Historical buildings and Walking Street in the Old Town of Phuket

Although Phuket Old Town is located in the heart of Phuket City, the district deserves its own article. First of all we got to know our coconut-granny there, who has interesting stories in store. Secondly there is a walking street with streetfood on the weekend. Oh and thirdly it is beautiful there even during the week.

From our accomodation or better dosshouse, right across from Phuket Hospital we walked. It is only three kilometres and there are even sidewalks. That was new for us. 

The townscape of Phuket Old Town

Phuket Old-Town can be recognized by the well-known and lovingly maintained houses. They are characterized by the Portuguese architectural style and give this quarter its unique character. Old buildings have been restored and now serve as museums or residential buildings.

In the streets there are beautiful hostels, exquisite gastronomy and of course our coconut granny, which we met later. There are also old chinese houses that fit exactly into the cityscape.

In the streets of the old town you can even find real handicraft, like the old printing houses or studios. Phuket Old Town is full of history and worth a visit if you want to see something different from Phuket. During the week there is not much going on and the city invites you to stay.

Food and shopping in Old Town

Already in the streets in front of Old Town the shopping possibilities line up and at every corner one gets a snack or a shake. Not only the shops are nice, but also the offered products. A lot of value is placed on handmade products. Batik clothes, self-carved soaps, decorated coconut shells for example. Everything without aggressive advertising. This does not take place in Phuket Old Town at all, even the Tuk Tuk drivers and mototaxis are very reserved.

The further you go towards the middle of the district, the higher the prices will be. The restaurants are a bit too expensive for us backpackers The places looked very nice and had been completely renovated just like the other houses in Old Town. We enjoyed spending a few relaxing hours here.

There is no comparison to this on weekends, especially on Sundays. Then Thalang Road is closed off and a big market is opened. Also known as the Walking Street.

Wat Mongkol Nimit

The Buddhist temple in Phuket Old Town Wat Mongkol Nimit, like many temples in Southeast Asia, is located right next to a school. Those who visit it in the afternoon after school, experience the most lively and chaotic moments of the day. A great entertainment program with lots of laughing and curious children.

Wat Mongkol Nimit
Wat Mongkol Nimit

The temple itself was nothing special, but we liked the atmosphere there very much. We found the interaction of monks, parents and children inspiring.

The best coconut in Phuket Old Town

After visiting the temple we decided to walk back to the city. The way was not unknown to us, but we became aware of a funny stand at the roadside. A decorated coconut with sunglasses. When the owner stood in front of us with a laugh, we knew: Here we want to have a coconut.

It was the first time that we got a spoon for it and I felt a bit stupid, that I always disassembled the coconut completely, although it is great to spoon. It was served to us by an older lady whom we lovely call our coconut granny. She speaks perfect English and could even impress with a few German and Russian sentences. A really well-read and very intelligent woman, whose stories and wisdom we liked to hear. To this day we take her advice to heart:

“Stay healthy. Drink coconut every day”

Our coconut granny from Phuket

Coconut is one of the healthiest foods in the world and is full of vitamins and natural electrolytes. We still love coconuts and can’ t even imagine being in countries where there are no coconuts.

On the day of leaving Phuket City we made our way to her again, because the local bus departs from the Ranong Road, which is located in Phuket Old Town. We enjoyed not only one last tasty coconut, but also the extra service of stopping the bus for us at the road. With our heavy luggage a real blessing, but also a new impression of how it works here in Thailand. Just wait for the bus and get on. Provided one you can read Thai, otherwise you better walk to the bus station.

The Sirikit Park and the B Cat Cafe

Sirikit Park is just around the corner and was built in honour of the Queen. We walked to the post office – sending a package from Thailand to Germany is an own story – and took the chance to rest there for a few minutes and let the famous dragon with the fin work its magic on us.

Just a few meters further on we discovered the next highlight. The B Cat Cafe is one of the special places in Phuket Old Town. Besides cake and coffee there is also Thai food, which is all secondary. Because in the B Cat Cafe live like the name already says in about 30 cats.  Since we wanted to go to the post office early, the cat house was unfortunately still closed and was just being cleaned. But we were able to watch the cats behind the window looking after a water jet.

That entertained us so well for a while that we wanted to go back later. At that time we didn’t know that our package would keep us busy a little longer.

All cat lovers are therefore advised to visit us after 11:00 a.m., except on Mondays when there is a rest day at the B Cat Cafe in Phuket Town. You can also find an interesting article about the cat house on Phuket.com.

That was it now in Phuket. Despite our sparse accommodation we had a great time with beautiful experiences. Now we go with the local bus to the pier and from there with the longtail boat to our first island Ko Yao Noi. I hope you are there again.

In the dosshouse of Phuket Town

From Naiyang Beach we went on to Phuket City. We wanted a little bit more action after the cosy beach days. But above all we were interested in the temples, the famous beaches Patong and Karon Beach as well as Phuket Old Town. But already at the arrival we were shocked.

