Have you ever heard of Bangla Road?
LAST year, Phuket alone welcomed more than 7 million visitors, about a fifth of all tourists visiting Thailand in 2016. While Phuket itself offers plenty of locations to visit, depending on your definition of successful holidays, the most famous destination remains Patong Beach, and the infamous Bangla Road plays a big part of this success.
Welcome to Patong Beach
Patong probably had the biggest development on the island after the 2004 tsunami which devastated the West coast of Phuket. A large amount of hotel rooms, from international chains to simple bed & breakfast, countless restaurants offering food from all over the world, unique activities and the island’s second largest shopping mall all contributed to its success.
In the middle of all this lies a small 350-meter street named Bangla Road. While there wasn’t much going on twenty years ago, it has now become the hub for entertainment and is synonymous worldwide for some of the most insane parties you should be attending with your friends.
Join the crowd on Bangla Road
What can you expect when visiting the famous street? I like to separate Bangla Road into three different categories: first, you’ll find plenty of bars and some small restaurants and fast food chains to keep your belly filled up. The majority of the bars uses the same concept: loud music and female staff attracting the passers-by with promotions of all sorts. The positive thing about having a tough competition is that the drink on offer will usually be low priced, with plenty of promotions to keep you going from bar to bars.
Second, you’ll find the nightclubs, plenty of them, all coming with their own concepts and signatures. International DJs, bucket promotions and so on and so forth. Entrance is usually free of charge, except if they expect a famous DJ or artist on that night.
Didn’t you say three categories?
Lastly, we find the go-go bars, and all similar places which give a lesser-than-good reputation. While they are usually hidden at the end of a soi, it is fairly easy to find them, should that be your thing, as you’ll be harassed while walking down the street, with signs of all sorts promoting shows you’ve probably never heard of prior to coming to Phuket.
All-in-all, it is recommended to visit the street once, to see if this kind of atmosphere is your thing. Everyone is different, and there are still plenty of other places to visit should you not like the loud noises and crowded areas.
By Nattha Thepbamrung