Thailand's Nightlife

Thailand is famous for 2 things: beaches and partying.
By: Erica Walsh

It seems that Thailand is famous for 2 things: beaches and partying. Combining the 2, we're bringing you to Thailand's best beach parties.

Full Moon Party
Koh Phangan
The Full Moon Party on Koh Phangan is Thailand's biggest and most infamous party. It's said that some time ago, a group of backpackers were enthralled with the beauty of the full moon from the pristine crescent of Haad Rin beach. They decided to celebrate the celestial splendor by throwing an enormous party. Since then, the Full Moon Party has grown to host up to 15,000 people during the high season (January to March) and several thousand during the low season (June to August.)

This party is spread all over the Haad Rin beach -- and we're not just talking different bonfires. There are serious clubs on this small island all offering a slightly different party vibe. Trance, house, drum and bass, R & B, and funk are all pumped out of state-of-the-art sound systems. There are also lounges filled with soft cushions, stunning views and cocktails for those looking to kick back after-hours. If you're craving a little taste of home, Cactus Bar is centrally located along Haad Rin and plays hip-hop, old-school classics and the occasional rock 'n' roll.

Partying also takes place right on the beach; bodies will be packed on the sand dancing to DJs' outdoor beats. Impromptu fireworks displays compete with the brilliance of the Thai moon. If you're hot, take a swim in the warm Gulf of Thailand waters before heading back to the frenzied dancing.

On the international party circuit, Full Moon is a must, equal with Goa and Ibiza. Before you book your spot at the party, make sure to read the Full Moon Party safety tips and information. If none of the dates for the Full Moon Party fit into your travel itinerary, check out the Half Moon and Black Moon parties. Both of these are on Koh Phangon and promise some of the best music and partying in Thailand.

Patong Beach
The nightlife in Patong, one of Phuket's most famous beach resorts, is centered on Bangla Road. What was once Phuket's red-light district, Patong has undergone a serious revitalization and transformation. From beer bars to discos and sports bars to cocktail lounges, Patong is a party town geared toward a younger crowd.

There are several dance clubs and discos in Patong, and while the DJs spinning may not be in the same league as those at the Full Moon Party, they know how to work a crowd and pack the heaving dance floors.

Tiger Club, located just off Bangla Road is a pumping party spot, while Baya Beach is slightly mellower with a tropical theme. While most clubs in Patong are legally obligated to close at 2 a.m., the Safari Club has an indoor and outdoor club, both open till dawn. Safari is located on the outskirts of town and features both live music and DJs.

Patong also offers a lot of live music venues. Saxophone, located on the north end of Beach Road, is famous for its quality jazz, R & B, and reggae. Nearby Rock City offers something for the metalheads with cover bands performing music by AC/DC, The Scorpions, Van Halen and Metallica.

Live music can also be found beachside at The Port at Banthai Beach Resort, where a lively and talented Filipino band plays nightly.

Chaweng Beach
Koh Samui
Chaweng Beach is the place to party on Samui with a range of activities that includes lounge bars, dance clubs and live music. Ease into your night out by grabbing a bite to eat and a cocktail at one of the many European-style pubs that line the main beach road. If you're not hungry, the resorts will happily serve cocktails as you sit outside and watch the sun set over Samui.

Green Mango Soi, or Green Mango Square, is home to Samui's late-night activities. Sweet Soul is a dance club here with nightly hip-hop and R & B tunes that has revelers spilling out into the street.

The Green Mango Club is a converted warehouse, reminiscent of New York- and Miami-style clubs. The 2 main rooms serve up different types of music: 1 playing hip-hop and mainstream while the other pumps house and techno onto the dance floor.

From the dance floor to the dark nooks and cushions of Samui's lounges, Unique Bar is located on Chaweng Beach Road and offers both a street-side bar and an upstairs lounge featuring UK DJs and funky uplifting beats.

Bar Solo provides a slightly different scene; its sleek interior has music, plasma televisions covering your favorite sporting events and pool tables.

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