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Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

NYC
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Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Hello there! I and a few of my girlfriends (late 30s) are looking to head to Phuket in mid-november (I know a while away).

The question I have is which town to stay in, I know Kata and Karon are popular areas but what other towns should we consider, if we want to have some bars and lounges to go to (it will be my birthday!) but we don't want to be around sleeziness or a bunch of 20 year olds getting drunk.

What town would you suggest?

Also, please note that our travel agent suggested Banyan tree in thalang or Moevenpick Bang Tao (in surin--I think) and Anantara in Mai Khao. Are any of these places near cool lounge/bars?

Thanks for your help!

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1. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Patong is big enough, with enough options, that you can find places that suit your taste. There is no getting away from the fact that there are girly bars there in abundance, and drunken 20 y.o.'s, but they are not that hard to avoid. Having said that, if you only plan on going out to party a few nights, Karon and Kata aren't that far from Patong. Even Bang Tao bay is just over half an hours drive. But for me, even if I wanted only a few nights out, I'd still stay in Patong. At least for part of my stay.

Splitting your stay b/w areas is very easy, and I highly recommend doing it. It's an hour out of your day. The day before we leave the first hotel, we hit them up for an extra hour on check-out, and also ask for an early check-in at the next place. Usually works out ok.

The places your agent has suggested are all lovely, but top end (pricey), and a little isolated, party-ing wise. I class all your agents' recommendations as "honeymoon" hotels. Is this the price range you are looking at ? If so, I envy you your choices.

My advice, book 2 or 3 days in Patong (or 4 nights if your stay is 10 days or more) for your partying, tour days and shopping, and the rest elsewhere for relaxing. In your price range, in Patong, look at La Flora or Amari, a few others depending on how you feel about catching transport rather than walking everywhere. If you love a great big pool, consider the Family Suite at Duangjitt. Duangjitt isn't the same class as the other two, but the Family Suite itself, the pool, and the grounds make up for it. Beautiful spa area too. Breakfast disappointing. Family suite takes 3 adults, but I'm not sure if you can get 3 singles. I suspect you can. And even though it's their top room, it's still probably cheaper than the other choices.

If you decide on no days in Patong, then I'd look at staying at Kata Beach, at Mom Tri's, or Katathani The Shore, rather than those you've been suggested. Or if you want to save a few bucks, the "bigger" Deluxe room at Kata Beach Resort. Kata/Karon is a better location (in regards to going out) than Bang Tao Bay or Mai Khao. Bang Tao beach is arguably a nicer beach than Kata (I love Laguna !), but there's not a lot in it. Karon I'm less fond of than Kata, but there's nothing wrong with Karon, and it has good hotels eg Movenpick, Centara Grand.

Edited: 06 April 2012, 00:35
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2. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

If you don't want to be around sleeziness or a bunch of 20 year olds getting drunk - stay well clear of Patong! It is a cross between red light area of Amsterdam, Lan Kwai Fong in HK and Faliraki!!. I would say go for a night out for a laugh - my friend and I did - we're 38 and well travelled. We stayed on Surin Beach in March this year which was lovely but quite quiet. Surin fancies itself as an exclusive resort - it is in some ways as there didn't seem to be any rustic beach bars - the only night life when we were there centred around the Catch Bar - think Ibiza style but not pretentious enough to be off putting - drinks expensive for Thailand but not for a 5* bar, good music and great location next to the beach. If you are blowing the budget the Twin Palms is lovely but there are naturally lots of couples and the plus point is that is is lined to the Catch Bar Beach Club. The beach is prettier than nearby Kamala with a younger crowd but still quite busy with lots of sun loungers. It depends what you are after - if its any sort of grown up back packer vibe then I would say avoid Phuket completely. We got off and went to Ko Lanta which we preferred. Bear in mind in November it will be busier everrywhere. Good Luck.

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3. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

I suggest the opposite. Stay in Patong. Its vibrant and fun. Lots to see and do. From my observations the 20yos don't go out til late, and congregate in discos. They are easy to avoid.

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4. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Thanks guys! I actually do like to go out. Especially when on vacay. So I don't want to have to go in early to avoid the 20 yr olds nor am I looking for adult back packers. I am looking for sophisticated travelers who enjoy life. Unfortunately, we will only be in Phuket for a short while so I don't want to spend time hopping from hotel to hotel. So I want to choose the right town

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5. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

I guess my point was, don't go to the discos if you want to avoid the young crowd. Theres lots of good live music in many venues including lots of restaurants.

I can't think of where sophisticated travelers would congregate.

