Bangla Road in Phuket is one of the most popular landmarks that many tourists visit when in Patong. So, the last time we were in Patong was many, many years ago. And, back then it was THE place to go for lots of drinking, nightclubbing, and partying!
Oh yeah, many HUGE nights through to early mornings were had down this infamous road.
Now, winding forward many years, a host of events have gone by. Yet, none bigger than the Covid pandemic. With lockdowns and tourism at a standstill – was that a trigger to change the look and feel of Bangla Road?
So, it doesn’t matter if you’ve been there or not… because keep reading as you’ll discover 12 things you need to know about Bangla Road in Phuket.
Of course, we write this from our observations and experiences… and while we were there in low season. Plus, we did visit Bangla Road many times during our stay in Patong… from day through to night time!
Now, let’s kick it off with this interesting fact…
1. Drinks Were Surprisingly Cheap
One of the major things we noticed post-Covid… was that the same level of accommodation for certain hotel chains was more expensive. So, it would be reasonable to expect that food and drink prices would increase in price too.
Yet, to our surprise on our first visit to Bangla Road in years, drinks were still damn cheap. We were getting cold beers for around 70 baht, on a MAJOR tourist street. That’s about USD $1.95, 1.85 Euros or 1.60 GBP. Super cheap, right?
It was our guess that the alcoholic drinks were really cheap… because there’s plenty of competition.
Thankfully at almost every bar we went to, they beers would be cold too… which is one of the great things about bars in Patong. With so many tourists, they understand that having cold beer is important.
Now, speaking of cold beer…
2. The Iconic Place to Watch Live Sports
For decades, the Aussie Bar has been hosting tourist and expats… and not just from Australia either. This is one of the longest standing establishments on Bangla Road… so it deserves a mention!
This multi-storey bar is the place to go to watch AFL in Patong… as well as other live sports. It’s an awesome atmosphere when the matches are on. And, in the “downtime” of live sports… you can switch seats to the front of the bar, to chill and watch the world go by.
Yet, if you’re wanting to take part in some action… there are pool tables to show off your skills.
This huge bar opens in the morning from 9am through to the early hours of the next day. They can also cook up Western dishes, through to Thai and other Asian meals… having something for everyone, and even a separate kids menu section.
And, one of the great things is… from our experience the beers are always cold, as they should be!
3. Bangla Road is a Walking Street – Sometimes!
You may have heard that Bangla Road is a walking street… where only foot traffic can go through. It’s refreshing to wander down this popular street… without having to dodge any traffic. Yet, you do need to know that it is only a walking street from a certain time.
When you explore Bangla Road during the day time keep your wits about you. Watch out for motorbikes or cars that may or may not toot their horns… to warn you that they’re coming through!
And, that because from 6:00pm Bangla Road is a pedestrian only street. So, you could comfortably expect that there won’t be any vehicles surprising you… as you stroll through. Yet, as it’s Thailand, you’re best to keep alert… as some do break the rules!
4. Happy Hours All Day and Night
We understand that when some of you go on vacation, you may not have a lot of time. And, trying to cram in 20 tourist hot spots in one day can be crazy and challenging! So, we understand if you only have time to visit Bangla Road during the day time.
Now, during the daylight hours it sure is much quieter than during the night. Yet, when we were there it was raining… a LOT! So, if we were in the area nearby Bangla Road… is was the perfect place to have a drink to escape the rain!
OK, so to set your expectations… there won’t be a pumping atmosphere with booming music, or go-go girls everywhere.
Yet, it’s still a great way to watch the world go by, while having some relaxing beverages… or a bite to eat.
So, even during the daylight hours, many of you will be happy to hear this… there are happy hours on Bangla Road. And, who doesn’t love happy hours! Thus, while you may have only thought about having one beverage… we completely understand if you stay for a few bevvies!
5. There is More “Girly Entertainment” at Bars
Back in the days Bangla Road in Phuket had the reputation of being a massive party street. There were also many smaller bars back then in comparison to our last visit. Now, there seem to be more larger establishments.
Plus, more of these bars have the girls dancing on stage… in their scantily clad outfits, with different themes.
