Just got back from patong, and already missing it.
We stayed at Holiday Inn Patong and it was all everyone says it was, pools great, kids club, breaky,service,rooms etc were fantastic.
We hired Panya for a day trip, airport pick up, and night markets, he was the nicest man, very helpful and so polite. My 4 year old took to him instantly. We would highly recommend him for any transport needs, but you will need to book at least one month in advance.
We spent our mornings lounging around the pool and relaxing, and then took off in the arvo for shopping and lunch, we went to some of the resturants suggested from TI, such as Sweet and Dang, both were great, cheap and wonderful staff, the five of us ate for less than $30 au including deserts and drinks, we always left them a tip, as the staff work so hard and get so little.
I was terrible and came back with enough bags to open my own shop, i had to keep stashing them inside one another so my husband did'nt think i was crazy! It was so hard to resist the bags, luggage and wallets for sale....Prices amazing and great quality, i liked a little shop a few shops up from HI on Beach rd, the lady in there was great, good english and not too pushy.
I must admit the first few days we arrived i was a little worried, it was so hectic out in the street, vendors asking you to buy and street sellers in your face a bit, we just said "no thanks"if we were not interested, and by the last few days, just walked by and only went into a shop if we wanted to get something.
Yes there is a yuk smell in patong, it comes and goes, but most the time you dont notice it too much.
We went to Jungcelong to get all our souviners and had massage and fish spa's there, i got lemon grass room spray and nice bangles in there too.
Went to the night markets, which are a must, so cheap and everything you could want, watches, food, clothes and make-up, i would say to buy there first if you can, the traders seem more keen to sell at a better price there than patong.
Loved our day trip, we went to the Big Buddah, Wat Chalong, Zoo, Look out points and elephant treking at Kok Chang, kids could have spend all day feeding the elephants, they had a ball!
Went down Bangla road and found it very busy, we just went for a look and didnt go into bars as we had kids with us.
I bought the most amazing tea cup from Siam Ceramics, all hand made and has a real gold rim around it, its definately worth a look.
Sorry this report is long, we did so much in the 9 days we were there.
OH and everyone who suggested "bananna pancakes"thankyou for that, i think we ate all of them if anyone else was thinking of getting any, Sorry!!
Ladies if you want great beauty products, go to Beauty Land, and stock up, i got the new Oil of Olay regenerist really cheap there, and hair wax, make-up etc most things you might find in our Priceline stores here.
We got sucked in to buy stuff from the kids that come into the resturants, they were so cute, so we have come home with sunnies, plastic thingys, and all kinds of whistles! Anything they were selling we bought!
We used Mr Jack and a lady Tuk Tuk driver named Tik, when we didnt want to walk, both were great, Tik has a "boom "boom Tuk Tuk, disco lights and music, kids thought they were rock stars in there, Mr Jack was so nice, he remembered us from only one trip, and came running up to us in the street evertime he saw us, it was so funny, he would see us and run through the crowd just to say hello!
These are the things that make patong a fun place to be, you do get a little sick of the constant harrassing,but its all part of it.
I would go back anytime, and do it all again, there is plenty we didnt get to do, so like many i am saving up again for our next trip.
I think using TI was so valuable to making our holiday as good as it was, so thankyou to everyone who helps with the many queries i had.