Phuket serves as the center of Thailand’s nightlife, where entertainment boosting plays a vital role in contributing to the region’s tourism sector.
With dozens of nightly activities, the island is home to modern-day bars, pubs, nightclubs, alongside family-friendly activities such as music nights and athletic events.
So, is Phuket considered a “party island”?
Phuket is a “party island,” where drinks and music are everyday activities of enjoyment. However, the term “party” does not associate with clubs alone; it signifies how busy the island is. South Phuket is also famous for its family activities and Thai heritage, adding other nightlife to the region.
Phuket is the leading contributor to the economy; it accounts for 90% of Thailand’s tourism industry, serving as the savior for everlasting foreign investments. It is not a coincidence that Phuket was characterized soon after as a “party island.” Home to yachts, famous DJs, refreshing cocktails, and beautiful islands, travelers would be dumb to leave behind such a visit (1).
Background of Phuket as a Nightlife Hub and Party Island
Phuket is well-known for returning nightlife to the country. Phuket’s party life has dispersed all over the island. However, a significant increase in partying was intense in two particular areas of Patong, centralized around Bangla road and privately-owned bars and restaurants operating in Phuket Town (2).
The history of Phuket’s party life began with pubs; traditional English, Irish, Aussie, and American-style sports pubs were seen in areas all across Phuket. Most of these were famous by searching on Google, such as O’Reilly’s Irish Pub and Aussie Bar on Bangla road (2). The crowds are often mixed; local Thais, expats, living in Phuket, and travelers all became a part of the evening DJ nights, dancing, and drinking atmosphere.
The history of party life expanded with independent gin bars, cocktail bars, live music, and beer establishments around the Phang Nga road area. This became a daily attraction for expats to hang out with friends at outdoor areas (2). The business further implemented pole-dancing and line-up performances.
Modern-day party life in Phuket has expanded beyond these streets; beach clubs, hotel resorts, and boat parties are becoming more common. With international headline DJ events, you can always expect Phuket to give you the time of your life (2).
Phuket is now listed among the world’s top destinations for a mixture of different elements, from enjoyable to pleasurable activities. Well-known as a crazy party destination, it does not compare to anything else. Travelers are challenged with a never-ending list of nightlife options (1).
The seven main nightlife scenes are Patong Beach, Phuket Town, Kata Beach, Kathu Beach, Kamala Beach, Chalong Bay, and Rawai Beach. The options for nightlife include go-go bars, girlie bars, beer bars, lady-boy, and ooh-wee bars, authentic Australian and Irish pubs, and underground pubs (1).
13 Examples of the Best Party Life Places in Phuket
Whether you are planning to stay at Patong Beach or Kata, here are a few options to choose from to have the time of your life in Phuket!
1. Seduction Club, Patong
Patong Beach is well-known for its popular party life. Alongside Bangla Road, you will find loud music and world-class DJs that play the entire night. On a tight budget, you can participate in live concerts for only 500 THB per package. Additionally, the staff are friendly and want you to enjoy your stay (3).
2. After Beach, Kata
At the top of Kata Hill lies a laid-back wooden shack that provides drinks alongside one of the best sunset views in Phuket. The walk-up is also worth it; you can enjoy time with your friends while walking the blood-red sun dip below the horizon (3). The party life is not the best part; the restaurant also provides tasty cocktails and the freshest Thai-style seafood.
3. Catch Beach Club, Bangtao
Known as Phuket’s original beach club, Catch Beach is the perfect spot to chill under the shade of a giant umbrella. Embraced with fabulous cold beer, snacks, and cocktails, the lively crowd provides DJ sets and available space to plan some of the biggest parties (3).
4. BrewBridge, Cheong Thale, and Patong
BrewBridge is the perfect place for craft beer enthusiasts. The branch consists of 12 locally brewed craft beers and 100 different bottles to choose from (3). With food options, you can enjoy a quiet drink with a friend or the bar staff.
