Searching for places and things to do in Phuket Town? Or maybe you’re still debating if Phuket Town should be included in your forthcoming vacation to Phuket. We list Phuket Town’s finest attractions, top cafés, markets, and restaurants in our travel guide, along with our picks for the best places to stay.
Even though we loved relaxing on Phuket’s beautiful beaches, after a few days we realized we were ready for something new and, for want of a better word, more genuine. As the days passed, we became weary of the packed happy hour pubs, the tourist shops selling the same souvenirs and T-shirts, and the bland Thai food.
We yearned for a location rich in true history and culture, along with quaint coffee shops, bustling night markets, historic shrines, breathtaking architecture, chic boutique hotels, and top-notch Thai restaurants. This was undoubtedly too much to ask. Could such a location exist in Phuket?
Thankfully, the response was an unequivocal YES. We wish to explain to you why you shouldn’t make the same error as many island tourists who ignore Phuket Old Town. Continue reading to learn why you should include Phuket Town, especially its old town, on your travel itinerary.
Before flip-flops, jet skis, and beautiful beaches made Phuket famous, Phuket Town was the island’s booming business center. Although the island has always been abundant in natural resources like rubber trees and animals, it wasn’t until the discovery of significant tin deposits in the 16th century that the city really began to take off.
The Portuguese and Dutch started trade and development, and the English quickly followed. At the height of the tin mining boom in the early 1900s, tourists from all over the world rushed to the island of Phuket. They also brought with them elements from the East, China, Europe, and India.
Chinese people, who dominated the labor force in the tin mines and on the rubber tree plantations, made up the vast majority of the population. They shaped Phuket Town into the modern-day metropolis, and they quickly rose to prominence in the tin trade.
The Chinese constructed their shophouses in the Sino-Portuguese style, drawing inspiration from neighboring commercial hubs like as Singapore and Penang in Malaysia. The richest families commissioned the great colonial design for their residences. Therefore, despite the fact that Thailand has never been colonized, Penang and the historic districts of Singapore may be seen in Phuket Old Town.
Phuket started to develop as a well-known tourist destination in the 1960s. The mines were forced to close when the price of tin plummeted sharply in the middle of the 1980s, and tourism replaced mining as the island’s main industry.
Phuket Town continued to operate much as it always has, going about its business neglected and ignored by tourists even as tourists began to swarm to the beaches in ever-increasing numbers.