Phuket Town Nightlife

Phuket has a well-earned and justified reputation for its wild and exuberant nightlife, especially the overt adult entertainment that is available just about everywhere. This is most prevalent in the countless beer and go-go bars, massage parlours, as well as offered by the thousands of freelance working girls in the bars and clubs. Especially when compared with European countries, the nightlife in Phuket could be considered quite wild.

The main hub of the debauchery in Phuket is undoubtedly Patong Beach, but Phuket Town (which has had city status for some time even though many people continue to use the old name) is a welcome departure from the clichéd excesses of crowded Patong. The surprisingly small provincial capital can be a rewarding place to spend an alternative and enjoyable night out, besides the numerous events and festivals that justify its claim to be the cultural capital of Phuket. The unique and historic architecture in the heart of old town coupled with the more relaxed atmosphere, are a welcome breath of fresh air and make you realise that there is much more to the island than you might think.

The Thai Way…

Nightlife in Phuket Town is relatively tame by Patong Beach standards and you won’t find hordes of tourists or many adult thrill seekers, mainly due to its more remote location away from the main tourist hotspots. This contributes in no small part to its charm and its essentially Thai character, and anybody that hasn’t yet experienced an authentic Thai pub or disco is strongly recommended to give it a go at least once. The main attraction are the big music pubs and clubs, which tend to have a live band and hundreds of young people. Dance floors are virtually non-existent as Thais prefer to cluster with friends around small tables, but there is usually adequate room to strut your stuff if you like dancing. Unlike most Western countries, clubs in Thailand don’t normally charge an entrance fee and the dress code is normally very casual.

You might be surprised at just how much fun it can be to listen to cheesy Asian pop music and mingle with real Thai people. Many Thai pubs and clubs are quite kitsch and the décor can be tacky. It’s also perfectly acceptable and common in Thailand to take your own bottles of spirits and buy only the mixers in the bar, which might seem like a strange practice to westerners. Dozens of venues in Phuket Town provide table service and the waiters (or quite often very attractive female hosts) are very attentive. There are also a few karaoke and coyote joints that have dance shows, catering mainly to Asian men but foreigners are also welcome. In many late night venues, it’s possible to find company for the night, but remember that most women in Phuket Town’s bars are not bar girls, and are more likely there just to enjoy themselves without getting hassled by overzealous tourists.

Bars, Clubs and Live Music in Phuket Town

Here is a brief description of some of the most popular bars, pubs and clubs scattered around Phuket Town. You might come across even more venues when exploring the town, but since everything is spread out you’ll need transport to get around. It’s certainly not possible to do a traditional pub crawl by foot here. Most venues in Phuket Town play live music of some kind, mainly Thai rock, folk and pop.

This large Thai oriented pub and club has a sign written in Thai only (pronounced correctly as Aeuk-Ka-Nok) but is easily recognised by the massive Johnnie Walker sign outside and is more usually referred to as the Johnnie Walker pub too. It’s a busy venue and a regular house band plays nightly. Not many foreigners frequent this place, so if you don’t want to be noticed then try somewhere else.

Open: 19.30-01.00, daily
Address: Chana Charoen Road

Barzah Fun Club
This Thai nightspot hosts coyote and dance shows with special events such as Back To School and Supermodel parties. As you can imagine, the emphasis is on the bikini-clad hotties prancing about and so there is normally quite a large male crowd. They also have air-con and rooms available in case you want to organise some “extras” with a new friend. It’s located in a slightly dodgy part of town so make sure you don’t walk there alone.

Address: Phun Phon Road
Tel: +66 (0) 84 768 0234
Web: Barzah FunClub Phuket (Facebook)

Blue Marina Pub
Always one of the most popular venues in Phuket Town, Blue Marina Pub features regular live bands, and DJ’s between sets playing excessively loud music. There are sometimes very well known bands performing, which attracts a mixed clientele of Thais and foreigners. On the weekends there is a flood of university students and it gets so busy that you can’t move, so it’s recommended to arrive early. There is no entrance fee and the drinks prices are quite reasonable.

Open: 22.00-02.00, daily
Address: 158/1 Yaowarat Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 212 866

Bossy Bar
A friendly place that has some attractive girls serving drinks and chatting with the customers. There is not much out of the ordinary here but it can be good fun, especially if you go with a few Thai friends.

