Thailand has a reputation for its nightlife and while places like Bangkok and Pattaya are probably more raucous than Phuket, the island does deliver quite a punch at its famous Bangla Road in Patong. As you get closer, the music gets louder and the lights get brighter, all contributing to the adrenalin rush you will experience just before you are greeted by the “Welcome to Patong Beach” sign.
During the day, Bangla Road is just another Phuket street, packed with street vendors offering the local delicacies, and lined with merchants selling t-shirts, bags, hats and other goods. The road is congested with tuk-tuks and scooters whizzing about.
As the sun sets, the transformation begins and by the time the stars begin to sparkle in the night sky you get an introduction to an ultra-sensory experience. The music is pumping (and not just Techno or EDM – we actually caught some Sting & The Police mixed in), lights are flashing everywhere and the street itself is packed with people just wandering around.
The bars and clubs are open and you can see the scantily clad dancers on the counters. As you look around, eyes wide open, you will be met randomly by a host or hostess of sorts, offering you shows and other forms of entertainment – even providing a menu of the entertainment on offer. Take your pick but remember, there is nothing for mahala (South African slang for “free”).
TIP: Ladies must hold onto their dudes. The lady boys can be a wee bit cheeky and grab the guys, pulling them into dark rooms and such. Just say “No thanks” and move on.
After an hour of wandering through Bangla Road, we decided to head back to the hotel for some much needed sleep. With a full belly and our senses in over drive, we had more time to take in the actual hotel and all that we had reserved.
Due to it being low season (May), we managed to secure a ridiculously low rate. In fact the price was so low, we decided to upgrade to better room type, and each of us got what’s called a Jacuzzi Room at the Deevana Patong Hotel & Spa. This room is only available in the Spa Wing of the hotel and is located on the ground floor. Just outside your patio door, you get your very own Jacuzzi. Beyond that, a small gap in the flora, gets you to the stunning pool, complete with pool side service and a swim-up bar. Hello Deevana you beauty.
I am not sure why any hotel in Phuket would offer a spa service. On every corner in Phuket, you get a massage parlour and it’s so cheap, you are guaranteed to get a Thai Massage every day. We did however, make use of the pool every – single – day! We quickly set into a routine which went a little something like this:
If you’ve ever stayed at a reasonable South African hotel then you will be spoilt for breakfast – especially those that have visited Sun City – so don’t have the expectation that breakfast is the same everywhere in the world, it’s not. That being said, it was fine – just fine – we did find it weird that the eggs were super tiny and the milk for the coffee was actually evaporated milk (the one you get in the can). The fruit and yoghurt were great though.
On the other hand, the pool service provided us with delicious cheese pizzas, fish & chips and other treats. This was delicious – well done Deevana.
Normally, there isn’t any swimming after dark, especially since they pour chemicals into the water at around 7. But since it was low season, and there weren’t too many guests to disturb, we got away with having a dip before midnight no problem.
The rooms were fantastic – everything you would expect from a four-star hotel and more. Spacious, modern and comfortable with all the amenities you would need.
TIP: Always take a ground floor room. For some reason, rooms that are not on the ground floor, almost always experience plumbing problems (toilet). And this applies to all properties, including the five-star hotels. Also, I am not sure if two-ply exists in Thailand, but maybe pack a few rolls for your comfort.
There is an ATM conveniently located at the hotel entrance, and just around the block from the hotel – maybe 150m – there is a fantastic laundry service.
TIP: take all your laundry the day before your return home. You clothes will be clean, fresh ad folded – and it’s dirt cheap. Your laundry would not have smelt better.
It’s always important to have a comfortable, well located base for your adventures, and Deevana Patong was perfect for us. Just outside the hotel, we met a driver who would end up being our driver for the duration of our stay. Super cheap and super convenient. And that brings us to our Thailand adventures.
continue to part 4 – Sleep, Shop, Ski & Fly in Phuket