A guide to nightlife in Phuket

Patong, photo by Walter Lim

Thailand’s largest island is also one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, which is no small feat considering that there are so many stunning places that tourist can take their pick from. A history rich in colorful events as well as centuries of trade made Phuket the wealthiest province in Thailand, but these days tourism is more than enough to keep the island at the top of the heap. Beaches galore, more cultural and historical sights than you can count, and a pleasant climate make Phuket the kind of tourist destination that fits everyone, no matter what they like to do on their holidays. Travelers who like partying will definitely have an amazing time in Phuket, thanks to the countless bars, clubs and pubs scattered all over the island. Here is a guide to Phuket, for those who want a good time.

Patong

photo by Eustaquio Santimano on Flickr

Patong is the largest beach resort in Phuket, and since most of the tourist crowd prefers to stick to the coast instead of venturing inland, this is where you’ll find the most active nightlife. Active is not even enough to describe the madness that is Patong at night. All else seems to disappear when the bars and clubs light their neon signs, and people eager to have fun start milling on the streets, hopping from one bar to another. There is the regular array of seedy go-go bars, but those in search of clean fun can take their pick of Irish pubs, reggae bars and live music venues. To avoid the ‘adult’ bars, just stay away from Bangla Road mostly.

Karon

The beaches and entertainment of Karon are second only to Patong, so if you are looking for places where you can dance and have fun, you Karon is a good place to start. Karon is less debauched and somewhat quieter than Paton, and most of its nightlife venues are clustered around Luang Poh Chuan Road. Most of the bars are quite subdued, and people mostly spend their time chatting and having drinks, but there are a few lively discos around as well. Aroona Complex is an entertainment complex where you can find pretty high-end bars.

Kata

photo by Nitin Pai on Flickr

Kata Beach is quite upscale, and favored by high end travelers rather than backpackers, so the nightlife offer is in the same vein. There are several stylish restaurant bars where people wine and dine and chat, the most famous of them being the Ska Bar and Small Viewpoint. For more relaxed and unpretentious bars take a walk down Taina Road, or the nearby Kata Night Bazaar which has twenty or so great little bars.

Chalong Bay

Chalong Bay is a gateway to the smaller islands surrounding Phuket, and it draws many travelers eager to see as much of Thailand as possible. The nightlife is diverse, but leans towards quiet and relaxed bars and restaurants where families can spend a nice evening together. If you’d rather not experience the rowdier aspects of Thai nightlife, you will find many pleasant beachfront bars and pubs in Chalong Bay.

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