, there's always google!
Seeing as how we went to Thailand and I mentioned Pad Thai in the intro of this post, you might think that the food was delightful! You thought wrong my friend. We went to a cafe for lunch and I ordered the Pad Thai. Til this day, (TIL THIS DAY!) I don't know if I don't like Pad Thai or I just didn't like that Pad Thai. But that was my first and last time trying Pad Thai.
Since Patong City is florishing with foreigners, it seems as though they have learned to cater to all the varying taste buds of the world. At Jungceylon Shopping Mall there is every type of food you could want. Except for maybe Mexican and Korean.
We ate Thai. We ate Italian. We ate Middle Eastern. We ate American. We ate Dairy Queen. We ate crepes! And every flavor of fresh fruit juice. We ate all the things, and most of the things were good! Our only regret is that we kept putting off getting a coconut until it was time to go, and then we were over it. Unfortunately, I am of the mind to eat my food rather than take photos of it...so these are the only pictures I am able to show you.
If you were following me on Instagram during the time of this trip, you may have noticed a change in my face. On one post I looked perfectly normal and in the next there was suddenly a jewel in my nose. This was abosolutely positively premedidtated months before I even booked my flight. (Sorry mom!) I got my nose pierced in Thailand because I wanted to do something scary/fun to remember the trip. I've also wanted my nose pierced since forever. So I found a tattoo/piercing place. I walked in and got it done. It was quick and cost me about $3o US dollars. I don't even have a cool video to show you. That's how uneventful it was. Meh.
The morning before I got my nose pierced.
The morning after I got my nose pierced