Karon Beach (Phuket), Thailand
I watched another amazing sunset over the Andaman Sea this evening, but as the beauty drained out of the sky, so did it from the city. After dark the energy changes in this town for the worse, and an ugly reality is shoved in your face: Karon is a whore.
In fact, Karon, and each of her southwestern beach sisters—Kata, Patong, and Kalim—are all whores. Here, the brilliance of a faded sun is replaced with neon lights, flooding the streets in pink. Here, my daylight smile is replaced with a midnight frown.
If I sound a little miffed, it's because I am. This is not my idea of fun.
My buddy Shoel and his girlfriend are still a no-show. Last I heard they'd taken a boat from Ko Phi Phi to Krabi, instead of Phuket. It remains uncertain if they'll make the jump over here for just a night or two before flying back to Bangkok.
Perhaps with them at my side, Karon after dark would have been more comical, instead of so abhorrent.
I ventured three times over the course of five hours, looking for a gathering of tourists to converse with—perhaps folks from the rugby tournament. With each subsequent walk my search radius grew, eventually finding me down in the neighboring town of Kata.
There are basically four things open after 22:00: 7-11, street vendors, restaurants, and bars—with the latter representing of a solid 95% of the mix.
These are not your average bars though, they are basically brothels. In just two or three bars I saw more girls than I had the entire day on the beach. Now, multiply that figure out 50 fold, and you get Karon after dark.
Factor in the whorish demurer that each of the girls have, groups of harassing shouts in ugly English, and my tunnel vision (as looking anywhere but straight or breaking stride was an acknowledgment of their presence, and only serves to makes things infinitely worse).
I'm not around this stuff often enough to be comfortable—especially not in this mode—and I was walking about on my highest level of defensive standoffishness, like an arched cat surrounded by dogs.
Walking around town honestly felt the same as when I exit a bus on a known tourist trail, and there are a dozen hustlers and shady taxi drivers swarming you, vying for your dollar. Those men never get anything from me, and neither will these girls.
As for the tourists, hardly any were to be found. A few middle-aged men were chatting with girls at the "bars," before taking home their choice.
Those locations that had white lights instead of pink contained just a few people, dining or drinking after their meals, and nothing of interest. These restaurants were like oasis' in a sea of ugly sluts.
Yeah, the girls aren't even attractive. Lord, if I'm going to be surrounded by filth, at least let it be good looking filth.
Is this why Phuket is so popular, or is this a resultant of its popularity?