Phuket's Bangla Road really comes to life after sunset, when the road is closed to traffic and becomes a 400-metre festival of neon lights, loud music and cheap beer. Jammed most nights of the year, it's quite a friendly and lively place to walk around, with dozens of bars and clubs competing with each other for customers. 

    Beer bars occupy most of the street's length, with several go-go bars and a few pubs, restaurants, discos and shops rounding out the attractions, both on Soi Bangla and down its side streets. Street performances are also common most nights, which can make dodging around the tailor shop salesmen, leaflet distributors, street vendors and ping-pong show touts more difficult, but it is all part of the fun.

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    Getting your bearings in Bangla Road

    Soi Bangla can be roughly divided into 3 sections, each with its own particular atmosphere. The end of Soi Bangla, furthest from the beach and closest to Rat-U-Thit Road and Jungceylon Shopping Centre, is home to most of the biggest and best nightclubs in Phuket. Further west, you'll find the midsection where you will find most of the go-go bars along Bangla Road as well as many touts that would usually block your way. 

    The beach end of Bangla Road – starting from Soi Freedom – is the most easygoing part. The southern side of the road is lined almost exclusively with beer bars. Across the road are some of the area’s most notable establishments. You’ll also find ladyboy cabaret dancers posing for photos around here, directing people towards their venues. The beach end of the street is taken entirely by shops, selling suits, souvenirs and fast food.

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    Soi Seadragon is go-go central – virtually every entrance along both sides of its 100-metre length is such a place, with a line of beer bars right down the middle of the covered street. There is a back entrance, which leads to the KEE Resort and convenient underground parking (for a small fee). 

    A notable venue here is the famous Suzy Wong’s, located right at the KEE Resort end, with plenty of beer bars in between.

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    Soi Freedom (Soi Eric)

    Soi Freedom is a very narrow and beer bar-lined soi (alley), which has – like several of Bangla Road’s side streets – undergone a name change over the years. It may still be known by its old moniker: Soi Eric.

    Each of the bars along Soi Freedom follows similar designs, with plasma TV showing a football match, neon sign with the bar’s name, Connect 4 games on the bar, and friendly staff to play against. Notable bars include the well-established The Smiley Bar and the eponymous Freedom Bar.

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    Soi Gonzo

    You can find Soi Gonzo through Aussie Bar, which is among the star attractions of the soi (alley). This long-running and extremely popular bar complex is at its entrance, while White Room Nightclub is at the end. In between, you will find a modest selection of small beer bars.

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    Soi Hollywood

    At one point in Bangla's history, Soi Hollywood was formerly known as Soi Easy but was renamed following the reopening of the Hollywood Phuket nightclub. 

    Soi Hollywood contains a couple of very cheap beer bars with many pool tables. Right down at the far end is the entrance to a go-go bar and public restrooms.

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    Soi Lion

    Soi Lion was once a small but popular group of bars located at the top of Bangla road. It was most likely named after Lion Livemusic nightclub. The lane once disappeared from the Patong nightlife scene, replaced by the defunct Bangla Mall.

    Soi Lion then returned after many years at the very beginning of Bangla Road, next to the Hollywood Phuket club and under the Moulin Rouge Phuket Russian nightclub. Smaller in scale, it is still home to cheap drinks and good live music.

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    Soi Patong Resort

    Soi Patong Resort is the link between the long-established Patong Resort and Bangla Road. It is about 100 metres long and offers the type of venues geared towards travellers.

    The soi (alley) contains numerous restaurants, bars, massage parlours, tailors, an internet café, drinks shops, and souvenir outlets. Notable places include the Boogaloo Bar and the Da Mario Italian restaurant. You can find the start of Soi Patong Resort opposite Soi Seadragon, next to Parrot's Bar & Restaurant.

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    Soi Viking

    Soi Viking, located opposite Illuzion Nightclub, is sometimes called 'Soi Absolute', after the Absolute Bangla Suites right at the end. The alleyway was originally named after the long-gone Viking Restaurant and Bar. It's mostly a dark and quiet street, but with some notable attractions.

    Located by the entrance of Soi Viking, New York - Live Music Bar is very popular. Clubs further down also draw crowds during high season. The street even has a back entrance to Tiger Bar, boasting the same extravagant frontage as the famous Bangla Road nightclub complex's main entrance. You'll also find some tailor shops, guesthouses and a shisha bar here.

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    Soi Lao

    Widely referred to as Soi Toilet ('Soi Hong Nam' in Thai), this narrow covered alley is a treasure trove of local food vendors. Most of the vendors sell fresh seafood, which you can enjoy on tables and chairs set up along one side of the alley.

    Soi Lao is popular with Thais and virtually unknown among tourists and expatriates. It takes its nickname from the public toilets at the far end, with a lit-up sign by the entrance pointing the way to them. You can find Soi Lao next to Soi Patong Resort, through a narrow alley near a sign for... toilets.

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    White Room Nightclub is an old and well-known name on Patong Beach’s famous Bangla Road. At some point in the past, it had a major reboot, providing a large, chic and modern party space.

    The first-class lighting rigs and sound systems – along with top talents on the decks – make it a fantastic place to party while the décor and design give it a degree of sophistication.

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    Location: Soi Gonzo, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 pm to 3 am, Sunday from 10 pm to midnight

    Phone: +66 (0)81 582 1756

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    Illuzion is a striking venue on Bangla Road that's able to hold almost any type of event, as it's fitted with the latest first-rate sound and lighting equipment.

