Bangla Road really comes to life once the sun sets. The road is closed to vehicle traffic and becomes a 400 metre festival of neon lights, loud music and cheap beer. Jammed most nights of the year, it is quite a friendly and lively place to walk around as bars and clubs compete with each other for customers. If you’re looking for a fun night out in Phuket, Bangla Road should be your first (and, often, only) stop.
Almost all of the bars are outdoors or open-fronted, so the music from each one blends into a mess of mixed beats. Beer bars occupy most of the street's length, with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants, discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street performances are also common most nights, which can make dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping pong show touts more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.
The geography of Bangla Road
What is a 'Soi'? a soi is the Thai word for a lane or small street and is a word widely used all around Thailand, even when speaking English
The main road itself can be roughly divided into three sections, each with its own particular atmosphere:
- The end of Soi Bangla which is furthest from the beach and closest to Rat-U-Thit Road and Jungceylon Shopping Centre is home to most of the biggest and best nightclubs in Phuket, including the Seduction Complex, Tiger Disco and Illuzion. At the entrance to the street, you’ll find great live music at Red Hot and dozens of tightly-packed beer bars in the old and new Tiger bar complexes, which are right across the road from each other, and usually have street performers doing their thing nearby.
- Head further west, towards the large LED screen at roughly the half-way point down Bangla Road, and you will find the mid-range part of the street. There are many more touts here and they are often more direct, sometimes blocking your path to accost you and try to convince you to enter their establishment or buy their wares. You will find most of the go-go bars along Bangla Road here (and many more in Soi Seadragon, which splits off the northern side of the road, opposite Soi Patong Resort). You will also find Bangla Mall - home to a spa and a laser tag game - as well as probably the best live music bars in the street, including the extremely popular Monsoon and New York Live Music.
- The beach end of Bangla Road - starting from Soi Freedom - is the most easy-going part. The southern side of the road is lined almost exclusively with beer bars, including Moon Bar, Sunset Bar, Kangaroo Bar and Shipwreck Bar. Most have their own unique atmosphere and style, but they are mostly very friendly. Across the road are some of Bangla Road’s most notable establishments, including the huge Aussie Bar at the head of Soi Gonzo and Hollywood Disco at the top of Soi Hollywood. You will also find ladyboy cabaret dancers posing for photos around here, directing people towards the nearby Moulin Rose cabaret show. The beach end of the street is taken entirely by shops, selling suits, souvenirs and fast food. It is also common to find street performances here.
Main 'Sois' of Bangla (Where the action is)
Soi Seadragon is go-go central – virtually every entrance along both sides of its 100-metre length is such a place, with a line of beer bars right down the middle of the covered street. There is a back entrance, which leads to the KEE Resort and convenient underground parking (for a small fee), but it means running a gauntlet of determined touts to reach Bangla Road. Notable venues here include the famous Suzy Wong’s right at the KEE Resort end and Exotica close to Bangla Road, with the Two Brothers, Crow’s Nest and Mickey Mouse beer bars in between.
- Location: Near the LED sign, opposite Soi Patong Resort
Soi Tiger is located opposite Seduction Night Club and the outrageous edifice that is the new Tiger Disco and is home to perhaps two dozen beer bars. This is the old Tiger Disco site - from before it moved to its new signature venue - and it still carries the name and signage (though it is sometimes called "Soi Tiger 1" while the iconic disco building is "Soi Tiger 2"). One of the few bar complexes that is completely roofed, Tiger gets pretty steamy and crowded, but is the best refuge from a sudden downpour. The lines that divide one bar from another are pretty vague here and it sometimes feels like one huge party. Located right on Bangla Road, Crazy Horse is always popular, as is Sin City Bar.
- Location: Opposite Seduction Nightclub
Soi Freedom (formerly Soi Eric)
A very narrow, beer bar-lined soi, it has – like several of Bangla Road’s side streets – undergone a name change in recent years and may still be known by its old moniker: Soi Eric. Each of the bars follows effectively the same design: plasma TV showing a football match, neon sign with bar’s name, Connect 4 games on the bar and friendly staff to play against. Notable bars include the well-established Smiley and the eponymous Freedom Bar.
- Location: Between Sharky's and Smiley Bar
Formerly named Soi Easy, it was renamed following the reopening of Hollywood Discotheque directly over it. Soi Hollywood contains a couple of very cheap beer bars and a lot of pool tables. Right down at the far end is the entrance to The Secret Ago-go, as well as public toilets.
