Phuket Town is the capital of the Province of Phuket and is already an attraction in itself. Despite the development it went through since the advent of tourism at the end of the 20th century, it somehow could retain most of its provincial charms but for the traffic jams. The most attractive district of Phuket City is its historical Old Town: a 400,000sqm area delimited by Dibuk Road to the North, Thepkasattri Road to the East, Ratsada Road to the South, and Patiphat Road to the West.
Our Top 10 Attractions in Phuket Town’s list below features nearly all important historical places and sites, as well as more recent additions to the city’s entertainment scenes, and two popular weekly markets that should be on the must-visit list of anyone coming to Phuket.
- 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
Phuket Old Town is the historical centre of Phuket Town (officially elevated to Phuket City since 2004, but its old name is still wildly used). Established during the peak of tin mining industry at the end of the 19th Century and beginning of 20th century, this district hosts superb mansions and beautifully preserved ‘shop-houses’ built in a Sino-colonial architecture. Phuket Old Town’s aspect is rather similar to Georgetown’s in Penang: ‘shop-houses’ with arcades flank both sides of the streets, and Chinese shrines are more numerous than Buddhist Temples.
Phuket Old Town is in constant evolution with the opening of many restaurants, coffee-shops, boutiques and bars, making it a lively place to hang around after sunset; during daytime, it remains an important commercial hub with the two markets held on Ranong Road; and every Sundays, Phuket Walking Street is an extremely popular event held on Thalang Road that attracts thousands of visitors. Read More...
Phuket Weekend Market (a.k.a. Talad Tai Rot or Chao Fah Market) is the equivalent – at a lower scale – of Chatuchak Market in Bangkok: it is with no doubt the biggest shopping and dining opportunity in Phuket. Held every Saturdays and Sundays (hence its name) on Wirat Hong Yok Road (off Chao Fa West Road, one kilometre south of Central Festival Phuket), it covers a 30,000sqm area. In here you could find almost anything in matter of clothing (first and second-hand), souvenirs, pirated items, accessories, and live animals, as well as an entire section dedicated to local food. It is interesting to note that many items also available on Phuket west coast’s resort towns are sold here at far lower prices.
Attracting thousands of shoppers every weekend, this market gives a chance to sample street snacks such as satay (chicken or pork brochettes), fried insects, pastry (colourful cakes), kebab, sushi, dim sum (Cantonese steamed buns), and much more; all this delicious food can be washed down with an ice-cold Chang Beer or a fresh fruit shake. Children also have a reserved section with a huge inflated castle and a small carousel. Phuket Weekend Market gives a glimpse of real Thai life and should be on the must-do list of any visitor in Phuket. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Saturday & Sunday from 16:00 - 21:00
- Location: Phuket Weekend Market is located along Chao Fa West Road, Phuket’s main thoroughfare, one kilometre south of Central Festival shopping mall and is opposite Wat Naka, a Buddhist temple. Take a left at the first set of traffic lights.
Phuket Walking Street is an extremely popular market/fair held every Sundays in the heart of Old Phuket Town on Thalang Road. This 350m-long commercial and cosmopolitan street is already well frequented during the week due to the many shops, restaurants, bars and guesthouses it hosts, but reach an affluence climax from 16:00 until 22:00 during this weekly event; also known as Lardyai Phuket (talaad yai i.e. big market in Thai) Phuket Walking Street is a must-visit for people who would like to get a glimpse into southern Thailand life.
The event gathers an outstanding number of stalls selling an eclectic range of products from handcrafted accessories and souvenirs to clothing to fancy jewellery; great place indeed to find original presents to bring back home. As in any Thai market, food is the centre of all attention at Lardyai Phuket; you could sample here some of the most favourite street snacks such as barbecued squid, chicken and pork, khanoms (Thai sweets), beef and chicken skewers, and even an international touch with a converted songtheaw (Thai local bus) selling hamburgers. Phuket Walking Street is indeed a lively and great Thai-style weekend market. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Every Sundays from 16:00 – 22:00
- Location: Thalang Road in Phuket Old Town
Khao Rang (Rang Hill in English) is the second highest summit in Phuket Town. Located in the north-western part of the city it is covered with lush vegetation and permit to take a breath of fresh air in a peaceful environment. Rang Hill summit is a famous for the views it offers out over the town and to Phuket Island’s south eastern coast and the islands lying off at a short distance (Phuket Big Buddha can also be seen from here).
The other highlights of Khao Rang are a Buddhist temple – Wat Khao Rang – that features a large sitting golden Buddha (the first ever built in Phuket); an exercise park near the summit (slightly overrun but still usable); three restaurants – two of them, Tung Ka Café and Khao Rang Breeze are at the top of the hill while the third one, Phuket View, is located on the way up; and right next to Khao Rang Breeze restaurant, a beautifully landscaped grassy spot for picnickers with a bronze statue of the Governor of Phuket during King Rama V's reign. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily
- Location: two roads lead to the top of Khao Rang: one is right next to Vachira Hospital on Yaowarat Road, and the other starts off Mae Luan Road next to Cham Chae Joo Hoot shrine.
