December 8, 2016 – It was our last night in Phuket. My friends and I were determined to have a good time, so we headed over to Patong‘s (in)famous Bangla Road.
Credits: Images used with permission from my friends, Drake and Reich; videos are mine
Pingpong Show? No, Thanks!
The night before, we discovered Bangla by accident, as we turned right from Thaweewong Road searching for a forex booth with the highest rate. It was easy to see that this street is THE place to be if you love the crowd and revel in the noise.
There’s an endless supply of bars, and they come with barkers, blaring music, fabulous drag queens, and street performers who all want your attention.
Initially, we thought Bangla was just an ordinary “walking street.” But everywhere we turned, there seemed to be an endless number of men and women promoting “ping pong shows” and “f**king shows,” suggesting that Bangla offers something more than we could take. These shows were too much for us, so we tried our best to dodge the promoters.
Here’s a video that shows you a section of the street.
The Board Games at Jack Daniel’s Bar
The goal for that night was really simple – to get drunk a little and then let loose on the dance floor. So when we finally settled in at Jack Daniel’s – a bar that sells a set of drinks (4 cocktails + 4 shots) for 500 baht – we were relieved to have found a good way to start our “party.”
But barely 10 minutes through our drinks, our tiny waiter (and then another at a later time) came over and offered to play a game with us (see image below). “If you win, I buy you a drink. If I win, you buy me a drink.”
We looked at each other, we knew it was a trap. We had no idea what the game was, so we were sure we were going to lose. But we played anyway just for the fun of it.
We played two board games. The first one was 4-in-a-Row (see the image above). The second was the Jackpot Dice game (watch the video below). We lost twice and won once, so my friends ended up paying 250 baht each for a “staff drink.”
Two cocktails and two tequila shots later, alcohol started to kick in. It was time to dance.
Unlimited Drinks at Illuzion Club
A few steps from Jack Daniel’s, we caught a glimpse of another tempting drink special. This time, it was Illuzion‘s unlimited bar from 10 PM to 1 AM for only 800 baht. We didn’t want any more traps, so although tipsy, we managed to ask the promoter a few questions just so the fine prints were clear.
“Look here,” the promoter – a white girl with what sounded like a Russian accent – said while showing us an image on her phone. The image was uploaded on Facebook, and it showed Illuzion’s jam-packed dance floor. “Happening right now…” she said proudly.
Obviously, the girl wanted us to believe that Illuzion was the club to be that night. I had my doubts, but we didn’t really care. We just wanted to dance with our unlimited refills.
When we got in, there were probably less than 15 people limping on the dance floor – the girl lied! But we were already there, so we might as well make the most of it.
At this point, it must have been 11:00 PM, so our first order of business was the unlimited bar. We had only two hours until the bar closes, and we intended to have as many refills to get our money’s worth.
During the first 20 minutes, the DJ played old-school songs, or those that were popular in the mid- to late 2000’s (e.g., Alicia Keys and Jay-Z‘s “Empire State of Mind”). But as the minutes progressed, the music progressed as well (e.g., Justin Bieber‘s latest hit), and people kept coming in until the dance floor was actually crowded – just like the image on the promoter’s phone.
Overall, Illuzion wasn’t that bad. In fact, we had a great time. We left the club at 1:30 in the morning, had some street food, and went back to our hotel to sleep.