Walking through the entrance doors of Phucket airport and I get a " aaahhh, way u going tuu?" says the Thai lady at the tourist info desk. I laid down my bags, leaned against the counter, smiled and replied "dunno..... where do you recommend?!".
I picked Patong beach when I looked at her folded out map, it was a well known, touristy town on the west coast that had a nice beach and overall was a safe bet to start with. When I arrived there it sure was touristy, packed to the hills with party goers from all corners of the globe, with the English seeming to take their fair share of percentage, singlets, skinheads and tatto's! The first few days here were a little too much for me, especially since I arrived alone and booked into a hotel. Bangla road, the high octane party street was intimidating. I have never seen as many pubs and clubs on one street in my life, it is truly one of the best places to go with your mates to let off steam for a week or two! Once I changed to a hostel accomodation I met up with a few fellow backpackers and all mellowed out for me as I got used to the area and had a good base to start with.
Songkran is a festival that celebrates the Thai new year. In a nutshell, this festival turns into a colossal waterfight for 3 days and boy it doesn't disappoint. In such nervous anticipation for day 1 of the festival, a few sporadic water battles broke out the day before, resulting in a mass aqua-brawl on the streets. Hands down, it was the craziest waterfight I've ever seen. Every shop had a barrel of water or a hose outside their stall or shop. People used bowls, jugs, and buckets to splash water on each other with water pistols being the main ammunition of choice (the 5,000 water pistol really hurts in the face!). There are no exceptions here, no one goes untouched not even police. There were a few occasions where people got angry, especially when we opened the mini-bus door and destroyed the fearful passengers inside. It was truly a memorable few days. Apparently the northern city of Chiang Mai hosts the most revered and intense waterfight in all of Thailand. It really is worth planing your trip to coincide with this festival.
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