Old Phuket Town
Take a Journey to the Past and Visit Old Phuket Town
Even if the city of Phuket has changed since modernization hit Thailand, lying within its borders is a place that somehow withstood the ebb and flow of the 21st century. Located along Thalang Road, travelers will get a glimpse of this city’s past by simply walking through the roads of Old Phuket Town. Although this UNESCO World Heritage Site has been refurbished, repainted, and/or rebuilt over time, it is still able to translate the city’s past to those who wander by.
At the beginning of the tin boom in the 19th century, the Chinese and Portuguese tin barons built many fine mansions and shops that have been well preserved to this day. The colonial architecture, sleepy backstreets, and great restaurants make Old Phuket Town worth exploring. Compared to the beautiful chaos of Patong, with its bars and clubs, old town offers a fascinating insight into the Chinese and Portugeuse influence on the island.
Travelers who have been to this town more than once will have no difficulty roaming around Old Phuket’s streets. For first timers, we suggest taking your time to explore the hidden secrets by walking through one of eight major roads:
- On Ranong Road, you can find the town’s market, and Jui Tui shrine – an important Chinese temple used during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival.
- If you prefer looking at old fashioned houses and stores, stroll along Yaowarat Road, and you will find the mysterious abandoned home called the Limpanon House.
- Krabi Road is where you can find the story and culture of Old Phuket by visiting the Thai Hua Museum and the Chinpracha Mansion.
- For more gastronomic adventures, take Dibuk or Thalang Road and dine in one of their locally-operated cafes or restaurants.
- If you want to continue viewing the town’s unique architecture, head to Soi Romanee, and marvel at the colorful houses that stand shoulder-to-shoulder.
- If you wish to continue your museum journey, take Rastada Road and visit the Thavorn Museum – located in the hotel that shares the same name.
- If temples are more your thing, head down to Phang Nga Road and bathe in the Shrine of Serene Light’s tranquil atmosphere.
Unlike other provincial Thai capitals, Phuket’s town is full of personality. So if you’re wondering what to do in Phuket, go on and appreciate the architectural style. Observe elements typical of the region during the old days, from Sino-Portuguese splendor to strong Mediterranean characteristics.
Check out the shops with narrow facades but explore further, and you’ll find they stretch back a long way. Other old European-style buildings worth visiting are the Provincial Hall, the Phuket Courthouse, and Siam City Bank.
Other points of interest you can find in the area are temples (both Buddhist and Chinese), quaint cafes, tiny printing shops, and charming museums. Note that the perfect time to go would be mid-morning before it gets too hot.
How to get there
- If you’re coming from the Patong area, you can either take a songthaew – don’t forget to tell the driver where you’re headed – or a metered taxi
- Join a tour: See the Old Town, Wat Chalong & Big Buddha Full Day Tour to make your life easier.
- Driving the 15km distance yourself? Head west on Route 4029 until you hit Wichitsongkram Road. Follow the road all the way down until you hit the Phuket Town Muang District.
Address: Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000, Thailand
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