A Travellerspoint blog

Phuket Old Town

overcast 29 °C

DSCN4258

DSCN4258

PROMTHEP CLOCK TOWER (STANDARD CHARTERED BANK) @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4147

DSCN4147

PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM @ KRABI ROAD, PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4186

DSCN4186

COLONIAL MANSION AT KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

Phuket is not just only beach and island holiday retreat destination. It is definitely worthwhile to explore Phuket city, the old part of the island city that is. There were rows of colonial or heritage shophouses which lined on several of the important roads during the Phuket tin mining days such as Krabi Road, Thalang Road, Dibuk Road, Yaowarat Road and Ranong Road to name a few. Ratsadanupradit Mahison Pakdi @ Khaw Sim Bee was the key figure on the background of the history of Phuket. I came to know about Ratsadanupradit's background history during my travel to Satun and Trang. His family members descended from his brothers including himself were appointed as governors of several southern Thai provinces such as Ranong, Phuket, Phang Nga, Trang and Satun by King Rama IV and V. The Khaw family in particular Khaw Sim Bee was said to have contributed hugely in the booming commercial activities in Phuket with the development of tin mines industry as well as the introduction of rubber plantations in the southern provinces of Thailand during the colonial era.

DSCN4132

DSCN4132

KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

To get to Phuket city from Patong beach, the most budget way to be connected is through the public songtheaws which run through Patong every hour. Cost of ticket from Patong to Phuket city is THB 30 per person. Another alternative to get to the city of Phuket is through the red tuk-tuks which are readily available on the road side awaiting for passengers any time any day. Costs of tuk-tuk service from Patong to Phuket city is THB 500 for the whole tuk-tuk all by yourself.

DSCN4134

DSCN4134

ROWS OF SINO PORTUGUESE SHOP HOUSE ALONG KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4138

DSCN4138

DSCN4139

DSCN4139

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOP HOUSE ALONG KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4136

DSCN4136

SHOP HOUSES AT THE INTERSECTION OF KRABI, YAOWARAT & THALANG ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

The starting point of my exploration of Phuket Old Town was along the Krabi Road in which the Thai Hua Museum or Thai Chinese Museum was located. This former chinese school was the most important Sino Protuguese building which should not be missed out while on Phuket old town adventure. The entrance to the museum is THB 50 per person. There is a large concourse in front of the Thai Hua Museum which resembled the students assembly area of the old chinese school. The museum is a 2 storey building with extensive renovations being done to convert this former school into a museum. There are several sections inside the museum which include section on tin mining history, the existence of Chinese community in Phuket, the costumes of the Phuket's Baba & Nyoya community, the key figures in the development of old Phuket city and how the colonial shophouses were being designed and built up to suit the needs of the chinese during those days. Its interesting to find out some facts on Phuket's history post Khaw Sim Bee a well as on how tin mining development in Phuket had resulted in the set up of black societies to protect the different chinese clans in the tin mining industry and how the chinese community in Phuket blend into the Thai culture including with the Thai muslims which had seen the evolving of Baba & Nyoya culture in Phuket. Another important building on Krabi Road is the House No.96 which was a former British style colonial mansion now turned into a Thai fine-dining restaurant and cooking school named Blue Elephant. There was a huge open field fronting the mansion which is being housed within the gated and fenced area. Here, I also had the opportunity to chance upon an old chinese woman who sells the hard to find Nyoya deserts of Phuket. Try some of the range of desserts and you should never regret and to be complimented with contemporary coffee shops including the one next to the Thai Hua Museum.

