Thailand: Phuket City, Part 2

Sultry, lively, and with an abundance of activities, Phuket City in Thailand is a magnet for foreigners.

Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia

Part 1 for more travel tips on Phuket includes where to stay in Phuket city but also details visas and money tips while in Thailand.

After initially travelling through Thailand for two months, taking a flight to Myanmar for a month’s overland travel, return again to Thailand for the third month of more amazing travel. The three-month wonderful Thailand route so far.

Following a very long thirteen-hour journey and border crossing from Georgetown in Malaysia to Hat Yai (Thailand) on a bus, followed by a cramped minibus to Phuket Town in Southern Thailand, today should have only taken around 9 hours. But, travel in 2014 doesn’t always go to plan and today’s very long travel day is just one example.

Where is Phuket City?

Nestled in the picturesque south-eastern end of Thailand’s popular and largest island – Phuket – the city of Phuket (also known as Phuket Town) is the capital of Phuket Province.

Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia

As one of the oldest cities in Thailand, Phuket city boasts ten streets with colonial architecture known as Sino-Portuguese shophouses similar to townhouses.

Heritage buildings in old Phuket date back to the 19th-century and remind visitors of a more affluent time when tin mining on the island of Phuket flourished.

Most visit Phuket for its magnificent beaches – albeit crowded – and surrounding beautiful picture-postcard islands encompassed by turquoise becalmed waters. Although on this visit, absorbing intriguing architecture is the main objective.

What to see

The obvious renowned sights around Phuket are its beaches, Chalong Bay (B30 by Songthaew), and Kamala (B50 by Songthaew), which are good day trips if you are based in Phuket Town.

Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Photoshoot during breakfast – check out the shady character in the background!

Catch a Songthaew – two or three-bench pick-up truck – to almost anywhere you need to go around the area. Songthaews are abundant and ply the streets looking for passengers.

Songthaew, Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia

These often crammed pick-up trucks randomly stop along many roads to pick up and drop off passengers, but designated stops for all Songthaews are still in the market area on Ranong Road.

Songthaew, Khao Lak, Phuket, Thailand, SE Asia
Loaded down

If you wish to dabble in diving, snorkelling, sailing, and windsurfing to name a few activities, then a myriad of instructions and equipment are on offer.

Old Phuket

You cannot leave Phuket City without a visit to the impressive and historical old town.

The 19th Century saw the beginning of the tin boom in Phuket’s intriguing old town, which led to the construction of many fine mansions, shops, and other buildings that are still standing. Most are well-preserved.

colonial building, Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Thalang Road

The architecture in the old town is described as Sino-Portuguese with a strongly Mediterranean character. You can see many shops, especially along Dibuk Road graced with grand Chinese fretwork carving, on old wooden doors.

colonial building, Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Thalang Road

Take the time to do a little walking tour around Old Phuket as this is an easy walk and you will experience delightful architecture along the way. Especially at night, on Thalang Road when colonial buildings are lit with striking constant-changing colours creating a gorgeous canvas of varying hues.

Where to eat

Try the Kopitiam by Wilai on 18 Thalang Road for authentic and great Thai food at good prices. There isn’t any exception when it comes to a reduction in spiciness for Westerners. So, expect an original scrumptious, spicy, and traditional experience for the taste buds.

chilies, Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Thailand’s popular and classic ingredient

If you love beer, then Chang beer is sold at a cheaper price at the market (B60) than in other pricier restaurants in Phuket Town.

Ape, Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Reminiscent of the Ape – found more in Italy than in Thailand!


In 2014, the market was held on Friday and Saturday nights. Down from the Tint Hotel, the market area is great for cheap delicious treats to curb any traveller’s hunger pangs.

Market seller Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Family delicacy stall – Friday and Saturday night markets

Many locals frequent these markets so you know that prices are genuinely cheap. A buzz surrounds the stalls while everyone barter’s hard for a bargain.

Market seller Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Goods for sale – lovely smiles for free

Why not try a pedicure or some waxing? Both are carried out while you sit on a tiny stool by the roadside, and out in the open. You can also buy great souvenirs and stylish clothes at super cheap prices at this market.

Market seller Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Market leg waxing

Street performers and artists also perform along the main market street so it’s a great night out.

Market seller Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Waiting for a customer

You can have anything done at this market – a wild thought!

