Bangla Road or Soi Bangla is the hub of nightlife in Phuket. It is a merry 400 metre stretch of road close to Patong beach that has been cordoned off from traffic and is reserved for only walking. It has a vibrant display of bright lights, street performances, street vendors, Ping-Pong shows and much more. Loud music and cheap booze shops lend it a happy vibe. Restaurant and pubs compete for customers, as do entertainers.
Almost all bars and restaurants here are open-air or open-fronted, thus allowing passers-by to get a good glimpse of the inside. It is fun to simply walk down this street and watch the merrymakers and many things happening around. There are also some great discos on this stretch for those who love to dance. Bangla road also has many offshoots from Bangla Road like Soi Easy, Soi Sea Dragon and Soi Gonzo.
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Nightlife in Bangla Road
As the sun goes down, Bangla Road comes alive. Many things make nightlife in Bangla Road an outrageous yet fun affair. First, there are a host of restaurants and bars that have good food and cheap drinks. K & K Restaurant, Yo Vegan Restaurant one of the few restaurants with good vegan and vegetarian options, Swensens, Da, Mario, No. 6 are some of the most popular restaurants on Bangla Road.
Beer Bars For those who swear by beer as their choice of drink, there are some exclusive Beer Bars on Bangla Road. These have a wide range of beers that any Beer connoisseur will enjoy.
Irish Bars The Irish Bars here have live performances from local bands and singers and are perfect for those looking for a fun but not too loud evening.
Discotheques Those who like to party hard can head to the discotheques or Go-Go Bars. These are bars that have Go-Go dancers on platforms or around the bar to keep the customers entertained. Suzy Wong's A-Go-Go is the most famous Go-Go Bar on Bangla Road.
Ladyboy Clubs There are also some of the hottest nightclubs with bar girls and Ladyboys on Bangla Road. Illuzion and Seduction are the most well known of these.
Cabaret Shows There are cabaret shows at some of the nightclubs like Tiger Nightclub and Illuzion. These feature both women and Ladyboys and can be fun for those who don't mind some tease.
Ping Pong Shows The controversial Ping-Pong shows are also found on Bangla Road. Here women play with many items with their private parts to create a dramatic effect. Most of these shows have no fee, but the places that have the show charge pretty steep prices for drinks, and you need to spend on the same to watch the show.
Bar Games Some of the bars have games. You can play Jenga or Connect Four and indulge the child in you while enjoying a drink at such places. There are crazier games like driving a nail into a block of wood while drunk or hanging on to the bar for more than 2 minutes to win a bottle of whiskey at some of the other pubs and clubs.
Open Air Partying If you want to party in the open air and enjoying a breathtaking view of Patong, there are some rooftop bars on Bangla Road for you. Climax on Bangla and Exotica Ago-go on Soi Sea Dragon off Bangla Road are some such exciting places. The street itself is a roaring party in full swing. From its neon lights to overlapping loud music from various clubs, to hawkers, performers and Ladyboys walking around, Bangla Road is a vibrant all night destination.
Street Performances As you walk down Bangla Road, you will be enthralled by many street performances like magic tricks, fire-spitting, card tricks and even people carrying exotic animals. There are also plenty of dancers who captivate the audience on the road with Hip-hop, samba, salsa, jive and much more. They remind one of the buskers in other famous cities of the world.
Live Music Apart from bars on Bangla Road that have live music, the most well known of which is New York Live Music Bar, there is also often live music on the street itself. If you are a musician, you can even join them.
VR Machines A new addition to Bangla Road is the Virtual Reality machines. It can be hilarious to watch a person experience virtual reality for the first time. You can also give it a go if you don't mind some stares.
Bangla Street Food Bangla Street Food is a part of Bangla Night Market, which is an open-air area with plenty of stalls. From Pad Thai's to grilled meat, to curries and seafood you can get it all here and at dirt-cheap prices. You can also find fresh fruit juices, cheap beer and cocktails to go with your meal, and enjoy it sitting outside under the stars.
Massage Centres There are also some massage parlours on and around Bangla Road. You can get a cheap massage here.
Best Experience If you visit Bangla Road on Songkran, the Thai New Year, Bangla Road turns into a free for all water fight zone and can be a fun experience.
Best Nightclubs on Bangla Road
If you don't want to waste too much time looking around but want to have a great night, here is a list of some of the best nightclubs in Bangla Road –
1. Illuzion This considerable club has three rooms and can host up to 5000 people! With 300 VIP tables, LED visual displays and world-class sound system, Illuzion is probably the hippest club on Bangla Road. The club has featured international DJ's like – Martin Garrix, Tiesto, Marshmello, Afrojack, Steve Aoki, Sven Vath, Erik Morillo, Nicky Romero, Quintino, Wolfpack and many more. If EDM is not your thing, it also showcases singers like – Jason Derulo, Ja Rule, Tyga, Kid Ink, Booba, Redfoo, Soulja Boy and many others. They charge about THB 600 per head, which would entitle one with unlimited drinks until 1:00 AM. 2. Seduction This enthralling Nightclub first opened in a small back-alley near Bangla Road before moving to its current prime location on Bangla Road. Seduction has hosted some of the biggest names in music like Skrillex, Calvin Harris, DJ Snake, Steve Aoki David Morales and Goldie, to name just a few. With 100 square metres of graphic LED displays and a top-range L- Acoustics sound system it's got everything for a perfect party night. Though there is no entry fee, drinks will cost you at least THB 300.
