The Freedom Bar at the North end of Rawai Beach has been a live music venue for twenty years now, the last seven under the management of Rung and her British partner Keith “Popeye” Starr. Live music most nights.

Then there is the Sunshine Bar about a third of the way down the beach. This bar has a lot of staff – rather more than needed. Why? Because they like to dance the night away! But don’t worry – it’s the kind of bar you could take your grandmother to. Get there early and you will be rewarded by the staff doing KPOP-style dance routines and singing to Issan music. Later on, the staff are too busy serving customers to dance much.

Go a little further and you’ll find the newly-opened Vibes Bar and Restaurant which hosts a competent Thai house band.

The Coconut Bar at the southern end of the Beach Road first opened in August 2008 under the management of Tip. Her British husband Ken Guy felt that life post-Covid in Rawai was somewhat dull and needed some uplift. So Ken sought the help of one of his friends, retired EMI rock and pop talent scout Stuart Watson, also from the UK. Stuart got busy checking out local musical talent while the bar was extended and reconfigured to suit live music. Now the Coconut Bar is often so full it is wise to reserve a table. It has high quality live music almost every night of some sort. Shut Wednesdays.

Take the turning left at the south end of the beach. After 200 metres on the left you’ll find the Paradise Beach Bar run by Annie and her daughter Waan. They have live music some nights.

Finally, in Chalong on the road down to the pier you’ll find the Pers Bar playing live music on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It’s currently classic rock. If that’s not your thing, then there is Thai pop music provided by Somtam Saep Gern which is 500m towards Kata from the Chalong traffic circle. There’s music every night, but it’s LOUD!

July 2022 Phuket Music Scene