Thai’s are quite modern, very creative and love to party, they love Mr Bean, practical jokes and are easy-going and laid-back. This is reflected in the downtown bars and clubs, they’re fun, a bit cheesy or kitsch and no one is taking themselves too seriously, however glam you may feel everyone looks, they’re pretty down-to-earth and unassuming.
Live Music & Jazz
People often lament that there’s no real good live music in Phuket, but there’s a lot of choice if you know where to look, with talented bands and musicians playing most nights of the week. Head to Phuket Old Town, and you’ll soon find some small funky bars and live music venues to stop at for a while. Mostly located in the old-style Sino-Portuguese shop houses they are generally small venues, but lively and full of character.
Cue Bar offers a welcome escape from the heat of the town’s streets with cold beers, decent food and a nice mix of approachable locals and foreigners. Most evenings something is going on, whether it’s a pool competition or a live music session from the local Thai band. Order a house-favourite Mojito, join the dynamic crowd, mingle with the locals and dance to the chilled sounds coming from the DJ’s booth.
Often the popularity of a venue is all down to how good the band is, which is why American-style ‘Rockin’ Angels Blues Cafe’ is such a well-known live music spot. You can easily imagine being in a bar in Chicago with its red brick walls lined with vintage music posters and records and subtle lighting. Located on the lively Yaowarat Road, its selection of Blues attracts an interesting mix of regulars who come to chat, listen to the music, and enjoy the jamming sessions.
Music Matter was the first bar wholly devoted to jazz music and, together with UNESCO, has been responsible for putting together the annual International Jazz Day in Phuket, in April since 2012. All forms of jazz, from mainstream and Latin to soul, funk and swing, are played at this hip little venue by accomplished musicians from all over. From 10 ‘till late every Wednesday they host a jamming session, and everyone is welcome to join in.
Stylish Cocktail Bars
Quirky Quip Sky Bar
Timber Hut, A Firm Favourite
Timber Hut has been around forever on the nightlife scene, open since 1990 it’s still a firm favourite with Thai and local expats and is busy most nights of the week and packed at weekends.
You can find it on Yaowarat Road, from the outside it’s easy to miss, just a two-storey building with a crowd at the door. Grab a drink at the bar, join a group of whisky-drinkers and you’ll soon be foot-tapping along with the resident band that have the confidence to play anything from hard rock to funk to hip-hop. House DJs take over when the band needs a break, with a mixture of Thai and Western classics. The atmosphere’s friendly and you always have a lot of fun here.