Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 93
Like Tree65Likes

Thread: Patong 2015

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238

    Patong 2015

    Just back, literally half an hour ago, from the shortest trip I've had in years. I was very time poor this year and almost skipped it but my Kiwi buddy would have been devastated if I ducked the World Cup final so I bit the bullet and went. I will try and post some pictures later, and some details about the flights ( super impresssed with Emirates - again ),but for now just some thoughts on Patong while I wait for the beer to kick in and sleep to arrive.

    Numbers

    It's pretty clear just looking around yourself that the numbers of people getting to Patong are drastically down but it also seems very clear ( to me ) that the kind of people, the demographics, have changed as well. It's not exactly tumbleweeds, but there is some elbow room at the moment and there shouldn't be at this time of year.

    Looking up Bangla road the number of touts is ludicrous, if you took all of those folks out of there it would be a far more pleasant place to be. We had a conversation with a guy one evening who was going home the following day skint after blowing through a fortune. He had followed a tout from Bangla to some silly ping-pong show and it cost him7000baht in the end. Whilst there is a touch of 'som nam na' about those stories they are damaging to tourism and typical of what I've come to expect. An example:

    I've been going to the Blue Lotus on Bangla for years and years. My pal married one of the staff there this year. How did we get treated when we turned up last week? They were busting our balls to buy them drinks and making a fuss when we said no. My evenings used to always start in the Blue Lotus when I was in Patong, last week I went there twice and they can kiss my ass now.

    This approach tells me that their numbers are down and, as we've come to expect when that happens, they squeeze the customers they have harder.

    I have a pal who has had a bar there, the Boogaloo on soi Patong Resort, since 1998 or so. His numbers are down 40% and he says it's the worst he's ever seen.

    Talking to a couple of stallholders their perception is that the coup, the bomb and particularly the murders on Ko Tao have been very damaging to tourist numbers. There's no surprise there but the more resillient market, the naughty boys who don't give a shit who's running the country so long as they can dip their wick, seem to have been pretty much pushed out of Patong and some of the businesses are hurting because of it.

    It's interesting times in Patong and some won't survive. Soi Freedom ( old Soi Eric - Jeez, I miss that ) is deathly quiet at the moment. Soi Croc is gone and I think Gonzo is gone too but couldn't swear to it. Seadragon is quiet and those upstairs bars are deathly, in fact I think that all but the one overlooking Bangla are closed.

    We had a look in Tiger ( the new one ) one evening too and it was instructive. Looking down at the crowd from above there seemed to be very few girls kicking around. Not so long ago Tiger was wall to wall freelancers. Last week I would put the number at zero or close to it.

    There is still some business up and down Bangla Road but it isn't what it was and I can't see how they fix it. I heard, from someone I believe, that Black Horse changed hands for 35 million baht this year; I'm glad that wasn't my money - I wouldn't want a bar of that.
    Last edited by Steve@thaib; 4th November 2015 at 04:58.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238
    Beaches

    The beach situation, to me, is bonkers. Why they can't find a compromise and allow some chairs/loungers/umbrellas whilst giving the jetski/parachute guys free reign is beyond me.

    My pal says Australian beaches are like that, bare and clean, so I get that not all countries want their beaches to be overrun with umbrellas and people selling coconuts. To me though, if you are a beach resort and can't find a way of accommodating people who want to spend some time on the beach without sitting in the direct sunlight on the floor then you really have got something wrong.

    If people can't get what they want on Patong Beach then they will go elsewhere and it looks like they are doing.

    Bonkers.
    Stillearly, krukke, K2 and 1 others like this.

  3. #3
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    10,477
    Good report
    We are going to Patong in April for the 1st time in 3 years.
    It is only for 3 days and I am with my wife and her mom and son, and our niece.
    Although her old boss just left Patong and hopefully Lucy's bar is still going or we won't have anyone we know to visit!

