Solo travelling does not have to be lonely and boring anymore at night. When evening hits in Phuket, colour your nightly itinerary by visiting these 5 cool spots!
Has it ever occurred to you why travelling alone has become popular these days? Well, to answer that, let’s imagine this. Once upon a time, you want to have a break by travelling somewhere, but everybody you know seems unavailable to take the trip with you. Now, the problem is that you are super eager for it, and cancelling it may mean another reschedule. Thus, waiting for everyone to be available may not be the best option.
What would you then? It’s easy: just travel alone! Cited by Travel Tripper in October 2018, Pinterest travel report sees that the number of people embarking solo adventures is up by 593%. Between the year 2015 and 2017, Hostelworld has seen a 42% increase in the solo bookings number.
Imagine that percentage now, combined with the million numbers of tourists visiting Phuket each year. I’m not going to convince you why Phuket is just extremely popular, lah. It has everything from iconic cultural attractions and gorgeous beaches to historical old towns and islands. Its beauty is so world-class and worth anybody’s travel wishlist. For solo travellers coming to or already staying in Phuket hotels, check out these 5 spots that are too cool to miss out.
1. Chalong Night Market
Phuket has lots of night market, and you can start or end your exploration with this one. The vast night market of Chalong is ideal for some street-shopping, local goodies, and handicrafts at bargain rates. Delicacies and souvenirs are mostly on sale, like Thai desserts, barbequed seafood, snacks, gifts, and fresh tropical fruits.
Challenge yourself to taste freshly cooked bugs and insects like grasshoppers or crickets. The sellers will prepare this right in front of you, and you’ll see that they will rub salt and pepper on the insects to enrich the flavour. Usually, it costs less than one dollar for a full bag of what you ordered.
To eat cooked grasshoppers or crickets, you can plop one right into your mouth and chew it like you’re enjoying Cheetos. Some insects like giant water bugs require you to remove the outer wings first before digging into the meat and egg. The taste can be shiok! But if you don’t feel like trying them, there are still other regular foods like the Dim Sums, Roti Bananas, and pork sticks that you can try.
Address: HomePro Village, Chalong, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000.
Nearby Phuket Resorts: Jula Place Hotel, BaanMee Phuket Resort, Le Dersir Resortel.
Tips: Entry is free, and it’s okay to negotiate the goods as the vendors are cool with it. Though, it’s difficult to argue over 50 cents, so always bring money in small amounts to conveniently pay for what you purchased. The market can get very hot even at night, especially near the food stalls. Don’t forget to bring an electric fan or tissues to wipe your sweat.
2. Bangla Road
This particular spot in Phuket does come alive when night arrives. Also known as Patong Walking Street, this lively Phuket nightlife is a paradise for live music performances, night pubs, bars, and discos. You can also find the famous adult entertainment club called GoGo bars here. This road is coloured with neon lights and loud music where each venue is trying to outdo the others.
The bars’ staff will keep asking you to go inside the bar to order a drink, play games, or watch the ladies performing pole and acrobatic dance on the counters. These bars allow you to gather with and join other solo travellers to watch sports games on screens or listen to live music together.
This spot is totally for adults only, so kids are a big no-no, lah. Most beers and drinks are cheap, so get ready to party until midnight!
Address: Soi Bangla, Patong, Kathu, Phuket 83150.
Nearby Phuket hotels: Ibis Phuket Patong, Tropica Bungalow Hotel, The Yorkshire Hotel and Spa Patong.
Tips: Bills are direct and straightforward, so don’t worry about any hidden surprises. Just pay the waitress when the drinks come. Most GoGo bars are pretty safe, so scams seldom happen. Be prepared to have people offer pamphlets or brochures advertising their bar or ping pong show in front of your face. Entry is free.
This 140-acre cultural theme park comes with three sections you can visit. They are the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant, the Carnival village, and Las Vegas-style theatrical show in the Palace of the Elephants. The show has been widely known internationally with its stunning and wondrous performance. It exists to preserve the rich heritage of Thailand traditions, dances, and mythologies.
