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Phuket | Places of Interest in Muang District
Places of Interest in Muang District PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:20

PLACES OF INTEREST IN MUANG DISTRICT

Khao Rang (เขารัง) : A great view of Phuket Town, the southern part of the island, and some of the offshore islands, can be observed by going to the top of Khao Rang Hill, on the city’s northwest. There are also a few restaurants featuring spectacular views of the city, a health park for exercise enthusiasts, and a comfortable, expanse of grass for picnickers at the top with a bronze statue of Phraya Ratsada Nupradit, the model Governor of Phuket during King Rama V’s reign.

Antique Buildings (ตึกเก่า) : The beginning of the tin boom during the Nineteenth Century led to construction of many fine old mansions and shops still well preserved. The architectural style, typical of the region, is described as Sino-Portuguese, and has a strongly Mediterranean character. Shops present a very narrow face on the street but stretch back a long way. Many, especially on Dibuk Rd., have old wooden doors with Chinese fretwork carving. Other streets, forming what might be called “Old Phuket”, with similar structures are Phang-Nga, Yaowarat, Thalang, and Krabi, and a walking tour of the area is easy and delightful. Some other old European-style buildings of note are the Provincial Hall (Sala Klang), the Phuket Courthouse (San Jahngwaht), and Nakorn Luang Thai Bank.

Phuket Aquarium (พิพิธภัณฑ์สัตว์น้ำ) : More than one-hundred species of sea life are on display at the aquarium, many of them taken from the waters around Phuket. Open daily, 8:30 a.m.- 4:00 p.m. the aquarium is located at Cape Panwa, on the island’s extreme southeast; admission is 50 baht for children and 100 baht for adults. A Songthaew (local bus) can be taken from the Talad Soht, or Fresh Market. tel. 66 (0) 7639 1126.

Phuket Butterfly Farm and Insect World (สวนผีเสื้อและ โลกแมลงภูเก็ต) : Tropical species of butterflies, other insects and reptiles are on display. Located in Sam Kong, about 3 kms. from downtown Phuket. It opens daily 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. tel. 66 (0) 7621 5616, 66 (0) 7621 0861.

Phuket Cultural Centre (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมไทยภูเก็ต) : Shows of Thai dances from different parts of Thailand which performed 2 times daily at 11:30 and 17:30 (except Monday close). Located in Sam Kong, about 3 kms. from downtown Phuket. The admission is 550 Baht. tel. 66 (0) 7621 4860, 66 (0) 7623 7400

Sapan Hin (สะพานหิน) : A land reclamation project provided abundant new land now used for parks and public facilities at Sapan Hin, located where Phuket Rd. meets the sea in Phuket Town. In the circle is the Tin Mining Monument, shaped like a large drill bit, dedicated to the memory of Captain Edward Thomas Miles, the Australian who brought the first tin dredge to Phuket in 1909. The monument was built in 1969 on the occasion of 60th anniversary of tin dredging in Phuket. The Sport Center is located in the park.

Sirey Island (เกาะสิเหร่) : Separated from the mainland of Phuket by the Klong Ta Jin, a shallow mangrove swamp, this twenty square kilometers island is connected by a causeway to the city. Wat Koh Sirey, on the hill, has a large Reclining Buddha and provides fine views of the surroundings. Phuket’s largest settlement of Sea Gypsies, or Chao Lay, are on Koh Sirey at Laem Tuk-Kae. Swimming is not good because of the muddy bottom. There are some popular seafood restaurants on the eastern shore.

Chalong Temple (วัดฉลอง) : is about 8 kms. outside town. Take Vichit Songkram Rd. to the Bypass Rd. and turn left, and drive for about 10 mins. Wat Chalong will be on your left. This is where stands the cast statue of Luang Por Cham, who helped the people of Phuket put down the Ahngyee, or Chinese Coolie, Rebellion in 1876 during the reign of Rama V. There are also statues of Luang Por Chuang, and Luang Por Gluam, other monks, who were abbots of the temple during later times, and who are the objects of respect and recipients of offerings by Phuket people generally.

