Saturday, May 29, 2004

Down by Patong Beach

Here I am again in the Pharmacy/ Internet Cafe blogging about my experiences here. My wife's off at the conference presenting a paper and I am here all by myself. I know, it sounds great roaming around by yourself in a foreign town. However, you realise that after 3 days here at Patong, there is nothing much more to see. Hotels, eating places, pubs and shops and more shops. I prefer to lie down by the beach but then all these people will come and ask you whether you want a foot message and you even have to pay for sitting on those beach seats or whatever you call them. In order to enjoy yourself, you have to go out of the place and explore other parts of the island.

Yesterday, we went for a half day tour of some Islands called the James Bond tour. This is because the highlight of the trip is to a small island where part of the James Bond flick - "The man with the golden gun" was shot. I was just thinking to myself, "I have seen more beautiful islands in Malaysia". However, the last stop at a Muslim fishing village was very interesting. Surprise! Some of the people there spoke Malay. Got some great gifts there which were much cheaper than in Patong beach. My wife got a nice bracelet of semi-precious stones for only 80 Bhats (about RM8). In Patong they were asking 300 bhats for it. You can also take 2 snaps of yourself holding a tame sea eagle (you have to pay 20 bhats). Will post mine later.

Coming back to the topic of shopping in Phuket - DON"T shop in Patong unless you are good at bargaining. You have to start at 30% of what they ask. As for T-shirts - don't pay more than 100 Bhats. For a nice suit (coat and pants), 300 Bhats is the best price.

Again food here at Patong is damn costly and getting Halal food is really tough. One guy working at a counter at our hotel took us to Laila Sea Food - a Muslim restaurant which serves real Malay food. However, be prepared to pay about 100 Bhats for a ride on the Tuk Tuk as it is away from Patong beach. They are Thai Muslims from the southern part of thailand - from Yala if I am not mistaken. The food is great and best of all they speak Malay. Talking about food has made me hungry.

More next time.....

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