    From standard dance clubbing rocked by house music and special guest DJ sets to Las Vegas-style shows by local and international professional dancers, Illuzion can suit a wide range of partygoers’ preferences for a fun night out.

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    Location: 31 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 pm to 1 am

    Phone: +66 (0)93 583 4766

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    Tiger Nightclub on Bangla Road is an imposing complex covering some 5,000 square metres of space across 3 floors. The building has a stone-like cement décor, with large concrete tigers overlooking the street from the 2nd floor. The ground floor is packed with beer bars, while the upper levels have a nightclub where parties go on into the wee hours.

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    Location: 49 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8 pm until late

    Phone: +66 (0)83 183 7777

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    Hollywood Phuket

    Hollywood Phuket is a nightlife institution of Bangla Road. The nightclub was, for many years, the bright star at the beach end of the party street, but at some point briefly changed names to VIP Rooms Patong Beach.

    After returning as Hollywood, and back as the home of great parties with excellent EDM and house beats in the long and stylish venue, it continues to attract the partying crowd of Bangla Road.

    Location: 7 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 pm to 6 am

    Phone: +66 (0)93 642 0495

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    Climax Restaurant

    Climax Restaurant is an unpretentious yet stylish venue at the 5th floor of Absolute Bangla Suites. The property is at the end of Soi Rico, off Bangla Road in Patong Beach. It's the only rooftop poolside restaurant in Patong – its central location, right above the heart of Phuket’s nightlife, makes it a great place to start from if you plan to party in Patong with friends.

    Climax Restaurant is set on a 500-square-metre terrace and is divided into 3 parts: bar and pool on one side, alfresco dining on the other, and an indoor dining room for people who prefer an air-conditioned environment. Visit Climax Restaurant before sunset as you get to enjoy amazing views over Patong’s skyline and bay. Reservations are recommended.

    Location: 5th Floor, Absolute Bangla Suites, 68/1 Soi Rico, Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 7 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +66 (0)76 343 601

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    Mengrai Seafood

    Mengrai Seafood is a simple and cheap food court on Bangla Road, which comes as a surprise as it's right in the middle of a pricey area. The dining venue houses more than a dozen food vendors in basic setups along both sides of this very narrow soi (street). If you're travelling on a budget, this place will do you just fine. They have toilets and a shower service too, and it's very close to the beach.

    Location: Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

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    The Pizza Company

    The Pizza Company is the Bangla Road branch of a prominent Thai restaurant chain. The pizza joint serves a range of innovative pizzas, making it an excellent go-to spot if you're feeling adventurous for a bite while exploring Bangla Road.

    Selections range from Korean spiced chicken pizzas to tom yum shrimp pizzas, along with more regular selections for when you simply want to stick to your favourite toppings.

    Location: 39 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from 10 am to midnight

    Phone: +66 (0)89 287 0286

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    Aussie Bar

    Aussie Bar is a 2-storey bar/pub that acts as the epicentre of all things Antipodean on Soi Bangla. It has lots of large-screen TVs showing sport (the owner is an avid Australian-rules fan) and 3 pool tables.

    Open since 2000, Aussie Bar has 4 bars with seating for 250 punters. You can enjoy good Australian and Thai food as well as lots of beer choices, including ice-cold stubbies. Being a family orientated establishment, you won't find bar girls in Aussie Bar, making it excellent for families out for the evening.

    Location: Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 3 am

    Phone: +66 (0)81 788 6239

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    Kangaroo Bar

    Kangaroo Bar's major draw – apart from the easy-going atmosphere – is its tremendous music collection played by the appropriately-named DJ Song. Lining the walls are thousands of Polaroid shots of happy-looking customers. 

    Compact, open-sided and spilling out onto Soi Bangla itself, it’s a surprisingly relaxed place, considering its location, and staff members are always ready with a joke and a smile. Prices are pretty typical for this area. Kangaroo Bar stays open from late morning to early the next morning. A tip from us: do not, under any circumstance, ring the bell!

    Location: 34 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to late

    Phone: +66 (0)82 365 9662

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    Red Hot

    Red Hot is an almost exact reincarnation of Margarita’s that stood on the same spot for over 10 years. It has all the same features, including wide-screen TVs showing sports, a pool table, loud and proud live music, a good range of reasonably-priced food that is served until late, and enviable spots with views of crowds surging by on Bangla Road.

    Red Hot is not exactly the ideal place for tea, muffins and a polite conversation as the music (starting at 8pm) can get very loud. It's an excellent option if you’re looking for some night action with the feeling of being right in the heart of things. 

    Location: 86 Bangla Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 11 am to 4 am

    Phone: +66 (0)76 340 519

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    TaiPan Disco has the reputation of having some of the most generous prizes in town for bar contests. But just what will you do with that motor scooter you just won? Give it away, that’s what – there are more than enough people who frequent the venue who would appreciate the gift.

    TaiPan is a late-night destination where people like to congregate and groove to resident and guest DJs through the small hours. Some say it’s a club, others say it’s a bar, but it doesn’t matter much as either way. TaiPan Disco is loud, busy and often the best place around to get down to the music. They also have good value happy hour deals.

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    Location: 165 Rat-U-Thit 200 Pee Road, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150, Thailand

    Open: Daily from 8.30 pm until late

    Phone: +66 (0)83 647 5159

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    Ben Reeves | Compulsive Traveller

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