How the world sees Phuket


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So where are all the go-go bars in Phuket? Don't ask me.

I have a soft spot for Phuket. I lived there for a year and I really disliked the way the island is viewed by people who haven’t spent much time there. I’ve had friends visit the island, spend a night or two in Patong and leave with a negative impression of the place. All right, Patong is an annoyance in many respects, which is why it amazes me that people chose to go there only to have a bad time.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald on Thursday, Phuket has a “reputation for sticky go-go bars, overpriced shopping and full-moon parties”.

There aren’t really all that many go-go bars in Phuket, even in Patong, so I don’t know where that reputation comes from. As for full-moon parties, I don’t think they are ever held in Phuket, except maybe at Club Lime from time to time, but rarely at the beaches.

With regards to shopping, I always thought the prices were acceptable and not too dissimilar to in Bangkok. The only real drawback in Phuket is the lack of choice, especially when it comes to electronics.

I’m not saying the writer is at fault here. If that’s how people see Phuket, then so be it, but it’s an image of the island that is somewhat unjust.

It happens about every week or so on the Phuket forums that someone will post that “Phuket is dead” or “Patong isn’t what it used to be”. It never occurs to people that there are other parts of Phuket, where the dreaded signs of development are few and far between.

With all the madness going on in Pattaya and Bangkok at the moment, I wonder how, if at all, tourism in Phuket will be affected. There’s been a lot of bad press for Thailand in general and people like to throw out figures of billions of baht in lost revenue, but the truth is, we won’t know what the impact is for some time.

Phuket is still much the same as it’s always been. There’s no reason to put off a trip there because of what’s going on in Thailand. Perhaps that will change and there will be a civil war or a revolution in the next few months, but right now, that isn’t happening.

What is happening on April 18, however, is a concert organized by the PAD for up to 20,000 people. Obviously not a group to shy away from accusations that all they do is have picnics and watch concerts, this event will take place in Saphan Hin. People are expected to camp over at the event and there will be refreshment trucks and food vendors.

Artist Chanrong Piathanong is booked to paint a picture of HM The King while musicians play the national anthem. And who said patriotism was dead?

I think still think Phuket is worth visiting and it’s probably best not to listen to what other people say about the island.

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4 thoughts on “How the world sees Phuket

  1. Well, and then there's the "black-plated" taxis that charge you B1,200 PER PERSON for a trip from hotel to phuket town. Or the B300 per person tuk tuks from one corner of Phuket town to the other.

    But I would like to see Phuket more if I had a car there.

  2. Indeed. You need your own transport really. Taxis are ridiculously expensive. I've never heard of them being 1,200 baht per person though. You'd think the hotels and resorts would have put their foot down and done something about that.

    I don't remember that bookstore. Where is it?

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