Open: 20.00-04.00, daily
Address: Next to the Phuket bus station

Buddy Café
One of the more popular Thai places where sexy women sing and dance onstage to entertain the enthusiastic men. If you really appreciate their efforts you can buy them a flower garland which they exchange for cash. They’ll happily sit with customers for the price of a few drinks. You can also buy food to enjoy between the entertaining and stimulating shows. What more could you want?

Open: 20.00-02.00, daily
Address: Soi Nimit, Chana Charoen Road

Chit Lom
This is the kind of place to go when you want to party until very late and everywhere else is already closed. Inside, it’s all stylish black décor, and there is decent live music (typically rock and folk songs). As common in Thai clubs there are dozens of tables to stand at, as well as a pool table and outdoor comfy chairs. They also serve food.

Open: 18.00-late, daily
Web: Chidlom Phuket Bar (Facebook)

This air-conditioned venue on Ratsada Road was formerly called 9 Richter, and remains a lively spot with trendy Thais. Sometimes two bands play Thai rock and pop to the delight of the crowd, which normally includes a few foreigners as well as locals. There’s also a variety of DJ’s that crank up the volume, so don’t expect much in the way of conversation here. Most of the clientele drink bottles of whiskey and mixers, rather than beer.

Open: 09.00-02.00, daily
Address: Ratsada Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 340 409

Fantasia is quite an upmarket and plush entertainment venue with a large main hall, that is almost solely frequented by affluent Thai and Asian customers. The drinks are certainly not cheap but the stage shows that feature beautiful girls and atmospheric lighting are surprisingly well choreographed and enjoyable, and most of the women are more attractive than found in many of Patong’s bars. There are of course some exceptional coyote and erotic dance routines, but also some cultural and even traditional performances. Fantasia also hosts live music and special one off concerts, such as the legendary Bangkok Thai band Micro who have played here in the past.

Open: 20.00-02.00, daily
Address: Corner of Montri Road
Tel: +66 (0) 87 274 9393
Web: Fantasia Phuket (Facebook)

Fever Corner
Fever Corner is a chilled out open air beer garden that seems to attract the locals. It definitely helps if you can speak some Thai and you must be over 20 years old to enter (though as a westerner you will rarely be asked). The atmosphere is relaxed and there is plenty of seating. A good choice for a laid back evening.

Address: Takua-Pa Road, Talat Yai

This little backstreet place in the delightful Soi Romanee is owned by a lawyer that just happens to be wild about jazz music. It’s cosy and unique, with many interesting and unusual ornaments from around the world adoring the walls. For anybody that wishes to indulge in a jam session there are loads of instruments available such as drums, bongos, guitars, keyboards and microphones. One of the most well known haunts in Phuket Town and a great venue for impromptu music, fun and laughter. If the host himself is in town, you’re sure to have a good time.

Open: 10.00-midnight, daily
Address: 14 Soi Romannee
Tel: +66 (0) 76 258 332

Ka Jok See
If you’re looking for an atmospheric and romantic spot for a quiet dinner, then look no further than Ka Jok See. During the daytime and early evening it’s a fabulous and well known restaurant with an attractive old wooden interior and interesting Thai arts and crafts. Later in the night once all the tables have been emptied, it changes character completely and turns into a lively dance venue with exceptional music and frolicking.

Open: 18.00-01.00, Tuesday-Sunday
Address: Takua Pa Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 217 903

Kor Tor Mor
This trendy, upmarket nightspot is a very well known nightspot in Phuket Town, popular with locals, tourists and expats alike. On weekends it’s so rammed that you might be better off going during the week instead. Do as the Thais do and take your own bottle of whiskey, grab a table and enjoy the music and diverse mix of people in the crowd. Just don’t wear shorts and sandals as you won’t be allowed in…

Open: 22.00-02.00, daily
Address: Chana Charoen Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 232 285

Jammin’ Music Club
This music club is a firm favourite with the young and hip locals. Jammin’ was the original Caribbean reggae club in Phuket Town but nowadays the live bands seem to play a wider range of music including rock, pop and even jazz.

