Old Town Orientation Walk, Phuket

Old Town Orientation Walk (Self Guided), Phuket

Phuket City, a tourist mecca on the eponymous island of Thailand, also the capital thereof, is a treasure trove of attractions: exotic Sino-Portuguese architecture, wats (places of worship), historic buildings, and other prominent sights. If you want to take a break from the touristy side of Phuket and explore its profound cultural and historic heritage, follow this orientation walk and enjoy your time in the city to the maximum!
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Old Town Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Old Town Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Thailand » Phuket (See other walking tours in Phuket)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 Km or 3.5 Miles
Author: irenes
1
Clock Tower

1) Clock Tower

A centrally-located spot of town, the Clock Tower is an old edifice built in the late 1900s. It is situated near the Surin traffic circle and can be easily found. If you have difficulties locating it, you can ask any local. Together with other buildings, the Clock Tower forms a great landscape, especially in the evening lights. The tower is coloured in white and is enhanced by the surrounding flowers. Many notable hotels, bars and restaurants are nearby, as well as great shops. One good stop for souvenirs is the Aubergine, where you can find handmade goods.
2
Bang Neow

2) Bang Neow (must see)

The Bang Neow Shrine, also known as Thep Rasi Foundation Shrine and Tao Buang Keng was founded in 1904. It was initially a part of the shrine at Soi Romanee located in the old town of Phuket. The location of the shrine was moved on several occasions owing to various fires. The shrine complex houses 10 different buildings that lie adjacent to each other, making it unusually lengthy. The most important shrine housing the main deity is located at the centre of the structure. The interiors of the shrine have attractive printings that narrate the tales from Chinese literature and paintings that are dominated by the Chinese legendary creature, the Dragon. The columns supporting the shrine have beautifully carved dragons with details so vivid that make them seem lifelike.

The Vegetarian festival is a Bang Neow annual procession which is considered as the epicentre of the Chinese-Thai community celebrations. Firecrackers, breath-taking stunts, pierced faces and music, especially the Ma Song are some of the highlights of this festival. The pain endured by participants during acts like face piercing is considered to bring good luck to all. In addition to other events, the procession includes a parade of statues of emperor gods which gives a glimpse into Chinese tradition.
3
Yameay Mosque

3) Yameay Mosque

Because diverse ethnic groups are present on the island, religious life here is represented by different cultures. Here you can find Hindi and Buddhist temples and shrines, Christian and Catholic Churches, as well as mosques. Muslims make up almost 40% of Thailand's population. A beautiful mosque, located at Phuket City, is Yameay Mosque. It is easily recognized by its white colour and large green domes. The interior decor is breathtaking. Many religious elements and artifacts are kept here. It is the perfect spot to conclude your self-guided tour, so do not miss it!
4
Our Lady of Assumption

4) Our Lady of Assumption

The island has a few Catholic churches: Chapel of the Sacred Heart (Patong), Le Meridien (Karon Noi Beach), and Our Lady of the Assumption (Phuket). Though just a few in number, the churches’ influence is large. Masses are available in two languages, Thai and English. Sunday Mass in Thai takes place at 9 a.m. and Sunday Mass in English at 11 a.m. Services are not available on other days. A visit on Sunday morning, especially with your travel companions, will be an enjoyable stop for you.
5
Suriyadate Fountain

5) Suriyadate Fountain

The Suriyadate Fountain is a great place to stop, take a break, and admire the surrounding architecture. It is situated at the traffic circle with the same name at the western end of Rassada Road. The amazing fountain is designed with fish shapes and ''guns'' that spout ever-clean water. Its position at the traffic circle and its unique design has made it well-known among the city's fountains.
6
Put Jaw

6) Put Jaw

If you want to see the oldest Chinese temple in the city and touch history itself, you should make your way to the Put Jaw Temple. It is a historic and cultural landmark of Phuket. Many local stories and traditions are entwined with the temple. Put Jaw commemorates Kuan Yin, the Chinese goddess of mercy. Though it is not architecturally distinctive, the traditionally-built edifice is not simple either. If you want to help to preserve this temple, you can leave a donation and the guardian will ring in a bell to symbolize your action!
7
Jui Tui

7) Jui Tui

Located on Ranong road in Phuket, hidden behind all the food stalls is the colourful and spectacular 200 year old Jui Tui shrine, a temple of Put Jaw. The word ‘Jui’ refers to water while ‘Tui’ refers to mortar. The shrine was named so since the entrance has a wide canal with lots of water. Dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy, Kwum Im, this is the oldest Chinese Taoist temple in the town. The Chinese styled shrine has intricate detailing of Buddhist temples, ancient dragon motifs on bright wall banners and Chinese lanterns. The exterior appears to be like a headless and tailless turtle. The smell of the incense fills the air in the interiors which depict the Chinese gods.

The Shrine was built in 1911 with a thatched roof by the owner of the garden who gave the Kiew Ong Tai Tae. God Jee Jo, a medium asked the villagers to build the shrine. In 1982, many vegetarian participants joined hands in developing the shrine to give it present strength and beauty. The Sae Yid ( God’s Birthday) and the Vegetarian festival( celebrated in the 9th lunar month) are two annual events held by the Jui Tui temple. The shrine is the birthplace of the October Vegetarian Festival which is dedicated to the Vegetarian God, Kiu Wong In. This 9 day ritualistic festival is observed for bringing good fortune to the devout Buddhists.
8
Pithak Chinpracha House Museum

8) Pithak Chinpracha House Museum (must see)

Another destination that makes it to the list of the hidden treasures of Phuket is the Pithak Chinpracha House Museum. Unlike the popular overly published tourist destinations in Phuket, the Pithak Chinpracha House manages to offer its visitors a romantic escape cut out from the noise of the city. Located at 98 Krabi Road, this elegant mansion is worthy of a visit.

