Phuket Town is a charming city located in the Pearl of the Andaman Sea: Phuket Island. This lovely place is actually the capital city of the island and it combines heritage with modernity perfectly well.
Phuket Town is a must in any tourist's trip to this magical destination; in Phuket Town you will be able to get in touch with authentic Thai culture and history in every aspect: from Sino-Portuguese architecture standing since the 19th century to the amazing flavors of local cuisine.
Without any doubt, visiting Phuket Town will complete the experience of your vacation trip in Phuket; not directly related with the amazing beaches spread all over the island, yet has ownership of its many charms capable of attracting thousands of tourists every year.
What you can know for sure is the fact that in Phuket Town there is not enough time to visit all the wonderful places that deserve to be visited. Any desires can be easily fulfilled in the myriad of museums, temples, parks, gardens, houses, restaurants, shows and more places around the city.
Our intention is to show you the most popular ones, which visit is almost mandatory and you have the final decision of choosing where to go, get around Phuket Town and your vacation trip will be more than pleasant. Be sure to carry your camera fully charged because you never want to start an adventure on a empty battery.
Our top 10 places to visit in Phuket Town combines both attractions to be visited during the day with some others that occur when the sun goes down, so you have a full experience of Phuket by day and night.
No.1 Walk around the Old Town
A great amount of capital cities in Thailand are not very attractive for tourists, as they mostly contain buildings and offices related with the government, banks and only locals live there. However, Phuket Town is not like that. Actually, this lively town has many attractions to show.
The most ancient area in the city is known as Old Phuket Town or Old Town and it is the richest zone historically speaking. A myriad of options are available for tourism in the zone: religious temples, souvenir shops, small cafés, iconic museums and many more.
This zone is flawless to walk around, stopping here and there in the points that catch your attention the most, a good thing about Old Town is that it combines different matters so it will seem interesting for almost any kind of traveler.
The area is not so big, you will be able to cover it in a couple of hours, we may suggest you to do it in the morning when the weather is not too hot and by lunch you may enter in one of the many restaurants and cafés and try local Thai flavors.
During your walk, stop from time to time to refresh yourself with a cold drink and continue your journey. If you decide to see this lovely part of the city during the weekend, do not forget to visit the street markets that work Saturday and Sundays from 16:00 to 21:00, in there you can find from local handcrafting to amazing souvenirs.
No.2 Mind-blowing museums
Not all museums in the world are the same, not all of them are related with romanticism or gothic art. There are plenty of those that do not fit in the classic meaning of a museum, a pair of them are located in Phuket Town.
The Phuket Tricky-eye Museum is an excellent example for this type of museums that are not so common. It is an interacting exhibition of paintings in real size, which makes the perfect spot to get funny photos.
Built in an old movie theater, this museum counts with 100 paintings and sculptures approximately, all made with very realistic techniques easy to cheat the human eye. Even when the paintings are two-dimensional they give the viewer the sensation of 3D, allowing him to interact with the artwork.
It opens every day from 10:00 to 19:00 and it takes around 3 hours to cover the entire museum. It is an ideal plan in rainy days as it is all indoors and the entrance ticket costs 500 baht per adult and 300 baht per child.
Additionally, you find the Upside Down House, also known as Baan Teelanka. It opened in 2014 and since that date it has been an incredible place to visit in Phuket. As the name explains, this building seems to be upside down, everything in it is mind boggling.
With the roof at your feet, get inside of this crazy museum and picture yourself floating in every single room. It is just like any other house in a fancy neighborhood, it has rooms, kitchens, dining room, everything yet it is upside down.
It works from 10:00 to 18:00 and it costs 350 baht per adult and 150 baht per child. Inside the museum you will find coffee shops and souvenir stores.
No.3 Learn in the Thai Hua Museum
Located in Krabi Road in a classic house of the époque, Sino-Portuguese styled, this house is well-maintained and recently renovated. The house now works as a museum with dozen of rooms for exhibition.
In here, it is not about artwork or paintings yet about the Thai heritage conserved inside a house. It perfectly combines all the foreigner influences that affect the lifestyle of everyone in the area.
Here, guides will explain all the historical context around the building of the house and the main purpose of it and especially the great Chinese influence represented from that era and in these days.
It works daily from 09:00 to 17:00 and no previous booking is required, at the entrance you need to pay a ticket or fee, 200 baht for each person. Also, there are some extra details you should know about this place: in order to be allowed to take pictures, you need to pay an extra fee of 200 baht; the parking lot works until 17:30 so you have only 30 minutes till the museum closes to leave the place.
No.4 In touch with nature at the Phuket Zoo
Visiting Thailand without getting in touch with wildlife and taking a photo with an elephant can not count as a complete visit to Thailand? We do not think so, happily for everyone, Phuket has an amazing Zoo wherein a myriad of wild animals in their habitats in very good conditions.
The entire park is very different from a typical Zoo, the environment inside the park is like a lush tropical forest, with giant trees, bridges and a wide variety of animals. Species of fish and birds, monkeys, crocodiles, tigers and, of course, elephants are some of the animals you will find in this place.
Every day, staff of the Zoo performs different shows alongside of some of the animals, perfect to entertain tourists and take the best photos of your trip. Moreover, not everything is related to fauna in here; in the Zoo you will find an incredible Orchid garden too.
Hours of fun are guaranteed where you can also buy snacks and drinks in one of the many shops spread over the ground and rest for a bit. Phuket Zoo opens daily from 08:30 to 18:00.
