Bangla Road in Patong
The Centre of Phuket's Nightlife
Bangla Road is the heart of Patong's famous nightlife scene. Each night Bangla is closed to traffic, the neon lights come on and the streets fill with tourists strolling around the countless bars and restaurants.
The entertainment tends to be adult themed with most bars staffed by sexily clad hostesses and pole dancers who compete for the tourist's attention.
Its noisy and generally good-humoured fun but for those who find it not to their tastes there are plenty of more conservative bars and restaurants just around the corner on Beach Road.
Phuket's Most Spectacular Temple
Phuket has many temples or "wats" but the largest and most impressive is Wat Chalong.
There are several buildings in quite a large compound built in the traditional spectacular style centred around the 5 storey high main building. Surrounding the wat are a large number of market stalls selling mostly clothing but look out for the less common items such as orchids.
Wat Chalong is 8km south of Phuket town on the way to Rawai Beach. Entry is free and visitors can enter unsupervised or, if preferred, tours can be booked at tour counters.
Muay Thai Boxing
Thai Boxing Fights & Exhibitions
Thailand’s traditional form of boxing known as Muay Thai is similar to western boxing but allows the use of legs and elbows in addition to fists.
There are several stadiums on Phuket offering different experiences. In Patong there are two stadiums which offer short “staged” fights especially for foreign visitors . For people wishing for just a quick taste of the sport a visit to the Bangla Road Stadium can be easily combined with other nightlife activities.
The real muay thai fight nights are held at the Phuket Boxing Stadium in Phuket Town. For those who want to feel the true atmosphere surrounding Thai boxing a trip to this arena can be a terrific experience.
Living Examples of Andaman Sealife
The warm seas off Phuket’s coast are home to some of the most beautiful and exotic sea creatures to be found anywhere in the world. Its what makes Phuket Island one of the most popular destinations for scuba divers. For non-divers, however, a trip to the Phuket Aquarium allows them to see some of the same things while staying safe and dry.
Visitors can view a huge variety of sealife including sharks, rays, sea turtles in large glass-paned tanks with the centrepiece being the spectacular transparent tunnel that runs through the main tank. It’s the closest thing you can get to being underwater without getting wet.
Part of the Phuket Marine Biological Centre, the Phuket Aquarium aims to educate as well as entertain making it ideal for family outings.
The Big Buddha
Visit Ming Mongkol For the Best View of Phuket
High on a hilltop above Chalong Bay is a huge Buddha statue called Ming Mongkol but more commonly known simply as “Big Buddha”. Being 45 metres high and sitting on a prominent peak the Big Buddha is visible from miles around but its still well worth a trip to see it close up. As well as viewing the impressive Buddha image in detail you’ll also be treated to fabulous views of the island and, if you time it right, stunning sunsets.
Ming Mongkol has been a long time under construction and has been funded purely by public donations. As of early 2009 development continues and although the Buddha image is finished and clad in white marble the base has yet to be completed but eventually, as funds are made available, will be finished in the same beautiful stone.
There is also another smaller but still very impressive Buddha statue next to the main statue made entirely from brass.
It’s a temple and therefore now a place of great importance to Thai Buddhists but tourists are welcome as long as they are respectful of temple customs.
Thai Style Variety Show
Phuket Fantasea is huge Thai themed show attraction located at Kamala Beach just a short drive to the north of Patong.
It opens each night from 5:30pm to 11:30pm though visitors are encouraged to time their arrival prior to the buffet dinner starting at 6:30pm followed by the the main show at 9:00pm.
Highlights include elephant circus and las vegas style entertainment with a Thai cultural theme.