Phuket’s most popular new motorcycle car park is on Patong Hill, on both sides of the collapsed section of road. Since a pedestrian route was opened on the weekend, locals have been quick to adapt the situation and make the best of the walking route across the hill.
A 50 metre section of the road collapsed last Wednesday as torrential rain weakened the cliff’s foundations, and the road surface fractured and fell down the hill.
But people can now drive from each side of the Patong Hill Road, from Patong or Kathu, park their motorcycles, then hike along the remaining section of the road, adjacent to the cliff, and get picked up (or keep walking) on the other side. Patong’s tuk tuks and taxis have also been quick to adapt and have been busy ferrying people up and down the hill, on both sides, from the makeshift bike parking areas.
Locals still need to use the road, without resorting to LONG detours and alternative routes, to get to and from schools, hospital, work or just to visit friends and family.
The situation will become even more entrenched over the coming weeks with speculation that the Patong Hill Road will be closed to vehicles for an extended time.
Engineers and officials have been weighing up their options – from a quick fix to a full rebuild – with pressure being poured on from Patong’s tourist industry. The Patong Hill Road is the most important access point from tourists heading in and out of the coastal party town.
Airport traffic to Patong is now being diverted to the coastal route through Cherngtalay, Surin and Kamala. But even that road has had its share of landslides and closures over the past week. Phuket-GO.com will keep you to date with all the changed traffic conditions.
PHOTOS: Newshawk Phuket