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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
April 2009 Email this to a friend

Phuket
Phuket is Thailand's largest island...

By Michael J. Darton

Connect Guesthouse, Phuket
Connect Guesthouse's weekly boat tour to Koh Kai island, Phuket

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NOTE: This is an archive article. For an updated and expanded Phuket article click DailyXtraTravel

Phuket

Thailand's largest island lies to the west in the Andaman Sea. Patong, its busiest town, has a gay beach attracting an international crowd. This year the Phuket Film Festival (Phuketfilmfestival.asia) takes place June 4-11.

Beyond the tourist traps, secret hideaways such as Kalim Beach beckon. There you'll share with locals an array of seafood and barbecued meats. For tranquility, try Karon and Kata beaches. For first-class seclusion, hire an island for the day. See Honeymoonislandphuket.com.

Phuket Accommodations

Adonis Guesthouse (Paradise Complex, Patong; 76-345-800) well-equipped rooms, quiet location, just off the main strip.

Aquarius Guesthouse and Sauna (127/10-17 Rat-U-Thit Road, Patong;76-341-668) at heart of Paradise Complex, rooftop hot tub and sauna.

CC Bloom's Hotel (84/21 Patak Rd soi 10, Karon; 76-333- 222) gay hideaway in the hills, sea view, near Karon Beach.

Club One Seven B&B (9/9-10 Prachanukroh, Patong) clean and comfortable rooms, near the sea.

Connect Guesthouse (125/8-9 Rat-U-Thit Rd; 76-294-195) budget to penthouse rooms, Thai and international food, Thursday buffet.

Puerta del Sol (105/9 Rachauthid Rd, Patong; 87-888- 1158) five minutes from Paradise Comples, shopping and beaches.

Ibis Phuket (10 Chalermphrakiat Road, Kathu District, Patong) bar and restaurant, near beach, in-room wi-fi and safe.

Sundowners (Paradise Complex; 76-344-215) terrace and sports bars, near nightlife, five-minute walk to gay beach.

Time Bar & B&B (125/12 Raj-U-thit Rd, Paradise Complex; 89-724-8497) guest rooms from $25, bar and parties.

Phuket Nightlife

Paradise Complex is the neon-lit gay zone in Patong. All of Patong becomes one big nightclub after dark, buzzing with the energy of the bars and dancing in the streets, as well as tabletops. Men, women, and ladyboys line sidewalks signaling their availability to growing numbers of international visitors, young and old. Of the 30 or so gay bars and restaurants in the area those below are in Paradise Complex.

Boat Bar cabaret bar, nightclub with modern sound and laser system.

Flying Handbag relaxed pace, tasty drinks, local beer.

Kiss eclectic crowd, underwear nights, uniform and fetish parties. Thai slapstick comedy shows with big-belly women in sequins.

My Way go-go bar, nightly cabaret, bevy of guys on offer.

Sundowners Bar & Guesthouse prime people-watching location, pool table.

Dining

Playhouse Theatre/Restaurant (120 Rat-U- Thit Rd, Patong) short walk from Paradise Complex, Thai food, and tapas, shows mix Thai theater and western comedy.

Seahag (78/5 Permpong Soi III, Patong Beach) Thai restaurant with stylish ambiance.

Da Maurizio Restaurant and Bar (223/3 Prabarami Rd, Patong) contemporary Italian in perfect seaside setting.

Phuket Events, activities

Song Kran, Thailand's traditional New Year, which begins this year on April 13, is a three-day celebration. The whole country observes religious and family rituals, but dousing people, especially foreigners, with water is the best-known tradition. There is dancing on every street.

Phuket Vegetarian Festival a nine-day festival running from October 17 to 26, marks the beginning of "Taoist Lent" with hot coal walking, skin piercings, and religious processions.

Rainbow-Scuba & Tour (rainbow-scuba.com) gay tours on land or underwater at Koh Samui.

Phuket: getting there, getting around

Within Thailand, a host of budget airlines can get you here. From Bangkok try Airasia.com or Nokair.com. Bus and mini- van connections are about $20, and can be arranged by your hotel. Taxi fare to Patong or Kata runs $10- 15.

Phuket Resources

Gaypatong.com has local Phuket gay information.

Thai gay media

Look for Spice Magazine, an English-language publication with excellent maps. Thai Puan is available in Thai and English.

Resources

Gay Thailand has a variety of general information.

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