In Phuket, all nightlife excursions inevitably lead to Patong—Bangla Road in particular. The latter is a neon-lit thoroughfare whose main drag and radiating soi (alleyways) brim with bars, live music venues, and street performers begging for your attention.
Beyond Bangla Road, Phuket Town’s bars and clubs tend to favor local patronage (though foreigners are always welcome), while Kata, Karon, and Rawai have their own nightlife scenes that shadow Patong’s.
Hop from soi to soi along Bangla Road to get the full clubbing experience in Phuket. Hoping to make up the difference in drinks, most nightclubs offer free entry.
- Illuzion: This landmark on Bangla Road is a must-see stop for club regulars. Illuzion’s gigantic main room fits up to 5,000 guests. Visitors can enjoy the lineup of international DJs and the Russian-trained aerialists flying overhead.
- Sugar Club: Catering to hip-hop fans, Sugar Club can be found on the third floor of Seduction Nightclub in Patong. Concerts by international hip-hop performers are a regular occurrence; additional cover charges apply.
- Tiger Nightclub: Notable for its sheer size, Tiger takes up three floors of a building on Bangla Road. The club distinguishes itself with its giant tiger sculptures and cave-like interior.
While most of Phuket’s live music acts perform in Patong venues, you'll also find an interesting genre scene going on in Phuket Town.
- Hard Rock Café: This world-famous live music franchise has a solid presence in Patong. Settle in a two-level performance venue with 300 seats and a solid lineup of live acts; then buy a Hard Rock-themed souvenir at the Rock Shop.
- Rockin' Angels: Phuket’s go-to place for American-style blues, Rockin’ Angels caters to expats and tourists with a lineup led by the establishment’s Singaporean owner and his expatriate friends. Enjoy your blues in a cozy interior decorated with framed LP sleeves and biker paraphernalia. It's located in Phuket Town’s Yaowarat Road.
- Music Matter: Jazz is on the menu in this long-established joint on Chanacharoen Road, Phuket Town. Come for the Wednesday Night Jazz Jam to witness a vigorous lineup of guest musicians improvising with the resident “Music Matter Collective."
Some of Phuket’s most innovative bars can be found outside Patong; the most memorable ones have a theme that they follow through on everything, from the music playlist to the drinks menu.
- Prohibition Bar: This speakeasy in Phuket Town offers a delicious menu of Prohibition-themed cocktails. It's located in an early 20th-century “Sino-Portuguese” shophouse on Yaowarat Road; a “secret room” can be found behind a bookshelf.
- Zimplex: The bartenders in this lab-like Phuket Town bar serve up a quirky menu of “molecular cocktails." Looking for all the world like potable science experiments, these drinks play with the physical properties of syrups and alcoholic bases.
- Siam Supper Club: A high-end food and drink experience near Bangtao, Siam Supper Club is a throwback American-style bar and restaurant. They are renowned for their equatorial cocktails, to-die-for cheesecake, and live blues and jazz music.
Come for the sunset, party 'til the early hours: Phuket’s beach clubs leverage the island’s gorgeous seascapes to create a uniquely local experience.
- Paradise Beach Club: This club is the site of Phuket’s top Full Moon/New Moon party, the best outside of Koh Phangan. Expect spectacular laser light shows, fire dances, and copious drinks. A shuttle for Paradise Beach leaves from Bangla Road every 30 minutes.
- Kudo Beach Club: Offering pool-level and panoramic sea views from above, this Patong Beach club takes up two floors of The Bay & Beach Club hotel. Immediate access to Bangla Road is also a plus for hard partiers who want to go bar-hopping trip on the same night!
- Xana Beach Club: Bangtao Beach’s most exclusive beach club offers Asia’s longest swim-up bar (114 feet long), an excess of beach loungers and VIP cabanas, and a hard-to-beat wine list.
As Phuket’s best beaches all face the west, there’s no shortage of great places to view the sunset around the island. The best of them are set on the roof decks of the city's hotels.
- Baba Nest Rooftop Bar: Watch the sun set from a rooftop terrace 200 feet above the sea. You’ll be completely surrounded by a scenic infinity pool that visually merges into the horizon. Part of Sri Panwa Hotel, Baba Nest is an exclusive affair; there is a minimum spend of 1,000 baht for non-guests.
- Quip Sky Bar: Quip Sky Bar is the first rooftop bar in Phuket Town, and so far the best. Located on the fifth floor of Quip Bed and Breakfast, the bar’s interior recapitulates the retro feel of the rest of Phuket town, with finishes of wood and rattan. Its decidedly Thai menu accompanies the extensive cocktail and beer list.
- On Top: Set on the seventh floor of the Swissôtel Resort Phuket Patong Beach, On Top provides beautiful views right in the heart of Phuket’s busiest nightlife hub. Enjoy after-sunset drinks by the pool, your cocktails sparkling by the light of tiki torches. Private VIP cabanas are available for added privacy.
Other Essential Phuket Nightlife Experiences
These singular Thai/Phuket nightlife experiences can’t be easily categorized elsewhere, but they are unmissable.
- Paradise Complex: Most of Phuket’s gay-friendly nightlife action can be found in front of the Royal Paradise Hotel in Patong. “Paradise Complex” isn’t one single place: it’s the agglomeration of LGBTQ+ restaurants, gay bars, and cabarets. Must-visit establishments in the Complex include the Boat Bar, Zag Club, and My Way Cabaret.
- Siam Niramit: Watch highlights of Thai folklore revealed in a staged extravaganza of Cecile B. Demille-an proportions. Around the theater, guests can feed elephants and enjoy a fine Thai dinner after the show. Performances begin at 10 p.m.; the theater is closed on Tuesdays.
- Simon Cabaret. A truly multicultural, multi-gender extravaganza welcomes you at Simon Cabaret in Patong’s Sirirat Road. The performing kathoey (ladyboys) distill fine choreography, dazzling audiovisuals, and the occasional lighthearted comic moment into a show-stopping 70-minute performance. Shows take place three times nightly—at 6 p.m., 7:45 p.m., and 11:30 p.m..
- Bangla Boxing Stadium: Head over to Bangla Boxing Stadium, a Thai kickboxing arena behind the Jungceylon Shopping Center in Patong. Fights are staged every Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday night; younger undercards face off at 9 p.m., while the main event (with more experienced boxers) begins after 10 p.m.
Enjoying Phuket’s nightlife is easy, if you don’t let “liquid confidence” or natural bull-headedness get you in trouble with angry locals. Here are a few tips that can help ensure a good time for everyone.
- Phuket is generally safe for visitors. If you act in a friendly and respectful manner to everyone you encounter, you’re good. On the other hand, aggressive or insulting behavior towards locals can get you in a heap of trouble.
- In many Phuket bars, the staff might challenge you to a “friendly” game where the loser buys drinks. If you lose, you’ll end up buying one of their overpriced drinks running hundreds of Thai baht.
- Touts are all over Phuket's major tourist spots, trying to divert you into a different bar (usually by saying the place you’re headed to is closed). Just walk away.
- If you get into trouble, you can call the Tourist Police Hotline at 1155.