Phuket is an island in Thailand famous for its beaches, shopping malls, luxury hotels and nightlife. It is also a great place to visit if you love history. There are many interesting sights to see, including old temples, museums, and historic buildings. You can easily spend a few days exploring everything the island has to offer. If you like Thai food, you’ll love the delicious dishes you can get at local restaurants.
Expect a lot of Portuguese style houses on each side of the street, small and colourful shops and some great local Thai restaurants. Walking around town will be a chance to visit both Thai temples, colourful Chinese shrines, a couple of museums and some beautiful old manses.
You can see many beautiful murals and street art around Phuket. These works of art are made by local artists and are often found on walls of old buildings. Recently, Phuket municipality buried the electric cables underground on Tha Lang and Dibuk roads, making them less visible.
The city centre and Thalang Road are the most exciting parts of Phuket Town. But there are lots of other interesting things to see in other parts of town too.
Thaland Road is where you will start and spend a great deal of time. It is charming and a popular Instagram location, especially if you visit at the Sunday Walking Street Market, but it is also a busy commercial area.
Chino Cafe Gallery is a small coffee shop located at the corner of Soi Chalong and Chalong Road. You can enjoy a cup of coffee while admiring some great photos of Phuket taken by local photographers.
Walk further down the street to find three famous restaurants. Wilai and are two local and affordable restaurants serving delicious Thai food. The famous Kopitiam (M) serves great coffee and desserts.
Near is located in the heart of Patong Beach, Thailand. It is a little Chinese shrine that is hidden inside an unassuming entryway. You will walk past many Muslim cloth shops and tool shops whose owner are trying to continue their business, just as if nothing happened in Phuket in 2014. Look around for all of the charming little guesthouses and boutique shops, lovely small boutiques, and plenty of little coffee houses.
Don‘t miss Oasis Walking street, a long and narrow passageway connecting Thalang and Pang Nga roads. It’s full with stalls selling original souvenirs, local snacks and is a perfect escape from the heat or rainy days. Read more about Tha Lang road.
Just off Thalang Road is the famous Patong Beach. It is the place where you can go shopping, gamble, watch movies, eat, party, and just relax. There are many bars and restaurants along the beachfront. If you want to get away from the crowds, you can also visit the nearby islands.
Don’t miss a chance to visit any temples: at the end is Soi Romanee.
Turn right at the end of Thalang road and walk along the riverbank until you reach Soi Romanee (Phrom Phong), where you will see a few more renovated shohouses, especially the Honda Motorcycle Showroom combined with a new Coffee Shop. Soi Romanee is also the place where you can buy your favorite Thai dishes.
Phang Nga Road
The three highlights of the Phang Nga Road are the, the amulet markets and the Shrine of the Serene Light (W).
The adjacent hotel has an interesting story. For a long time it was hidden behind a wall, and only locals knew anything about it. It was just a secret nobody wanted to share. Eventually, they did a great renovation and widened the ornate gate, and the shrine was left mostly untouched, but it is now a famous tourist attraction. Shrine of the Sereine Light (W)
Opposite the same street is the X, an extended covered alley where amulets aficionados come mostly during weekends to exchange and discuss their amulets. It’s a mysterious topic for us but some rare charms have really high value depending on their origin and age, and the monk who gave it to them. Amulet market (X),
Keep walking along Phang Nga Road towards the clock tower building (S), which used to be a police headquarters and is now the Perakanitat Museum. Across the road is the old which used to be a bank.
Keep walking along Dibuk Road until you reach the end of the street. You will see a sign pointing towards the beach. Turn right onto Dibuk Road and continue walking until you reach the intersection with Soi Dibuk. Turn left onto Soi Dibuk and follow the signs to the beach.
Then at an intersection of Dibuk Road and Yaowarat Road, you will find a local food court called, offering some unique Phuket specials. Opposite Lock Teng have a beautiful restaurant called Lock Teng Restaurant (I).
To get to Yaowarat from the main bus station, walk against traffic flow towards the fountain circle (C). Turn right at the fountain circle and follow the road until you see the entrance to the Limpanon House (L). You can also go through the back door if you like.
On the other side of the street is a small antique store called Kanom Jeen (Y), run by a young man who keeps the shop in its original state. He is very friendly and helpful, and will gladly show you around his shop and give you tips on what to see next. There is also an old pharmacy (Y) with interesting dried roots and herbs kept in a hundred wooden cabinets. If you plan to visit, be sure to bring your camera because the owner is not very happy about taking pictures of his shop.
If you continue straight, you will end up at the Thalang intersection, where you should turn left onto Thalang Road. You will then be able to see the famous Thalang road and its many heritage mansions.
Next to the Flamingo shop is a small street full of old ladies selling delicious cakes and pastries. These ladies sell the famous Ice kachang, shaved ice topped with sweet syrup and red beans inside. This is a great way to cool down after a hot walk around the island. Opposite the Flamingo shop you will find the ancient Lock tien food court, a great place to stop for a light meal.
If you go down Yaowarat Road, you will see three small mansions well kept. One of them is Endless Summer Coffee Shop & Boutique (K), a beautiful place to enjoy your morning coffee. Old Phuket Town has many shophouses that became coffee shops, heritage hotel and guesthouses.
Turn left at the intersection of Krabi Road and Thalang Road. You will see the Thai Hua Museum. It tells you about the history of Phuket and how it became what it is today, including the story of the Chinese immigrants who came here in the early 1900s.
If you walk down the street towards the beach, you will see the second building. It is a small temple called Wat Chalong. It is located at the end of the road, just before the beach. It is a small place, but it is worth visiting if you are interested in Thai architecture. The temple is built in the style of the Ayuthaya period, which is the oldest period of Thailand. It is also the period when the country was under the influence of the Khmer Empire. The temple is made of wood and stone, and it is surrounded by a moat. The temple is not big, but it is beautiful and well maintained. You can visit the temple during the day, but it is best to go there at night. There are many interesting details about the temple, like the statues of Buddha, the wooden carvings, the paintings, etc. If you are lucky, you may even see a monk walking around the temple.
The Thavorn Mansion is located behind the Thavorn Museum. It is a beautiful villa built in the early 1900s. You can see it from the road, but you need to go through the museum to get there. If you are not shy, you can just walk right in. There is no guard at the door, so you can just walk in and act normal. Once inside, you will be on your way back to another amazing mansion.
Phukets roads are not well marked, but they connect Thalang road to Ratsada road. They are mostly known for Casa blanca hotel, Quip rooftop bars, and the excellent One chun local restaurant mentioned in the phuket Michelin guide. And the much loved Wanlamun shop, a very local place selling a surprisingly large amount of tasty Thai sweets.
Ranong Road is the main shopping street in Phuket Town. It runs parallel to the beach and is lined with shops selling everything from clothes to electronics. There are also many restaurants and bars along the street. If you’re looking for something specific, try asking at the local markets. You’ll find fresh produce, spices, and other items that aren’t available in the supermarkets.
Don‘t miss the Thai Airways Office (B) in the area, a superbly restored white Sino-Portguese house. Unfortunately, the building is not open for the public. You can only take exterior photos through the parking lot.
If you continue walking in the direction of the traffic flow, you’ll reach the, a significant temple, at the Jui Tui Shrine.