Written by Administrator
Thursday, 25 March 2010 16:01
Don't miss a trip to see the town and its cultural
Phuket town is a small urban
treasure full of surprises, many of which are not readily visible to the
visitor simply passing through. To really appreciate many of the attractions
here one has to spend time, hunt and often walk.
The rich cultural heritage evidenced in its architecture is perhaps the
foremost of attractions here. But there are also fascinating markets, Chinese
shrines and Buddhist temples and shopping opportunities, both modern and
Phuket town was largely founded by Chinese who emigrated to the island to work
in the tin mining business. Many began as penniless coolies but ended up as
rich moguls. Thus, much of the interesting architecture of the town is Chinese
in style and origin. Thai of both Buddhist and Muslim origin lived largely in
rural villages, where the finest examples of their temples and mosques are
One excellent way to get an overview of Phuket town is to go to the top of Rang
hill, one of the two very prominent hills on the northern edge of town. Rang is
the hill to the west, the one without the TV and communications towers.
At the very peak
of Rang hill is one of
the best Thai restaurants on the island, Tunka Ka Café, run by a true
gourmet and lover of Thai cuisine, Khun Thira. This is a great place to
enjoy the overview of the town from – and a great place to eat in. Khun Thira
makes sure every dish in his restaurant is just right. (if you want to see the
love that goes into food here, try Thira’s Som
Tum, hot papaya salad). Khun Thira is also one of the best-known characters
in town, and your day is made if you chance to meet him. It's also a favourite
hang-out for the Thai staff of PHUKET Magazine.
This description is given to several score houses set in grand gardens and
built by Chinese moguls, often about 100 years ago at the height of the tin
mining boom. The name reflects the influences of Chinese owners building in
European style in Singapore
where the Portuguese had set the first standards for grand tropical mansions..
In fact, most of the Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket town were built by
Italians, whom the wealthy Chinese employed. They also imported many of the
materials, like tiles and fittings, from Italy.
To see more of these beautiful old houses click on Sino-Portuguese Mansions
Traditional Chinese Rowhouses
Phuket has some exquisitely preserved examples of traditional Chinese
rowhouses; in fact there are a few streets lined with them. Since these are
still lived in (and maintained proudly) we cannot see the interiors, which are
also preserved in traditional style. But the facades alone are worth a walk
down the right streets, for their traditional Chinese designs and workmanship
are indeed be
Phuket town has about four or five major Chinese shrines, and like the row
houses, these are beautifully preserved, and well used by worshippers.
Shopping and Markets PhuketTown
offers the best shopping opportunities on the island, and the prices here are
lower than those at the tourist beaches. Scattered about the town we can find
shops specializing in souvenirs and handicrafts, fashion wear and tailoring,
silks and many other Thai-made products. The open-air markets here are also
Dining in PhuketTown
This is Thailand,
and restaurants can be found in abundance in every town, big or small. Phuket
town has a good variety of cuisine available in some interesting restaurants.
There are fewer tourist clients here, and more Thais and local expatriate
residents, meaning that the Thai food will not usually be modified for foreign
tastes as it sometimes is in the beach areas.