DSCN4143

DSCN4143

THAI HUA MUSEUM (THAI CHINESE MUSEUM) AT KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4142

DSCN4142

THE SIGNBOARD AT THE ENTRANCE GATE TO THAI HUA MUSEUM @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4149

DSCN4149

THE INTERIOR OF THE PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM ON THE GROUND FLOOR OF MAIN ENTRANCE

DSCN4151

DSCN4151

THE ENTRANCE TO THE PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4153

DSCN4153

THE STAIRCASE TO 2ND FLOOR OF PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4164

DSCN4164

OLD PHOTOS & DESCRIPTION ON TIN MINING INDUSTRY OF OLD PHUKET @ PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4162

DSCN4162

THE CHINESE ASSOCIATION WITH OPIUM DURING THE TIN MINING ERA OF PHUKET @ PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4166

DSCN4166

THE CHINESE BABA & NYOYA COSTUMES DURING THE ERA OF OLD PHUKET @ THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4172

DSCN4172

DSCN4175

DSCN4175

PROMINENT FIGURES DURING THE OLD PHUKET ERA @ PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4176

DSCN4176

BRIEF DETAIL OF THE ANG YEE BLACK SOCIETY DURING THE TIN MINING ERA OF PHUKET

DSCN4181

DSCN4181

A DISPLAY ON REPLICA OF A SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSE @ PHUKET THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4140

DSCN4140

COFFEE HOUSE NEXT TO THAI HUA MUSEUM

DSCN4182

DSCN4182

DSCN4184

DSCN4184

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSES ALONG KRABI ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4189

DSCN4189

DSCN4185

DSCN4185

THE OLD MANSION HOUSE NO.96 (BLUE ELEPHANT RESTAURANT) AT KRABI ROAD, PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4191

DSCN4191

BABA & NYONYA DELICACIES AT KRABI ROAD @ OLD TOWN PHUKET

From Krabi Road, it was then a stroll along Yaowarat Road. Over at this road of Phuket Old Town, there was no distinctive building located along Yaowarat Road but never short of good old Sino Portuguese style shop houses which were no less interesting than any other parts of the road along the old town area. Between Yaowarat and Dibuk Road is the LoCk Tien restaurant which offers some great varieties of Phuket chinese style food including the famous Hokkien Mee or Hokkien noodle. Hokkien is one of the chinese clan from China's Fujian province. What is special about the noodle is the mixture of vege, egg and barbeque pork and the gravy or soup that comes with the noodle in a bowl. Another good treat over at Lock Tien which is popular among the locals and Thais is the fresh popiah or spring roll which is very much different from those in Vietnam. The filling of Phuket fresh popiah is the shredded jicama and chopped peanuts as well lettuce topped with sweet sauce and chilli sauce. Also had a try on the "lobaK' a mixture of fried tofu and the deep fry pork intestines and pork head's skin dipped with special sauce. Just right in front of Lock Tien on Dibuk Road is the Aekwanit Building. Along Dibuk Road, just as along Krabi Road and Yaowarat Road were rows of Sino Portuguese style shop houses of which some has been turned into restaurant, coffee house and guesthouse. There is also a shop house towards the end of Dibuk Road on the left of Lok Tien restaurant which sells some local Phuket Chinese delicacies such as biscuits, desserts and cakes. Towards the right of Lok Tien restaurant on Dibuk Road is the Thai Hua Association Building which is a white coloured property located on the edge of Dibuk Road near Soi Romanee or Romanee Lane, another interesting lane of Phuket Old Town in which the back lane shop houses have been transformed into colourful buildings giving the feel of modern and old as well as European atmosphere when strolling down this small lane.

DSCN4192

DSCN4192

SIGNBOARD OF YAOWARAT ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4195

DSCN4195

DSCN4196

DSCN4196

DSCN4198

DSCN4198

DSCN4200

DSCN4200

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSES ALONG YAOWARAT ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4225

DSCN4225

DIBUK ROAD SIGNBOARD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4201

DSCN4201

LOK TIEN RESTAURANT AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4205

DSCN4205

POPIAH @ LOCK TIEN

DSCN4206

DSCN4206

HOKKIEN MEE @ LOCK TIEN

DSCN4207

DSCN4207

LOBAK @ LOCK TIEN

DSCN4202

DSCN4202

AEKWANIT BUILDING AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4210

DSCN4210

DSCN4213

DSCN4213

DSCN4215

DSCN4215

DSCN4217

DSCN4217

DSCN4220

DSCN4220

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOP HOUSE ALONG DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4219