Chalong Bay (อ่าวฉลอง) : Phuket’s principal boat anchorage and the island’s largest bay. Chalong Bay has a long, flat, shallow, muddy bottom; at ebb-tide, waters recede as much as one kilometer. It is very picturesque but useless for swimming. Most visitors to the islands south of Phuket depart from Chalong pier, and the bay’s restaurants are well known for their seafood. Charters to various places can be arranged from there, and it is the center of the island’s yachting businesses. To get there take Jao Fah Tawan Tok Rd. or Jao Fah Tawan Okk Rd. to Chalong Circle, often called the Ha Yaek, or Five Ways, because it is a fiveway intersection. The pier and a number of restaurants are located on the short road leading to the beach from the circle

Phuket Sea Shell Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์หอย) : Perhaps the world’s most valuable collection of seashells has been put on display at Phuket Seashell near Rawai Beach on the island’s southwestern shores. The emphasis is on shells from Phuket and That waters, which are among the most sought-after by collectors, however shells from every part of the world are featured. Wherever they originate, each shell in the Shell Museum is the best of its type, very often the only of its type. Displays have been created in a logical order, and visitors can see at once differing characteristics among related species. There are numerous rarities and freaks including the world’s largest golden pearl (140 karats), large sections of sedimentary rock containing shell fossils that represent the earliest life-forms, and a shell that weighs 250 kilograms. One of the world’s great private museums, the Shell Museum opens daily from 8:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. For details call 66 (0) 7638 1888.

Ka Cape (แหลมกา) : is a popular stop for Thai visitors to the island. Located at the extreme southwest of Chalong Bay. South of the point is Laem Ka Beach, a sandy strip dotted with rocks and boulders. It is good for swimming, but watch out for coral close in. The extensive coral reefs off shore make for interesting snorkeling mornings, when the waters are clear. Bungalows, Thai food, and boat charters to the island are available. Ka Cape is 7 kms. west of Chalong Circle.

Rawai Beach (หาดราไวย์) : Site of a Chao Ley or Sea Gypsy village, many restaurants and bungalows, shell handicraft shops, and both fishing and charter boats. The waters are good for swimming; snorkeling on the reefs off shore. Rawai is 7 kms. west of Chalong Circle.

Promthep Cape (แหลมพรหมเทพ) : “Prom” is Thai for the Hindu “Brahma” signifying purity, and “Thep” means “God”. Promthep is a headland stretching in the sea and forming the extreme south end of Phuket. It has been a prominent feature for mariners since of early seafarers from the sub-continent, remains of whose journey’s have been found all along the Malay Peninsula’s west coast.

From Rawai Beach turn right and go for 2 kms. The cape has tall cliffs on the south, and was formerly called by local villagers “Laem Jao” (The Gods’ Cape). From the cliffs running down to the boulders at the sea is a line of toddy palm trees. Emerald green currents swirl in the deep water and breakers hurl themselves in vain against the rocky point : it is one of Phuket’s most inspiring vistas. In the distance can be seen Koh Kaew. From Promthep Cape, which is the most beautiful place to catch Phuket’s famous sunset, a road leads northwest to Nai Harn Beach.

Nai Harn Beach (หาดในหาน) : is a popular swimming beach an yacht anchorage during the dry season. The beach is fine, but big waves strike it during the wet season, making swimming dangerous. Regular bus service to and from Phuket Town during daytime. Nai Harn is just north of Promthep Cape.

Sehn Bay (อ่าวเสน) : is a small bay with many rocks andcorals. Snorkeling and diving are good, but swimming without a mask could be dangerous among the corals. For sunbathers, this secluded, curving strand north of Nai Harn offers some privacy. A small open air restaurant supplies food and drink. Cheap bungalows are located just west of the beach. To get there go through the parking lot of Le Royal Meridien Phuket Yacht Club Hotel and follow the road to Ao Sehn, about 1/2 km.

View Point (จุดชมวิว) : From this point, the bays of Kata Noi, Kata, and Karon, and also Poo Island can be seen. It is one of the island’s best views. A large public sala, or shelter is there for visitors, and several vendors sell food, drinks, and souvenirs in the area when the weather is nice. The viewpoint is between Kata and Nai Harn.