Pithak Chinpracha, also known as Tan Ma Siang, built this edifice in the early 1900s with the vision of living here along with his entire family. The construction was started in 1904, and every little detail of the structure was looked into personally by Pithak Chinpracha. Such was his enthusiasm to build a perfect home, that he specially brought the lead carpenter all the way from Penang to head the project. The resultant magnificent, peaceful hideaway he desired, cost him a whooping B 500,000, which was quite a sum in those days.

The mansion has housed many families over the years, and still preserves the romantic feel that inevitably captivates everyone who visits the place. Adorned with a beautiful garden, this little mansion turned museum has a little something for everyone.
9
Shrine of the Serene Light

9) Shrine of the Serene Light

If you love discovering places and enjoy different facets of a city then Phuket is just the place for you. The city is filled with hidden treasures that are waiting to be discovered and one such place is the Shrine of the Serene Light.

Small but breathtaking, the Shrine is one place that seldom makes it to the tourist map. One reason for this was that, until recently, the Shrine has been hidden behind a cluster of shops and small crowded alleys. It was only after a recent attempt to revamp the entire place, that the Shrine has got a decent entrance to welcome its devotees and visitors.

Located in the old town, off the Phang Nga Road, the Shrine was built by a local Hokkien Chinese family in 1889. Since then, the Shrine has always opened its doors for devotees and curious visitors. Even though it is located in one of the busiest districts of Phuket, one can immediately feel the peace and calm after entering the shrine. Filled with beautiful sculptures and paintings, one can even see the old mural speaking of the glories of the local Chinese hero "Si-in-Gui". Accessed via a small lane next to the On On Hotel, the Shrine of the Serene Light is a must visit in Phuket.
10
Soi Rommanee

10) Soi Rommanee

With the sandy beaches, peaceful temples, warm climate, friendly people and luxury that can fit anyone’s budget, Phuket has it all; no wonder it is one of the most popular holiday destinations.

Amidst all the popular attractions scattered around the city, are the smaller, lesser known attractions that sweep you off your feet in Phuket. One such place is the Soi Rommanee! Considered as one of the hidden treasures of this holiday paradise, the Soi Rommanee is a must visit for those who adore architecture, history and, of course, photography.

Located on the Talang Road, the area is filled with row houses that date back over a hundred years. In those days, this area was one of the busiest neighborhoods in the town, and why not, it was the city’s popular brothel! In fact, Rommanee, itself translates to happiness. Although very popular in the old days, as time progressed the locality got deserted with many of the buildings neglected. However, today, the area is fast growing into a trendy residential hub seeing a good number of the row houses retouched and returned to their former glory. If you are lucky you might even spot some rare, vintage cars, since residents of this area just love to collect antiques.
11
Wat Mongkol Nimit

11) Wat Mongkol Nimit

Wat Mongkol Nimit, another amazing Thai Buddhist temple, attracts more than a thousand visitors annually, both tourists and locals. It has a soaring roof with multiple tiers and glass tiling, and numerous glass elements inside and out. Wat Mongkol Nimit is very colourful, like other traditional and conservative temples in Thailand. The colours, chosen not just according to the architect's taste, are very significant and selected with great care.
12
Golden Dragon Temple

12) Golden Dragon Temple

For a change of pace from the architecture you have already seen, we advise you to visit the Golden Dragon Temple. This is a wonderful fountain located at Thalang Road near a little river. The Dragon symbolizes the strength of people to defeat their enemies and the danger enemies bring to the nation. In time the golden temple became one of the main meeting points of Phuket, because it is easily recognizable and simple to find, even for first-time visitors to the city.
13
Provincial Hall (Sala Klang)

13) Provincial Hall (Sala Klang)

For purposes of administration, Thailand is divided into 76 provinces, each ruled by a Governor and appointed by the democratically elected central government. The Governor is responsible for maintaining law and order in the province and his office is called the Provincial Hall or the Sala Klang Changwat in Thai. Most Provincial Halls in Thailand are multi-storied and white colored buildings designed in true Thai styles. A government office, the premises hoist the Thai national flag and house the statue of King Chulalongkorn, who envisioned the division of Thailand into provinces for efficient administration. The Provincial Hall of Phuket is no exception.

Located away from the busy tourist areas of the west coast, the Provincial Hall sits in the quiet neighborhood of the south-east coast of the island of Phuket. An old construction, the intricate architecture of the building gives an impression that it is made of wood. However, closer inspection reveals that the elaborate work on the front façade is actually concrete. In fact, the Hall was one of the first buildings in Thailand to be built in reinforced concrete. It was known to have 99 doors and no windows. With the advent of air-conditioning, windows were installed and wooden doors were replaced with glass ones. The building houses a picture gallery depicting the history of Phuket which can be visited during working hours of the weekday.
14
Wat Wichit Sangkaram

14) Wat Wichit Sangkaram

Among locals, Wat Wichit Sangkaram is known as Wat Kuan. It is a beautiful edifice worth visiting. Bright colours along with traditional architecture that is still impressive make this place a draw for tourists. Wat Wichit Sangkaram is a perfect example of history and traditions, culture and beliefs. Many religious ceremonies are held here, so you may have the opportunity to see one!

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