Pattaya / Angeles / Phuket Trip Report
I have just returned from my first holiday since June 2008. Here is a little feedback.
I stayed 7 nights in Pattaya, then 6 nights for the first time in Angeles in the Philippines and finally 8 nights at Patong beach, Phuket.
My view is that Pattaya has been developed a lot, but in a good way. I like the more quiet places as Naklua and soi Buakhao. Naklua was exactly, as I remember it. A lot of Germans and low prices. Nothing new…
Soi Buakhao was really a pleasant surprise. I usually never spent a lot of time there, but now it has become my absolute favourite place in Pattaya. Small new bars with pool tables, 5 – 8 ladies with very nice attitude, but no or very few stunners. Good cheap places to eat, probably due to the many Germans, retired people and long term tourists. Reasonable prices on lady drinks around 100 baht and beer prices before 6 PM as low as 35 baht. I am a new born Soi Buakhao lover…
Then I arrived in Manila airport on the 2nd of February. I had already ordered a pick-up car and we drove out of Manila.
Angeles is situated north of Manila, so we drove through the extremely poor parts of the city and I actually thought that the driver didn't know the route or he was up to something nasty, but after 40 – 50 minutes we got out on the highway, which was well maintained or new. Anyway 120 km/h and another 40 – 50 minutes and we arrived in Balibago (Angeles).
My first impression was that everything looked poor, dirty and old…and I had chosen a hotel in a street next to Fields Ave, so I was in short working distance from the main nightlife district.
One step out of the car and the first guy asked, if I would like a shoe shine WTF!!
When I waited for my luggage in the airport, I went to the toilet next to the belt and the toilet cleaner jumped around me, opened the water and took paper to dry my fingers in and then his hand came forward in the hope to receive
I simply hate that kind of behaviour and gave him nothing…but the Philippines are poor and a nation of beggars…
After spending 6 nights there:
– Hotels are very low quality compared to Thailand for the same price.
– Safety in the hotel was very high. There were 2 exits from the hotel and not one of my ladies was allowed to leave the hotel until the guard had called me and I said okay. Even the massage lady, who I had booked through reception, had to wait by the guard when she arrived and when she left.. VERY GOOD SAFETY!
I eat in different places, but the food wasn't nearly as good as LOS no matter if I ordered international, Mexican or Thai. Price level was the same as Pattaya.
Often you can only choose San Miguel or Light, at very reasonable prices like Soi Buakhao. Lady drinks are very cheap 90-100 peso which is about 62 – 67 baht and the ladies were very modest and seldom asked for drinks!!!! But if ladies choose a San Miguel in the Dollhouse, it was 250 peso~170 baht.
"Night life" is gogo bars, except Santos St. which is a street with small rundown bars based on short time experiences, but the girls will also go long time. Santos St. is known as Blow Row.
Gogo bars aren't nightlife. A good portion of them open 24 hours and the rest open between 12 PM – 4 AM.
The ladies are mostly between 18 to 24 years old…no tattoos..no piercings…and best of all, no prima donnas. The prices in gogo for LT are 1000 to 1800 peso(680-1225baht) and you just pay in the bar. The price includes everything (barfine and lady).
The ladies had stone faces on the stage, but as soon as you selected one and offered her a drink, then they were only happy smiles and super sweet.
In addition most of them spoke fair or very good English…easy to fall in love.
The ladies aren't as addicted to mobile phones like their Thai counterparts. They usually have cheap models and use them only to send text messages.
I arrived in Patong on the 8th February. Patong has grown a lot since 2008. Beach chairs all over the beach down to where the mountains start on the route to Kamala.
Tourists are now mostly couples. Bangla Road is packed as never before, especially the old bars on the right side from the beach.
But walk just 20 metres inside Soi Eric, Easy, Sea dragon and there were very few customers. The couples sit outside and watch life in Bangla during evenings and nights.
The ladies have very little to do and it seemed more like low season for them. Some considered a change to massage and others thought about Pattaya. Even though there were few punters, some wouldn't go for less 2000 baht LT in the beer bars, which is over my limit. 1500B is the max!
Lady drinks were 140 -200B WTF!!! mostly 170 – 180 baht.
Soi Sansabai (opposite Bangla) has some small bars which open around 10 PM and close about 8 AM. Many customers go there, when Bangla's bars close 2 – 3 AM.
A lot of hand- and lips job shops (massage) have opened and they were a pain in the ass when you just walked around. The staff grabbed your arms and you heard all the time: Massage, massage, welcome sir, happy hour… Couples come inside the parlour and the female wants a manicure and the guy wants a 1-hour oil massage. Bad luck for the massage lady, who has to do the nails…not much tip in that and they waste 1 hour! The massage lady who got the guy earns at least 300-1000B in tip for a lip or hand relief.
In Soi Sansabai there has been a hotel built with a lot of rooms rented out as short time rooms on the opposite of the small beer bars.
Pattaya: Good, fair-priced hotels and food, good fun and ladies, little or no communication. Lot of choices.
Angeles: Mainly gogo ladies so you can see, what you get – and they are very sweet and speak often fair or good English. No prima donnas. Low demands. Many ladies compared to the numbers of tourists. Cheap beers BUT hotels, food, fun and surroundings are much in better in LOS.
Will I go to Angeles again? YES!
It will take a long time before I go there again!
It's crowded, there are many ladies with bad attitude, many katoeys, restaurants with touts on the street, transportation around the city were these fuc@#$ tuktuk as always, the prices for beers and lady drinks are way over the top so they can't compete with Angeles or Pattaya.
Patong Beach has only one thing that is better and that is the beach.
Good bye Phuket…
Punters who just want to sit in the Golden Bar and walk over to Nana Plaza could save a lot by staying in Angeles instead.
I guess, that 80 – 90% of punters in Thailand will prefer Pattaya compared to Angeles.
Interesting report which conclusions seems consistent with what others have said.
I went off Phuket many years ago and it sounds like it just gets worse and worse!