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Thalang Road in Old Phuket Town – A Walking Guide

Exploring Thalang Road

Thalang Road is the most famous street in the historic part of Old Phuket Town. The municipality and owners managed to revive most of the old Sino-Portuguese shophouses and bury the ugly cables Thailand is so famous for. Thalang has become selfie heaven, especially the tiny Soi Romanee which was voted one of the most beautiful streets in the world at one point.

Aungku Phuket Cafe on Soi Romanee and Thalang Road

The street is lined with small cafes, traditional or fashionable boutiques and a few restaurants. All have one thing in common: A few years back, they realized that the cutest cafe attracted more customers! They are now all decorated with memorabilia from the past of Phuket, offering even more selfie opportunities, and some are truly beautiful.

What to see and do on Thalang Road

All the shophouses along the street are built with the same design. A very long and narrow house with a tiny facade to keep the house cool by allowing a breeze to flow through. The front is a door with a window on each side and 2 small windows above (eyes). The covered space in front of each shophouse creates a very long archway that offers shade and shelter, as well as space to display items on sale.

soi romanee phuket town 1

This long walkway has mostly been cleared, and it now has a lot of charm. Wherever you look during the day and even more during the weekend, you will see hordes of young people posing here and there. Even the parking signboard has become a favourite!

phuket selfie thalang road

but somehow, even though I do appreciate the effort of renovation, I still prefer old houses in their state of old houses. You can feel their story, how many lives they witnessed and how many little secrets they are hiding.

Phuket Old Town

The old Chinese pharmacies are surprisingly timeless, and hairdressers are coming straight out of a 60’s movie. If you want to take photos in there, get ready to be told off, people here are running a business, and they are more photographers than buyers. Many shop-house along the street is privately owned, but little by little people move out of Thalang to escape tourist and the lack of parking.

Phuket Walking Street Sunday Market

Soi Romanee

Soi Romanee in Phuket Town

Soi Romanee is a short lane branching out from Thalang Road and taking you to Dibuk Road. This 125-meter-long colourful street has a long history, as it was known to be the gambling and red district of Phuket! As is often the case, this once neglected and looked down lane became the most trendy street of old Phuket town, and is now home to classy coffee shops and guesthouses. Read More!

Hainan Shrine

Thalang Road Shrine

Hainan Shrine is a Chinese temple easy to miss if it were not for its bright red entrance. It is not wider than a shophouse, but it goes deep. Feel free to enter and have a look, just remember to behave respectfully, it is a religious place.

>Shopping in Thalang

Long ago, tourists were only spending their holidays on the beach, and Phuket town was mostly dedicated to local trade. Thalang used to be quiet on weekdays and totally deserted on the weekends. Thalang has evolved a lot in the past years, and a chain reaction started when tourists started to come and take photos of the newly renovated Soi Romanee. More tourists called for more renovation and attractive shops and so on.

Phuket Weekend Walking Street

Phuket Sunday Walking Street Market

Every Sunday, from 5 pm to 10 pm, Thalang Road is closed to traffic and turns itself into an immense walking street market. Phuket does have a lot of night markets, but this one is probably the most interesting and attractive. The street is lined by colourful Sino-Portuguese shophouses and vendors set their trade in the middle of the road, creating a beautiful perspective.

Phuket Walking Street Night Market

In addition, this is your chance to discover or even try a fun mix of delicious local food and sweets you can’t usually find in one single place. Some will look familiar, and some others might range from strange, all the way to scary (ever tried Yum Kai Mangda Talay?) There are always some street performances and an incredible array of handicrafts, accessories and holiday wear to buy.

Once a week, thousands of people will join the Phuket town walking street. Every shop will open up to the street, selling all kinds of local foods and sweets. It’s always fun to blend in with the locals, but it can get severely crowded.

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The Oasis Street (Vanich Walking Street)

vanich walking street thalang road

The Oasis Walking Street (Vanich Walking Street) is quite a recent addition to the Old Phuket Town scene (Vanich is a very common word in Thai meaning ‘commerce’). It’s a long and narrow covered passage that connects Thalang Road to Dibuk Road. All along are tiny stalls selling clothing, accessories, souvenirs and as always: food! As you can see in the photo below, the entrance is hard to spot because it looks like a small shop! Vanich Walking Street is a good hideaway if it starts raining.

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bulan indigo shop thalang road

Bulan is a very popular local clothing store entirely dedicated to indigo batik.

Thalang Road

There are still a few local fabric shops at the beginning of Thalang. It’s colourful and quite unique.

Where to Eat

You’ll find plenty of small cafes and restaurants all along the street, China Inn, which is also a shop, is the most attractive one but it’s a bit pricey, and seats are limited. “It costs a lot to make a nice new house from an old house, but it cost a lot more to make a nice old house out of an old house”. China Inn is one of the only houses in Phuket to spend more money to keep its original soul intact. Almost anyone who walks in front of the China Inn will stop for a photo.

Kopitiam by Wilai

Kopitiam by Wilai in Phuket Town

Next are two local restaurants with a nice local atmosphere: Wilai, and its popular sister Kopitiam by Wilai serving their speciality: some excellent Hokkien fried noodles (among a lot of other dishes of course).

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Mue Yium Old Phuket Coffee

The Old Phuket Coffee on Thalang Road

Mue-Yium Cafe is a vintage coffee shop and restaurant in the heart of Phuket Old Town, right at the intersection of Yaowarat Road and the famous Thalang Road, where the popular Walking Street Market is held every Sunday. With such a strategic location, the place is popular and convenient to have a light lunch or a drink to take a break during your exploration of the old and colourful streets of town.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 6 Thalang Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Phone: 064 246 5562

Macchiato House and CakeBox

Macchiato House

Macchiato House and CakeBox is a small coffee shop serving excellent cakes and snacks, but most importantly they prepare one of the best coffee in town.

