Phuket is a well known best destination for sea, sand, and sun in Thailand. When my friends talk about Phuket, beach and bikini girls always come to mind.
But, Phuket old town should be on your list of must see places!
Phuket old town is a historical area. The must see things in this old town are the pastel colourful Sino-portuguse architecture buildings. It is similar with Georgetown Penang (Malaysia). During the tin-ming times, Phuket old town attracted people of all kinds trying to get rich, such as, Thai, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Eurosian, and sea gypsies.
How to get to Phuket Old Town?
From any beaches, you can flag down the local bus (known as Song Taew, open air blue colour buses). Look at the top of the windshield for where each bus is headed. From any beach to Phuket old town is about 30-50 Baht.
From Patong beach to Phuket Old Town takes about 1 hour.
Or just rent a scooter and drive to Phuket Old Town. Scooter rental per day is about 150-200 Baht.
** Police are always out to checking license around Phuket and they seem to be only stopping foreigners. We got a 1000 baht fine for not having our license. So remember bring your license with you when you drive the scooter.
The Charm of Soi Romanee
Soi Romanee used to be a red light district during the tin-mining times. These Sino-portuguese shops and houses were used as brothels, opium dens, and gambling houses. It was abandon for a period after the tin-mining peak times. But, now it is where the most people come to take pictures in old town.
Soi means small street in Thai language.
P.s: If you want to have a peaceful walk then come here before the tourists show up at 9.30am.
Thalang Road – Fun weekend market
This street will be blocked for the sunday night market (4pm -10pm). One of the busiest night markets in Phuket.
Check out the Kopitiam by Wilai, this is the best price authentic local restaurant in Old Town.
The first Hotel in Phuket – On On Hotel
On On Hotel become famous of Leonardo Dicaprio appearance in the first scene of the film The Beach in 2000. A night in the On On hotel will be about 30 USD.
The living museum – Chinpracha House
The Chinpracha House Museum is only open to the public on the ground floor, as the owners live on the second floor. The entrance fee is 150 baht. If you haven’t been to any Baba Nyona museums in Malaysia, you can take a look at this house if you are interested in that culture.
Jui Tui Shrine – Thai vegetarian food lover
This is the temple of annual Phuket vegetarian festival also known as Nine Emperor Gods Festival. The celebration is every September 1st to 9th according to the Chinese Lunar calendar.
The most important thing I want to mention here is … if you are a vegetarian thai food lover, you should visit here. On a side street in front of the temple is a row of vegetarian local restaurants. You can have a nice cheap yummy thai vegetarian buffet style food.
Dibuk Road – another colourful street
On this road, they have a few restaurants for you to check out. There is also a local trendy food court where you can eat for cheap and watch the live show making spring roll skins.
There are many shops you should explore here. Tell me what I missed please!