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Things To Do In Phuket
Phuket of your dreams may be white sands and aqua waters. But the real town is a whole lot more. The city throbs with a Sino-colonial charm, with walks down The Old Town, shopping at the Weekend Market and camping atop Khao Rang. If you are looking at things to do in Phuket Town through your stay, here’s a list of all the amazing options that should make your list.
Phuket was built by tin miners, and developed in the late 20th Century. What the city retains still, is the charm of that time. You must not miss the feel of the Old Town, the historical center of Phuket that boasts of Sino-colonial mansions and beautifully preserved shop-houses. Buddhist temples and Chinese Monasteries crop up every few blocks and you will pass by monks as well as party animals on your way. Drop by cafes as well as bars to taste the real cultural amalgamation of this place. It’s a commercial hub by day and lively hang out after sunset.
Forget the malls and pick up your hats and sunglasses, because Phuket is known for its street shopping. The Weekend market or the Talad Tai Rot sets shop (as the name suggests) on Saturdays and Sundays. Like the famous Chatuchak market of Bangkok, this market comes alive with everything ranging from clothes to live animals, antiques to stolen wares. It is indeed the biggest shopping and dining destination in Phuket. You can also try the Thalang road Walking Street on Sundays for its night fair between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m. for bars, live food counters, souvenirs and crafted jewelry.
You must head to the Khao Rang or the Rang hill to see the islands and the city itself come to life below your feet. The second highest summit in Phuket Town, it houses the first Buddhist Temple ever built in Phuket, called Wat Khao Rang. Pay your respects to the golden sitting Buddha installed here and grab a bite at Tung ka Cafe situated at the top of the hill. Another great expedition could be a trip to Baan Chinpracha. It is a grand Sino-colonial house built in 1903 when the city’s tin mining boom took place. See how the wealthy families of that time lived and feast on the mansion’s architectural brilliance.
The Thai Hua Museum should be on your list to explore the rich cultural heritage of this town. Situated in a Sino-colonial mansion on Krabi Road, it hosts art exhibitions and town festivals. It is also home to a range of exhibition rooms preserving the history of Phuket from its mining days. If you want something contemporary, step into Baan Teelanka, or Upside Down House where you will find everything (including the roof and the furniture) upside down. Or the Trickeye Museum dedicated to the art of ‘deceiving the eye.’ This is most assuredly the funkiest place for photo ops.
If you went to the beach and came back without some snorkeling or surfing, did you even go to the beach? Head to Phuket island and you have a host of exciting water activities to choose from, like jet skiing, scuba diving, snorkeling, diving, canoeing and parasailing.
The nightlife of Phuket Town is happening and subdued at the same time. You could sit outside a cafe sipping coffee all evening or dance the night away in a pub. Both would be equally satisfying. After all those walks and sports if you need some me-time, head to the Old Town cafes or bars and you are all by yourself in a booming party.