OLD PHUKET: Moseying on down to Phuket’s old quarter

PHUKET: It was the American philosopher Henry David Thoreau who once said, “A morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.”

With this in mind – and in light of Phuket Town’s recent bid for UN Heritage status – I forwent a line-in last Saturday morning in favor of making friends with my feet to go explore the old quarter of our town.

Everywhere in Old Phuket Town is within walking distance, if you have the time, and my couple of hours spent in this fascinating neighborhood had me tickled pink.

I’ve always found thoughts come clearly while I walk, and strolling down Thalang, Dibuk and Krabi roads, it was difficult not to muse on the district’s unique blend of traditional and modern… the European-styled architecture fused with the weighty Chinese influence.

Elaborateness commingles with simplicity in the unique Sino-Portuguese shophouse buildings, with the pastel-colored architecture on Soi Romanee a definite highlight.

Old Phuket Town’s busy art and culture scene should not be overlooked, particularly the four excellent shop-front galleries on Phang Nga Road, and several more along Yaowarat Road.

The old quarter boasts numerous Chinese antique and boutique shops, a first-rate secondhand book shop (selling books in several different languages), plus several cozy cafes in which to unwind.

Chinese herb and garment shops, and an old printing factory, add to the district’s traditional atmosphere.

A couple of hours isn’t enough time for Old Phuket Town to reveal its true beauty and quaintness, but it still represents a splendid way to spend a lazy Saturday morning.

— Andrew Jennings

Thai Life
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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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