3. Tiger Nightclub Spread over three floors, which have three massive tiger statues looming over them, Tiger Nightclub on Bangla Road is a sea of lights and colours in a Flintstones themed venue. You can get unlimited drinks till 2:00 AM for THB 600 here.
4. TaiPan Disco Taipan Disco has dancers, live music, DJs and much more. There are many VIP packages for bachelor parties, hen nights, birthdays etc. While for someone strolling in can enjoy reasonably priced drinks.
5. Suzy Wong's A-Go-Go Suzy Wong's is the most popular Go Go bar on Bangla Road. The place looks impressive from outside with its red Chinese decoration and massive door. The bright red lights inside, dances and an occasional spanking, make things extra interesting here.
6. Sugar Club Phuket Right below the nightclub Seduction on Bangla Road, Sugar Club Phuket is the most premium HipHop nightclub on Bangla Rd. Sugar Club Phuket is the second Nightclub under the Sugar brand; the first one opened in Bangkok in 2014.
Bangla Road Night Market
Tucked into the main Bangla road, the Bangla Night Market is a haven for shopping - clothes, decorations, souvenirs. Here, you can pick all kinds of interesting local things at low prices.
Timings Unlike night markets in other places in Thailand that close shop early, the Bangla Road night market, is a night market in the true sense. It opens at around 9:00 PM and stays open till around 3:00 or 4:00 AM.
Night Market Tips Even though the prices are quite reasonable, remember to bargain, as you can always get a better deal that way. Also, if you buy in bulk, you will still get better prices.
Street Food Bangla Street Food is also a part of this market, which offers some of the best street food in Patong and Phuket, in hygienic food stalls, clustered in one place. There are also plenty of tables and chairs around here, for people to sit and enjoy their meal and enjoy the open air. Pad Thai's, curries, noodles, grilled meat, seafood specialities and many more local dishes are available at these stalls. They are a delight for any food lover.
Bangla Road Ping-Pong Show
Considered sordid or morally questionable by some, Ping-Pong shows are a prime attraction on Bangla Road. To put it, women use and play with various objects using their lady parts during the show.
The Unusual Activities at Ping Pong Shows While many of the objects are regular things including of course Ping-Pong balls, some others can be dangerous things like darts, chopsticks, and even razor blades! Many of these women have a petite frame, yet they also inject and then eject live Goldfish or Sapgreen Stream Frogs. They could even be popping balloons with darts, but using their pelvic muscles instead of their hands.
Though not everyone's cup of tea, these graphic shows are hugely popular. You should only go for these shows if your threshold for getting shocked is pretty high, and don't want to question the morality and treatment of women in such shows.
How to Reach Bangla Road
No vehicles are allowed on Bangla road. So once there, you have to walk down the street. But to reach Bangla Road from wherever you are staying, there are a bunch of options.
Walk If you are living somewhere close by in Patong, you can walk to Bangla Road, instead of the hassle of taking some transport.
Songthaews Songthaews are another economical way to reach Bangla Road from other parts of Patong beach or Phuket town. The ride charges are cheaper than Tuk-Tuks, but the service ends at 6 PM, so if you are heading here late at night, this is not an option.
Motorbike Taxis Motorbike Taxis are available through the night. There are some Motorbike Taxi spots near Bangla Road as well. If you are a lone traveller, you can take them to and from Bangla Road.
Tuk-Tuk As in other places in Thailand, Tuk-Tuks are available in Phuket as well. If you are living close by, you can reach Bangla Road by a Tuk-Tuk for as low as THB 100.
Taxis If you are living somewhere far in Phuket, taking a Private cab or taxis to Bangla Road may not be a bad idea. Tuk-Tuks can charge as much as THB 400 for a longer distance, so a private taxi makes more sense in such a case.
GRAB If you want some good deals on private cabs, check out the mobile app GRAB, which is very similar to UBER. You can also get shared booths using this app.
Bike You can rent a bike for the day, and head to wherever you want, including Bangla Road. There are some places to park around Bangla road. But this option is not advisable if you are going to drink a lot, and in that case, even if you get to Bangla Road by bike, it's better to go back by some other mode of transport.
No vehicles are allowed on this road, so the only way to check out Bangla road is to walk. Remember to wear comfortable shoes if you can't handle being in heels all night.
If you are going to any 'Free' show, be it a Ping-Pong show, a Cabaret, or a dance at a Go-Go Bar, know that the price of the drinks will be pretty steep to make up for the lack of an entry fee.
If any Bar Girl or Ladyboy approaches you to buy a drink, the cost of the Bar Girl or Ladyboys drink may be much higher than your drink. Some places even openly add a 30% Bar Girl or Ladyboy charge to the bill for such a drink.
If you click a picture of a Ladyboy or get a pic clicked with them, they expect a tip. So be ready to shell out the same, or don't click their pic.
Try putting something into the collection hat passed around during a ping pong show or anything other such events.
If you stand and enjoy the live performances on the street, remember to put in some in their collection jar.
Beware of hawkers who might keep pestering you. Say a firm no and move one.
Beware of people carrying animals on the road; they may try to scare you into giving them some money.
It's better to go with someone, or a group to Bangla Road, as some of the revellers can become quite loud as the night progresses.
Guard your drinks and don't accept free drinks. Like any other party place, there are always some antisocial elements here as well.
If you are getting a massage at one of the cheap places along this stretch, remember there can be some hidden charges for 'extra services' here.
Also be cautious of leaflets and street vendors, who may follow you around and annoy you into buying things.