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Amazing Mansions of Old Phuket

There is more to Phuket than just the well-known Thalang Road, where everyone goes on a Phuket exploration. If Old Phuket Town’s Old Sino Portuguese Mansions fascinate you, you are in for a treat. Yes, it’s a nice walk and a must-do, but if you too have a passion for old houses, you might want to explore a bit further where some fabulous mansions are still standing and often hidden.

When standing in front of these beautiful mansions, it’s so easy to imagine how Phuket was a hundred years ago. Better enjoy them now because sooner than later, someone will buy them and refurbish them with more or less respect for their original ‘soul’. Let us show them to you while some are still in their original condition. (These are ‘mansions’ or Ang-Mor-Lao, not shophouses).

1. Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion (Blue Elephant Phuket)

Phra Pitak Chinpracha Mansion is a magnificent building in a vast garden, built in 1903 to be the governor’s house. For a very long time, it was for many visitors a fascinating abandoned and mysterious house in Phuket Town. For many years, there were rumours of turning Phra Pitak Chinpracha into a hotel, until it was finally renovated to host the Blue Elephant Restaurant, originally from Bangkok. Unfortunately, while still beautiful, it has lost a lot of its original soul in the process.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 96, Krabi, Tambon Talat Nuea, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Phuket 83000
Open: 11.30 am – 10.30 pm
Phone: 076 354 355
Built: 1903

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2. Kiew Kai Ka Restaurant

Kiew Kai Ka restaurant in Phuket Town

Kiew Kai Ka was a Thai Restaurant is at the intersection of Tung Ka Road and Yaowarat road. This lovely mansion was, for a long time, an expensive antique shop called ‘Private Collection’.

Location: Phuket Town
Address
: 265 Yaowarat Rd, Tambon Talat Nuea, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000
Phone: 076 609266

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3. Kanok Kwa House (Endless Summer Coffee Shop)

Endless Summer Coffee Shop - Kanok Kwan House in Phuket Town

This beautiful Sino Portuguese house is now a coffee show as well as a fashion boutique. It is easy to find and great for your photos and as an Instagram background. It used to be a Kindergarten at the intersection of Dibuk Road and Yaowarat Roads.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 175 Yaowarat Rd, Tambon Talat Nuea, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Chang Wat Phuket 83000
Open: 10 am – 7 pm
Phone: 099 029 8067

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4. Luang Amnart Nararak Mansion (Dibuk Mansion)

Luang Amnart Nararak Mansion is a fantastic large house, currently used by a ‘gas tank delivery’ company, found at Dibuk Road and Satun Road intersection. Don’t miss the Kanom Jeen (rice noodles) restaurant at the T junction.

5. Phra Aram Sakhonkhet Mansion (Thai Airways Offices)

Phra Aram Sakhonkhet Mansion - Thai Airways office in Phuket town

Phra Aram Sakhonkhet Mansion is a beautifully renovated white mansion now occupied by Thai Airways offices. Here too, people tend to miss it as you have to enter the Thai Airways property to see it, and there is a security guard at the entrance.

6. Thai Hua Museum

Thai Hua is a beautiful and well-known house built in 1911 that used to be a school. It now often hosts stage events during Phuket Town Festivals and other ceremonies and can be visited. On Krabi Road.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 28 Krabi Road, Phuket Town, Talat Nuea, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Open: 9 am – 5 pm
Phone: 076 211 224
Price: 200 Baht
Built: 1934

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7. Baan Chinpracha

Chinpracha House

Baan Chinpracha is a privately owned mansion, half house and half museum. You can visit it for 130 Baht and discover how life was a century ago. This house appeared in several movies, including ‘Heaven and Earth’. It became hard to spot it after they built a lot of condos in front of it. It is located on Krabi Road, just next to the ‘easy to spot’ Blue Elephant Restaurant.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 98 Krabi, Talat Nuea, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Open: 9 am – 4.30 pm
Phone: 076 211281
Price: 150 Baht
Built: 1903

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8. On On Hotel

On On Hotel in Phuket Town

The Memory at On On Hotel is undoubtedly the most iconic and best-known heritage hotel on Phuket Island, and this is for a few reasons. Built in 1927 and called Un Un Hotel at the time, the hotel possesses a strong Sino-Portuguese personality in a very central location on Phang Nga Road, the heart of old Phuket Town.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 19 Phangnga Rd, Tambon Talat Yai, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Phone: 076 363 700
Range: 3-star
Built: 1927

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9. Raya House

Raya House is a good old-fashioned restaurant built in an old mansion on Phang Nga Road, and it is still in its original condition. It seems to be frozen in time. Food is excellent for both lunch and dinner. Just read the Raya House full story here, and you will want to go.

Location: Phuket Town
Address: 48/1 Dibuk Road, Tambon Talat Yai, Phuket Town, Phuket 83000
Open: 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: 076 218 155

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10. Limpanon House

Sa-Nguan Mansion or Limpanon House is an abandoned old Phuket family house built more than 100 years ago. It is hidden at the Intersection of Yaowarat Road and Phang Nga Road. For a long time, the door of the ‘tunnel’ leading to this mansion was locked. For unknown reasons, it is now open, but very few people dare to sneak in. Too bad, here is one of the most mysterious houses in town. The light is sometimes on, but every door or window is closed. A bit eerie.

