Phuket Old Town Adventures

karon-beach-road I am not the type of girl who likes to sit still and being on holiday is no exception to this. From the moment the holiday is booked I am researching places to go and things to see, if I do go to the beach it is usually to swim and snorkel. I just can’t sit out sunbathing all day when I am surrounded by so many interesting places and things to do.

I had read about Phuket Old Town on another blog, written by a guy called Jamie Monk- he lives in Phuket so his blog is jammed pack with interesting and local things to do.

So after reading about Phuket Old town I was intrigued and itching to go, so we got up early, packed our rucksacks and headed to the Old Town. We of course caught a songthaew bus, having used it several times already to travel around the Karon area, we thought we had caught the hang of it, but we waited on the wrong side of the road. Oops. Oh well.

I loved riding on the songthaew as it was cheap (35 baht each way) and you were able to catch a glimpse of local life, although out of respect I didn’t steal any snaps. Just of ones of us.

songthaew

Arriving at Phuket Old Town we quickly got lost, so it is worth taking a map and checking the areas you want to visit.

During the 18th century, Phuket’s main industry was tin mining carried out by the Hokkien Chinese, who largely developed the Old Town part of the city. However during the early 20th century major European mining companies came to Phuket and major public infrastructure (roads, canals, buildings) was built. As a result the old town displays many Sino-Portuguese style buildings, particularly the shop-houses on Thalang road. It was this unique architecture that I was interested in seeing.

thaland-road2

The shop-houses were a place where families would live and run their business, using the front for trading and remainder for living. Many of  the old shop-houses still stand today including the old display cabinets which hold interesting old treasures.
old-town-phuket-shop-house phuket-old-town-shop-doors old-town-tiled-floor

It was so interesting and colourful walking along Thalang road and its branching streets. I wanted to take hundreds of pictures. The below pictures were of Soi Rommani road, just off Thalang.

thalang-road2 soi-rommani2 soi-rommani-phuket

Although due to the stifling heat, my photographer (aka Jun) wasn’t as willing to work behind or in front of the lense….

soi-rommani-road

Our early eagerness meant that we arrived at the Old Town at midday, during the blistering, hottest part of the day! So we quickly looked for a place to cool off and refresh.                             This building caught our eye… B Cat Cafe

b-cat-cafe-b-shady-restaurant

photo courtesy of phuket.com

As we approached we realised that it was a cat cafe, one side being a normal cafe and the other being a cat kingdom. I had read about these in Japan and recently London, where you can have a cup of tea or a slice of cake while petting some pretty cats. Jun is a huge cat lover (despite us owning the cutest dog, called Maple) so we had to check it out.

B Cat Cafe, had strict rules. We had to remove our shoes and put on slippers and sanitise our hands before entering the cat area. We also had to buy at least one slice of cake and a drink each. An enforced cake rule! count me in! I chose chocolate naturally.

b-cat-cafe-coffee

b-cat-cafe-cake

I messed up the cat face in my eagerness to eat!

This was the greediest and cutest cat at the cafe. It immediately zoned in on my cake (cats were not allowed to share your cake) and I had to eat on my lap to stop it from sharing.

greedy-cat There were also several rules regarding the cats well-being which included not waking them up, picking them up or pulling their tails, although I had not intended to do any of these, it was good that the cat’s well-being was in mind. They were pretty well looked after and seemed to have a great time relaxing in air-con bliss.

b-cat-cafe-catb-cat-cafe-persianmaine-coon-cat2

Not feeling completely full, after only eating a slice of cake, we popped into a modern cafe on Thalang road called Eleven Two and Co and had some amazing dumplings.

eleven-two-and-co

too busy eating to take lots of pictures

We then had a final wander around the Old Town, where I was able to find some souvenirs, before catching the songthaew back to Karon.

walking-thalang-road

There was definitely more to see in the Old Town but it was so hot, and the journey took an hour on the bus, so we headed back to the hotel to recharge.

chilled-cat

I hope you have enjoyed reading about my adventures in Phuket, it is such a wondrous place and one day we might return to explore all the many islands.

Leave me a comment about your adventures, I’d love to hear about where you have travelled.

Thanks for reading xx

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