Old Phuket Town
There’s no denying Thailand has charm. And while Phuket has plenty of glitz and glamour, where you’ll see the real charm is in its Old Town quarter – at last, a reason to leave the beach!
In Phuket’s Old Town, you can admire stunning early-20th century Sino-Portuguese architecture. Back at the turn of the century Chinese migrants got rich off tin mining and started building lavish homes and shopfronts – the designs were also influenced by the area’s former Portuguese colonists. They make for some pretty rocking facades. Explore the area’s back alleys and discover abandoned old Sino-Portuguese mansions. Virtually untouched in decades, they have an old-world beauty that trumps the renovated parts of town. Raya House has been kept in its original condition and also serves as a great stop for lunch or dinner.
The heart of Old Phuket Town is Thalang Road lined with small cafes and far quirkier shopping options than you’ll find in Patong. Here, you can hunt down textiles, spices and antiques in between roti pit stops.
The night market in Old Phuket Town is huge. On every Saturday and Sunday night, you’ll find food, clothes, handmade speciality items by local artisans or budding students and wonderfully random paraphernalia in droves. A tip for Thai food lovers: come on an empty stomach and eat your way around the marketplace.