11. Thai Hua Hokkien Club on Dibuk Road

I used to admire this almost unknown house for many years. Located on Dibuk Road, next to the Shell gas station and just opposite the vast Wat Mongkol Nimit Temple, people tend to drive too fast in this street to pay much attention to it. Finally, someone saw its value and rebuilt the Thai Hua Hokkien Club entirely while respecting its original look. Nice work.

12. The Chartered Bank

The Chartered Bank in Phuket Town

The Peranakannitat Museum (Baba Museum or Chalermraj Center) opened its doors in the heart of Phuket Town after many years of renovation. Located at the intersection of Phang Nga Road and Phuket road, the Peranakannitat Museum is set inside what used to be the old ‘Standard Chartered Bank’. It’s a rather modest museum modest but the location and the Sino-Portuguese building itself are worth walking in.

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13. Sound Gallery Hotel

Sound Gallery House in Phuket Town

Location: Phuket Town
Address
: 33/6 Vichitsongkram Rd, Wichit, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000
Phone: 061 446 9114
Built: around 1940

14. Baan Ar Jor House Museum

Baan Ar Jor mansion (meaning ‘The Old Lady House’) was built in 1936 by a Tin Mine industrial businessman as a house away from town. It was abandoned for many decades, and we often drove by wondering what its story was. As long as we remember, the three-storey house was in bad condition but was still standing proudly in the middle of a vast and neglected open field.

Location: Mai Khao Beach
Address: 102 Thep Kasattri Road, Thalang District, Phuket 83110
Open: 10 am – 10 pm
Phone: 062 459 8889
Built: 1936

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15. Panwa House

Panwa House at Cape Panwa

Panwa House is a white Sino Portuguese restaurant surrounded by palm trees, right on the secluded beach of the Cape Panwa Hotel on the east coast of Phuket. This house has been a Phuket icon for years, even appearing in movies or TV series.

Location: Cape Panwa
Address: 27, Mu 8, Sakdidej Road Cape Panwa Phuket 83000
Tel: 02 233 3433
Open: 6:30 pm – 11 pm (except Mondays)

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16. Yamaha Music School Phuket

This building hosting a music school was originally an old government building at the intersection of Yaowarat Road and Mae Luan Road.

17. Mansion behind the Thavorn Museum

Another example of a beautiful mansion abandoned, probably beyond repair. We walked around this area a hundred times without ever noticing it, but once you do, its beauty is striking. In the back of Rasada Road, behind the weird ‘Thavorn Museum‘ where the very first Phuket Shopping Center used to be.

18. House on Bangkok Road

Sino Portuguese Mansion in Phuket City

Next to ‘Kanok Kwan House’ just next to the Kindergarten above, this is a privately owned house.

19. House on Bangkok Road

Sino Portuguese House in Phuket City

This beautiful mansion is just across the street from the two houses above. Gates are always closed, and the house is also privately owned.

20. Sala Mae Pong

Old Mansion at Wat Mongkol Nimit

Sala Mae Pong was an abbot’s house built on the ground of the Wat Mongkol Nimit, a revered temple built on Dibuk Road in the historical streets of Phuket town.

21. The Old Post Office

phuket-stamp-museum

Located on Montri Road, is now a philatelic Museum. Unless you are into stamp collections, there is not much to see inside. Just next to the new post office.

22. VT Namnueng Restaurant on Vichitsongkran Street

VT Namnueng Restaurant

Another beautiful old house that used to be unoccupied. It is built in a large garden just next to Thai Hua school on Vichitsongkran street. This house is now a Thai Vietnamese restaurant but has lost a lot of its charm in the process of renovation.

23. House on Satun Road

This house sits on a vast land just opposite a school on Satun Road (between two favourite Kanom Jeen Restaurants). It has been for sale for a long time but didn’t get any buyers possibly due to some building restrictions.

24. Kathu Museum

Kathu Museum

What used to be a very rundown house by the side of the road in Kathu is now transformed into a small but lovely museum about Phuket Food. It used to be part of the large beer storage warehouse.

25. Abandonned house on Chaofa Road

History of Phuket mansions (Ang-Mor-Lao)

In the past, (about 100 years ago) communication between Phuket and Bangkok, the capital of Thailand was done with great difficulty. Despite the construction of railways to Kantang, Trang by King Rama V, travelling to Bangkok still required up to three to four days or even a week in comparison to travelling to Penang which only took a day via steamboat. This explains why Phuket businessmen travelled more frequently to Penang than to Bangkok.

Old Mansion at Wat Mongkol Nimit

Similarly, in the case of education, wealthy families in Phuket preferred to send their kids to school in Penang. When they return to Phuket they brought back with them the blueprints of the unique Sino-European architecture they were exposed to In Penang and commissioned builders to build their houses similar to the likes of Penang.
We call these Mansions’ Ang-Mor-Lao’.

‘Ang-Mor-Lao’ or the mansions of the tin mine era in Phuket still exists today and can be seen around Old Phuket Town. The architecture where the Chinese beliefs are mixed with European art resulted in delicate decorations of auspicious sculptures such as bats, pigeons and clouds on the head.

(as described inside the Peranakan Phuket Museum)

More about Phuket Town

Phuket Town – A Walking Guide to Old Phuket Town

Endless Summer – Coffee Shop and Boutique in Phuket Town

Willy Thuan
https://www.phuket101.net/
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run Phuket101.net and manage large international online travel guides.