Phuket Trickeye Museum is a recent addition (opened early 2014) to Phuket Town’s attractions scene. This original and family friendly museum is entirely dedicated to the art of trompe-l’oeil (French for ‘deceive the eye’), a painting technique that creates a three dimensional illusion on a two dimensional (flat) support. Set in a large two-storey building at the intersection of Montri and Phang Nga roads, Phuket Trickeye Museum displays a gallery of something like 100 paintings offering great photo opportunities as well as a lot of fun.
Sample photos are available to indicate visitors how they should position themselves in front of the paintings in a way to take the most realistic illusional picture (it also means that the experience is better with friends so you could take each others photos). From classic paintings with a twist to scenes of modern life to historical settings to movie scenes, visitors travel a lot geographically and through time in this highly amusing museum; children especially like it. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 (last admission 20:00)
- Location: at the corner of Montri and Phang Nga roads in Phuket Town, right next to Pearl Hotel Tel: 076-212806, 090-0658822
Baan Chinpracha is a typical Sino-colonial mansion built in 1903 during the Phuket tin mining’s boost that has seen the establishment of the Chinese tin’s baron in Phuket Town. Baan Chinpracha is located off Krabi Road near the western end of Old Phuket Town, the historical district that has been entirely built during this time of economical growth in Phuket.
The owner of Baan Chinpracha is the grandson of one of these tin’s barons; with his wife, they decided to open some parts of the house - two upstairs bedrooms, the kitchen and all of the ground floor area – to visitors interested in having a sneak peek of how a wealthy Phuket family used to live many decades ago. The house is in perfect conditions and features most of its original décor and furnishing. People interested in History and architecture should not miss this heritage building when visiting Phuket Town. Read More...
- Opening Hours: From 09:00-16:30. Private functions are also welcome. It is closed on Sundays.
- Location: 98 Krabi Road. It’s only a few doors from the Blue Elephant Restaurant.
- Tel: +66 (0)76 211 167 and +66 (0)76 211 281
Siam Niramit Phuket is a great theatrical show relating Thai historical, artistical and cultural facts and beliefs in an extravagant yet extremely professionally run performance. Siam Niramit Phuket complex is located just off the By-Pass Road in the outskirts of Phuket Town. Divided in three acts, the show features songs, dance routines and traditional martial arts.
From the stage décor to the lighting to the special effects to the costumes, everything in the show has been very well thought-out, and the result is spectacular and as educational as entertaining. It is suggested to arrive early to visit the surrounding attractions and facilities made of traditional Thai-style houses, a floating market, and souvenir shops. There is a restaurant located at the third floor of the building at which guests can enjoy an impressive view over the complex’s lake and landscaping. Read More...
- Opening Hours: The show runs once a day, six days a week, and is closed on Tuesdays
Show Time: 20:30. Theatre gates open at 20:00. Its attractions and facilities open at 17:30
- Location: Just off the By-Pass Road between Tesco-Lotus Supermarket and the Airport Road junction, Phuket Town.
Baan Teelanka - The Upside Down House is an extravagant new attraction in Phuket. Located on the By-pass Road one kilometre after Premium Outlet Phuket when heading South, Baan Teelanka is a fully furnished three-storey house built literally leaning on its roof. The first impression when visiting this house is that you just went down the rabbit-hole too far: all furniture and even a fish tank (fishes as well swim upside down!) hang from the floor as you walk on the ceiling from room to room; visiting Baan Teelanka is indeed a fun and brain-puzzling experience.
The house’s garden is not upside down (yet) but also offers what could be a ‘timeless’ experience: a maze; you know at what time you enter the maze but you do not know at what time you will get out from it! Baan Teelanka and A-Maze-in-Phuket are real fun and family friendly attractions. Drinks and snacks are available onsite. Read More...
- Opening Hours: From 10:00-18:00
- Location: two kilometres from the North entrance of the By-pass Road.
- Tel: 084-4565279
Thai Hua Museum is set in a splendid well-preserved Sino-colonial mansion located on Krabi Road in Old Phuket Town. Originally used as a Chinese-language school, it went through an entire renovation in 2008 and reopened as a museum the same year. Nowadays it also hosts art exhibitions and is used as an occasional function hall during the annual Phuket Old Town festival for instance.
Built during the Phuket’s tin mining boom of early 20th century, Thai Hua Museum is a large two-storey house that features a dozen exhibition rooms full of displays and information about the History of Phuket and of the actual influential Phuket families whose ancestors came from China to escape poverty. This very interesting museum brings to light a great range of facts and actions that lead to build the Phuket we know today. Read More...
Jui Tui Shrine is a popular Chinese temple that plays a pivotal part in the annual Phuket Vegetarian Festival. Located on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road, not far from Phuket’s main market, it’s a must-see site for all newcomers to Phuket as one of the oldest and the most respected spiritual centres around. Jui Tui Shrine main building itself has been through a number of renovations, resulting in an attractive exterior and interior with three large altars featuring statues of Chinese gods.
Its principal deity is Tean Hu Huan Soy, the god associated with performing artists and dancers (The Chinese opera regards him as their patron). His image is set in the middle and at the highest position on the main altar, accompanied by a statue of a dog and a chicken to each side. They are said to have been his favourite pets since childhood. Photography is allowed inside the hall. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 08:00 – 20:30
- Location: Next to Put Jaw Chinese Temple on Soi Phuthorn, Ranong Road
- Tel: 076-210861