Featuring a large number of historically significant buildings, the Old Phuket Town has a story to tell, with its interesting collection of shrines, Buddhist and Chinese temples, quaint cafés, impromptu private and public museums beautifully preserved ‘shophouses’, tiny printing shops, and even a mini ex-red light district of its own. Now renovated and refurbished, it has now applied to become a Unesco Heritage Site, a status that it so well deserves.
The Thalang road is the most popular street in town with many an ornate Sino Portuguese houses adorning its innards while Dibuk and Krabi roads are also quite popular among visitors. While most of it has been refurbished and some even built entirely anew, the place still reserves the ancient aura that serves as an allure for most who visit this part of the world. Walking along these roads is literally transporting. The elaborate architecture of the bygone eras is a reflection of European influence on the island, and it makes time travel possible beyond a good century or so within these streets.
Built on riches gained from Phuket’s tin boom of the last century when the metal was considered a valuable commodity, the mansions found here once belonged to powerful tin barons of the era. Although the town was built by Hokkien Chinese who carried out much of the tin mining in the city, Americans as well as Europeans had always been interested in Phuket’s wealth of tin ever since the 16th century. However, it was in the 20th century under Governor Phraya Rassada Nupradit when large European companies were invited into the mines that the more prominent public infrastructure such as canals and roads was built. While nobody is really aware when the first building was constructed in this style, pictures from the time of King Rama V (1853-1910) show that the buildings were already established.
The Old Phuket Town is ideal for a casual stroll through on foot, and it is compact enough for that as well. However, make sure to choose a cooler time of the day such as the morning or the evening once the sun has beginning to lose its ferocity to make this trip, which is bound to make the experience more calming and refreshing. While exploring the town, finding Phuket luxury accommodation would not be an issue either since Point Yamu Phuket is a recommended Phuket luxury resort that is bound to make the trip all the more enjoyable. Get lost in time amidst the ancient buildings telling stories of ages past.
Angela Fernando is an impassioned travel writer who composes pieces under the pen name Sumaira Narayan. She loves writing about new and exciting places around the world and hopes to visit them all someday. Google+