5. Rockin’ Angels Blues Cafe, Phuket Town
This bar is the heart of Phuket Town; exposed to brick walls and neon signs, you will feel like you have walked into the Southern USA. The blues bar takes on music memorabilia covers and has a live house band. Live blues music starts at 9 pm and goes on until midnight (3).
6. Jaguar Ice Bar, Patong
Jaguar Ice Bar is located in the center of Patong. Although it can get super hot in Phuket, the perfect way to escape the heat is to go inside the bar, which itself is made out of ice and frozen shot glasses (3). It is known as the only place in Phuket where you might need to bring along a jacket.
7. Baba Nest, Panwa
Baba Nest is located on Panwa Beach, on the east coast of Phuket. Being one of the few rooftop bars in the region, Baba Net overlooks the Andaman Sea- a substitute for sleek skyscrapers we see in Bangkok. It is also part of the Sri Panwa resort, where locals and tourists can relax with a drink and take in 180-degree ocean views (3).
8. Simon Cabaret, Kathu
Simon Cabaret is a stunning bar for ladyboys who come dressed in sumptuous costumes and perform choreographed dances. The set resembles the aesthetic portrayal of Los Vegas with bright lights and sparkles (3).
9. Slumber Party Pub Crawl, Patong
If you are looking to visit a party town with friends, Slumber Party Pub Crawl is a perfect way to hit every major bar within Bangla Road. While building memories, drinking, and playing games with loved ones, it is known as one of the top ways to party in Phuket (3).
10. Full Moon Festival, Paradise Beach
Full moon parties once were reserved for Koh Samui and Koh Phangan before they made it to Phuket (3). Featuring famous DJs and foam parties, it is one of the most popular ways to spend your holiday weekend. Alongside these popular locations, Phuket’s nightlife varies to all kinds of nightly activities. With modest and crazy nightlife scenes, here are a few distinct classic spots to visit besides the general nightclub (4).
11. Gay Phuket
Located in Paradise Complex, Patong, you will see a packed array of gay bars, massage parlors, and restaurants (4). These venues feature cabaret shows and give space for the gay community to spend time with their communities.
12. Thai Boxing
Nightlife is not only consumed by party culture. Other forms of exhilarating and riveting activities include Muay Thai- Thai boxing. Two famous Thai boxing venues are located in Patong – one on Soi Sai Namyen and another at Bangla Boxing Stadium (4).
13. Go-go Bars
Go-go bars are known as strict adult forms of entertainment. Located alongside Soi Seadragon (off Bangla Road), you will find comfortable furnishings and expensive drinks (4). However, the atmosphere will be built for strict adults only (4).
Family-Friendly Party Life
Phuket may seem like it’s strictly built on adult tourists; however, it can not thrive without its family-friendly tourist attractions.
Located on Sirirat Road in Patong, Simon Cabaret started as a single shophouse before expanding into a transvestite/transgender extravaganza (4). Anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can see a performance of their lifetime; extravagant costumes and Thai traditions present the best music and dance routines.
Patong is also the center of live music. Hosting heavy metal bands, cover bands, and sports coverage, Phuket Town includes a great place to listen to your favorite classics. Some of these classical and simple music nights are also perfect for families (4).
Dino Park Mini Golf:
Located in Karon, minigolf courses have become a popular nighttime destination in Phuket. With 18-hole courses and dinosaur-themed resorts, it is another popular favorite for children who enjoy watching volcanoes erupt and eating at flintstones-themed restaurants (4).
Phuket as a Savior for Tourism
With the rising consequences to the tourism industry during the Covid-19, Thailand bet on the “Phuket Sandbox” program to ultimately save tourism (5). With traveling restrictions on hold from 2020, tourism was falling off a cliff, and nearly 95% of the economy was related to the resort industry, ultimately falling on Phuket’s nightlife activities.
With hopes to open the sector, tourists in Phuket would roam the island under virus tests. Enjoying a beach-like holiday was the only way to save Phuket’s economy. Boat riders, for example, would make more than hundreds of dollars per day during nighttime activities, which went down to only $40 upon covid restrictions.