  4. #4
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    My pal says Australian beaches are like that, bare and clean, so I get that not all countries want their beaches to be overrun with umbrellas and people selling coconuts. To me though, if you are a beach resort and can't find a way of accommodating people who want to spend some time on the beach without sitting in the direct sunlight on the floor then you really have got something wrong.
    I alternate between feeling sad that such a basic thing is worked against by so many vested interests.. and feeling its kind of pathetic that something as simple as a beach concession, cant be run transparently and fairly, to stop the enabling of those vested interests.

    I mean lets be clear here.. its a fucking beach concession.. How about 3 year open bid auctions, held in May after high seasons done, with the money going into tessabaan coffers for beach infrastructure maintenance and upkeep. A simple set of rules (60% chairs 40% free space, they must keep it clean, etc) and failure to apply by them the concession goes to the 2nd bidder (who would then patrol them like crazy). Its like its so simple a high school project could handle the issues involved.

  5. #5
    Senior Member BroTiger's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle WA, USA
    Posts
    658

    Patong 2015

    When I was in Patong back in March/April, I experienced some of the same. A bar in the new Tiger complex that had previously been very friendly and low key was now all about extracting maximum Baht. Even the old waitresses were hitting me up for drinks after playing a couple dice games. Two nights of that and I was done. I went upstairs to the disco floor and it was almost empty. Fortunately I had arranged for a couple excursions to keep myself busy.
    The whole bar scene certainly isn't what it was even two years ago. I don't know when or even if I want to go back.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    2,267
    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    ... with the money going into tessabaan
    That is not where they want the money to go.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    373
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    Beaches

    The beach situation, to me, is bonkers. Why they can't find a compromise and allow some chairs/loungers/umbrellas whilst giving the jetski/parachute guys free reign is beyond me.

    My pal says Australian beaches are like that, bare and clean, so I get that not all countries want their beaches to be overrun with umbrellas and people selling coconuts. To me though, if you are a beach resort and can't find a way of accommodating people who want to spend some time on the beach without sitting in the direct sunlight on the floor then you really have got something wrong.

    If people can't get what they want on Patong Beach then they will go elsewhere and it looks like they are doing.

    Bonkers.
    It's true Steve, it's pretty much bring your own gear, if you want to sit on the beach.

    Illegal to smoke or consume alcohol also.

    a major part of the attraction to me, going to Patong was the service at the beach, sit there all day, drink 20 beers, have a feed and swim and don't have to do anything.

    Here is what it was like years ago, Surfers Paradise beach, Gold Coast Queensland, Al the Suntan Man, (it's a really long read, but bloody interesting, IMHO)

    The Suntan Man

  8. #8
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    10,477
    By the way.....it is not Patong but Dodger looks like he has a great bar set up on the beach in Kamala
    Bar Natasha or something.
    Looks awesome.....nice big sitting area.

    It is definitely a night out for me when I am there.

    Has anyone been?

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238
    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Good report
    We are going to Patong in April for the 1st time in 3 years.
    It is only for 3 days and I am with my wife and her mom and son, and our niece.
    Although her old boss just left Patong and hopefully Lucy's bar is still going or we won't have anyone we know to visit!
    I didn't see it but couldn't remember the name of it. I knew her only vaguely so didn't try that hard to find it. Your take on it after such a long break from visiting will be interesting.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238
    Quote Originally Posted by snowy View Post
    a major part of the attraction to me, going to Patong was the service at the beach, sit there all day, drink 20 beers, have a feed and swim and don't have to do anything.
    Me too. It was always pleasant having everything delivered and people looking after you.

    If they wanted it pristine like the Gold Coast though they would chase off the jetski bandits wouldn't they? Currently, you can't sit on a chair out of the sun but you can be fleeced by a bunch of thugs while the cops look the other way ( or wait for their cut )

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238
    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    I alternate between feeling sad that such a basic thing is worked against by so many vested interests.. and feeling its kind of pathetic that something as simple as a beach concession, cant be run transparently and fairly, to stop the enabling of those vested interests.

