Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old Town and it's Sino-Portuguese Architecture

Phuket’s Old Town gives visitors a rare opportunity to step into Phuket’s past and get a true feel for what this island used to be like. Perhaps more than any other place in Thailand, Phuket has transformed over the last 20 or so years into something completely different from what it once was.

Originally, Phuket was mostly a quiet place, full of small villages of fishermen or farmers. Later on, large tin mining operations brought large amounts of immigrants, including a large number of Chinese, whose descendants still live on the island today.

As time went on, Phuket started developing a reputation as a tourist mecca, as travellers from every corner of the globe came to the island to see its white sand beaches, crystal blue waters and all the other things that make Phuket special. In modern times, one of those things that make the island special is the timelessness and uniqueness of Phuket Old Town, which in many ways is much the way as it has always been.

Most of the Old Town area dates back to the days of the tin mining boom, which brought previously unimaginable wealth and investment to the island. As such, many of the historical buildings are highly ornate and opulent, making them truly a wonder to behold. The architectural style is usually described as “Sino-Portuguese”, and may remind some visitors of the kinds of structures that dot the Mediterranean. The doors of many of these old mansions and shops will frequently feature truly beautiful Chinese-style wood carvings, as elaborate as they are inspiring. For sure, the Sino-Portuguese architecture in Phuket Old Town is one of the best reasons to visit.

 

Phuket Vegetarian Festival

Phuket Town itself is fairly small, and the Phuket Old Town part is even smaller. Most visitors will find they can easily cover the whole place on foot, so there is no need to rent a taxi or tuk-tuk to get from one part to another. Of course, if one is feeling tired or a little bit lazy, there is sure to be no shortage of transportation at the ready who are eager for a fare.

In terms of timing, most locals would recommend to visit either in the morning or the late afternoon, after the heat has begun to dissipate. If you do get hot or hungry, there are quite a few small restaurants and cafes in the area serving great food and drinks at reasonable prices. For those in the area during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival, Phuket Old Town is a great place to take in some of the activity.

Phuket’s Old Town is a great way to get a better understanding of the island’s past and see some truly unique architecture and sights. The area has a small museum as well, the perfect complement to the living history on offer in the Old Town itself. Getting to the Old Town is easy from just about anywhere in Phuket. 

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