A postcard from Phuket Town


Lonely Planet correspondent Austin Bush skipped the beaches and discovered the charms of Phuket’s capital. Here’s his report from Phuket Town, highlighting the best things to see and do

For more than 20 years, I was based in Thailand, from where I contributed to more than 30 guidebooks for Lonely Planet. These days I’m mostly based in Lisbon, Portugal – but a few months back I found myself back in Thailand, to wrap up work on a cookbook about southern Thai food that I’m writing and photographing. 

Phuket Town map

Phuket, an island in southern Thailand, is one of the most visited places in the country. With its famous tropical beaches in mind, however, relatively few of those visitors make it to Phuket Town, the island province’s landlocked capital. This is a real shame, as it’s one of the most charming urban centers in the country.

A street scene in Phuket TownA street scene in Phuket Town Austin Bush

Home to beautiful Sino-Portuguese architecture, unique cuisine that blends Chinese and Thai elements and a really fun cafe scene, Phuket Town offers plenty to check out. Best of all, it’s compact enough to explore on foot – as I did.

Immerse yourself in the best experiences the world has to offer with our email newsletter delivered weekly into your inbox. Phuket marketA vendor making a noodle dish in the basement-level food court in Phuket Town’s morning market; naan and pigeon pea dip at Mingalar Coffee Shop, a Burmese cafe near the market

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