Wrapped around Bang­tao Beach, this north­west district of Phuket sud­denly has a buzz of its own.


Ch­erng­ta­lay, an up-and-com­ing lo­cale in north­west­ern Phuket.

The best of Phuket’s drink­ing and din­ing scene is scat­tered across the is­land, from the Old Town’s hip­ster hang­outs to the high-end ho­tel of­fer­ings down the west coast. But in the last six months a new hub has been co­a­lesc­ing in the Ch­erng­ta­lay area, within easy reach of the La­guna re­sort com­plex. The lat­est opening gath­er­ing buzz among is­lan­ders is Project Ar­ti­san ( 66-/937-909-911; the­p­ro­jec­tar­ti­, a cool mul­ti­pur­pose venue that, when fully com­pleted later this year, will house a café, deli, art stu­dio, gallery, and hol­i­day bun­ga­lows. Al­ready, locals are mak­ing a bee­line for the week­end seafood bar­be­cues held in its gar­den as well as the foot mas­sages at Sa­parod Pineap­ple Spa. Close by in the ever-ex­pand­ing Boat Av­enue com­plex is Iniala Kitchen & Bar ( 66-76/602-308;, a spin-off of the su­per-lux­ury Iniala Beach House up the coast in neigh­bor­ing Phang Nga prov­ince. The casual neigh­bor­hood eatery serves modern Mediter­ranean fare cour­tesy of Cata­lan chef San­dro Aguil­era, with high­lights in­clud­ing sea bass ce­viche and Gali­cian oc­to­pus with potatoes and chimichurri. BrewBridge ( 66-76/606-650;­bridge­bar), just a short walk away, is the lat­est ad­di­tion to Phuket’s grow­ing num­ber of craft beer bars. With ex­posed wooden ceil­ing trusses and a back wall lined with beer casks, it of­fers a slew of im­ported brews to choose from; locals swear by the Ace Pineap­ple Cider and Deschutes Brew­ery’s Fresh Squeezed IPA as re­fresh­ing so­lu­tions for the hot Phuket sum­mer. If those don’t do the trick, head to Catch Beach Club ( 66/653-482-017; catch­beach­ on nearby Bang­tao Beach. If the name sounds fa­mil­iar, that’s be­cause Catch first opened on Surin Beach back in 2008. Its new set­ting is even bet­ter than be­fore, though the suc­cess­ful for­mula re­mains the same: stylish sur­rounds, fine food, and a high-end cham­pagne list that draws a fash­ion­able crowd in search of a good time.

From left: The en­trance to Project Ar­ti­san’s Sa­parod Pineap­ple Spa; a bird’seye view of Catch Beach Club, at the south­ern end of Bang­tao Beach.

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