Dec 24 2012
Phuket hosts plenty of festivals throughout the year, but its party spirit really comes to life in crackling form on New Year’s Eve. The island’s two New Year’s Eve party hotspots are Patong beach and Phuket Town, but if you head down to any of the main west-coast beaches on December 31 you’re in for a free fireworks show and plenty of celebrating on the sand. Here’s just a sampling of some of the many New Year’s Eve events around Phuket.
Catch Beach Club on Surin beach will put on a big spread of gourmet food, free-flow drinks and wine and music by guest DJs. Splurge for the beach barbecue plus the countdown beach party for (just!) 10,000 baht ++ or join the beach party only from 22:00 onwards for 1,500 baht, standing room only, with three cocktails included. Reservations are recommended for this popular event. T: (076) 316 500.
O2 Beach Club on Ao Chalong is hosting a New Year’s Eve bash with a buffet and free-flow drinks for 3,800 baht. Missed your lift back to your hotel? Fear not, the club will stay open all night and serve breakfast for the after-party crowd, too. T: (076) 304 001-7.
The Regent Phuket, a newly-opened five-star resort in Cape Panwa, is putting on a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner inspired by the James Bond film, Skyfall, for 8,000 baht ++ per person. Organisers say: “[Guests] will be able to take in the Secret Agent atmosphere of Bond girls, a classic trio band, violin soloist, magician shows, Shanghai acrobat, and fire art dancing, plus the odd exotic Lamborghini thrown in for good measure, and many, many Martinis – shaken, not stirred of course . . .” T: (076) 200 800.
If a splash-out gala is not in your budget or inclination, there are plenty of Phuket events that are free of charge. The sands of Karon beach will play host to two nights of music for the Countdown 2013 Phuket Electronic Music and Dance Festival, with performances by the “best house and hip-hop DJs in Thailand”. The party will run from 19:00 till late on December 30 and 31.
Phuket Town will be home to a three-night celebration for its Colourful Countdown Phuket 2013 festival from December 29 to 31 on the field at Sanam Chai opposite Phuket City Hall. Activities with a real local flavour include a “Light Wonderland” display, concerts, singing contests, food stalls and fireworks at midnight.
Phuket’s largest free party, on Patong beach, is expected to draw huge crowds of tourists and locals on December 31. Patong’s Andaman Count Forward 2013 fest will have a range of entertainment activities, live music concerts and a large and loud fireworks show over the bay.
If this event is happening (and at the time of writing it was still up in the air), a section of Patong beach will be cordoned off for the Sydictive Element World Class Electronic Dance Music Festival on December 30 and 31. Organisers claim that Sky Blu of LMFAO, Pendulum and Basement Jaxx are among the big acts confirmed to play on a giant floating stage, and there may even be an appearance by Paris Hilton. The event was originally planned for Surin beach but it was moved at the eleventh hour to Patong after Surin business owners and residents voiced strong opposition. Ticket prices start at 2,500 baht. Probably best to check the latest news before buying these.
For a more family-oriented night out, Phuket Adventure Mini Golf near Bangtao beach is hosting a New Year’s Eve golf party with a Thai set menu dinner and DJ music. Prices of 1,500 baht for adults and 1,100 baht for children include all the food, a half-bottle of wine or free-flow soft drinks and a round of mini-golf. T: (076) 314 345; (080) 147 2468.
Skyla’s Beach House on Kamala beach is putting on a New Year’s Eve buffet party for 300 baht per person, but its big event is the New Year’s Day Kick-On party with DJ music and a beach barbecue on January 1 starting at 13:00. T: (085) 476 9096; (082) 519 3282.
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