Phuket, an extremely touristic province and one of Thai islands with a so called ‘the city of sins’, Patong, surprisingly satisfied our culinary needs. With a very limited budget calculated for this place we were able to eat nice food for a couple of dollars (per meal) and still manage to get to know the ”taste” of the freaky Bangla Road! Here’s how we did it 🙂
Our favorite place to eat was a local diner called ‘’Birley’’ – for 50-60THB / 1-.50USD you could get the following set: a small bowl of soup (a kind of broth seasoned with garlic and chives), rice + pork or chicken to choose from (crispy or stewed version) + 2 types of sauce: dark soya-like and sweet-and-sour one + to drink: a jar of water with ice (free of charge everywhere in Thailand).
Besides it was the streetfood that reigned on every street corner and for mere 10-50THB/0.25-1.25USD. It’s true that Patong prevailed in restaurants and bars for foreigners, but in fact you could easily find a place to eat for a decent price, as there was a lot of competition going around, and you could also find a few local bars/diners which are mostly off the beaten track (as always when you are in a touristic place). Out of the cheapest restaurants of Patong the following 2 are worth recommending: Restaurant n6 and the second twin one: Restaurant n9, where we had a delicious dinner with our friends who were in Patong at the same time. We ordered: a bowl of soup made of roast duck (a kind of broth) for 80THB / 2USD, a sushi set for 169THB / 4USD, a big portion of spring rolls for 100THB /2.50USD, starter with local mushrooms for about 120THB / 3USD and chicken & rice with various sauces to choose from for about 130-150THB / 3-4USD.
Another cheap option for eating out are markets/night markets (2 of them are situated on the road no. 4055 which you can reach turning from Phrabarami Rd). The first market on the right side on the road no. 4055 is a place where you can buy all sorts of food in the form of shishkebab (snails, squids, crab sticks, sausages, chicken, minced fish balls, liver, tofu), with a sweet-and-sour sauce; fried worms (grasshoppers, insect larvae), soup served from a large pot, pad thai with shrimps, small cutlets made of eggs, pork in red sauce with rice, crispy chicken, roasted chestnuts and sweets: biscuits, crispy cookies and crispy and sweet roti and ice-cream from barrels. Out of beverages the best that we could drink there was a shake, you could get it made of strawberries, mango, pineapple.
However, the best shake that we drank in Patong you could buy on the same street following the left side further towards the next market (it was a stall on the road more or less near the blue road sign indicating Patong and Karon Beach). An unbeatable giant milkshake (you can mix flavors) with its size of 0.7l cost us 50THB / 1.25USD! Generally, the prices of juices and shakes in Phuket are at this similar price, but never had we had a chance to drink such an enormous fruitshake (the lady cut the whole mango and half pineapple to make it for us).
Going further the same street walking on the left side you will finally notice he 2nd market located next to the Tiger Seafood Restaurant, a very characteristic one with tigers hanging from the ceiling. The market is in a building specially adapted for this type of place, and you can find there lots of fresh fish, seafood, frogs, meat, fruit, vegetables, and that’s where we tasted guava, a fruit resembling a big green apple but having the taste similar to that of a pear.The sellers were willing to pull the following from the aquariums: crabs, lobsters, shrimps, giant frogs, young eels to demonstrate how impressive they are.
Another point that you cannot miss is an amazing buzzing night life that the famous Bangla Road has to offer (with its direct access from Patong Beach). It’s a total madness that is taking place there when a night falls and there are no words to describe it in an accurate manner! And frankly, this place appealed to us much more than Bangkok’s Soi Cowboy or Nana Plaza. Here in Patong literally clubs go out into the streets, bars are open in the open air but you can also find a lot of standard clubs and discos, with dancers or not, with live music and the regular one. Giving you an example: the Illuzion Club offered open bar for 1000THB / 25USD, Moulin Rouge – the same for 500THB / 13USD + you could see from the street some dancers on the balcony of the club. A huge crowd is passing by the street at night, that is literally attacked from all the sides by guys distributing flyers, others promoting clubs, inviting everyone for erotic shows which they assure are for free (of course it’s not true).
We came across a nice club in the open air offering a bucket of 5 beers (Chang) and 5 shots of tequila for 350THB / 9USD and, as it turned out later, also having in its offer plenty of food prepared on barbecue for free! We know, i’ts hard to believe this! We were told that the owner had a birthday on that day and all the club guests could benefit from the exceptional offer that evening. The food was unlimited, and one could really eat nice stuff: steaks, shishkebabs, sausages, chicken and additionally as a side dish: salads, mashed potatoes, pasta and plenty of sauces. The dancers in the club weren’t good, resembling statues rather than moving to the music , but we had a lot of fun, and the music made you want to move your ass, really! and dance until dawn – in our case, unfortunately, this wasn’t possible because at 3 o’clock that night we were supposed to leave Phuket – and the next stop in our journey was getting closer and closer! We’re coming, Myanmar, see you soon!