Old Phuket Town is a casserole of cultures with a very Thai taste


Phuket Old Town
Phuket Old Town

[Source: Tourism Authority of Thailand Newsroom – www.tatnews.org] – Phuket is often called Thailand’s melting pot. But perhaps the island is better described as a Thai soup; each ingredient is distinct in itself, yet contributes to a rich cultural blend. People that settle on this Andaman island retain their traditional flavours – Indian merchants visited to trade, yet left hints of Hinduism. The Chinese and Europeans came here for tin, then tourism, and they too have become part of the mix. Meanwhile, the Thais welcomed everyone. The result is a rich global heritage, which is encapsulated in the eclectic architecture of old Phuket Town.

In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Phuket’s rich tin deposits acted like a magnet to the world’s trading nations. First came the Hokkien Chinese bringing their tools and traditions, and they were followed by European mining companies from Portugal, Holland and France who King Rama V the Great invited to help develop the industry. These visitors made money and turned Phuket into a little home away from home. Because Portugal and China were the most influential of the immigrants, Phuket’s old town blends the architectural styles of the two cultures.

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