Monday, August 16, 2010

Good morning old Phuket: History and Overview

See the locations on Phuket Old Town Google Map


Picture marhas1

The old quarter of Phuket Town formerly was called Tongkah. It was the home of the Baba Community with mixed Thai-Chinese heritage. Tongkah used to be a mining town. From the 1820s onwards, mining was in the hands of Chinese, especially from Penang in Malaysia. Coastal vessels brought tin from Phuket to Penang, and
returned with food and other goods.

Some guides call the architecture in the old town of Phuket "Sino-Thai". Others name the buildings Baba. Sure they are similar to those you find for example in Penang, Malacca and Singapore, in the British Straits Settlements. Timber, terracotta, lime mortar, lime plaster and limewash have been used as materials for construction. Mostly you will discover shophouses with the shop in front and living and storage rroms in the back. In front of the shops arcades, known as five-footway, offer shade to pedestrians. Read more about the Shophouse Architecture at Lestari Heritage Net.

In 2003 the Old Phuket Town Foundation was formed with the goal of revitalizing the old centre. The old town has been declared 'conservation of cultural heritage zone' by the Office of Environmental Policy and Planning of the National Environment Board. Simce then there is a 12-metre height limit for new buildings - to maintain the shophouses with two to three storeys. Read an article about Phuket's Old Town MOvement by Khoo Salma Nasution.

This blog presents Old Phuket street by street - and the Phuket Old Town Google Map helps you to organzie your personal walking tour. The best time for this: early morning, when the heat of the day has not yet reached its peak.

The streets of Old Phuket
(click on name):
Thalang Road
Soi Rommanee
Dibouk Road
Phang Nga Road
Ratsada Road
Thepkrasattri Road
Krabi Road and Phitak Chinpracha House
Yaowarat Road
Phuket Road
Temples
Hotels and Guesthouses in Phuket Old Town


Read more about the history on Lestari Heritage Net and see ths video by avcphuket

Read Old Phuket - The Tin Legacy by John Leicester.

Take a Historic walking tour of Phuket Town.

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