DSCN4219

A CHINESE CAKE SHOP AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4221

DSCN4221

AN OLD CHEVY PICK UP TRUCK AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4203

DSCN4203

GUESTHOUSE AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

From Soi Romanee was then a walk towards Thalang Road in which one of Phuket oldest chinese medicine shop is located. The structure of the medicine hall remained conserved while the interior of the shop has been refurbished to suit the current contemporary design. Then, stroll toward the Phuket Road from Thalang Road onwards to the intersection between Phuket Road and Phang Nga Road in which the Promthep Clock Tower which was also the former Standard Chartered Bank building is located. There are 2 Standard Chartered Bank buildings which are located opposite each other here. While the Promthep Clock Tower building remain much untouched, the other building opposite this clock tower is currently undergoing reconstruction and renovation works to conserve the historically rich property, in which the Phuket provincial officials shall be credited in ensuring the treasure of this unvalued properties remained for as long as it could. The bank itself would have also play a part in collaboration with the local authorities in ensuring the initiative works well into the benefit of all parties. From Phuket Road then headed towards Rasada Road in which the grand Bank of Ayudhya, a stand alone 4 storey white coloured Sino Portuguese shop house. Walking along the Phang Nga Road then led to the discovery of one of the oldest hotel in Phuket Old Town, the On On Hotel, another distinctive property white in colour being a side by side 3 units of Sino Portuguese style 2 storey hophouse. Its worth to spent few hours walking through the trail of Phuket Old Town or even spend a night in this city to appreciate the good old feel of Sino Phuket and while strolling down the roads and streets enjoy some good local Phuket chinese food, relax over coffee in any of the modernised old coffee shops and try out some local Phuket chinese delicacies. Phuket city has much more to offer beyond the beach and island retreat, really.

DSCN4223

DSCN4223

DSCN4227

DSCN4227

MORE SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSE AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4231

DSCN4231

THAI HUA ASSOCIATION BUILDING AT DIBUK ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4233

DSCN4233

SOI ROMANEE SIGNBOARD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4234

DSCN4234

DSCN4236

DSCN4236

DSCN4237

DSCN4237

DSCN4240

DSCN4240

DSCN4241

DSCN4241

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSES AT SOI ROMANEE @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4251

DSCN4251

THALANG ROAD SIGNBOARD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4245

DSCN4245

DSCN4247

DSCN4247

DSCN4248

DSCN4248

DSCN4249

DSCN4249

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOPHOUSE AT THALANG ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4252

DSCN4252

CHINESE MEDICAL SHOP AT THALANG ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4256

DSCN4256

PHUKET ROAD & PHANG NGA ROAD INTERSECTION @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4257

DSCN4257

DSCN4266

DSCN4266

DSCN4261

DSCN4261

PROMTHEP CLOCK TOWER (STANDARD CHARTERED BANK) AT PHUKET & PHANG NGA ROAD INTERSECTION

DSCN4267

DSCN4267

THE STANDARD CHARTERED BANK OPPOSITE THE PROMTHEP CLOCK TOWER UNDER ON-GOING CONSERVATION

DSCN4268

DSCN4268

SINO PORTUGUESE SHOP AT PHUKET ROAD @ PHUKET OLD TOWN

DSCN4272

DSCN4272

BANK OF AYUDHYA AT RASADA ROAD @ OLD TOWN PHUKET

DSCN4274

DSCN4274

DSCN4275

DSCN4275

ON ON HOTEL AT PHANG NGA ROAD @ OLD TOWN PHUKET, ONE OF THE OLDEST PHUKET HOTEL

Posted by kidd27 00:20 Archived in Thailand

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents