Too soon we found ourselves back in bustling Patong. There was something symbolic about it, as it is where we started our journey in Thailand, and where we ended it too. A full circle.
This time we stayed on the other side of the area, which made for an entirely different experience. We had never even been to Juncelyon Mall, but this time around we stayed a mere 5 minutes walk away. Norman’s brother and brother’s wife paid for us to spend our last 2 nights and 3 days in a resort, which was so lovely of them.
Patong is what it is, and even staying on the other side didn’t change the core essence of the place. It is dirty, and smelly, and full of life. Shops selling all sorts of things line the sides of the roads, and women call out “Thai massage” so frequently that it easily amounts to 10 times in the short walk from the mall to our resort.
Norman and I had left most of our shopping for those last days in Patong, because of the variety and bargains available, so we enjoyed all the shops. But our money was soon spent and our time up, and it was time to fly to Jakarta, Indonesia.
Patong had a craziness that was almost frenzied, with alcohol being sold from almost every street corner and ping pong shows being offered at a truly astounding rate after dark. Lady boys waltzed up and down Bungla road and girls performed acrobatics on poles. I personally found night time on Bangla road quite repulsive, but it was fine in the day.
Jakarta was crazy in an entirely different way. The centre of the city is filled with grey high rises and grey high ways, overflowing with people. The traffic is horrendous, and this results in some questionable driving, especially by the scooters. Hooters honk incessantly, and every now and then a profanity pops out of an irritated mouth.
This back to back ‘craziness’ had us eager to get out of Jakarta and move on to greener pastures, literally. It is the wet season in Indonesia at the moment so everything is very green! After one night there, we hopped onto a train and headed east, beginning our travels across the island of Java, towards Bali.