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Published: September 25th 2022
Phuket (careful with that pronunciation now - POOKET) was never a place we really wanted to go due to its popularity with foreign tourists, but as numbers are so low at the moment we grabbed the opportunity. Our stay on the island began with three nights at the Memory at On On Hotel
which, Wi-Fi problems aside, was a great hotel. Located in the heart of the old town, it is the oldest hotel in town having been established by a Chinese migrant in 1927. It certainly has a lot of charm, and the free tea, coffee and biscuits during the day on the first floor veranda is a really nice touch. The hotel featured in the 2000 film "The Beach" and was renovated in 2012 when new owners took charge.
It's fair to say we didn't have the best of weather and umbrellas were always at hand as we explored the streets on foot. It is a great place to hang out for a few days and we found great restaurants (most accept their last guests at 8pm!) and cafes all over the place. The architecture is stunning and if you keep your eyes peeled there are quite a few murals around.
You will see lots of old Chinese architecture
and temples of all forms. The Shrine of the Serene Light was the most accessible and right next to our hotel. We even found a launderette for a bit of a domestic afternoon! Phuket 101
have published an in-depth walking tour which we followed but far from religiously.
We also walked all the way out to the waterfront Saphan Hin park which was very nice, but large areas had been closed off as motor racing was coming to town. The Toyota Gazoo tour car racing
circuit was being set up and we managed to get a close look at some of the cars. Walking away from the waterfront along the canal we then saw people playing something like a cross between golf and croquet. It looked intriguing. From there we managed to get a taxi to take us up to Khao Rang viewpoint to get a panoramic view of Phuket. It didn't disappoint and neither did the chance to sip cold coconut juice whilst watching cheeky resident monkeys. It's an easy half an hour walk back to the hotel from there.
During the day there seemed to be visitors from other parts of Phuket island, but it really wasn't very busy at all
wherever we went. That suited us, but hopefully for the sake of the local traders it will get too busy for us again soon.
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