Market seller Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Street manicure

7-Eleven tip

Although I am not a big fan of store chains because I believe they drive local businesses into the ground. When you travel through Thailand, you cannot but help notice the 7-Eleven chains that grace (invade) almost every corner of the country. Whether in a city, town, or a small village, you can be assured of bumping into a 7-Eleven store, which is constantly busy.

This chain is cheap, convenient, and typically used by locals, as well as foreigners. Actually, apart from a plethora of available convenience items, you can pick up tasty fast foods (chicken meatballs, sticky rice burgers, Gyoza, sandwiches, and loads more), which staff are happy to microwave on the spot. Handy for a quick snack when running to catch your next bus.

Many items sold in this store are cheaper than in supermarkets and even some roadside food stalls.

Travelling from Phuket City to Khao Lak

From Phuket City Number One bus station, the orange bus drops you off along the very long Highway 4, in Khao Lak. So, make sure you know exactly where your hotel is, otherwise, you will be backtracking on foot miles out of your way with heavy packs.

Why Khao Lak? For some door-knocking (cold-calling) to hopefully pick up volunteering work. My partner wants to offer his services for free to clear landmines and if this isn’t possible, then hold lessons in Mine Risk Education (MRE) – read about his training in Kosovo. As for me, I’m hoping to volunteer in whatever is required.

Visit Nilla’s Photography for more images. More posts on Thailand at Image Earth Travel.

Phuket Town, Thailand, SE Asia
Fishermen in the bay

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51 responses to “Thailand: Phuket City, Part 2”

  1. gillmorris Avatar

    Great post Nilla and a reminder to go to the old part of Phuket when I visit in August! Thank you and hope you are well xx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Thanks for the great feedback Gill!
      Lucky you visiting in August – bet you’ll have a ball. ๐Ÿ™‚
      All is well here and hope you are also? x

  2. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Another nice trip, “Mate”. So you rode buses from GT in Penang? (Love that place, wanna go back)
    Don’t know Phuket. Maybe another trip?

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      I rescued you from the Trash folder again! ๐Ÿ™
      Bus, scooter, Songthaew, boat, anything to anywhere through SE Asia for around 10 months. The only flight was from Bangkok to Myanmar and back.
      At the start of the trip, flew into Singapore then overland right up to Sapa in Vietnam then flew out of Hanoi. I prefer travelling this way as see much more. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Phuket is very touristy and full of Australians – a cheap get-away from here, but probably not these days – nothing is cheap post-COVID or current-war.
      Another trip sounds smashing!
      Hope all is well…

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        At one point in time, any type of travel is good. I remember going to san Agustin in Colombia by one of those devil-may-care Andean buses… The scare of our lives. Can’t do that anymore, I have developed a bad back that doesn’t take any kind of road traveling kindly. after one hour in a car, I practically have to stop… Such is life. Hopping to your other posts.

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        So weird as this comment ended up in the Trash folder also!

        Andean buses are bone-jarring, to say the least, and did my fair share of those in South America, especially Bolivia.
        Paracetamol and Ibuprofen usually help – I dose up beforehand… ๐Ÿ˜‰
        Sorry to hear you can’t sit for more than an hour in a car – how are you going to fly to Australia then?
        Thank you! Need to check yours out also now.

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I do check my spam folder now. And some do end up there… Just another “procedure” one must remember…
        In Colombia they have barf bags… ๐Ÿคฃ
        It’s the car. The small trepidations of the tyres on the pavement. Once the plane is up, it doesn’t work the same. So I still might make it…

      4. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Ha, ha, that made me laugh – thank you! ๐Ÿ™‚
        Sounds good but don’t think either of us will be going too far anytime soon with this war on…

      5. equinoxio21 Avatar

        I checked the flights to Paris early February. Fares were reasonable. I’ll check them again to see if they’ve gone up.

      6. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I hear all flights have gone up due to the oil “crisis” right now – fuel at the pumps have definitely increased in the last 2 weeks!

      7. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Haven’t checked the flights yet. What’s for sure, is “major crisis ahead.”

      8. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed, we won’t be going anywhere it seems and if we can, flights will be too expensive! ๐Ÿ™

      9. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Well I just checked the flights to Paris again. 25% of what it was a month ago. There must be a mistake… ๐Ÿ˜ณ

      10. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Nope, oil has increased so everything is increasing! ๐Ÿ˜ณ When will it all come crashing down…

      11. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Indeed everything is on the rise. Except portfolios. LOL. This is not getting better… I hope Internet keeps up.

