Most visitors to Phuket, the most popular island in Thailand, never leave their hotel or beach town. If you want to get away from the tourist crowds for an evening out on town with a more local feel, head to Chillva Market – a mostly local Thai crowd is doing some shopping, hanging out with friends, listening to live bands and with icecold beer – join them!
Chillva Market is North of Phuket Town, a few minutes North of Central Mall, off Highway 402 towards Rajabhat University. As most local markets, you’ll find street stalls selling everything from clothing to phone cases, but more geared a young, local audience and with few tourist knick knacks for sale.
But the main attraction at Chillva are the rows of small bars, some on ground level and a few in open two-story structures. You’ll have to make your way up some rickety stairs and you don’t get any sunset views, sophisticated interiors (or any “interior” for that matter) or chart-topping musicians – but you’ll find a young crowd that’s having fun, the beer is very cold and cheaper than in the beach towns and some of the bars have live music with local bands. It’s great people watching, very relaxing and you won’t find the obnoxious tourist groups or naughty night live that are dominating Patong beach!
Phuket is the most international feeling beach destination in Thailand, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have an authentic Thai experience, from food to evening entertainment. You can combine start a fun night out with dinner in Phuket Town, at fantastic La Gaetano, a visit to the Walking Street and end at Chillva market for drinks – it’ll be a fun night out away from the beach and with few (other) tourists in sight!