Similarly, pubs and bars were the primary sources of revenue for the famous Phuket streets (5). Unlike the 14 day quarantine period, tourists who visit Phuket would be able to lounge on white beaches, jet ski on the coast, and enjoy evenings at restaurants.
Under the sandbox plan, visitors to Phuket will be subject to most of the same controls the rest of the country faces. Still, instead of being quarantined in a carefully monitored hotel room for 14 days, they’ll be restricted to Thailand’s largest island, where they can lounge on the white beaches, jet ski off the coast, and enjoy evenings eating out in restaurants.
Anthony Lark, the President of the Phuket Hotels Association, stated that this is more convenient than the general quarantine; 500 square kilometers of quarantine can give you time to roam national parks, go diving, and visit golf courses (5).
Phuket is Also Home to Tradition
Alongside bars and nightclubs, Phuket is not only known as a “party island” (6). Other activities and aspects contribute to the rise in Thai culture and tradition.
At the southernmost edge of Phuket, travelers often visit the shores and popular beach getaways to witness the sunsets. With more than three million tourists visiting these shores, it is a must-have “party” crowded attraction.
A trio of young Chao Leh, known as sea gypsies, roam around the shoreline of the village- Koh Sirey (6). The east side of the island is well known for the ethnic majority of Thai’s who are the earliest inhabitants of Phuket.
One of the famous traditions includes morning chores at Taoist temples, where worshippers come daily to clean the floors. Southern Chinese workers have been coming here since the 1800s and the beginning of the tin mining industry. Many of the descendants of that period have allowed for increased Chinese temples (6).
Phuket is also home to novice monks who prepare to enter full monkhood through elaborate ceremonies (6). Local customs provide Thai men the need to spend a partition of their lives as Buddhist monks.
Phuket is also home to famous fishing attractions such as boats close to the shore at Mai Khao Beach, in the Sirinat National Park (6).
Local markets contribute to local Thai foods and favorite items of sale such as garlic, shallots, tamarind, and blue ginger; these are all popular areas that target tourists around Patong Beach (6).
Burma’s Kyaiktiyo Rock:
A replica of Burma’s Kyaiktiyo rock is located at the top of a hill on Soh Sirey; it is a sacred Buddhist pilgrimage area for ancient temples (6). It is also home to Thai, Chinese, and Malay inhabitants.
Phuket is well-known as a “party island” with famous nightclubs, musical nights, and bars. It is home to local and international attributes that help bring fame to its party image. However, Phuket is not seen as only a party location. It is a tropical island home to rich Thai traditions and family-friendly, religious, and modest activities, which also help bring it fame.
1. Davis, George. Nightlife In Phuket. Traveler By Unique. [Online] [Cited: December 18, 2021.] https://traveler.byunique.com/article/231/nightlife-in-phuket/.
2. Simba Sea Trips. Revel In The Phuket Nightlife. Simba Sea Trips. [Online] January 29, 2019. https://simbaseatrips.com/phuket-nightlife/.
3. Slumber Party Hostels. Phuket Pub Crawl. Slumber Party Hostels. [Online] [Cited: December 18, 2021.] https://slumberpartyhostels.com/tours/phuket-pub-crawl/.
4. Audiger, Stephan and Guides, Go. 11 Best Nightlife Experiences in Phuket. Hotels.com. [Online] [Cited: December 18, 2021.] https://www.hotels.com/go/thailand/best-phuket-nightlife/.
5. Vejpongsa, Tassanee and Rising, David. Thailand Bets On ‘Phuket sandbox’ Program To Save Tourism. AP News. [Online] June 30, 2021. https://apnews.com/article/thailand-coronavirus-pandemic-travel-lifestyle-health-616e50285943878c36747e84059a7c63/.
6. Ledesma, Lester V. The Side of Phuket, Thailand You’re Missing. Condé Nast Traveler. [Online] March 15, 2017. https://www.cntraveler.com/gallery/the-side-of-phuket-thailand-youre-missing/.