      12. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        …or salaries it seems!

      13. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Well, a major economic crisis is surely on the way, but salaries should be all right. Wars are always “good” for the economy. Lots of stuff damaged to rebuild, lots of weapons to build… Grrr. (The great depression of ’29 was only really “solved” by WWII. Keynes didn’t really do as well as is usually told.)

      14. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Exactly! When will it all stop and the world can live in peace…as long as war is a money churning machine, the world will never be free of wars – not in our lifetime anyway. ๐Ÿ™
        On that note, I’m having a glass of wine!

      15. equinoxio21 Avatar

        ๐Ÿท ๐Ÿท

      16. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Tyres. Hmmm. Tires.

      17. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Indeed tyres vs tires.
        Hope you have an excellent weekend! I’m going to make Involtini for dinner tomorrow for some friends and should be a lovely catch-up.

      18. equinoxio21 Avatar

        That should be nice. As for us we’re spending the week-end at our newly-acquired “country house”, an hour away from the city, 5C warmer and with a small pool. Bliss. (The grandkids already love it.)
        Buon finale di settimana.

      19. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        A new country house? Any pics? Would love to see it…sounds ideal!
        Of course, the grandkids love it – it has a pool. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      20. equinoxio21 Avatar

        The pool was part of the specification. Small but fine. Is your mail on your Gravatar?

      21. equinoxio21 Avatar

        PS. Do you know “laningtons”? Or Lavingtons?

      22. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Lamingtons? ๐Ÿคฃ
        No, I don’t know Lavingtons, why?

      23. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Lamingtons I just heard were a classic of OZ. Never tasted them. Rang a bell to me since in Nairobi we lived in an area called Lavington. Just a similar sound.

      24. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        We even have a Lamington National Park in QLD.
        Was Lavington a lovely area?

      25. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Lavington in Nairobi was gorgeous. Typical posh colonial area. Brit style houses, huge gardens. My parents had a staff of three, including a full time gardener. I think you can imagine the English love of gardens transposed in a tropical climate…

      26. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I remember reading about your colourful youth and Nairobi in one of your posts with gorgeous photos to match.
        Ha, ha, yes, hedging seems to be a fixation even here in sub-tropical Brisbane and nine times out of ten, the house is owned by someone from Britain. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      27. equinoxio21 Avatar

        LOL. Of course you can tell by the accent on the spot.

      28. equinoxio21 Avatar

        All well. ‘cept for the situation in Europe…

      29. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Tragic and horrendous! Don’t think it will stop for a while yet…

      30. equinoxio21 Avatar

        The signals are bad… I have this feeling of Dรฉjร  vu…

      31. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Totally agree with you. I’m worried!

      32. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Aren’t we all. Though I was “talking” to a Finn E-friend earlier this week, she says that not everybody seems concerned. The Finns are. They’re been there before…

      33. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I’m concerned!

      34. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Aren’t we all. (Shaking head in disbelief).

      35. equinoxio21 Avatar

        (Wonder why I always end up in the trash can… weird…)

      36. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        I have no idea and WP can’t tell me either – honestly, I’ve tried to sort this out as it’s most annoying!
        You have a legit WP site and post legit comments but also, you’ve been commenting for years…drives me nuts.

      37. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Don’t let it drive you nuts. It’s a hassle but there are solutions. Are other bloggers thrown in the dust bin too, or am I the only one?

      38. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        You are my main one but then again, you comment the most! ๐Ÿคฃ
        Others get randomly thrown in the bin so there really isn’t any logic to any of it…

      39. equinoxio21 Avatar

        There must be a limit to the # of comments. IF N>5, THEN GO TO TRASH. ๐Ÿคฃ

      40. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Just for you though! ๐Ÿคฃ

      41. equinoxio21 Avatar


      42. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Bizarre – today your comments are coming through!

      43. equinoxio21 Avatar

        We scared them.

      44. Image Earth Travel Avatar


  3. Yetismith Avatar

    The endlessly smiling faces and such a beautiful country.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Totally agree with you!
      Thanks for reading and leaving me a comment.
      Hope all is well with you? ๐Ÿ™‚

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