10 Best Things to Do in Phuket Old Town

If you’re planning a trip to Phuket, or you’re already on our beautiful island, you will likely visit Phuket Old Town at some point. As our province’s capital and largest city, it’s home to numerous cultural and historical attractions, tempting shopping destinations, and family-friendly fun.

Phuket Elephant Nature Reserve is located away from the bustle of the city in lush jungle near the stunning scenery of the west coast, with its postcard-perfect beaches and views across the dazzling Andaman Sea. But while we may feel a world away, it’s little more than a 30-minute drive!

There is plenty to keep you active and entertained in Bangtao and the surrounding areas, including our ethical elephant activities in Phuket. However, we understand the allure of exploring what the city has to offer on a day trip.

With that in mind, we have dedicated this blog to our picks for the 10 best things to do in Phuket Old Town! Scroll down to find out more — and if you have any questions for us, please feel free to get in touch.

Admire the Colourful Colonial Houses on Thalang Road

As you step onto Thalang Road, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported back in time. The charming colonial architecture adorned with vibrant hues of blue, pink, and yellow creates a picturesque setting for a leisurely stroll. The main architectural style on display is Sino-Portgueuse, a mix of Chinese modern and Portuguese influences.

Take your time to admire the intricate details of these well-preserved buildings, each telling a story of Phuket’s fascinating, diverse history.

Immerse Yourself in the Sunday Walking Street Market Experience

Dive into the hustle and bustle of the Sunday Walking Street Market, a sensory experience of sights, sounds, and smells. Wander through the stalls offering everything from local handicrafts and souvenirs to mouthwatering street food. Don’t forget to try some of the delicious local delicacies — read our choices for the best street food in Phuket for an idea of what to expect. But most importantly, soak up every second of this quintessential Thai experience!

If you’re looking for more market options across the island, including here on the west coast, check out our recommendations for the best night markets in Phuket

Visit Phuket’s Fascinating Past at the Thai Hua Museum

Delve into Phuket’s rich cultural heritage with a visit to the Thai Hua Museum. Housed in a beautifully restored Chinese school building on Krabi Road, this museum offers a fascinating insight into the island’s history, including early Chinese settlers, immigrants who travelled to join the tin mining boom, and some of the most influential figures from our island’s past. Explore the exhibits showcasing traditional costumes, artefacts, and photographs, and gain a deeper appreciation for Phuket’s multicultural heritage.

If this sounds like something you would enjoy, we think you’ll love our blog Top Things to Do in Phuket for Culture Lovers.

Jui Tui Shrine

Spot Beautiful Chinese Shrines Around Phuket Old Town

Discover the ornate beauty of Phuket’s Chinese shrines scattered throughout the Old Town, some of which are truly hidden gems. Marvel at the intricate carvings, vibrant colours, and fragrant incense as you pay homage to the deities worshipped by the local community. 

For a truly immersive cultural experience, be sure to visit shrines like:

  • Jui Tui Shrine
  • Shrine of the Serene Light
  • Lim Hu Tai Su
  • Bang Neow Shrine
  • Kio Thian Keng Saphan Hin Shrine

Get the Trickeye Experience at the Phuket 3D Museum

Unleash your creativity and sense of fun at the Phuket 3D Museum. Step into a world of optical illusions and interactive exhibits that will challenge your perceptions and leave you amazed. Get creative with your camera as you pose with larger-than-life artworks and become part of the trickeye illusion!

Loved by kids and adults alike, the Phuket 3D Museum makes a great addition to a Phuket itinerary for a family holiday.

Hike Up to Khao Rang Viewpoint and Take in the Views!

For breathtaking panoramic views of Phuket Town and beyond, embark on a hike up to Khao Rang Viewpoint. Follow the winding path through lush greenery until you reach the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas stretching as far as the eye can see. It’s the perfect spot to capture some Instagram-worthy shots or simply sit back and soak in the beauty of your surroundings.

If you want a meal with a view, you can find Tunk Ka Cafe, Khao Rang Breeze, and Phuket View at the summit.

Pay a (Respectful) Visit to the Monkeys on Monkey Hill

Observe Phuket’s mischievous residents at Monkey Hill. Wander through the lush jungle surroundings as you encounter playful monkeys swinging from tree to tree. Just remember to keep a safe distance and don’t feed the wildlife to ensure a memorable yet responsible experience.

The monkeys are not domesticated, so don’t try to pet them. And keep loose items like sunglasses and phones in a bag, as the cheeky monkeys may try and steal them!

Look Out for Phuket Old Town Street Art

Keep your eyes peeled for the vibrant street art that adorns the walls of Phuket Old Town. From colourful murals depicting local life to thought-provoking graffiti pieces, each artwork adds to the eclectic charm of the area. Take a self-guided tour and discover hidden gems around every corner.

By its nature, street art is always changing, so who knows what you might find! Head to Thalang Road, Soi Romanee, and Krabi Road for some of the best artistic expressions.

Central Festival Mall Phuket interior view

Shop at Central Phuket and Central Phuket Floresta

Indulge in some retail therapy at Central Phuket and Central Phuket Floresta, two premier shopping destinations near the outskirts of Phuket Old Town. Browse through a wide selection of local and international brands, dine at trendy cafes and restaurants, and catch the latest blockbusters at the cinema. Whether you’re looking for fashion, electronics, or souvenirs, you’ll find it all at these neighbouring malls!

We included both Central Phuket and Central Phuket Floresta in our picks for the best shopping destinations in Phuket.

Walk Around Dibuk, Thalang, and Ratsada Roads and See What You Find!

Sometimes the best way to explore Phuket Old Town is to simply wander and see where the streets take you. Dibuk, Thalang, and Ratsada Roads are lined with charming shops, quaint cafes, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Soak up the atmosphere as you meander through the winding alleyways and immerse yourself in the unique charm of Phuket’s oldest neighbourhood.

Young couple traveler walking at Phuket old town in Thailand

Book Your Spot on Our Phuket Elephant Activities!

Now that you know the best things to do in Phuket Old Town, it’s time to plan something even more exciting! No trip to Thailand is complete without enjoying a sustainable, ethical elephant experience. Our own Phuket elephant activities prioritise the health and well-being of our rescued animals, which is why we do not allow bathing or riding. Instead, we focus on observation and education, creating a more meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Browse our range of ethical elephant activities in Phuket and find the perfect fit for your needs. And please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

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