Phuket’s Old Town Sunday Market
Phuket’s Old Town Sunday Market
The beauty of international luxury living is sometimes found in the most unexpected places. Take for example, a new Sunday evening walking market in the historic Phuket Old Town. For those in-the-know, it provides an ideal opportunity to savor authentic local culture, cuisine and arts – at little cost and as a local would.
PHUKET: A GLOBAL LUXURY DESTINATION
Phuket and its surrounding islands are well-known as a global destination for luxury travel. They have been on the radar of jetsetters for the past 30 years. Much of this legacy started around Kata Beach in 1985, when Mom Tri Devakul opened the Club Med Resort that resulted in regular air routes from Bangkok. Now, thousands of jet setters touch down on the island multiple times per year. Without exception, they continue to snap up west coast real estate with its pristine beaches, romantic sunsets and wind-swept vistas overlooking the Andaman seas. Numerous west coast villas are owned by notable billionaires who jet between investment properties from Bali to Monaco and the US Virgin Islands. Certainly, they
occupy some of the best real estate in the world – and the west coast of Phuket is no exception.
MUCH TO BE GAINED BY LOCAL EXPERIENCES
Unexpected while island hopping via yacht, are the opportunities for local style activities. Such activities include for example, the colorful and exotic local markets. Indeed, to get the luxury of a local, full experience in any one destination, going “off the beaten [tourist] track” provides a wonderful opportunity.Consulting with local, skilled concierge services can considerably enhance the enjoyment of a destination. Shared insider knowledge about native places leads visitors to learn, appreciate and be amazed by local attractions normally missed without such guidance. Irreplaceable local wisdom is a priceless luxury, guiding otherwise blind wanderers to a hidden treasure. With that help, it’s not necessary to spend an entire week searching for the best Muslim food in Istanbul; or for example, the most secluded beach on a popular island destination. A skilled concierge knows the lay of the land – and will provide insightful guidance or suggestions that lead to hidden treasures, delicious food and amazing arts. International luxury living is concerned with optimizing time and experiencing the uniqueness of any destination. Having new international yet local-style experiences broadens our horizons while refining our tastes.
HIDDEN TREASURES ABOUND
Luxury is an experience, occasionally found in the most surprising places. One of these great treasures is found in Phuket Town. About 30 minutes from the west coast tourist meccas of Kata, Karon, Patong, Nai Harn, Bang Tao, Surin and other beaches. Here, we find a totally different type of Phuket attraction. Tucked away among a maze of one-way streets is the iconic, old Thalang Road. On the east end of this historical lane is Queen Sirikit Park, with its giant statue of a golden water dragon rising up from the promenade. That monument represents Phuket’s spirit and geographically, seems to resemble the shape of a dragon itself. Here you will find locals practicing yoga, aerobics or tai chi in a few municipality-sponsored classes. There is an impressive Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) building adjacent, a Chinese Shrine and plenty of locals relaxing in the shade. Further up the road, you will find ancient Sino-Portuguese shop houses that characterize this old tin-mining town. Many years ago, Chinese migrant workers developed the area under Portuguese traders. The Asian and European building styles merged, creating a uniquely nostalgic character that is only paralleled in Penang.
SUNDAY EVENING IN TOWN
The best time to visit is surely any Sunday evening when Thalang Road transforms into a walking market (known as Lard Yai). This nostalgic road becomes lit by colorful neon lights, adding plenty of color to the antique shop houses. The atmosphere is retro, magical and modern at the same time. The street transforms into a lively bazaar, with locals offering handicrafts, local style tapas and entertainment to mainly other locals – of course with a few expatriates, and a handful of lucky tourists who are reveling “in the know.”
Thailand is generally recognized as an easygoing, delectable and celebratory destination featuring great beaches. The Phuket Old Town’s weekly Sunday walking market event provides visitors unique opportunities to enjoy local cuisine, antiques and textiles in an authentic style. This experience every Sunday evening on Thalang Rd., provides another dimension to the international destination of Phuket. The environment among locals enjoying their leisure time feels truly precious. Finally, a sense of being welcomed into the local culture can be savored and you will not be bothered by non-Thai touts. Instead, you will be free to walk as slowly as you wish while soaking up the local atmosphere unabated.
It’s the small things that matter here, a shop full of antique goods or vintage toys; a coffee lounge with local style, minimalist furnishings; a bar cum hostel run by local friendlies; a drum circle or street performance; live music by local teens still sporting their day’s school uniform; or local artisan’s crafts made from recycled materials.
LOCAL CUISINE AT ITS BEST
Thai cuisine is world-renowned. Eating where the Thais dine can be an amazing gastronomic experience. For example, try the Hokkien noodle shop at the clock tower/traffic circle in town, or enjoy the popular roti (Muslim pancake) shop around the corner.
At the Sunday evening walking market on old Thalang Road, delicious delights that locals truly enjoy abound such as papaya salad, mushroom skewers wrapped in smoked bacon, fresh organic berry juices, wheat grass shots, unique forms of green mango salad with fried pulled fish, and Phuket-local styled dishes of battered oysters they call o-tao. For little money, one can enjoy a great atmosphere with hundreds of local crafts for sale along with many of the best street food and drinks you will ever find.
The beauty of international luxury living is found in the small and local attractions. The best of local wisdom and lifestyles is calling, are you listening?