Phuket

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Trongpai
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Phuket

Post by Trongpai » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:00 pm

We just returned from a short trip to Phuket. We generally go once a year. Here is an update from my last report over a year ago.

I know that many board members have negative opinions on Phuket for various reasons but I've never exactly concurred with that opinion and regularly take trips to Phuket and other Andaman locations and have been doing do for many years. Phuket has great boat trips with touring, snorkeling or diving. The water is great for swimming and water sports. I can't say the same for Pattaya.

From the newly refurbished Phuket International Airport
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The BF and I flew to Phuket because it's so cheap and easy rather then at 12 hour drive from Bangkok. We rented a car at the airport. That makes traveling around easy without problems but I did notice a lot of new public transportation options. The Smart bus system is up and running. There's lots of free transportation options as well. Grab is also an option.

we discovered a new (?) beach near Patong that's quite nice. It's the blue dot on this map.
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Paradise beach is quite nice and you have the option of a free shuttle. It's a private beach so none of the umbrella and beach chair nonsense is applicable. 200B entry fee. We were there on a Thursday and it was not crowded at all, not sure why it's not popular. Patpong beach did have one small section with chairs and you can rent an umbrella.

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Here's the free shuttle

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The Gay Scene
The Paradise Gay street is doing well. We were on the scene every night and it was jumping with customers. About 80% young Asians and most of the Farangs were on the younger side, under 40. The most popular bar is the new My Way/Zag. There's a large out door area with two stages and many comfortable chairs. The show , lady boy cabaret alternating with various boy shows. The available boys are on the masculine side. There were about 20 weekdays and 30 or so for the weekends. The show starts outside at 10:30 and then moves inside around midnight. Inside is more of a table disco setup similar to the Fake Club. It was packed every night. The other venues were not doing as well but there were customers and enough boys for every taste. No sex shows but sexy type shows.

From the main road, Right hand side from7-11:
Miss Port Pub- Small open lounge bar, few tables and a flashing sign, "Massage"
Tamgmo Dance Show Bar- Enclosed bar, stage go-go format. Noticed around 10 boys on stage, mixed types.
I Bar -Looks like an open lounge bar with mostly twink hosts
Connect Bar- open Lounge and guest house-seems to have hosts
Sundowners Bar- open lounge bar with hosts
Time or Time-Out Bar, enclosed small bar not go go as far as I can tell, very new
Ja oh restaurant
Boat Bar- Last on that side of the street, show bar with go go format enclosed.

Left side of the street
James Dean Bar- Open lounge bars with cute boys
My Way and Zag as one large show bar with go go boys and shows, very masculine boys. There's several sections of this bar, inside and on street.
The Corner Bakery- at the end of the street, quite large.

Next street over and connection streets:

Doc Tong (no E) on the corner with main street right side, looks new. Small host bar I guess with cute boys
Then there's several no name or hard to see a sign other than 'Massage" joints with boys calling out either massage or drink, your choice I guess.

Drink prices vary from 150B to 300B depending on what you order rather than where. An ice bucket of 4 bottles of beer came in at 600B.

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Re: Phuket

Post by Undaunted » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:29 pm

Thanks for your report, I went to Phuket once and frankly that was enough however, if you go with a boyfriend I can see that it might be enjoyable.
"In the land of the blind the one eyed man is king"

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Re: Phuket

Post by Trongpai » Sun Apr 28, 2019 11:30 am

I think that if you go alone without a BF or BS you will not have problems finding suitable companionship. Both the bars/lounges as well as the apps have a wide verity of types. Night time company should be easy but you could run into problems with finding a boy that wants to go to a beach, a boat trip or snorkeling.

The Phuket gay night scene is geared toward going out in groups Asian style. It starts at 10:30 and gets going after midnight. I did see the odd single farang at tables at one of the open street bars on the right side of the street but none inside at Zag/My Way. The music by the way is very loud.

The boys on stage don't have numbers. They are presented by name. If you tip one on the stage when the show pauses or rotates to dancing the boy you tipped will generally come to your table to thank you. You offer him a drink and have a conversation that could lead to taking him off. There's bars in Bangkok that are follow this model. I guess you also could just ask the waiter to bring the person you're interested in to your table, Pattaya style but that's not generally the usual method.

