Friday, 27 December 2013

Old Phuket Town

A pictorial tour around the centre of Old Phuket Town.

A must see whilst holidaying in Phuket is Old Phuket Town. It is good to get away from the beaches and the often "too touristy" towns. 
Hubby decided that we would travel down on a dull, but ever humid morning in classic Thai travel mode - a tuk tuk!! very basic as you can see from the photos below, with open back and sides. We were the only people in it and thoroughly enjoyed hanging onto whatever we could find as we bounced along and crept up the steep hills, close to some pretty steep drops, which made your stomach lurch when you peeked through your fingers, thats when you could cover your eyes with your hands after first peeling them off whatever you were clinging too! Several times the bumps and potholes seemed to bounce the tuk tuk over to the side of the road and ever close to the precipitous cliff edge - all good fun though!

The open back and sides of our rather upmarket tuk tuk - not that we realized how upmarket it was until we had to get another one home.
View from back of the tuk tuk as we started to climb.
Anyway we arrived safe and sound passing by a secondary school where students were leaving on mopeds and passing us doing "wheelies" two students to each moped and with no crash helmets!

Old Town covers the areas around Thalang, Dubuk and Krabi Roads. We were dropped at the junction of Thepkrasatti Road and wandered down Dubuk Road onto Krabi Road, and investigated the side streets as well.

Old Town is a mixture of Sino-Portugese architecture (old shophouses) and Sino-Colonial (old mansions) This creates an eclectic mix of buildings. Some are still very basic and look like they haven't been touched since they were originally built, whereas others are freshly painted in bright colours and almost shine. What was noticeable was that the power cables are still overhead and almost obscure the buildings. You can't believe that they are all live and if there was a fault it would ever be found. They looked like a ball of wool would have after a kitten had been allowed to play..... Slowly though in parts of the town the cables are going underground and with time the look will change.

Aekwarut Building 

Suriyadate roundabout. 

Charter Bank old building.

View of street lined with red lanterns with Mongkolnimit Temple in the background.
Thai Hua Musuem
Krabi Road

This was once a Chinese language school but now stands as a museum and is one of the iconic well maintained sino-portugese buildings in Phuket town

14 Soi Romanee.
Soi Romanee is a street full of shophouses, brightly coloured that are now bars, restaurants and guest houses. It was once popular for Thais to call their daughters Romanni meaning "Beautiful", "Adorable" and "Favourite" however put together  Soi (road) Romanee means road "thats naughty with the ladies" and indeed this was once Old Phukets Towns red light district!!

Just a few example of shops in the Old Town

anyone for....


FAN BELTS (I think?)


CHICKENS, DUCKS, RABBITS and cockateils?

The mansion of Phra Phithak Chinpracha.

This was once the home of the governor of Phuket but it is now home to the famous Blue Elephant cooking school and restaurant.

One of the many temples. I think this one is Mae Ya Nang shrine.
Put Jaw Chinese temple. This is the oldest temple on the island. It was built 200 years ago but renovated in 1908. It is also known as Kwan Im Teng as it was built to honour the Chinese goddess of Mercy, Kwan Im Teng.

2 local dogs watching the world pass by

Pineapple anyone?

Elephants ear (Colocasia) growing out of a drain pipe, not causing too much of a problem at the moment but they grow larger as you can see in the photos below. Not called elephants ears for nothing!

The weather took a turn for the worse, we were very hot and extremely tired so we decided to call it a day in this iconic, busy, chaotic, dirty, noisy and truly interesting town so we decided to head back to the hotel in... yes you guessed it another tuk tuk!

This time the tuk tuk was extremely dilapidated, I didn't let onto hubby that I had seen the bald tyres until we finally arrived back at our hotel. If we were going more than 10 miles an hour all the way back I would have been surprised, we even had cyclists passing us, waving and laughing. How we ever got up the hills I don't know, thankfully he did a detour so we didn't go directly over the main hill home (a longer detour in distance but this didn't affect us pricewise as you agree a price with the taxi driver before you depart) The heavens opened on the way back and with no door or windows we were soaked by the time arrived, all adding to the experience. After offering up several prayers for our safe deliverance I escaped from the "tin can". Having said all that is was great fun... although I probably wouldn't of said that during the journey!!!

I would definitely say that a visit to Old Phuket Town should be on your list to places to visit when on Phuket. There is even a night market that we didn't get a chance to see, in fact we didn't really even scratch the surface.

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