Open: 20.00-02.00, daily
Address: 78/28 Bangkok Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 220 189

Michael’s Bar
This friendly bar is really an expat and backpacker hangout. They have all the expected ingredients such as a pool table, a TV and free Internet access, as well as a daily happy hour between 4pm and 7pm (all beers are just 60 baht). It’s a cool place to hang out and enjoy live sport, as well as meet other travellers and resident expats. They must be doing something right as they’ve been going strong for more than 12 years.

Open: 16.00-01.00, daily
Address: 12 Takua-Pa Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 256 562

Music Matter
This little open-sided laid back venue is tucked away in a lane that runs between Phuket Road and Tilok-U-Thit 1 Road, so isn’t very well known to that many people. Nevertheless, Music Matter (sic) has quite an avid following amongst Phuket’s jazz aficionados and cocktail lovers, and every Wednesday talented musicians gather for a jazz session. The bar is owned by local musician Jeffrey Sevilla who always manages to pull in a dedicated crowd of expats and locals. On busy nights, the customers spill over into the street.

Address: Between Phuket Road and Tilok-U-Thit 1 Road
Web: Musik Matters Phuket (Facebook)

It seems like every town has an Irish bar, and Phuket Town is no exception. This is a laid back lounge style bar with comfy chairs and plenty of space, as well as a pool table, TV’s and various bar games such as Jenga. It’s a good spot to hang out and drink Guinness (or cider) especially early in the evening before moving on to one of the music clubs. You can expect to rub shoulders with expats and travellers, and a live band sometimes plays. Food and especially the breakfasts are top notch. There is even an inexpenisve hostel on the premises.

Open: 16.00-01.00, daily
Address: 2/20-21 Montri Road, Phuket Town
Tel: +66 (0) 81 246 4481

Rockin’ Angels Jammin’ Cafe
In high season this small music bar can become very lively. The attraction is the live music (which is mainly rock and blues) and the atmosphere is friendly and fun. Posters and interesting memorabilia of music legends such as John Lennon adorn the walls, and the beers are cheap. You’re likely to bump into a few local Thais and expats hanging out at Rockin’ Angels.

Open: 17.00-01.00, daily
Address: 54 Yaowarat Road
Tel: +66 (0) 89 654 9654

Rom Dee
Another tiny watering hole in Yaowarat Road, which probably has the highest number of little bars and music venues in town. Rom Dee is simple and inexpensive with a couple of tables and occasionally live music, so it’s popular with the locals and is quite a pleasant, unassuming spot. Nothing fancy but worth a look, this bar it’s the perfect antidote to the brash and noisy clubs and bars. The trendy Sanaeha bar is just next door.

Address: Yaowarat Road

Roxy Bar
Roxy has proven to be a winning formula with local residents since it opened in 2007. The atmosphere is friendly and the food is superb (Mexican, Western and authentic Turkish food is available). Prices are reasonable and with the combination of live TV sports, pool competitions, Wednesday quiz nights and a DJ on Fridays, Roxy has become a local hotspot. Happy hour runs until 8pm when all bottled beers are priced at just 50 baht.

Open: 16.00-01.00, daily
Address: 50 Phang Nga Road
Tel: +66 (0) 81 397 0033

Justifiably one of the busiest and most trendy bars in Phuket Town, and even more so since a recent renovation. Inside it’s now moody black and blue with chandeliers and classy furniture. The chic décor, pleasantly relaxed ambience and hip crowd help to make this among the best places to be seen in town. Buy a bottle of whiskey with mixers and enjoy the live bands that play several nights a week.

Address: Yaowarat Road

Sofa Disco and Pub
This huge place is an extremely busy dance club with live music. Set on several levels, it’s usually packed on weekends when the vibe is very energetic. Be warned that like many such places, the music can be so loud there’s not much chance for any conversation, but it’s a great place to catch the best local bands.

Address: New Dibuk Road

Timber Rock
Previously known as Timber Hut, this is an ever-popular and famous hangout on Yaowarat Road that draws local Thais and expats alike, who come mainly for the awesome live music played by very talented house and guest bands. Timber Rock is packed every night and is probably one of the most entertaining venues in Phuket Town. Definitely a recommended nightspot during any visit to Phuket Town.

Open: 18.00-02.00, daily
Address: 118/1 Yaowarat Road
Tel: +66 (0) 76 211 839

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