Eleven Two & Co.

Eleven Two & Co. Cafe

Eleven Two & Co. is another favourite bar on Thalang Road. This place has been open for a couple of years and seems to have found the formula to be inviting. The front of the shop is widely open with a couple of inviting seats on the terrace. Inside, you can browse a bric-à-brac of souvenirs, so people tend to stop and have a look.

Baan 109 Bar & Restaurant

Baan 109 Bar and Restaurant in Phuket Town

Baan 109 is a fun vintage-looking restaurant as well as a casual bar on the popular Thalang Road. The name ‘Baan’ means house and the number 109 is the street number.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 109 Thalang Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Open: 11 am – 11 pm
Phone: 095 421 1827

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Koku Yakiniku

Koku Yakiniku Phuket

Koku Yakiniku is a popular Japanese Barbecue that has been around Phuket for almost 15 years, changing location frequently around Phuket town until it opened on this popular street. Grilled meats and seafood are extremely popular in Thailand, just read about Moo Kata Buffets to understand. We went to Koku Yakiniku dozens of times in the past, but lately, it has had a lot of ups and downs.

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Worth trying near Thalang Road

One Chun

One Chun Restaurant

If you can’t find what you are looking for, walk a little further and stop at One Chun, one of the great local restaurants in Phuket town, just next to the weekend walking street market.

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Raya House

raya restaurant phuket

Raya House is also a restaurant you should try. It’s an old house, run by two old ladies and serving excellent Thai food. What they did is even better than a good renovation: they didn’t renovate at all. Try ‘yellow curry crab with Kanom Jeen’ (rice noodles)’.

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About Thalang Road shophouses architecture

The two-storied shophouses in Old Phuket Town generally have two purposes: commerce and residential. The building has a specific character with a narrow front and long depth. The front of the shophouses consists of a connected arch walkway or ‘arcade’ covering the length of the street known as ”Ngor-Ka-Kee” from Chinese Hokkien.

Old Thalang Road

The ground floor’s long depth arrangements comprised of five main sections:

The first section of a shophouse is the shop front with doors and windows, including air void above the windows. The shop front resembles the face of a dragon with mouth doors, two eyes (two windows) and air void above windows (eyebrows).

The second section is either a shop or welcome guest area.

The third section is considered going into the body of the dragon. There is usually an area in the middle of the house for a water well called ‘Chim-Jae’. This area is for washing. There is no roof to allow the sun to shine through as a source of light, and also to allow ventilation as the heat is confined by the width of the house.

The fourth section, is the dining area which is connected to the kitchen.

The last part is the toilet and is considered the tail of a dragon.
The second floor where the bedrooms are is called ‘Lao-Teng’, which means upstairs. The second floor at the front of the house protrudes above the ground floor’s exterior and became a cover for the ”arcade” walkway underneath. The covered walkway’s purpose is to shelter people from Phuket’s heavy rain.

(as described inside the Peranakan Phuket Museum)

Phuket Walking Street Market

Beyond Thalang Road

These old renovated streets still provide many angles and lights to satisfy any photographer’s itchy finger. Among the well-known Sino-Portuguese houses are the beautiful ‘Thai Hua museum‘ and Endless Summer. Thalang, which was the first to bury its ugly electric cables underground, is built with the typical archway to protect the walkers from rain and sun. All the shop-houses are often built around the same layout: three floors with small windows in the front and the back to preserve the fresh air and with bars to protect from bad guys.

old mansion

There are some fascinating ‘not yet renovated’ mansions in the streets around… Click here to see the “19 Amazing Mansions in Phuket Town.”

Popular Ways to Discover Phuket Town

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bourbrew cafe soi romanee Old Phuket Cafe on Thalang Road

Thalang Road Map

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Other Streets of Phuket

Phuket Old Town
Our Old Phuket Town and Old Street Walking Guide will save you time and effort! The historical part of Phuket is not huge but is rich and exciting enough to explore in half a day ... Read More
Soi Romanee in Phuket Town
Soi Romanee, in the historical centre of old Phuket town, is a short street with a long and colourful history. Today it is home to souvenir shops, fancy ice cream parlours and small but posh guesthouses ... Read More
Dibuk Road in Old Phuket Town
Dibuk Road is one of the famous old streets of Phuket town you should add to your list while exploring. It's very colourful and easy to find, with plenty of casual cafes, shops and restaurants to enjoy ... Read More
Yaowarat Road in Phuket Town
Yaowarat Road in old Phuket Town connects the popular heritage streets of Thalang Road, Phang Nga Road and Dibuk Road, starting from the fountain circle near the municipal market ... Read More
Phang Nga Road in Old Phuket Town
Phang Nga Road is another historical street that runs parallel to the famous Thalang Road, in Old Phuket Town. Phang Nga Road maybe is less known, but it has a lot of charms, a few local restaurants, and several important ... Read More
Ranong Road - The other side of Phuket Town
While most tourists rush to the renovated old Phuket Town, mostly located around Thalang Road, we start to prefer the more authentic west side of Phuket Town, which is mostly around Phuket Town Central Market, Ranong Road and Krabi Road ... Read More

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Phuket Town – A Walking Guide to Old Phuket Town

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Willy Thuan

Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early until I settled in Phuket in 1994. For the past 30 years, my passion for photography and my curiosity have taken me to every corner of Phuket, Bangkok and everywhere I could go in Thailand. My goal is to share my discoveries, photos and tips to help travellers plan their holidays by making Phuket 101 as easy as possible to use for everyone!