- Location: To the right of the entrance to Hollywood Phuket
Soi Lion was once a small but popular group of bars located at the top of Bangla road. The lane disappeared from the Patong nightlife scene, replaced by the now defunct Bangla Mall, but is now back after many years at the very beginning of Bangla Road, next to Hollywood Disco. Smaller in scale, it is still home to cheap drinks and good live music.
- Location: Under Moulin Rouge Russian Go-Go
Minor Sois (Mostly food)
Soi Patong Resort
Soi Patong Resort is the link between the long-established Patong Resort and Bangla Road. It is about 100 metres long and offers the type of venues geared to tourists. As of the last count, it contained: nine restaurants, six bars, three massage parlours, six tailors, an internet café, a drinks shop and a souvenir shop. Notable places include the Stockholm Syndrome Bar & Restaurant, Boogaloo Bar and Da Mario Italian Restaurant.
- Location: Opposite Soi Sea Dragon, by Parrot Bar
Sometimes also known as "Soi Absolute" because of the Absolute Bangla Suites located right at the end, Soi Viking was originally named after the long-gone Viking Restaurant and Bar. It is mostly a dark and quiet street, but with some notable attractions. New York Live Bar, by the entrance, is very popular and the Grabbarna Grus Nightclub further down also draws a crowd during high season. The street even has a back entrance to Tiger Bar, boasting the same extravagant frontage as the famous Bangla Road nightclub complex's main entrance. You will also find some tailor shops, guesthouses and a shisha bar.
- Location: Opposite Illuzion Nightclub
Widely referred to as "Soi Toilet" (or the Thai translation: "Soi Hong Nam"), this narrow covered alley is a treasure trove of local food vendors. Most of them sell fresh seafood, which can be enjoyed on the tables and chairs set up along one side of the alley. Soi Lao is popular with Thais and virtually unknown among tourists and expatriates. It takes its nickname from the public toilets at the far end, with a lit-up sign by the entrance pointing the way to them.
- Location: Next to Soi Patong Resort, through a narrow alley near a sign for Toilets
Night Clubs on Soi Bangla
Seduction Nightclub - Phuket
Seduction Nightclub is the largest discotheque in Patong Beach. Located right on the main nightlife entertainment strip of the most popular resort in Phuket, it is found on the second floor of Seduction Complex - a nightlife entertainment complex with five separate venues - and can host a large crowd of dancers and partygoers (up to 3,000!).
- Opening Hours: 22:00 – 04:00
- Location: Toward the eastern end of Bangla Road, opposite Moulin Rouge
- Tel: +66 (0)7 634 3173
White Room Nightclub Phuket
White Room Nightclub is an old and well-known name on Patong Beach’s famous Bangla Road, but one which has undergone a major reboot, providing a large, chic and modern party space. The first-class lighting rigs and sound systems – along with top talents on the decks – make it a fantastic place to party while the décor and design give it a degree of sophistication.
- Opening Hours: 22:00 - late
- Location: Soi Gonzo, off Bangla Road, Patong Beach
- Tel: +66 (0)81 582 1756
Illuzion Club & Discotheque Phuket
Equipped with the latest first-rate sound and lighting equipment, Illuzion is a surprising venue able to hold almost any type of event. From standard dance club rocked by house music and special guest DJ live performances to Las Vegas-style shows performed by local and international professional dancers, Illuzion can suit a wide range of partygoers’ tastes.
- Opening Hours: Daily from 22:00 – late
- Location: 31 Bangla Road, Patong Beach
- Tel: +66 (0)99 318 0083, +66 (0)7 668 3030
New Tiger Disco in Phuket
You simply can’t miss Tiger Disco: the imposing complex covers some 5,000sqm on three floors. The building is fitted out with stone-like cement décor with large concrete tigers overlooking the street from the second floor. The ground floor is packed with beer bars while the upper levels are home to a nightclub.
- Opening Hours: 18:00 – 03:00
- Location: Bangla Road
An institution of Bangla Road has returned! Hollywood was, for many years, the bright star at the beach end of the party street, but briefly changed names to VIP Rooms Patong Beach. It is now back as Hollywood, and back as the home of great parties with excellent EDM and house beats in the long and stylish venue.
- Opening Hours: 22:00 - late
- Location: Above Soi Hollywood, Bangla Road, Patong
- Tel: +66 (0)91 043 6618
- Location: between Rat-U-Thit Road and Beach Road, near Jungceylon Shopping Centre, Central Patong