The show lasts for about 70 minutes. Be prepared to witness these combined with cutting-edge technology and special effects. Trained animals like elephants, peacocks, tigers, pigeons, and chickens also join the parade. Watch the performers do extraordinary stunts!
In the Carnival village, make the most of your time to play games, watch parades, and buy handicrafts. For evening meal, you can dine in a 4,000-seat theme restaurant offering a grand buffet of Thai and international cuisines. Even with a large scale, the restaurant has a neat arrangement and doesn’t take long to prepare your order. There are also smaller food stalls with a wide variety of food choices. Die die must try!
Address: 99, Moo 3 | Kamala Beach, Kamala, Kathu, Phuket 83150.
Nearby Phuket Hotels on the Beach: Glam Habitat Hotel Kamala Beach, Kamala Mews K3, Sunprime Kamala Beach.
Tips: Entry for the show only is around THB 1,800 (S$81). If you also want to dine, you can pay around THB 2200 (S$99). As the show begins at 9 pm, you can eat, shop, and explore the whole area first. Before entering Phuket FantaSea, every visitor must deposit mobile phones or cameras at the security booth. If you’re concerned about this procedure, you can avoid bringing these to the premise.
4. The Natural Restaurant
The Natural Restaurant can be found in a quiet street of the vociferous Phuket Town. When you enter, you can see the whole interior filled with plants and garden décor for a natural vibe. There are three levels you can choose, like the ground floor with fountains and plants or the upper decks with antique pieces.
Eat deliciously under the night sky by sitting outdoor at the garden terrace. Although with the concept of nature, the restaurant still embraces the chic Thai theme. Some foods to satisfy your palette include crabs in black pepper, gai pad med ma muang (stir fry chicken with cashew nuts), fried rice, som tam (papaya salad), and tiger prawns. They come at affordable prices and can be customized with unique diet options for vegetarians or vegans.
Don’t forget to also order the famous oyster omelette and mango sticky rice in this unique yet exquisite restaurant. Now, who says makan alone is miserable? The best thing is that you can have these tasty meals all for yourself. Go nuts, lah!
Address: Bangkok Rd. 62/5 Soi Phutorn, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000.
Nearby Phuket hotels: The Little Nest Hotel, The Memory at On On Hotel, The Besavana Phuket.
Tips: You can expect most of the food on the menu to be spicy since Thai people prefer it that way. If you can’t tolerate spicy food, feel free to tell the waiter/waitress about this, and they’ll gladly assist you. Be prepared to eat a lot, even for one portion. You can always ask the staff to prepare the remaining as a takeaway.
5. Siam Niramit Theatre
This state-of-the-art theatre occupies 2,000 seats opens every day for locals and tourists. Located in the centre of Bangkok, Siam Niramit Theatre proudly presents itself as one of the world's massive stage productions. Upon arriving here, you can stroll and inhale the scenic view of the authentic traditional Thai village. Like every other country in the world, Thailand comes with a long history of over 700 years of captivating culture, customs, and traditions. Here in this village, it shows the nation ambience of past times.
Watch the stage performers tell you these stories in a magical 90 to 120-minute production and take pictures with them after the show ends. Have a meal at the Sawasdee Restaurant for an authentic Thai food eating experience, and later purchase some souvenirs or gifts. You boleh get closer to the elephants and feed them while listening to a 'ranad' (Thai xylophone) band playing. Let loose your festive soul in this super cool spot!
Address: 19 Tiamruammit Road, Bangkok 10310.
Nearby Phuket Resorts: Escape de Phuket Hotel, Changnoi Hotel, The Hilltop Hotel and Residence.
Tips: Since the show will commence for almost two hours without a break, it’s better if you go to the restroom first before watching. The entrance fee to the show will vary according to the visit date and the seat you choose (silver, gold, and platinum). You can also choose to purchase the show ticket only or with buffet dinner through their official website.\
With these five cool spots and best Phuket hotels in your itinerary list, you can spend your evening in with tons of fun, too! Hopefully, this can inspire you to make the most of your solo trip and bring you a memorable experience of Phuket. Get the party started!