We were not going to do a trip report this time as its our 11th trip to Thailand and we thought we had covered it all, how wrong could we be.
We arrived late on Saturday night from the Gold Coast on Air Asia with a 4 hour stop over in KL. We stayed in a Jacuzzi room at Deevana Hotel Patong Beach arriving there around 10pm after a 35 minute trip from the airport. I was pleased the Meter Taxi was still only 500Baht and it’s a short trip this time of night.
We walked out the front of the Hotel to find our friend Oie still making Banana Roti’s she has been there now for 5 ½ years and still makes the best roti’s in Patong.
This is our second time at Deevana and it felt like coming home as the staff are lovely and make you feel welcome.
Up early the next day and off for a walk after a beautiful breaky to check out what has changed in the last 12 months. I still find it amazing to see just how many changes there are in such a short time and unfortunately Patong is becoming so westernized now its loosing some of its charm. Only people that have been going there for many years will understand where I am coming from and while I still love the place its growth is just to fast catering for the tourist dollar.
I was sad to see our favorite restaurant had changed hands and had really been let go with food quality and service so we moved on and tried many new ones. I must say though we have been to more than 100 restaurants at a guess in Patong and Thailand and I could count on one hand the poor meals we have had. A good new one we found thanks to Tiff & Rod was Wai Thai, on the northern end of the beach near Loma Park. Great prices and great food with Thai Meals still around 100 Baht.
Many restaurants have now had to lift their prices with the minimum daily wage being increased from around 160Baht to 300Baht per day in Phuket recently, this has lifted the average Thai main from 100 to 120 Baht, not much by our standards but a large increase by Thai standards.
Shopping prices seemed much the same around Patong & the O Top Markets and it seemed easier to Bargain hard and get good prices this year. The best shopping is still the Phuket Town weekend night markets with many outlets having fixed prices and I am sure Sun Glasses have come down from last years as they are all now 100 Baht. The food here is also still as amazing as ever and we even found a driver that did a return trip and waited for only 600Baht.
The rest of the week we kicked back and just enjoyed doing not too much at all, we went to Nicky’s Handlebar to catch up with Kai & Nicky and while its still Nicky’s Handlebar I think its lost some of its charm with the renovations, all the business cards and stickers have gone and the ceiling that was legendary with all its character is now clean, regulars will know what I am talking about. We spent the rest of the week catching up with a few friends, eating and drinking in the second best country in the world.
End of week one.
Cheers, Pete & Jane