Phuket’s nightlife is extremely varied, even if it's best known for being a bit extreme. From wild go-go bars to quiet little beer bars, to all-out club action to sipping a cocktail at a beach bar, it’s all there for those who want it. Of course, Patong is the undisputed nightlife centre of Phuket. From 9pm every night, the town is buzzing and doesn’t stop until the wee hours.

    Kata and Karon have similar, if more modest, nightlife scenes while even Phuket Town boasts a few hopping clubs that cater mainly to locals. Bangtao Beach features classy hotspots but is otherwise a relatively quiet area. Lastly, Rawai, in the south of the island has rapidly developed into a party town.

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    Soi Bangla

    Central Patong

    It sometimes seems like anything goes along Bangla Road, with an incredible variety of things to see and do. Alongside international-standard nightclubs are hundreds of beer bars and dozens of go-go bars, as well as street performances, vendors, lounge bars, games, live music and more. Certain aspects of it can seem pretty shocking and it's certainly not family-friendly. However, taken with the right attitude, it's a barrel of laughs and a great night out in Phuket.

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    Phuket nightclubs

    Soi Bangla and Beach Road, Patong

    Patong as the notorious nightlife heart of Phuket may not compare favourably to Ibiza or even the Thai capital, Bangkok, but the atmosphere is much more relaxed. The fashion police are noticeably absent and, so long as you’re enjoying yourself, no one really cares what you’re wearing or how you’re dancing. Some of the old, well-established names have achieved global acclaim while newer clubs seem to always come up with something different and special to try – you’ll hardly get bored in Patong.

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    Beach clubs in Phuket

    Around the island

    Beach clubs are the latest hot trend in Phuket, and a simple yet complex recipe with the right mix of ingredients is required to guarantee success. Phuket’s beach club formula includes: setting up a stylish, modern restaurant/bar made from natural elements as near to the sea and sand as possible, organising the occasional party with internationally recognised DJs/artists, mixing it up with some capable barmen who know how to fix cocktails, adding a talented chef who can create delicious tapas and classy snacks to accompany the drinks, and the final touch, a beautiful sunset to ensure everyone has the perfect evening at the beach club.

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    Phuket sunset bars

    Around the island

    Phuket has a great collection of wonderful sunset bars and restaurants. High on Kata Hill overlooking Kata Noi Beach, you’ll find popular spots that offer fantastic sunset views. At the southern end of Kata Beach, you’ll find a lovely place to spend a starry night sipping on a cool one and listening to the sound of breaking waves and an alternating playlist. Most of these venues are open all day, but they're obviously busiest at dusk.

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    Simon Cabaret

    Sirirat Road, Patong

    A Phuket institution, Simon Cabaret started out in a single shophouse and has grown exponentially over the years into its present-day form as the leading transvestite/transgender extravaganza. Regardless of their gender, the performers put on an outstanding show, with excellent song and dance routines.

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    Location: 8 Sirirat Rd, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily at 6pm, 7.30pm and 9pm

    Phone: +66 (0)87 888 6888

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    Live music venues in Phuket

    Around the island

    Patong is the centre of live music on the island with some venues hosting heavy metal tribute bands, cover bands and a mix of sports coverage with live music. In Phuket Town, some of the great places to head to include Rockin’ Angels and Timber Hut – both along Yaowarat Road.

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    Gay Phuket

    Paradise Complex, Patong

    The streets leading to Royal Paradise Phuket are almost all packed with gay bars, restaurants, and massage parlours. Besides some of the leading gay bars, there are also venues that feature a small cabaret show. Connect Guesthouse is a good place to check out if you’re seeking information on the gay scene in Phuket.

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    Thai Boxing

    Patong

    Often exhilarating and always riveting, Muay Thai – or Thai Boxing – is one of the most intensive body contact sport in the world. You can find 2 Thai boxing venues in Patong, one on Soi Sai Namyen that often has boxing shows every Monday and Thursday and at Bangla Boxing Stadium behind Jungceylon, which usually features fights on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday.

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    Dino Park is a minigolf course and restaurant located right in between Karon and Kata beaches on the Beach Road itself. The 18-hole course is themed on dinosaurs and has many large and lifelike cement dinosaur statues, along with an erupting ‘volcano’ and a Flintstones-themed restaurant.

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    Siam Niramit Phuket

    Phuket Town

    Siam Niramit Phuket is a tastefully done cultural extravaganza that adds variety and vitality to the island’s entertainment scene. Perfectly located just off the Bypass Road, on the outskirts of Phuket Town, it's set in prime lakeside land. The show features songs, dance routines and traditional martial arts.

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    Phuket go-go bars

    Soi Bangla, Patong

    Patong's go-go bars are obviously a strictly adult entertainment highlight. The bars are mostly found along Soi Seadragon, off Bangla Road, and feature soft, comfortable furnishings and expensive drinks. They offer quite a fun and friendly atmosphere, unlike the image of raunchy circuses they're often associated with. There will be dancing, loud music, and a fun adult party vibe to enjoy.

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    Stephan Audiger | Compulsive Traveller

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