No.5 Discover the Wat Chalong Temple
Without a doubt, Buddhist religion is an essential part of the culture and heritage of Thailand, same happens in Phuket and in case you really want to know the island, you must visit the most important Buddhist Temple on the island, built in Phuket Town in honor of two of the greatest Buddhist monks.
The entire temple is dedicated to these monks, and its devotion is represented in every part of the building, locals say that part of the bones of the monks are incrusted in some of the walls.
Be aware that despite the fact you are on your vacation trip on an island, your clothing must be accorded to the iconic place you are going to visit; be respectful and wear clothes that cover up your shoulders, waist, belly and legs.
This magnificent temple is open from 07:00 to 17:00 and you will not be asked for money in order to get in. However, there is an extra advice we must tell you and is that we strongly recommend you not to wear expensive footwear as you will probably be asked to take it out and you do not want to lose it.
No.6 Visit a Chinese Temple: Jui Tui Shrine
By far, this temple is one of the most ancient, visited and respected spiritual centers on the entire island. Different from many other temples you may hear about or visit during your trip to Phuket, Jui Tui Shrine has a notable Chinese influence.
Actually, it was built in honor of Chinese Gods; especially in honor of Tean Hu Huan Soy, who is known by being the God of artists and dancers. For this reason, the temple is a place for many acts and performers, which makes the place even more interesting.
A curious fact to know about this place, is that the location where it is nowadays is not the original one, yet it had to be moved after a fire in the first location. Visiting this place will give you opportunities to see locals celebrating their special days and ceremonies.
The entrance to the temple is free, just be careful with your clothing and attitude to not offend anyone. You may take pictures of the areas nearby the temple; yet, ask before taking photos inside the temple to be sure you are allowed to do it.
No.7 Shop around Walking Street
Right in the heart of Phuket Old Town, there is one of the most vivid streets in the city, Thalang Road. In that popular street, every Sunday a street market is held, it is called Walking Street Market.
Let’s clarify, this road is frequented by locals and foreigners every day of the week due to the numerous shops, stores, restaurants and bars that work in the 350m long road; however, the highest point of affluence happens every Sunday from 16:00 to 20:00 when the market works.
A myriad of objects, handcrafting, souvenirs, clothing and exotic things is part of what you can find in this eclectic market. Visiting this place will give you the opportunity to buy the best souvenirs to bring with you back to your home.
In addition, as in any other market in Thailand, food has the main role. In this interesting Walking Street Market you will find hundreds of mini stands where locals sell traditional Thai food, from light snacks to entire meals; you can even find some Thai guys selling hamburgers.
There is no need for paying an entrance fee, just get there and start walking around the little shops and vendors around the street, the experience will be amazing.
No.8 Enjoy the show at Siam Niramit
This place totally screams extravaganza in every aspect. These type of places refuses the theory that states that nightlife in Phuket is only related with partying hard and getting wasted.
The show is divided into three acts, one more entertaining than the other; in a flawless combination among scenario, special effects, lights, music, actors and many more. The spectacle amaze everyone with the theme that relates tales and stories from Thai culture.
Moreover, in Siam Niramit there is more to see than the main performer, it starts at 20:30 and arriving earlier will allow you to stare at the surrounding attractions like traditional Thai houses, a floating market, many souvenir shops and even indoors minor performances.
You can even have dinner in this place before the show begins. In a third floor located an amazing restaurant suitable for having a great local meal, it is served from 18:00 to 20:15, so you are sure to be on time for the main show.
The main show happens once a day while minor ones are performed simultaneously during the night, the park is open the entire week yet it closes on Thursdays and prices are around 1900 baht per person.
No.9 Simon Star Cabaret Show
As you may know, the entire country has a lot of popularity in relationship with Lady Boys or how they call them: Katoeys and Phuket is not the exception. Right in Phuket Town, you will find one of the most iconic Cabaret bars in the island, its main attraction: Lady Boys.
These types of events and venues seem to be interesting for almost any kind of tourist; couples, families, and friend groups come all together to witness these exotic shows that the girls perform every night at Simon’s.
The show is the very best combination among transgender and transvestite dancers, singing and performing full acts for about an hour, and wearing high heels without erasing the smile on their faces!
The presentation is accompanied with a good selection of music, many of the songs are in English and you may have heard them many times, light effects and decorations. The main act happens twice every night, at 18:30 and 20:00; be sure you are on time for any of these performances.
Also, be aware that the scenery is not so big so if you really want to appreciate the show in detail, get there early to ensure yourself good sightseeing.
No.10 Timber Hut
Undoubtedly, this venue is a must visit while travelling to Phuket, it is considered an iconic part of the Phuket Town. Working since 1990, it is a Thai pub wherein live music is played every night to entertain locals and visitors for almost 30 years in a round.
The decoration and style of the place have barely changed during all these years making it more appealing and attractive to foreigners. In here, you will pick a table with your group, grab a cold beer or ask for a cocktail and enjoy the live music being performed that day.
What catches the attention in this place is the fact that it was not designed for travelers yet for locals, so by getting in here you will get to know the way the Thai spend their nights out.
In case you go there in groups, you should ask for a bottle instead of individual drinks; bottles come with extras like coke, ice and soda.
This iconic and exotic place open early at 18:00 and closes at 02:00 every day, getting there is pretty simple as it is located at the northern end of Phuket Old Town.
To sum up, Phuket town collects a very interesting combination of places to visit and activities to do, spending a couple of days in this area will be more than pleasant and this lovely town will remain in your heart forever.
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