Decades ago, Phuket earned a prominent spot on the tourist map in Thailand thanks to its nighttime entertainment. Today, seeing a show in Phuket remains a must on any itinerary, and there’s something for everyone, from adults-only cabarets to family friendly stage productions.
Siam Niramit -- one of the best shows in Phuket, if not all of Thailand -- recounts the history, culture and religion of Thailand through state of the art light and sound, intricate costumes and a cast of more than 100 performers. Performed in three acts totaling 80 minutes, this kid-friendly show includes an optional traditional Thai buffet dinner, where you can sample dishes like spicy papaya salad and Thai green curry.
Another family friendly option, Phuket FantaSea, is actually part of a larger heritage theme park, complete with carnival games and a shopping village. The real star here is the show, performed in the Palace of the Elephants. After a buffet dinner in a massive restaurant, the Vegas-style show entitled “Fantasy of a Kingdom” displays Thailand’s cultural heritage through ballet, acrobatics, magical illusions, pyrotechnics and a cast of human and elephant performers.
If you want to experience a true Phuket original, leave the kids at home and spend an evening at the Phuket Simon Cabaret. Thailand’s iconic transvestite extravaganza has been taking the stage since 1991, and it remains one of Phuket’s most popular nightlife attractions. Throughout the performance, drag queens in eye-popping costumes sing and dance to pop hits, and since the show changes regularly, it’s a great option for repeat visitors. While provocative, the show is in no way lewd, and it may be appropriate for older children.