the Beach - By Prowler in Patong - October 2004
EARLY CLOSING FOR BARS
present the police are going round closing all the bars in Patong at one
in the morning. The disgruntled tourists are turfed out into the streets.
Even more unhappy are the bar owners and staff who are losing their trade
despite having just gone through the lengthy rigmarole of getting their
new licences. Street vendors appear and sell cheap booze so the tourists
are not going home to bed as the police would like. There are no public
toilets open so many a shop doorway becomes a urinal and dumping ground
for discarded fast food wrappers. This would not happen if the licensed
bars were open.
Entertainment association has held public meetings to consider what action
can be done to make the government aware of how important the tourist
industry is to Phuket. The interior minister seems to change his stance
from one public statement to the next. He has stated recently that the
rules can be changed provided the bars and clubs take responsibility for
their patrons. He cited drunk driving as a problem - should the police
not be dealing with this one?
the old bars in Soi Sunset have now been demolished. Two of the bars have
moved into new premises at the top of the street near the Ex Pat Hotel.
Both the Mama Mia bar and Faulty Towers are still in business. Faulty
Towers has expanded and now sells draught Kilkenny at 160 Baht per pint.
They now have a new Thai chef and the word is that the food is even better
than before. V Plaza (Valhalla) also has a new front bar called the Castle
Bar. Inside, the big Viking Longship bar is still open with a large pool
and games area. Jan the owner is always around to let you try one of his
"Brown Viking" shooters.
SAME BUT DIFFERENT
local authorities have been inspecting bars trying to make their assessments
on just what sort of fee should be paid for each business. Needless to
say there is a transaction fee paid to the office to "facilitate"
a quick licence issue. But, because their small department is snowed under
everyone can continue trading under their old licence for months to come!!
venues have used this as an opportunity to change direction. In Soi Sea
Dragon the Octopus Go Go has become a pool hall and TJ's Monkey Bar has
become The Winchester Club. All Terry has done is take out the Go Go stage
and make the place a large open plan bar. No doubt, in true Arthur Daley
fashion, he has stashed the stage somewhere just in case he wants to revert
to a girlie bar. Playschool Go Go has changed its stage and lay out and
also opened a comfortable lounge upstairs. In Soi Sans Sabai several bars
have had make-overs and more are converting over to pool halls. There
are now more pool halls than Go Go joints in town. Do “quality family
tourists" squander their hard earned holidays playing pool? I don't
seems that rather than try to get a disco licence more establishments
are calling themselves party pubs. I have been told that the only actual
licensed disco in town is The Banana Disco situated on the beach road.
It has been in business a long time and is well run and clean and tidy.
Every night it is well attended by tourists and locals alike. The Tiger
complex in Soi Bangla gets busy early and if you can stand the noise it
can be great fun.
to buck the trend! Along Soi Bangla on what was the site of a sea food
restaurant an entire new street of bars has sprung up. In this Soi there
are now eight new bars. The girls are lively and the street seems to have
got off to a good start.
Saturday Phuket was hammered by torrential rains and several areas were
cut off by flooding. Patong Beach was badly affected with both the beach
road and Ratutit road below three feet of water. This happened despite
the large drainage project that was installed last year. But drinkers
are a hardy lot and some bars on the higher ground did a roaring trade.
One determined soul turned up floating along the street in a rubber ring
to reach the Two Black Sheep! He reckoned it was quicker than his normal
walking. Well done John.