The trip to Phuket City took almost an hour, was very comfortable and with 500 Baht extremely fair. You will probably not get this price directly at the airport, about 600-800 Baht should be usual. The airport bus would have brought us for 200 Baht. From the bus terminal to the hostel in the glowing heat one hour with full luggage, we avoided that. We are still getting used to it.

In Phuket City some surprises are waiting for us. For the first time Asian city life with street dogs, noise and stench was already much for Jana. But the biggest surprise was our new accommodation, which we don’t want to name here by name. First of all, we do not recommend our hosts in Phuket City.

The dosshouse of Phuket city

The entrance to the hotel led through a restaurant and not a soul was to be seen. We got uncomfortable from a bad smell, which we could not assign at first. Only later in the evening did we discover the rotten Durian, who gave her the name Stinkfruit ?this disgusting stench all over the house

Somewhat reluctantly and listlessly a boy led us to our room. At first sight the room was clean. It contained nothing more than a mattress, a trash can, a shaky clothes rail and a wall fan. So we checked in and thankfully said goodbye to our hostess and taxi driver. She had stayed with us for so long to make sure that we were well taken care of. Dear people in the Baan Rom Pruk. We can really recommend our first hosts at Naiyang Beach.

(War sie wirklich gammelig? Ich glaube nicht )

Our room in Phuket City

The mattress lying on the floor is covered with unwashed bed linen. The musty smell and the stains are not very inviting. We decide to take out the sleeping bags for a first nap. That’s exactly why we bought them. The heat in the room is bad, so first we go to the toilet and take a shower.

The toilets take getting used to for us Europeans. There is no toilet paper and if you had some, you shouldn’t throw it into the bowl, but into the bucket. It smells like this. But there are practical small showers, which are meant to clean the bottom, but work at least as well to spray the place before and after the business. Well, you get used to not having toilet paper over time.

We didn’t want to get used to the dirty showers, the stinking garbage and the tank, in which a blue toothbrush cup was doing its rounds for a week. Nevertheless we had at least two showers a day.

The fire chef

After a nap of some hours, we were really hungry. In the immediate neighbourhood all the cookshops and the food stalls were only with meat, so we had to walk some meters through the unknown Phuket at night. The street dogs didn’t want anything from us, but in packs they were a bit scary for Jana. After some kitchens the fire cook caught our eye. He really enjoys lighting his kitchen, as you can see on the cover picture. He also saved our evening with twice fried rice with vegetables for 50 Baht. Water on ice and a fire show was for free.

The nights in Phuket Town

In front of the guesthouse is a small brake hill, which misses its purpose. It is used for jumping. Who has never been in Thailand before: Mopeds and scooters can be loud, very loud, at night even louder. Sometimes we thought there would be a motorcycle race outside. The police of Phuket has its buildings like tourist police up to the forensics in this street along, but the traffic police is seldom at home or takes at the Patong Beach scooter driving tourists some money. In the article Scooter driving in Thailand we write about it in detail. For all, which have fun on two wheels, whether scooter or bicycle.

Oh, but that wasn’t all the noise. After a short arrangement our neighbour had a loud conversation with an Italian roommate. She often had fun with guests behind the thin wall in the next room and last but not least there were the mobile phone alarm clocks at every imaginable time, from onward travellers or the Thais, who were on work in the opposite hospital. Ringing sometimes an eternity, probably because they use Ohropax themselves. We also had Thai TV in the evening and smells of the actually forbidden room kitchens.

Stay positive

We don’t want to complain too much, it was just a shock after our great accommodation and we were disappointed by the staff. On the other hand, we appreciate how well we are doing. We can move on, but for other residents this guesthouse is their home. It is one of the cheapest accommodations in Phuket City and for many the only possibility to live near their place of work. Especially for the young women it is a chance for a better future.

The cheap and plentiful breakfast was by the way the best of the accommodation. There was rice with vegetables or tofu and – unfortunately we noticed it too late – some fish sauce for 40 Baht. We also got water and spices. In the article Food in Thailand more about vegan and vegetarian food and what to do if it goes wrong.

Rang Hill and Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham

We got up very early for our first temple visit in Thailand. First of all we wanted to capture the beautiful light in the morning on pictures and secondly you get a sunburn quickly in the midday hours.

From the accommodation it went only a few hundred meters steeply up a mountain to Wat Khao Rang Samakkhitham. Some monks were just driven up by scooter and I can’t blame them, it is already quite hot around this time.

Before we climb the stairs to the temple, we change in the toilets. Fortunately I have Zip-Off trousers and my T-shirt is sufficient. It is important that the knees and shoulders are covered. In the article Temple Visit we have summarized some rules and tips for you.

Our conclusion and how it continues with us

The accommodation in Phuket City had positive sides beyond breakfast. The short walk to a beautiful temple, the Rang Hill Viewpoint and the central location at a reasonable price. Better said, it is one of the cheapest accommodations in Phuket.

For us this experience was enriching. It has hardened us both for what is yet to come. Our next adventure was the journey to Ko Yao Noi with the Phuket Local Bus. We hope you will join us again.