Phuket Island has not always been an exciting beach travel destination. The island has a rich history that stretches back thousands of years. The Burmese, Chinese and even the Portuguese have all tried to lay claim to it at some point because of Phuket’s position in the Andaman Sea as a trade hub.
This incredible confluence of cultures means that Phuket has a mixture of inhabitants such as Thais, Chinese, Malays, Indians, Nepalese and a unique Thai-Hokkien Chinese mixture known as the Baba community. Each of these cultures has played a part in shaping Phuket island but they are represented at the heart of Phuket, in Phuket town.
Phuket town is exactly close to any of the beaches but you get a real slice of Thailand and its culture by spending some time here as, the locals far outnumber the tourists here. As a result of this everything is just cheaper here including accommodation and food. If you really want to spend time at a beach, you can always travel to one of your choice. However, this is about Phuket town and here’s a few things you should definitely check out when you get here.
Architecture The old bungalows and buildings of Phuket Old Town, especially Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road and Soi Romanee, have a unique architectural style of their own. Described by many as Sino-Portuguese, it has been documented that the architects and builders of the time were more inspired by the British buildings in Penang, Malaysia.
Today, the term Sino-Colonial is more popular and some of these buildings are in absolutely marvelous condition. Some of the buildings and structures point to a clear Chinese influence such as the Shrine of the Serene Light or businesses such as Sin & Lee, Sin Yoo Chan and Nguan Choon Tong.
A walking tour through Phuket Old Town to check out all the buildings is quite a fascinating journey and it is highly recommended to do so. You can go on a guided tour with a professional tour guide or look up your own online tour, both options are available.
Diverse FoodYes, Phuket has incredible Thai food, especially seafood. This is widely available in Phuket town. However, there is one Thai restaurant that goes just a little bit further.
Blue Elephant Restaurant is a world-famous chain of Thai restaurants that serves ‘Royal Thai’ food. The dishes here are luxurious and made with incredible craft and quality. The food at Blue Elephant is not widely available across the rest of Thailand nor is the architecture, as it is based in, what used to be the Governor’s Mansion in Phuket.
Try some of the other flavours of Phuket at Aroon or Abdul’s, which are two roti shops located on Thalang Road. This Malay/Indian meal is a delight for curry lovers everywhere.
Not to be outdone, the Chinese have plenty of options in Phuket Town as well. Lock Tien on Yaowarat Road for instance, has Hokkien Chinese noodles that are excellent and the China Inn Cafe offers a more upscale dining experience, to name but a few.
There’s lots of European food options such as Siam Bakery, Dibuk Restaurant (French and Thai), The Brasserie (Belgian) and Salvatore (Italian). You’ll always be surrounded by good food in Phuket Town so treat yourself at every meal.
Phuket Town has many attractions related to art, culture, shopping and relaxation. Take your time to absorb one of the most diverse places in Thailand. Stay in Phuket for the long-term with Rental For The Holidays. Find a place that suits your needs and budget to enjoy Phuket.