Located off the southern tip of Thailand’s Phang Nga Province, Phuket is the largest island in the country. It is connected to the mainland by a pair of bridges. The island is cosily nestled in the warm waters of the Andaman Sea, and was once a major stop along the China-India shipping route. The island once derived most of its wealth from tin mining and rubber cultivation, but is now a resort town geared towards tourists. Boasting some of the world’s best beaches, Phuket has not had any trouble attracting tourists and is now one of the most popular holiday destinations on the planet.
The Old Phuket Town probably has more culture and flavour than any other part of the island. The historical region is filled with Chinese and Buddhist temples and shrines, charming museums, quaint little shops and quiet cafes. The Old Town was built during Phuket’s tin boom over a century ago, and while the area may have gone into slight decline since then, it still retains much of the glory from its heyday. One will also find a number of mansions, built by the tin barons of old, lining the streets. The whole area has a distinctive architecture, blending traditional Chinese styles with European ones from the colonial era.
The ‘core’ of Phuket’s Old Town consists of only five streets or sois: Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road, Krabi Road, Dibuka Road and Rasada Road. Thalang Road was once the centre of activity, containing the town’s best restaurants and bars where coal miners would come to unwind. It now contains amazing examples of Sino-Colonial architecture. Phang Nga Road is home to the ‘Shrine of Serene Light’, a garden built in 1889 where one can relax. One can also find plenty of shops here. The best way to explore these roads is by foot.
There is no doubt that Phuket is one of the best retreats in Thailand. Tourists who intend on holidaying in the island can easily find accommodation in a boutique hotel Phuket like the Thanyapura Phuket. They also provide an amazing range of facilities, offering guests a chance for total relaxation.