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6. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Hi Ms NYC

Mai Khao so isolated!!!

Movenpick is in Karon but nothing particularly sophisticated comes to mind. It is not a bad location just not near anything particularly worth mentioning.

Patong is full of sex tourist, full on sleeze but does have night life. Last time just driving down the beach road I could see the prostitutes spilling out of the massage shops.

As single western women you can get tired of seeing all the sex tourist right in your face. Twenty year olds getting drunk won't seem so bad.

Kata is great.. and certainly offers much more in terms of a more sophisticated vibe with a some soul.

I work and live in this area.

I love the selection of great restaurants (Boathouse Wine & Grill, Capannina, Living Room at Impiana, Mom Tri's Kitchen (where I work.. and a few cheap local eats etc).

South of Kata and Kata Noi has a few art galleries, a beach club, 2 award winning restaurants with amazing wine cellars, independent coffee shops, small boutique shops for clothes and jewelry .

www.rekataphuket.com is a beach club too. Re Ka Ta - Club on the beach. Great happy hour including wine :) (and if you like modern cuisine the menu is outstanding - going there for lunch today).

I avoid Patong at all costs. A taxi ride is only like $15 into Patong then you can leave. Also the beaches are much more crowded.

Bang Tao has some nice bars and restaurants too but not really easily accessible to walk there. If you stay in Kata you can walk to the beach/dinner/shopping etc..

You can pm me if you have any questions. Also perhaps google Night life Patong images. These bars are all open to the street.. completely open air.

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7. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Kata noi, I am a little shocked and some of your post and think it needs tempering.

You say "Patong is full of sex tourist, full on sleeze but does have night life. Last time just driving down the beach road I could see the prostitutes spilling out of the massage shops. "

So tourist are all sex tourists in Patong? All Massage girls are prostitutes? Patong is a fairly big town, and yep, some sleezy places, especially Bangla Road at night, but gee, its not that bad that I wouldn't take my Mum down if she was still, on this earth. BUT, not all of Patong is sleazy.

You say "As single western women you can get tired of seeing all the sex tourist right in your face. Twenty year olds getting drunk won't seem so bad."

Surely you "live and let live". You do not know the circumstances, so how can you judge? Its hardly in your face. Except maybe the Ping Pong show touts.

Are they prostitutes in the Kata massage parlours?

Off to Beach Road to see the spilling prostitutes.

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8. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

I would suggest Kata for what you are after. It is easy enough to take a Taxi/ Tuk Tuk into Patong for the day or night. I generally avoid Patong and only go there for half a days shopping from Kata/Karon on my trips. Kata is much quieter, but still has a small nightlife, the beach is much cleaner than Patong

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9. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

Dear Brio,

I think my post does not need tempering. It is my observations. And I was actually shocked myself to see the obvious massage girls, standing outside the shop in short shorts and high heels at 2 in the afternoon.

Please reread my posts. I never said all tourist were sex tourist?

Hardly but Patong does have the most sex tourist of anywhere else in Phuket. Can you disagree with that?

Being a single western woman from the states, as the poster is, I can relate to what she wants to avoid.

Didn't meant to hit a nerve.

I just prefer to avoid Patong and being around the sleeze. Not just Bangla road.

According to my Thai roomate who worked in a massage shop in Kata to support her 3 kids, husband and family up-country and had to quit when they started offering special massages, I would say yes then they are certainly engaging in this transaction too in Kata Massage Shops.

According to my favorite massage girls in Kata, which even sees the frequency of Thai female clients because it is a proper massage shop, many other massage parlous in Kata are also offering special services.

( Sawadee Massage next tot he Kata Post office and opposite the Petrol Station if anyone is interested).

My posts was certainly not judgement or an attack on anyone.

Edited: 08 April 2012, 06:39
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10. Re: Women's/girls Trip--which town to stay

I love Patong!! As said it is vibrant and fun,. Patong is way big enough to avoid the drunken 20 year olds, just stay away from Bangla rd. There are many people who go there not to follow the sex trail, but to enjoy the holiday.

We are a group of 40-50 year old women that go every year for our girls holiday and really enjoy the place. We spend our days, shopping, lying on the beach, having massages and just basically spoiling ourselves, perfect.

Look at options that are in North Patong like Gracelands, oposite the beach, still plenty of options for eating, and just a 10-15 min stoll to the heart of Bangla.

Having said this there is nothing wrong with kata and karon, just quiter. Myself I like the fact that I have all the choices in Patong without the need to get into a tuk tuk, unles I want to.

Michelle

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