    I mean lets be clear here.. its a fucking beach concession.. How about 3 year open bid auctions, held in May after high seasons done, with the money going into tessabaan coffers for beach infrastructure maintenance and upkeep. A simple set of rules (60% chairs 40% free space, they must keep it clean, etc) and failure to apply by them the concession goes to the 2nd bidder (who would then patrol them like crazy). Its like its so simple a high school project could handle the issues involved.
    I'm on the 'pathetic' side of that and agree completely now. It's ridiculously unjustifiable. Bonkers.

  12. #12
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    10,477
    Quote Originally Posted by Steve@thaib View Post
    I didn't see it but couldn't remember the name of it. I knew her only vaguely so didn't try that hard to find it. Your take on it after such a long break from visiting will be interesting.
    I am really not expecting much and honestly if I had my way, we'd be staying in Kata or Karon.
    But my wife likes the hustle and bustle of Patong, where her and her mom can do their own thing walking outside of the hotel
    I booked a hotel at the far end going towards Kalim to be away from too much craziness.
    I think it will do for 3 days
    Ao and I spent out 1st few years there......so there is some good history there. So I think it will be nice, especially since we aren't relying on the bar scene

  13. #13
    Senior Member NeedHoliday's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    1,105
    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    Good report
    We are going to Patong in April for the 1st time in 3 years.
    It is only for 3 days and I am with my wife and her mom and son, and our niece.
    Although her old boss just left Patong and hopefully Lucy's bar is still going or we won't have anyone we know to visit!
    If it's been 3 years you're going to see a massive difference (not for the better).

    The initial summary is more or less spot on and why I'm not feeling too bad about leaving Patong next month. Some aspects I'll miss (the people I've made friends with) but other parts just get on my nerves now, there's too much hassle and not enough positives. Everything revolves around extracting as much money from you in as little time as possible for as little effort as possible, then move onto the next sucker.

    Funnily enough I actually enjoy myself more at Lucy's Bar (Little Devils) than anywhere else because I'm not being hassled. Soi Freedom has been getting busier thankfully so there is plenty of eye candy, but some bars towards the end are still struggling. The live music (can't remember which days - fri/sat/wed?) also makes a refreshing change - maybe I'm getting old 555. Last Friday the Soi was pretty busy and reminded me of my first trip in 2011 - but it can vary day to day (Halloween was less busy). It needs more promotion at the front of the Soi because I'm not sure people often realise how far it goes back or that there is live music. Bangla itself is really busy but its mainly just foot-traffic (Chinese) and touts, and now ladyboys (since Croc is being renovated).

    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    ... hopefully Lucy's bar is still going or we won't have anyone we know to visit!
    I hope so too, but don't set high expectations for Bangla - presumably not your main goal if you're with family anyway, but Lucy's is somewhat family-friendly as they don't have any dancers shoving their ass in your face

  14. #14
    Senior Member marc26's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Vancouver BC
    Posts
    10,477
    Quote Originally Posted by NeedHoliday View Post
    If it's been 3 years you're going to see a massive difference (not for the better).

    The initial summary is more or less spot on and why I'm not feeling too bad about leaving Patong next month. Some aspects I'll miss (the people I've made friends with) but other parts just get on my nerves now, there's too much hassle and not enough positives. Everything revolves around extracting as much money from you in as little time as possible for as little effort as possible, then move onto the next sucker.

    Funnily enough I actually enjoy myself more at Lucy's Bar (Little Devils) than anywhere else because I'm not being hassled. Soi Freedom has been getting busier thankfully so there is plenty of eye candy, but some bars towards the end are still struggling. The live music (can't remember which days - fri/sat/wed?) also makes a refreshing change - maybe I'm getting old 555. Last Friday the Soi was pretty busy and reminded me of my first trip in 2011 - but it can vary day to day (Halloween was less busy). It needs more promotion at the front of the Soi because I'm not sure people often realise how far it goes back or that there is live music. Bangla itself is really busy but its mainly just foot-traffic (Chinese) and touts, and now ladyboys (since Croc is being renovated).


