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Updated by Joanna James on May 17, 2020
Headline for The Best Things to See and Do in Phuket Old Town – A Locale Full of Old-world Charm
Joanna James Joanna James
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The Best Things to See and Do in Phuket Old Town – A Locale Full of Old-world Charm

The historical part of Phuket, the Old Town area with its traditional-style shophouses takes one back in time to a period where tin mining was booming in the island. There is plenty to see and do when here that will make for a truly rewarding experience.


Soi Romanee

Starting things off is a road which enjoys a central location in Phuket Old Town. A walk along Soi Romanee will give you a chance to truly soak up the atmosphere of this locale as you pass Sino-Portuguese style shophouses some of which are now cafes and guesthouses. Certain houses feature Chinese shrines that lend to the area's charm, while during the peak season (November to April) a monthly jazz show is generally held here too.


Old Town Markets

For more traditional shopping in Phuket, one can visit some of the markets found in the Old Town. On Ranong Road is where you will find the Phuket Town Central Market also known as Talad Sod Satarana; open from 05:00 am to 11:00 am, it offers everything from fresh produce to clothing. Also popular is the Downtown Market which is open for much longer and is where one will find fresh fruits, veggies and seafood as well as spices and food too.


Phuket Walking Street

A popular Sunday market which is also like a fair, is what is known as Phuket Walking Street. Those looking to soak up some culture, get in a bit of shopping and sample local foodie delights should head here! You can visit on excursions from properties such as Anantara Layan Phuket Resort and look forward to buying souvenirs and toys, enjoying musical performances and sampling everything from chicken dishes to BBQ squid.


Thai Hua Museum

History buffs staying at budget or luxury hotels Phuket has to offer can plan a visit to the Thai Hua Museum which provides insights into the island's Chinese heritage. The museum is housed within a distinctive colonial building which in fact, was originally Phuket's first Chinese language school. One can learn about when and why Chinese migrants first came to the island as well as about the tin mining industry which boomed in the early part of the 20th century.


Shrine of the Serene Light

One of the key sacred sites you can visit while exploring Phuket Old Town, the Shrine of the Serene Light is a fascinating attraction. This old Chinese shrine dates back to 1891 and is one of the most popular in the area. Highlights here include the roof with terracotta tiles, the unique Si Yin Gui murals and a variety of statuettes and religious objects that lend to the site's charm.


China Inn Café

Phuket Old Town is also known for its quaint cafes, one of which is this particular establishment. The centrally located China Inn offers à la carte dining and a menu that features both traditional Thai dishes and western favourites. What makes it more special is its charming setting complete with posters of old Chinese advertisements, antique fans and photos of what the building used to look like.