Phuket Island Phuket Island has many interesting places to visit, many of which are easy to reach by motorbike or car. Another enjoyable way is to hire a tuk-tuk or one of the "green license" private taxis for all or part of a day. Many of these drivers have their own favorite places to recommend. Do be sure you have negotiated the charge for the vehicle (not per person) before you start your adventure.
Please take the time to explore and you will be rewarded by sights and lasting impressions of the present and the past.
The beginning of the tin boom during the nineteenth century led to construction of many fine old mansions and shops still being used and described as Sino-Portuguese architecture. These buildings have a strongly Mediterranean character. The shops present a very narrow face on the street but stretch back a long way, some completely through to the next street. Many of these shops, especially those along Dibuk Road, have old wooden doors decorated with Chinese fretwork carvings. Other streets, principally Phang-nga Road, Yaowarat Road, Thalang Road, and Krabi Road are often referred to as 'Old Phuket Town'. Currently a stroll along these streets will bring you to fascinating hardware shops, interesting eateries, mercantile shops with fabrics and several artist galleries. Old Phuket Town festival days have broadened into weekend fairs and interesting nighttime lighting. A walking tour of the area is easy and delightful.
Sapan Hin Park in Phuket Town Phuket is actually a land reclamation project that provided abundant new land now used for parks and public facilities located where Phuket Road meets the sea in eastern Phuket Town. At the entrance is a roundabout circle with the Tin Mining Monument, shaped like a large drill bit and dedicated to the memory of Captain Edward Thomas Miles, the Australian who brought the first tin dredge to Phuket in 1909. The monument was built in 1969 on the occasion of 60 th anniversary of tin dredging in Phuket. Within this large park is the Phuket Sport Center with several gyms, swimming pools and sport fields. At the extreme end is an interesting temple. This very large park is a popular "hang out" for friends and families wanting to enjoy nature and the fresh sea breezes. There's always some tasty food vendors in the area. (Sapan is the Thai word for bridge while Hin means rock.)
Koh Sirey Island is separated from the mainland of Phuket by the Klong Ta Jin (klong in Thai means canal), which is a shallow mangrove swamp where local people go to feed the wild monkeys in the early evening. Sirey Island is a twenty-square-kilometer island connected by a causeway to the city. Wat Koh Sirey on the hill has a large Reclining Buddha and provides fine views of the surrounding areas. Phuket's largest settlement of Sea Gypsies known as Chao Lay are on Koh Sirey at Laem Tukkae. Swimming in this area is not good because of the muddy bottom although it's an excellent place for collecting some shellfish. There are some popular seafood restaurants on the Eastern Shore.
If you want to see Phuket's commercial fishing fleet and seafood trading center this is the area to visit. Getting there early, about 06:30 AM - 7:00 AM, you can see many styles of Thai fishing boats tying up as they finish their work day after having offloaded their catch. To see the sales of the seafood you'll need to be here between 03:00 AM & 9:00 AM. This general area is called Rassada Harbor and it is from here that the ferry boats depart to and arrive from Phi Phi Island.