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Patong Beach nightlife is pretty…. Notorious is probably the best word. Patong nightlife is the epicentre of Phuket nightlife, and the infamous Bangla Road is where most of it goes down in Patong.

The nightlife Patong Beach has on offer is probably second only to Pattaya for debauchery. Many visitors to Patong book their Thailand holidays with this in mind. Not us – we opted to stay in one of the hotels in Patong Beach because we thought it would make a convenient base for exploring the many Phuket beaches. And so it proved to be.

Despite travelling with a small person, it was inevitable that we would encounter the many Patong bars and Bangla Road nightlife at some point. This photo essay centres on Bangla Road Patong, and shows you what to expect of this brashest of Thailand resorts.

Image of Patong Beach in Phuket Thailand
Ever wondered why Patong Beach became so popular?

By day, the beach at Patong is where it’s at. It’s one of the best beaches in Thailand, an outstanding stretch of sand in a scenic setting with mountains at either end.

Image of a parascender on Patong Beach Thailand
A lift-off to mark the end of the day

As the sun goes down on another day in Patong, the crowds gravitate a block or two inland. The most popular place is Thanon Bangla, the famous pedestrianised Bangla walking street. It links the Beach Road (Thaweewong Road) with busy Rat U Thit 200 Pee Road, where you’ll find the main Patong shopping centre, Jungceylon mall.

Image of the Patong Beach sign at the entrance to Bangla Road Patong Beach
Welcome to Patong Beach indeed

A night out on Bangla Road is one of the most popular things to do in Phuket, and the neon signs everywhere leave you in no doubt where you are.

Image of the Tiger Night Club on Bangla Road in Patong
The Tiger Night Club: enough said!

One of the first places you come to is the vast Tiger Bar Patong, a multi-storey mega nightclub where you can drink, dance, watch football or all three.

Image of Kangaroo Bar in Patong Beach Thailand
It wouldn’t be the same without an Aussie bar or two

Some of the Bangla Road bars are all that they seem, places where you can eat and drink.

Image of Pink Paradise coyote bar sign in Bangla Road Patong Beach Thailand
Not much is left to the imagination

Other Patong clubs are quite overt about what they offer – coyote dancing, table dancing (at least that’s what they call it) and worse.

Image of Tai Pan nightclub in Patong, Thailand
Tai Pan is one of the biggest Patong night clubs

We were quite shocked to see people handing out leaflets advertising a Bangla Road ping pong show. If you have no idea what this entails, it involves a woman popping a table tennis ball out of an intimate part of her anatomy. It is utterly degrading, and why someone would pay to witness such a spectacle is beyond me. Others offered live sex shows on stage. Only one word for it: exploitation.

Image of bars on Bangla Road Patong Beach
The sun sets on another day in Patong

You can also find some great Thai street food in the side streets off Bangla Road. Most of the Bangla Road restaurants and bars cater to the tourist trade – you have to explore beyond there to find the best Patong restaurants.

Image of busy traffic at Patong beach
Patong Beach at night – the lights, the sound, the rhythm, the noise…..

Eventually you’ll call it a night, and catch one of the most expensive tuk-tuks in Thailand back home. It costs you a flat rate of 200 Baht (over US$6) to travel in the centre of Patong Beach, even if it’s only a few hundred metres. A totally shameless rip-off. To put it in perspective, that’s more than we paid for a 20 km round trip up the coast in Khao Lak the week before.

Fantastic beach though!