The Thalang Road is a popular tourist attraction in the Old Quarter of Phuket Town. A walking market is held on the road every Sunday night from 17:00.
About the Thalang Road
There is more to Phuket than beaches, luxurious resorts and the notorious Patong Walking Street. Phuket also an interesting history and nowhere is this more true than for Phuket Town, which has started to become a popular tourist destination in its own right despite having no beach. Before mass tourism to Phuket began in the 1980s the island’s main industry was tin mining, and the commercial centre of the industry was Phuket Town. The tin mining industry attracted lots of Chinese immigrants and Phuket Town still to this day has a large community of Thai people with Chinese ancestry.
What attracts tourists to Phuket Town is for the greater part the Sino-Portuguese architecture built by these early Chinese immigrants. Initially, the immigrants who came to Phuket lived in humble temporary wooden housing. However, over time many immigrants became wealthier and built permanent housing with a distinctive style combining Asian architectural styles with those of the European colonialists who had occupied much of Asia by the latter half of the 19th Century. The wealthiest of the immigrant families built large Sino-Portuguese style mansions, such as the impressive Chinpracha House. The less well off immigrant community in Phuket built more modest structures, but with architectural similarities to the town’s mansions such as the brightly coloured facades. The Thalang Road is one of the places the less well off families settled. This 600 metre street is almost entirely lined on either side with Chinese style shop houses, most of which are around 100 years old and retaining many original features. These shop houses are long and thin with shop fronts facing the street, dining rooms and kitchens towards the centre and rear of the ground floor, and bedrooms upstairs. The look of the street, minus the unsightly parked cars, is very old fashioned and lots of people come here to take photographs.
Despite being a very popular tourist destination, the Thalang Road is still largely occupied by the century old community of Chinese immigrant families who established it. One of the special things about the Thalang Road is that in amongst the tourist oriented shops, cafes and restaurants are some very old and traditionally styled businesses that look much the same as they would have done 100 years ago. In particular look out for Nguan Choon Tong which is a Chinese herbal medicine shop that been continuously in operation since 1917, making it the oldest business on the Thalang Road,
Location of the Thalang Road
- The Thalang Road is 31.9 km by road to the south of Phuket Airport.