Though often called
‘Sino-Thai architecture’, Phuket Baba buildings are actually similar
to those found in the former British Straits Settlements, particularly
as a motorcycle showroom, this new building marks the entry to
Thalang Road, from Thepkassatri Road. The low-scale, terracotta
roof and rhythmic bays of the new structure are sympathetic to
the old shophouse architecture of Thalang Road.
Thalang Road is
cosmopolitan. While the majority of shopkeepers are Baba, a number
are Thai Muslim or Indian. Thalang Road is famous for textile
shops and haberdasheries.
Thai Muslims run
batik shops and roti shops. Thais of Indian descent sell beddings
and cotton clothes imported from India.
Romanee is a small lane off Thalang Road, with a view of Wat Kallang
along Deebuk Road. Up till the early 20th century, Soi Romanee
was the towns red light district, lined brothels and opium
dens. These catered to Chinese male mining workers, who sojourned
here without the womenfolk.
at 61 Thalang Road is a café for book lovers and coffee
enthusiasts. It is also an art gallery and film club.
It was started
by a young doctor and poet, Dr. Marut Lepketch, and has become
a hangout for young Thai writers, artists and film-makers and
web designers from Bangkok. The Andaman Writers Network
is also based here.
The premises of
Charoen Clinic at 31 Thalang Road have been stylishly refurbished,
with comfortable waiting areas for its patients.
The oldest Chinese
herbal medicine shop in Phuket is on 16 Thalang Road. They specialize
in combining western and eastern cures, and are also suppliers
to Phukets health spas.
a restaurant on 14 Thalang Road selling Phuket-Penang food, is
a new heritage business started by a former university lecturer
in the late 1990s.
Thalang Road is the Saengtham Shrine, established in 1891, with
an entrance from Phangnga Road and a secret entrance through Wilais
This temple was
recently restored and won a national conservation award.
corner building, a landmark at the junction of Yaowarat Raod,
is now a hardware shop. From this junction, Krabi Road and Thalang
Road extend in opposite directions.
This typical signboard
in Phuket displays the business name in Thai, Chinese and English.
Bhuket is the old name for Phuket, before it was officially
changed in the 1960s.
Hall is promoting the old town as Phukets heritage and cultural
attraction. In April 2005, the Miss Thailand contestants walked
in procession down Thalang Road, an event that was televised nationally.
They were led
by the Mayor of Phuket, dressed in local yaya style.
Thalang Road was
closed to traffic on that day.