Bangla Road in Patong is where the freaks come out at night. It’s like a miniature walking street, or an adult-oriented Khaosan Road, depending on how you look at it. Here you will find tourists looking to drink until they drop; stag and hen nights out to humiliate a bride or groom; and young boys and girls on tour trying to see a bit of the world.
There are bar girls and ladyboys; gays and oddballs; guys in wheelchairs and girls on crutches; a man with one leg selling cheap cigarettes and a 12-year-old girl selling lighters and flashing lights.
Confused travellers have their pictures taken with enormous lizards and strange-looking monkeys while the police crack down on people riding motorbikes through the soi. A magician dressed as a cowboy entertains the masses as a katoey bursting out of her top preys on solitary males.
Is this real life? It can’t be, surely. Sat from the safety of a bar selling Thailand’s finest beers for 50 baht, this was all I saw.