Yet, you don’t need to wait until real late at night before they come out. The “showgirls” come out parading, pole dancing and flaunting themselves in full view… and this would be like around dinner time!
6. You Can Listen to Music from Live Bands
While Bangla Road has been famous for its vibrant clubbing scene… if you’re after live music then you can get it here too.
There are a few places that we saw who had live bands playing including, New York. And, at the times we went, they were blasting out awesome music… with customers spilling out onto the road to hear and watch them play.
7. There Isn’t a Lot of Street Food
When we were in Bangkok, and down the infamous street of Soi 4… we saw many street food vendors. That was very welcome after having a pile of drinks and when our bellies were growling out to us.
Yet, it was surprising to see that on Bangla Road there were not many street food vendors. Now, what we mean by that is the single roving carts, not the street food stalls. When we were in Hua Hin there were still lots of street food cart vendors.
So, unless a new rule has come in that we didn’t know about for Bangla Road in Phuket… there were hardly any vendors here that could satisfy our cravings.
Yet, in saying that, there are places some places around if you’re needing to fill your belly. Whether it’s burgers, Thai food, pizza, curries, through to desserts… you will be able to find places that open to the wee hours of the morning, if you need it!
8. Bangla Road is Not Just About Bars and Nightclubs
If you think that Bangla Road in Phuket only has bars, nightclubs and go-go bars… then think again. Nowadays, there are shooting ranges, night markets, food markets, weed stores… and even an amusement centre, chock full of games for the young and young at heart.
Plus, towards the Rat Uthit Song Roi Pi Road side of Bangla… you can head on into Central Patong Shopping Centre, for some retail therapy.
So, even though Bangla Road is not a big street, there’s a range of different things to do… if you’re not wanting to spend your time at the bars.
9. Bangla Road in Phuket has Many Sois You Can Check Out
While Bangla Road is entertaining in itself… you’ll notice that there are little alleyways (Soi) extending off this main Road. They have different themes for their bars and nightclubs. Plus, expect to have staff touting their drink specials or other services… as you stroll through exploring.
10. Keep Your Eye Out for the Posing Ladyboys
As you wander down Bangla Road, you may see a congregation of people huddling around. And, that may be because they are gawking at the ladyboys in their elaborate outfits. Now, they certainly do stand out not only because of their costumes… but because they are tall too!
So, we must warn you that if you try to take a photo of them WITHOUT paying… then you’ll hear about it from the matriarch. She’ll put up her board to block you from taking photos… and showing you from the writing that you have to pay to take photos.
Plus, you may get a stern warning or a little whack from the board if you persist… LOL!
11. More Families are Frequenting Bangla Road
Now, this sure was a massive eye-opener when we were down Bangla Road in Phuket. And, there were more families wandering the street, even at night time. Plus, there were a larger mix of cultures. I guess that this also has to do with more direct flights going into Phuket.
Back in our days there were far less families. OK, yes, more would be visiting during the day or early evening. Yet, even after that there seemed to be more families.
12. There’s Still a Red Light Area Around Bangla Road
For those of you who want to explore the “red light” area of Patong… then you’ll be happy to know that it is still prevalent. One of the main areas for this is off Bangla Road, down Soi Sea Dragon.
While red light districts can be seedy and unsafe… it never felt uncomfortable walking through there. Yet, especially if you’re a lone female… make sure you stay aware of yourself, your belongings, and the surroundings.
While Bangla Road in Phuket has been known to be a massive party place… chock full of bars, pubs, go-go bars and nightclubs, there is more to do on this infamous street.
So, when planning your trip to Patong, it doesn’t matter if you’re single, a couple, a group of friends or even a family… you’ll find something of interest to do at this popular tourist attraction.
During the day time is when Bangla Road is a sleepy place. Yet, there are some places still open and even with jolly happy hours.
The best time to go is at night time though. This is when it turns into a walking street only. You can then explore the side streets, shop at the night market, indulge in a variety of treats at the food stalls… or even play a range of games at a huge entertainment centre.
Bangla Road sure is different from when we went many years ago. So, when you go there, we hope you have an awesome time and have fond memories!