After six years, the scene in Phuket has changed of course but not so much. Most venues are still located along the way out from Paradise Hotel, offering some thrill to the busloads of tourists going out of their hotel. Much happens on the street with regular parades of gogo boys and lady boys praising their venue. The boys are mostly masculine and well-built men with very few twinks, and prices remain fair but vary from one place to another : I paid 120 THB for a Chang Beer in one bar and 200 THB for the same in the next one.
Taengmo is across the street from its former location and is now Mo2, and My Way has morphed into Yes ! Bar with three stages and the same good atmosphere I had met in the namesake six years ago. Passport is still there bit not really worth going in of you are on a tight schedule. And then there is Zag and Boat Bar which are known for their shows that I was not persistent enough to wait for. The soi has many beer bars too which offer fresh air, pleasant company and a view over the continuous flow of boys, tourists and customers doing their own things.
Massage places are booming all over the Complex and many offer a very good selection of boys ; they are more hidden along the side alleys and some offer both boys and girls. A special mention goes to Kai boys which is both a beer bar and a massage shop facing the Rendez-Vous Hotel ; like in the Sunee Plaza beer bars, the hardest is to pick the right boy and bringing him to your table, as many are busy with their mobile phones and will not even look at a new customer.
|Phuket beach ... the way I like it !|
After Phuket, back to the sticks with two very friendly towns ; Ranong and Chumphon. Ranong is basically one street with all the banks and a surprisingly vibrant nightlife due to more and more backpackers on their way to the new-found paradise (Koh Phayam) – but you just have to stick to the thai places if you want to avoid them. One or two days more would have been nice to visit the local hot springs. After a very scenic drive over the Kra isthmus, Chumphon would be my last stop before the long bus journey back to an overcrowded and over- heated Bangkok. At least I will not have to pack and unpack my luggage every day any more …