Patong’s nightlife is almost entirely different from what people take as ‘normal’ in the west. The epicentre of all the frolicking is on Bangla Road (known locally as Soi Bangla), with its off-streets such as Soi Freedom, Soi Gonzo, Soi Easy and more.
The road and all of its side sois are packed with nightclubs, beer bars, go-gos, touts, peddlers, street performers and much more. It is a lot to take in all at once and can be a little overwhelming, particularly when there are many customs and practices which you would not find in western party areas. The following is a collection of useful tips to help you get the most out of Phuket after dark.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
At Thai beer bars, you can enjoy a cold beer with a carefree vibe. The staff will happily play Jenga or Connect Four with you to pass the time and fill the hours with laughter and good banter. The beer bars account for a majority of the hangouts along Bangla Road and its numerous side streets.
A bizarre sight unique to beer bars in Soi Seadragon is a collection of hammers, nails and large chunks of wood. The game: competitors see who can be the first to drive a nail into the tree trunk. Not only is it a good lesson in the inverse relationship between alcohol consumption and coordination, but it's also a great place to experience complete humiliation as the noodle-armed bar staff beat you with practised ease.
There are plenty of pool tables in Patong, for those that like more traditional games, but don’t be fooled by the casual indifference of your opponent. They've been playing every night for weeks, months, or maybe longer; sinking shots and clobbering customers is second nature.
Phuket ladyboy shows
At Simon Cabaret and a few bars in Paradise Complex (Patong’s gay area), these transgender dancers put on shows that are engaging, funny, and always entertaining. Simon Cabaret’s productions are bigger, flashier, and more expensive, while the shows in Paradise Complex can be enjoyed for the cost of a drink. Simon Cabaret is a fun show that can be enjoyed by the whole family, while Paradise Complex is for adults only.
A go-go shows
While not as prevalent as many people expect, Patong does have its fair share of go-go bars. When the dancers aren’t on stage, they’ll let you buy them drinks in exchange for conversation. It's an all-night party with a very friendly atmosphere.
Irish bars and live music
If the exoticism of Patong's nightlife gets too much for you, there are places where you can get a more sedate experience, which is more like what you might expect at home. Even these places still have that little bit of Thainess to them, though. Hear local bands play songs from your country better than the original artist ever did; plop a whisky bottle in the middle of the table and drain it with a few friends; have a glass that’s always full, despite your repeated efforts to empty it. Imagine your favourite corner bar. Relax the rules and increase the smiles. Perfection.