Having lived in Phuket for a while and seen all the touristy bits it was now time to delve a little deeper. Instead of travelling by car we decided to go local and take the bus…Hubby opted to stay at home ” I am not going on one of those” I think were his words…haha
We didn’t wait long and the bus was great… Cool as the breeze wafted through and although it was full I was given a seat straight away…Thais are very polite like that or it may just be because I am older… Either way, I was given a seat with a smile.
I was the only European on the bus and I soon got the gist of the conversation… I only speak Nik Noy ( very little) Thai…My grandson is fluent and I think… well I know he was asked lots of questions about us… But it was fun and cheap…20B there and 30 B back home…If we had liked we could have carried on staying on the bus to Patong which was handy to know and it was stress free…No traffic and car parks to negotiate.
Phuket Town is a charming mixture of old and new…lovely Sino Portuguese buildings…and so much more. We had a lovely day just wandering about and we had lunch at my favourite restaurant the China Inn.
Once inside you are transported back to another era it is truly lovely …Lunch is served inside or outside in a lovely cobbled courtyard surrounded by flowers and plants and the food is divine…Really lovely a little more expensive but a nice treat.
At the weekends Thalang Road is closed off to traffic and hosts a lovely weekend market which has food stalls down the middle and there are lots of entertainment … Puppeteers, dancers, acrobats and much more.
Thalang Road is one of my favourite streets here and is very well-known for beautiful materials and accessories. The buildings are beautiful Sino Portuguese and have none of the electrical wirings which is clear in the other streets and would mar the beauty of these lovingly restored buildings, the locals are very proud of this street which is known locally as Lard Yai( Talaadyai) which means big market.
From 4pm-10pm the street is closed off to traffic and becomes a beautiful, vibrant market for one and all. There are street entertainers, food stall, crafts and much more…all running down the middle and the sides.
We have seen dancing-girls and to see girls so young performing so gracefully those intricate moves of Thai dancing is lovely. There is always something new to see on Thalang road as many local organisations and schools are offered the chance to perform. It is always so colourful and vibrant.
We have seen local chefs doing beautiful fruit and vegetable carvings for which Thailand is known for…I just loved this poodle crafted out of cauliflowers… They wield their knives with such skill and precision it is awesome to watch.
Lone musicians like this man with his instrument made of a tin can with a piece of wood with some keys and strings a basic bow made from wood and string…but the sound which came from this homemade musical instrument was beautiful. If you see one of these musicians please spare a penny as what is pennies to us is often a meal which they may not get otherwise.
You may see the local school children performing with a full brass band or you may feel hungry and want to sample some of the lovely fresh food which is being cooked from scratch while you wait. You will be spoilt for choice it is a foodies dream I just love the street food or maybe you want to sit outside a little café and people watch we often do…
It is a lovely place to visit on the weekend and very popular with Thais they come from the local villages and everyone enjoys the good food and the entertainment.
If markets are not for you and you are an early bird you will see the monks take to the streets on their daily alms rounds…The local restauranteurs or street stall owners are busy buying their fresh ingredients for the day’s meals. Thais tend to shop daily so everything is lovely and fresh.
This lovely flower covered tuk-tuk is one we saw on a visit to Phuket town…so pretty.
If you love temples then there is a lovely little shrine down a side street on Phrang Nga Road …built among the house it is like a little jewel in a crown. Often missed in the past it now has a lovely ornate street side archway which cannot be missed.
Built-in 1891 by Luang Amnat Nararak ( Dan Duad) to house Chinese deities which his family respected. This shrine was not only for worshipping but also to gather the family.
It has various names depending on which language is used: such as, in Hokkien Chinese, it is named Teng Kong Tong Shrine or Sing Jia Kong Shrine while locally it is known as Am Teng Kong Tong.
There are many Chinese Thai here and very often we have asked for a place by what we thought was the correct name to find out it was locally called something completely different.
Those who live here just shake our heads now and say TIT( This is Thailand)
A popular tourist attraction because it is so distinctive looking it is also very peaceful even though it is located in the centre of the town it is not affected by the town’s chaos.
I absolutely love Phuket town as each time I visit I discover something new..I am also pleased to see that the Thais have started to make changes and instead of letting the older building fall into disrepair they are now renovating and keeping them intact. Like this old house which is now the Blue Elephant restaurant and hotel. Blue Elephant is a very well-known brand of Thai sauces which were originally made here.
Phuket is also famous for it Tin Mining Industry and if you are interested in local history then a visit to this museum in Phuket town will give you all the history and much more… my grandson was very amused at some of the old action figures that were on display and working… They kept him amused for a while…
I hope you have enjoyed this tour around Phuket Town and if you visit I am sure you will love it and its delightful mix of old and new…
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