old Chinese architecture & row houses, with boutique coffee shops & restaurants
How to get the cheapest hotel rates in Phuket? Book Direct.
Hotels love guests who book with them directly, thus cutting out agents and saving $$ for all. The GUARANTEE list on this page shows hotels that have guaranteed, in writing, to discount below the lowest on-line rates for direct bookings.
Check hotels in this list, then contact them directly via the e-mail box on the hotel page. We take no commission.
DISCOUNT ROOM VOUCHERS – absolutely the cheapest rooms available in Phuket – are on offer here for some hotels, but conditions apply. Just click TOP DEALS above. Contact Jade for advice anytime: firstname.lastname@example.org
The heart of Phuket old town is distinctly Chinese, with only occasional flashes of Thai Buddhist temples to remind us that this is Thailand. The town was built as a commercial centre in the mid 1800s by Chinese immigrants who had flooded in to join the booming tin mining industry. At the time the Thai administrative capital was located further north at Talang. The prosperity of the Chinese enclave, however, saw this town boom, first overshadowing then replacing the old Thai admin centre as the provincial capital.
The inner streets of old Chinese row houses have survived, as have many of the grand old mansions that the wealthy Chinese mining tycoons constructed in a blend of European and Chinese styles that became known as 'Sino-Portuguese'. European architects were imported to oversee the design and construction of these elaborate mansions, most of which incorporated elements both Chinese and European.
Over the past generation descendants of the Chinese immigrants have found a new pride in their heritage and have had the best streets of row houses declared protected zones. Many owners have renovated their ancestral homes, while increasing numbers have been turned into trendy boutique hotels, restaurants, galleries etc, giving an entirely new life to the inner heart of the Town.
The authorities began the much-needed removal of the ugly burden of electrical and other wires from the streets in 2012, and by the time you visit many more streets in this historical district should be cleared of this blight.