The family decided to drive down to the heart of Patong beach, Phuket to experience a change of scenery. Frequent visitors to Phuket will be well familiar with the areas’ infamous red light district, and the crowded hustle and bustle of restaurants and bars, packed together amidst the exhaust fumes of the Tuk-tuk cars (the Thai version of a taxi which is open spaced, resembling a small truck) and motorcycles, common means of transportation for both locals and tourists alike.
In the heart of Patong City lies the Le Meridien Phuket Beach resort, a secluded cove set against a pristine, modern resort. Spacious and commodious, the arena was decked with Christmas decorations, complete with a large, sparkling purple Christmas tree smack in the middle of the hotel lobby.
Unlike the Le Meridian Khao Lak, Phuket’s version was larger and livelier, with the latter due to the abundance of families all vacationing during the holiday season. It’s facilities and interior design were an upgrade from its sister hotel back in Khao Lak. There was a much larger gym with more gym equipment, a larger selection of boutiques, higher end restaurants overlooking the hotel’s enormous central swimming pool, and most importantly, more chic, modern and spacious rooms.
Check out the hotel’s official website: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/lemeridien/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1848
It has been more than 8 years since i have been back to Phuket, and i was surprised to witness the massive shift in modernization and consumerism the island had gone through over the years. I literally could not believe my eyes as we zoomed past large shopping malls, factory outlets modelled closely to one in the United States, and automobile outlets and real estate, whilst driving from Khao Lak to Phuket.
Venturing out into Patong City (Yes, the area has grown so much that it has transformed from a popular beach to a mini city) i was surprised to see an overwhelming number of Russian tourists. Even some of the signs and menus at restaurants and shops were in Russian!
The architecture and activities in Phuket Town and Patong City seemed to resemble a Second World country rather than a Third World one.
In fact, in some of Phuket’s high end shopping malls, they carried fashion brands which cannot be found within Hong Kong’s malls.