Kata Beach (หาดกะตะ) : The smallest of Phuket’s threemain tourist beaches, Kata is different in appearance and style from Karon or Patong. The beach itself is broad and curving, and structures bordering it are low-rise. The waters are perfect for swimming, and at the north end is a coral reef with many varied corals and fishes which stretches out toward Koh Poo, about 1/2 km off shore. Facilities, for every price range, include hotels, bungalows, tour companies, restaurants, bars and clubs. Regular bus service to and from Phuket Town during daytime.

Kata Noi Beach (หาดกะตะน้อย) : South of Kata is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with only a few hotels and little other development. The beach is superb. Many fish inhabit the rocks and corals along the beachless shoreline stretching south. To get there take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata.

Karon Beach (หาดกะรน) : The second largest of Phuket’s principal tourist beaches. Large resort complexes line the road back of the beach, but the strand itself, long and broad, has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks audibly when walked on. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Poo Island. Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle, and at the south, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road. The narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses as well as the Dino Park Mini Golf facility. Karon is the most upscale of Phuket’sbeaches. Regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.

Mai Ton Island (เกาะไม้ท่อน) : This tiny island off Phuket’s southeast coast is highly prized for its still perfect natural environment, including fine white beaches and crystal waters; ideal for swimming, diving, or fishing. The only business of any kind is the plush Maiton Island Resort. Those not wishing to stay overnight may take a daytime excursion leaving from Ao Makham Deep Sea Port. For details contact 66 (0) 7621 4954-7.

Tapao Yai Island (เกาะตะเภาใหญ่) : 10 minutes from Phuket by ferry from Ao Makham on Phuket’s southeast coast. The island is home to the Bucerotes hornbill. To get there from Phuket Town take Jao Fah Rd. to the Sakdidet Rd. intersection, turn left on Sakdidet and follow it 8 kms. to Ao Makham. The road splits in the vicinity of oil storage facilities; take the left fork about 200 meters to the Koh Tapao ferry pier.

Kaew lsland (เกาะแก้ว) : A fine beach, natural surroundings, and coral are on this little island 3 kms. from Rawai, south of Prom Thep. There is also a giant statue of the Buddha. The island is 15 minutes by chartered boat from Rawai.

Lohn Island (เกาะโหลน) : This large, mountainous island is only 20 minutes by regular passenger boat from Chalong Bay, in the south of Phuket. The mainly Muslim inhabitants engage in fishing, rubber and coconut planting. There is a long stretch of beach on the northeast. There is a long stretch of beach on the northeast coast. Boats to Koh Lohn leave daily in the early morning from Chalong Pier.

Coral Island or Hey Island (เกาะเฮ) : This island off Phuket’s south coast is so well known for its coral reef that it is often referred to simply as Coral Island. In addition to the splendid reefs there are two fine beaches on the north and west. Koh Hey is part of a marine preserve, but accommodations, restaurants, various watersports, and diving are all available. Boats leave from Rawai and Chalong. There are also package tours available.

Raya (or Racha) Island (หมู่เกาะรายา) : has two islands running roughly northeast to southwest off Phuket’s southern coast.

Raya Yai Island (เกาะรายาใหญ่) : On the west coast is a fine beach closed in by the hills that stretch away from it like two arms of a horseshoe called alternately Ao Tawan Tok or Ao Bungalow. The sands are sparkling clean and the waters crystal clear like those of the Similan Islands. From the top of a hill on the bay’s south is a view point from which the whole island can be seen. On the east, at Ao Kon Kae, is a coral reef where diving is excellent. Raya Noi Island (เกาะรายาน้อย) : This island, 10 kms. from Raya Yai Island, is the result of coral reef build up, and there are more rocks than beaches. In a small bay on the west is a boat anchorage. The waters at Raya Noi Island are emerald green, and fishing is famous, but swimming is not advised.

Koh Rang Yai (เกาะรังใหญ่) : is lying off Phuket’s east coast, this small island has been developed for the out-of-doors minded tourist. Among the many activities are sea kayaking, mountain-biking, playing miniature golf, and visiting the island’s pearl farm. For travel to Koh Rang Yai, boats may be hired from Laem Hin Pier, just outside Phuket Town before the town of Sapam or from Phuket Boat Lagoon. Package tours are available from Richy Island Tour, tel. 66 (0) 7623 8163, and other tour agencies.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 June 2011 09:32