    I hope so too, but don't set high expectations for Bangla - presumably not your main goal if you're with family anyway, but Lucy's is somewhat family-friendly as they don't have any dancers shoving their ass in your face

    It's been about 5 years, and I am not expecting much.

    My step-son is 14yrs old and niece is 16yrs old, I wouldn't bring them near a beer bar. I just don't think that is any place for kids, IMO
    My wife and I will likley head out to Bangla one night but it will be once they are settled for the night.

    But I will bring them all over to Kamala
    They can walk around Kamala while I am at Dodgers Place or just hang out at Dodgers too

  15. #15
    Super Moderator LivinLOS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    14,153
    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    My step-son is 14yrs old and niece is 16yrs old, I wouldn't bring them near a beer bar. I just don't think that is any place for kids, IMO
    Funnily.. I wouldnt have much problem with western kids in most beer bars (not agogos or really full on soi six type places).. The girls fuss over them, by the time they are old enough to work it out, well time they knew the world has all sorts..

    But for Thai kids.. With it being Thais on the service side of that.. money being spent.. just feels like a bad example to expose them to..

    Odd how thats different in my mind.

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,238
    Quote Originally Posted by LivinLOS View Post
    Funnily.. I wouldnt have much problem with western kids in most beer bars (not agogos or really full on soi six type places).. The girls fuss over them...
    So true. I met a pal in Bangkok years ago, he had a wife and baby in tow and my idea was to ditch them and go to Gullivers. His wife had other plans though and we ended up with the baby while she went shopping.

    We went to Gullivers anyway and what a brilliant experience, we drew a crowd of girls all clucking over the baby and quite keen to hand their phone numbers out. Kids are way better than puppies as conversation starters

  17. #17
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,862
    Quote Originally Posted by marc26 View Post
    But I will bring them all over to Kamala
    They can walk around Kamala while I am at Dodgers Place or just hang out at Dodgers too
    Dodger's bar is a part of his hotel...so no girlie type stuff going on there...just the same service as any place in the west....well. maybe a bit slower 555...its right on the beach so you can watch the kids play down there if they choose...and he has recently added in a Lucky13 sandwich shop...so you can sit and have a beer, lookout over a beachside sunset, grab a gourmet sandwich and have a few beers

    He's got it all sorted there for anyone from any walk of life

  18. #18
    Senior Member Mr. Smiley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nakhon Ratchasima
    Posts
    442
    Quote Originally Posted by nelsonone View Post
    and he has recently added in a Lucky13 sandwich shop...so you can sit and have a beer, lookout over a beachside sunset, grab a gourmet sandwich and have a few beers
    Too bad the old P-I forum is down... would be interesting to see who has to eat their hats as isn't Lucky 13 one of BM Aguero's sandwich shops (now franchised)?
    LivinLOS, dawsey and joyep like this.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Thailand
    Posts
    2,267
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley View Post
    Too bad the old P-I forum is down... would be interesting to see who has to eat their hats as isn't Lucky 13 one of BM Aguero's sandwich shops (now franchised)?
    All of us, I guess. Cudos to him for pulling it off. I do hope, there are more traffic in the shops than the three times I have been to the one in Patong.

    I think his bad start in PI was mostly because of timing - and also a little because of beginner's attitude. He told us about his porn star rendezvous shortly after someone else had written about her and another porn star. And then we of course always had threads about not paying the girls.

  20. #20
    Senior Member nelsonone's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    2,862
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Smiley View Post
    Too bad the old P-I forum is down... would be interesting to see who has to eat their hats as isn't Lucky 13 one of BM Aguero's sandwich shops (now franchised)?
    yep...Dodge had some pics of the opening on his FB page and there was Aguero front and centre...

    There are at least 3 Lucky 13 outlets now that I know of...Chalong, Patong and now this one in Kamala..not sure if they have done more

    I've not been in Dodger's one..its only a few weeks old....however the Chalong and Patong ones both put out pretty decent gourmet sandwiches...albeit at a premium price...I wonder how that will go in Kamala...then locals there are not known for big spending 555

Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •