Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old Phuket Town: Vintage Charm

Drop the word Phuket during a conversation with backpackers who haven't been to Thailand and there's a high probability that you'll get dreamy stares backed up with oohs and aahs from sun worshippers amongst the group. Phuket is indeed synonymous to tropical island cliches: Swaying coconut trees, white powdery sand, and lagoons from cyan to royal blue.

Thalang Road, old commercial center of Phuket Town. Gracefully aging shop houses lined the street.

But if you're like us who became peculiarly jaded of paradise after backpacking for five weeks around Southeast Asia, you might also be on the hunt for underrated gems, overshadowed by destinations heavily marketed by travel agencies. Like us, you're prolly browsing blogs by indie travelers and joining a Phuket forum to dig up something different.

A cafe decorated with interesting antique pieces.

And what a vintage charm we found! Our Phuket Town visit left us enchanted. We were lured to stay a day longer than planned. A stroll along Thalang, Dibuk and Krabi Road made us travel back in time when the Portuguese and British were in town not as soul searching travelers but as traders. The tin boom provided riches to merchants, locals and foreigner alike, hence people were able to afford European inspired mansions and shop houses more than a century ago.

Today admission to these structures are free. A lot of them are still shophouses, while some were converted to theme cafes, galleries and museums. The streets are far from bustling and are waiting for you, the off-the-beaten path traveler, to trudge on them soon.

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18 comments:

Ding said...
July 29, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Charming, indeed! the old buildings remind me of old Kuching City in Sarawak.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 29, 2011 at 9:06 PM

Me too Ding. Except Kuching shophouses are more colorful.

Axel said...
July 29, 2011 at 9:59 PM

I've been to Bangkok but I believe are a lot of places in Thailand that is better. Phuket would be a nice place to visit on my next trip in Thailand.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 29, 2011 at 10:19 PM

Phuket's nice but a bit more expensive than the other southern islands.

Supertikoy said...
July 30, 2011 at 1:23 AM

wow parang may kakaibang charm ang part na 'to ng Phuket...kakaiba siguro parang Melacca pero mas maganda lang hehehe

pinoydaysleeper.com said...
July 30, 2011 at 1:40 AM

ganda nga photos. lagi na lang. hehe

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 30, 2011 at 8:15 AM

Jerome, haven't been to Melacca. And would love to see it someday.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 30, 2011 at 8:18 AM

Pinoydaysleeper, haha! Thanks! Di naman lagi. The not-so-good shots aren't published. Lol.

LaiMarie | PinayTravelista said...
July 30, 2011 at 8:13 PM

I just love your blog PinatTravelJunkie.. Super idol kasi kita.. hikhikhikhikhik..^^

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
July 30, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Thanks for following our adventures, Lai Marie! Happy trails!

Nomadic Samuel said...
August 1, 2011 at 2:57 AM

Old Phuket town certainly has a lot more charm than what most think and IMO is quite under-rated. I ended up staying there instead of the nearby tourist beaches.

Pinay Travel Junkie said...
August 1, 2011 at 8:09 AM

Just like us Samuel! Thanks for dropping by.

lakwatsera de primera said...
August 1, 2011 at 1:59 PM

Hope to explore every nook and cranny of Phuket one day, both the touristy and the overshadowed gems.

Seair said...
August 5, 2011 at 9:53 PM

I have been to Bangkok but never Phuket, and like you first stated in this blog, i was indeed just interested and knowledgeable about their beautiful beaches. This is exactly why I love your blog! I always learn about a new place that I never even knew existed :)

Jenn Jilks said...
August 16, 2011 at 5:04 AM

Beautiful shots, all. Thanks for visiting!

Surin Beach Phuket said...
September 1, 2011 at 10:53 AM

Thank you for posting.
I've been looking at some of the posts on this website to get an idea about travel in Phuket for my next vacation.

grasya said...
September 18, 2011 at 3:53 AM

I'm based in Northern Thailand and have yet to explore the south.. i guess its time ^_^

Patong Guesthouse said...
February 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Thanks for sharing your experience, Keep posting and good luck with your post!

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