POINT OF INTEREST

Bangla Road in Patong Beach

Bangla Road really comes to life once the sun sets. The road is closed to vehicle traffic and becomes a 400 metre festival of neon lights, loud music and cheap beer. Jammed most nights of the year, it is quite a friendly and lively place to walk around as bars and clubs compete with each other for customers. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Bangla Road should be your first (and, often, only) stop. Almost all of the bars are outdoors or open-fronted, so the music from each one blends into a mess of mixed beats. Beer bars occupy most of the street's length, with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants, discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street performances are also common most nights, which can make dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping pong show touts more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.

Jungceylon Shopping Mall in Patong

Standing downtown, diagonally opposite Bangla Road, the Jungceylon Shopping Complex has radically changed the face of shopping in Patong. The two main stores in the complex are Robinson - a gleaming well-lit upper end department store, and Big C supermarket. The 200-plus other stores in this shopping heaven sell brand-name clothes, spectacles, sunglasses, cosmetics and perfumes, shoes, DVDs, computer games, tons of mobile phones and accessories, electrical goods but it is also a great entertainment haven with a five-room SF Cinema and a 16-lane bowling alley, perfect for rainy days or to escape the heat of the day.

Flying Hanuman

Flying Hanuman in Kathu is just the right place for you if you’re the type of person who loves to zip through the sky 40 metres above a jungle. Eco-friendly and well executed, Flying Hanuman explores the jungle in a decidedly aerial way. We arrive at a lobby thronging with participants and have a quick look around. The place is superbly designed, with artistic touches here and there, immaculate toilets and a restaurant to the left of the lobby. We then watch a safety-and-information DVD on a 40” flat screen TV incongruously hanging in a bamboo-and-thatch hut that is so well done that it gains a round of applause from a rowdy group of students.

Kathu Waterfall

Mention Kathu Waterfall to many visitors to Phuket and they will instantly conjure up mental images of hundreds of feet of water freefalling perpendicularly into a massive pool. Kathu Waterfall is nothing like this; rather it’s a series of drop pools that sometimes are gushing with rainwater and sometimes not. One thing is for sure, though: If you want to get to the very top of Kathu Waterfall expect a hard climb. Luckily, most of the way up comprises stairs and is shaded so you can stop and take rests at will. The best time to go is from June to November when there is plenty of monsoon water but it’s advisable not to go when it’s actually raining as things can get rather slippery underfoot. Right at the top there’s a pool in which you can take a dip and there are ‘drop pools’ stationed along the way up to cool off in.