Phuket has many festivals each year and one of the most cherished newer celebrations is the Phuket Old Town Festival that follows Chinese New Year. Phuket’s Old Town Festival is held in the historical centre of the Old Town along Thalang, Krabi, and Phuket Roads and during the festival, roads around the Old Town, including Thalang, Krabi, Dibuk, Phang Nga, Thepkrassatri and Phuket, are turned into walking streets.
There’s so much to do during this festival, including rickshaw rides, a Phuket Baba Light Show, cultural parades, Chinese folk dancing troupes performing, free boat rides along central canals and much, much more. You’ll also find colourful happenings such as Chinese Dragon dancing at the Queen Sirikit Park along New Dibuk Road.
- Phuket FantaSea Cultural Theme Park
- Phi Phi Islands Tour with Express Boat
- James Bond Island Full-Day Tour via Big Boat
- Coral & Racha Islands Full-Day Tour
- Whitewater Rafting & 4-Wheel-Drive Adventure
- Sea Kayaking at Ang Thong Marine Park
- Flying Hanuman Ziplining Experience
- Canoeing Excursion in Phang Nga Bay with Thai Buffet Lunch
- Introduction to City Tour
- John Gray's Cave Canoeing Tour in Phang Nga Bay
One of the best aspects of the festival is the opportunity to enjoy fine street food, of which there is no lack. Stall after stall laden with food makes things hard going for the packed pedestrians but it’s a welcome challenge for those who appreciate this cuisine.
The three main objectives of the festival are to develop and conserve culture, to promote the area, and to encourage all Phuket residents to contribute to the promotion of the Phuket Old Town, but for locals the main objective is to have pure unadulterated fun for people of all ages.
The festival seems to bring the extravert side of Phuket residents out with parades, live music weird and wonderful costumes, sales promotions and a unique balance between old, traditional values and the more brash side of modern celebrations.
This year, the four main streets of the Old Town had themes: Thalang Road was about ‘stories of the past’; Krabi Road focused on ‘stories of the present’; Phang Nga Rd was about ‘stories of the future’, and Dibuk Road had clothes and food for sale made by the Thai Peranakan Association. Activities usually start at around 15:00 and run until midnight during the festival.
If you wish to join in and drive a car, it should be noted that traffic in town is usually chaotic and it really is best to park on the outskirts and walk into the centre.