The 6 Best Bars in Phuket for Backpackers
Crystal clear waters, pristine white beaches, and cocktail after cocktail. That’s what most people imagine when they think of Phuket. And while you’re guaranteed to relax with gorgeous views, you can’t visit the province without partying! The island is home to everything from dive bars to techno clubs. For every aspect of resort life you find, they’ll be crazy nightlife to match. So drop your bags off in Patong, the backpacker district, and join us on a pub crawl through the best bars in Phuket!
If you’re staying in Patong, this is a great beach spot to end any day. It’s located on Patong Beach and its open air design means you can enjoy every view imaginable. You’ll also feel like you’ve earned your drink, because it can be a bit of a trek to reach the entrance.
There’s nothing better than sipping a cocktail while feeling the sea breeze and listening to chill R&B sounds. When you first arrive, you may be tempted to hang out at the first floor bar. However, we recommend going up to their second floor terrace. That’s where you’ll find the amazing views and best vibes.
Unlike similar bars, Wassa seems to have been designed with backpackers in mind. The furniture is mixed-and-matched, almost as if they bought it at a thrift store. The food and drinks are simple and affordable. Despite being a sunset bar, there’s not an ounce of pretentiousness or overly-fancy decorations—and that’s just how we like it!
Timber Hut is one of Phuket’s most popular bars in Phuket, and a can’t miss if you’re looking for life music. It’s popular with both locals and expats, meaning you’ll be in great company. You can find it situated at the Old Town’s northern entrance, making it the perfect start to a night’s adventure.
The first floor of Timber Hut is full of tables, chairs, and benches. We recommend grabbing a spot near their unique, u-shaped bar or the stage tucked away in the corner. On the second floor, you’ll find even more seating options. There’s a smaller bar and it’s often less busy, so this is a great option if you’re looking to chat with some friends over a few drinks.
Timber Hut’s live music starts around 10:00pm every night. You can expect everything from Thai ballads to 80s pop classics. We promise you can’t help but singalong! And when there’s a break from the live music, a DJ takes the stage and pumps dance music throughout the club.
But what makes Timber Hut one of our favorite options in Phuket is its menu. Unlike most pubs, they offer only Thai dishes—and they’re good at it! While fried rice will always be an option, we recommend venturing out to try grilled squid or other locals-only meals.
As far as drinks are concerned, we recommend ordering at least one Mai Tai (their signature drink). Otherwise, bringing some friends and ordering by the bottle is usually the best option. And the best part? You get free mixers and ice when you order a bottle!
If you’re heading over to Kata Beach, Ska Bar is a must-stop for a few drinks. It’s easily one of Phuket’s most iconic bars and boasts gorgeous views. The bar itself is nestled in-between massive granite boulders and the sea is only a stone’s throw away. Ignoring the awesome vibes, we can’t imagine a better place to sip on a few cocktails after a long day of adventuring.
But what really makes Ska Bar stand out is its reputation as a Reggae spot. It’s run by Thai staff boasting dreadlocks and relaxed smiles. You’ll hear reggae music with bits of hip-hop and R&B. There are two floors to choose from, and the bar gets the most crowded around sunset. Personally, we’re fans of the views from the second floor.
Any list of bars wouldn’t be complete without one Irish pub. Despite being thousands and thousands of kilometers from Ireland, this Irish-run pub will make you feel right at home (or at a St. Paddy’s Day party). Located right by Karon Beach, you can engine an endless selection of draught beers and ciders. It even doubles as a guesthouse if you just can’t get away.
The pub boasts a full menu. It’s on the pricier side, but worth it for a taste of home. We particularly like heading to Angus O Tool’s for breakfast or lunch. We’d recommend trying out their all-day-breakfast and enjoying the views from their outdoor seating area.
This is, by far, the best spot in Phuket to enjoy any and all sporting events. While it can be hard to stay updated while backpacking, there are some football matches you just can’t miss! Regardless of who’s playing, you can trust that Angus O’ Tool’s will be broadcasting it. Just be careful if your game comes on Friday night—that’s when they ditch the sports for live music!
Like Ska Bar, this is another great spot on Kata Beach. We’d definitely say Stone Bar is the more relaxed of the two. Less of a bar and more of an open-air garage, this is the perfect backpacker spot in Phuket. You’l see surfboards at every corner, shirtless Rasta men running around, and a bartender full of endless travel stories.
You won’t find any fancy cocktails here, so stick to local beers and mixed drinks. Stone Bar is a great example of what Thailand can be like when it isn’t appealing to tourists. It’s truly a hidden gem and worth searching for! Better yet, it’s extremely affordable. There probably isn’t a better spot on Kata Beach to waste away a night (or three). We recommend grabbing a hammock!
If you’re looking for a sports bar that doesn’t require leaving Patong, the Aussie Bar is your best bet! It’s located directly on Bangla Road, often referred to as the Khao San Road of Phuket. They boast twenty-four televisions, meaning any sporting event you can imagine will be streaming. But just in case, they list every game on a sign at the front of the bar.
Better yet, Aussie Bar offers a variety of amenities that aren’t always guaranteed at Thai establishments! You can enjoy wifi throughout the entire bar, extremely clean facilities, and endless seating. And if you’re tired of sitting and sipping on a beer, you can make your way over to their pool tables to challenge other backpackers to a game.
Of course, this list isn’t all-inclusive! Did we leave out any of your favorite bars in Phuket? Tell us all about them in the comments below. We’ll be sure to add them to future lists to help out the next broke backpacker.