Created by Margaret Tully.
Do you think Phuket is only a beach location?
Phuket is not only a fantastic beach location with excellent accommodation and facilities, it also has a brilliant town. Venturing into the town of a place gives you a great sense of the real people and allows your mind to be taken on a journey of discovery that every holiday experience should include. We start from a central park in the town of Phuket, that was created for Queen Sirikit and named after her royal highness. An impressive fountain is sited at the entrance to the park, known as Golden Dragon, it is a large dragon, painted gold and is said to watch over and protect all of Phuket. You will find many of the old traditions being honoured in this way and the people still have the belief in the symbolism of animals and creatures power. At the western end of Rassada Road there is another fountain which has fish and gun sculptures that spout water.
At Ranong Street the beautiful temple of Wat Nua is a very spiritual site to visit, it is not a museum piece, it is very much still a working Buddhist temple. A little known shrine is the Shrine of the Serene Light, which was constructed in the late 19th century by a local family, it is right in the heart of the town centre but hidden down a little alleyway.
You will find many excellent places to eat and drink and the entertainment in the town is fantastic. Don´t go out in the evening too early as the live music doesn´t start until at least nine o´clock. The area of Limelight Avenue which is situated off the New Dibuk Road is a brilliant area to find a few different places to eat and to find entertainment. A lovely place to go is the Sofa Pub, which has fresh, unique light bites to enjoy along with a glass of iced whisky or a cocktail, it is a well patronised place by the local jet-setters who like to relax and unwind. Eatzz Bar & Restaurant offers exceptional food along with live music, again it is a typically Thai experience. For another visually pleasing place to go for a drink, Duke´s Bar is decked out like some New York apartment, it is friendly and relaxing and it really makes you feel welcome.
If you are still hankering after some more history and need to prove to yourself that this place really did exist years ago, then head for Soi Rommanee near to Thalang Road. Here you will find rows of traditional and historical buildings. Some of which have seen better days but others have had a sympathetic face lift. It is becoming like the Portobello Road of London, a previous run down area reinvented and now houses culture hungry types who have a real interest in the history of their town. The town has many shopping opportunities and a lot of them are clustered together so you can really get that shopping fix before heading for lunch and maybe a museum? There are several markets selling fruit and vegetables and also the infamous night markets that sell absolutely everything.
In Phuket, you never find what you expect to find, it is always better than you could imagine and this is definitely true when it comes to the Phuket Trickeye Museum. Here you will find interactive 3D art which gives the illusion that the paintings have taken on a life of their own, come to life, so to speak. You will see familiar art that has been reproduced in a 3D way and paintings depicting giant holes that look real and it is as if you will fall into them, it is quite amazing. Phuket town is a wonderful and vibrant place to visit, with centuries of history under it´s skin. It has evolved into a modern yet charming place.