You also need a tolerance for ladyboys and fem boys as most of the waiters are fems. Even at Zag where all the stage boys are very masculine the waiters are nelly and flirty.

One of the drag dancers at Zag was a long time performer at Cafe Royale in Pattaya. His name is Bell and he has a unique non fem look. I've met him in Pattaya out of costume and makeup and he looks like a regular Joe and even has a regular day job.

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Re: Phuket

Post by fountainhall » Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 pm

I'm with undaunted. My last visit was a couple of years after the tsunami and I doubt if I will return. If it's sand and sea you want with nice little local restaurants on the beach, Khao Lak 100 kms further up the west coast is perfect - great swathes of sand, clear water with few tourists, if only because the hotels are very well spread out and many tourists prefer to stay by their hotel pools. I got a great deal from Travelzoo for 6 nights at the Marriott Resort at 70% off for the week after Easter. Although the hotel was full, I loved it.

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You can visit some of the islands from there, as well as trips over to Phangna and the James Bond Island. But if you want nightlife, forget it - unless it has developed in the last few years. Go with Boy Special.

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Like everywhere, Phuket has changed dramatically. On my first visit in 1983, it was very underdeveloped and there were relatively few visitors. Very few hotels and no need for nightlife. Lots of guys would be wandering the beaches happy to hook up with visitors. By 1990 things had changed fast. Lots of chain hotels had discovered the island, the first Aman luxury resort was located here attracting the rich and famous including the likes of Steven Spielberg, and a gay scene had developed. I used to go every year with Singapore friends who would hire a jeep-like vehicle and stay in serviced apartments fractionally west of where the Novotel is located outside north Patong. Across the road is one of my favourite restaurants, Baan Rim Pa, set on a cliff quite high above the water which is why it sustained little damage during the tsunami. I never had a bad meal there and all the guys I took over the years loved it.

I'm not sure when i discovered The Boathouse, a small boutique hotel set at the south end of Kata Beach. It was then not expensive and had not only one of the best restaurants but also by far the best wine cellar. Dining with the long windows open and hearing the waves lapping on the shore was delightful. Badly damaged during the tsunami, it has rebuilt and is now a lot more expensive, sadly.

There was a time when the Yacht Club on Nai Harn at the south was inexpensive and the long Nai Harn beach virtually empty. At the east end before sunset, some gay boys used to assemble and play in the water. They were always fun. I spent a few long week-ends there but it then changed hands to, I think, the Mandarin Oriental chain and prices skyrocketed. It has now changed again to the equally expensive Nai Harn Hotel. Other hotels have now changed the facilities of the beach, alas.

Up in the north east, Kamala Beach was virtually empty until the Phuket Fantasea extravaganza with its huge stage and 4,000 seat theatre opened up. Now almost that entire part of the island is filled with luxury villas built by Hong Kong and Singaporean squillionaires, some of which can be rented for the cost of a month's salary.

As for nightlife, by the 1990s it was a lot busier and more spread out than now. The Paradise complex was already there along with My Way and a couple of other go-go bars. The one we went to most often was Yoong Sharks nearer the north end of Patong. It was as much fun there as the Bangkok bars had been around that time. It died in the early 2000s.I had lots of good times in Phuket - but it's had its day for me.

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Re: Phuket

Post by Trongpai » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:58 pm

fountainhall wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:44 pm
It was as much fun there as the Bangkok bars had been around that time. It died in the early 2000s.I had lots of good times in Phuket - but it's had its day for me.
I go back to the late 80's and 90's too and I agree it's not the same scene but for me it's still good. I'm not ready to cash in my chips on Phuket yet.

Near Patong we stayed at http://www.crestphuket.com/ We bought it at the Bangkok travel fair last month for a 50% saving over Agoda's pricing. We had to be flexible on our dates as I guess they sold a lot of rooms at this discount. We had a car but staying here without one is doable--they have shuttles to and from the beaches.

This hotel was at full occupancy but overall Phuket was on the quiet side. Traffic not heavy. I guess it's the start of slow season. It did not feel as hot as Bangkok has recently.

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