Jamie's Phuket Blog

Jamie's Phuket Blog - Discover The Real Phuket

Our House For Sale (or Rent) in Phuket

If you follow me on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) you may have seen that, after 19 years in Phuket, I have headed back to the UK. Reasons? School/education for my kids, a new challenge, a new life, being close to family in the UK ... it's not planned to be permanent, and we are keeping our house in Chumphon (my wife's hometown), but in order to fund this big move we are selling our house in Phuket. Or we'd be happy to rent it long term (at least 6 months). Anyone interested, please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or if you are in Phuket and want to see the house please call 089 2929104 to arrange a viewing (as we are currently in the UK this number is for a neighbour of ours who can help you).

Location, Location Location

Sure everyone has an idea of their preferred location. If you want a seaview, sorry we can't help, but .. we are in the Kathu area. The center of the universe! Within 5 - 10 minutes we can drive to all major malls and supermarkets, cinema, international hospitals, many of the best schools, local markets, golf courses, lots of restaurants .. Patong is a 10-15 minute drive in one direction and Phuket Town is 10 - 15 minutes in the other direction. Nearest minimart to our house is a 2 minute drive or 10 minute walk, and there's a gasoline station in the same location. We are on a quiet side road, but close to everything. There's a clubhouse with a pool right over the street from our house. There's no through traffic passing our house, it's very peaceful.

Our house sits of 140 Wah of land, which is 560 square meters. This is divided into 2x70 Wah plots with separate land titles. The house is on 70 Wah and we bought the extra land later so we have a big garden area and space for parking multiple vehicles and lots of space to expand the house or build your own pool or even build a second house.

The house is one floor (unless you count a climb of 2 steps to the bedrooms. There's a large living room/dining area, a not-so-huge kitchen that we often thought to enlarge, 3 bedrooms, one main bathroom, plus 1 bedroom has en-suite shower/toilet and another bedroom has en-suite shower. Main bathroom was recently redecorated. All bedrooms and living room have aircon. Behind the kitchen is a covered utility area where we have washing machines/dryer/storage. At the front of the house there's also a decent size shed.

Water supply to our street is very good, and we also have a water tank with pump. Electric supply in Kathu is very reliable, I can recall maybe 3 times in 15 years when we had any power outages. We have 3bb internet / wifi in the house which a new owner can take over if they want. There are multiple wall mounted fans around the house which will stay there. All windows have mosquito screens and bars. Security in the street has never been a problem. It's a very safe area.

If you need more information - please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or to see the house please call 089 2929104 to arrange a viewing.

We have lived there 15 years and we were the first occupants of the house, so it has had 1 careful owner! Perfect for a family, lots of space, quiet area but close to everything.

Selling price : 9,500,000 Baht or near enough offer. For a house in this location with a big land area, it's a good price.

Rental : 20,000 Baht per month - discount possible if paying long term in advance.

House Photos

As you can see - lots of space and different areas around the house. We have enjoyed living here, adding extras to the house, redecorating, repainting, growing the garden - lots of big mature plants which we planted many years ago. I am biased, but it's a very nice place to live.

Anyone interested, please contact me by email (jjjjmonk@yahoo.co.uk) or if you are in Phuket and want to see the house please call 089 2929104 to arrange a viewing. Cheers!

10 Things To Do In Phuket Town

When this blog first started back in 2006, a large part of the idea was to show that there is a lot more to Phuket than beaches, hotels and nightlife. A lot more. In my 19 years living in Phuket, beach days were rare, and nightlife was normally limited to a few beers or maybe watching some live football or having parties with friends. The main nightlife areas in Patong beach or at one of the newer beach clubs had no interest for me. Sure there are great beaches, and every now and then I'd feel the urge for some beach time, but normally (along with my family) I'd like to head out and explore some local scenery, find viewpoints, and very often head into Phuket Town - so many times I'd enjoy a walk in town looking at new attractions or just enjoying a good cafe or restaurant. Phuket Town has a great mix of old and new, plenty of history, art, museums, and is a great place to be during certain festivals. The blog has featured Phuket Town so often over the years, this blog post pulls a few ideas together for things to do in Phuket Town.

Thai Hua Museum

Located in the old town on Krabi Road, the Thai Hua Museum is full of interesting displays about the history of Phuket, especially from the early 19th century after the Burmese had been subdued and Phuket started to fill up with Chinese immigrants and the tin mining industry boomed. The museum is found in the old Thai Hua Chinese school, which has moved to a much bigger and more modern location on the edge of town. Well worth a visit and (I think) the entry fee of about 200 Baht is well worth it.

Phuket Thai Hua Museum

More information : Thai Hua Museum in Phuket Town

Chinpracha House

Just along the road from the museum is one of Phuket Town's old mansions, mostly built in the early 20th century for the big tin mining families. Chinpracha has been partly converted to a museum, a chance to step inside one of these amazing houses. There is a small entry fee.

Chinpracha House Interior

More information : Chinpracha House

Street Art

In the last few years, loads of street art has been appearing around the old town, with new works of art appearing now and then, made by local and foreign artists. You can do a little walking tour around town - looking for the art you'll find little side streets and local life that you may have otherwise missed. I am sure there is more art since I blogged about it!

Old Phuket Town Street Art

More information - Street Art in Phuket Town

Markets in Phuket Town

Lots to choose from! If you want to see a real local food market, then head to Ranong Road for the main fresh market. Most days there is a new market called Chillva Market on the north edge of town with lots of clothes, art, often live music, lots of food. On Sunday there is the walking street market on Thalang Road in the heart of old town. And the small, but popular Indy Market is on several evenings per week.

Busy night at Chillva Market

(above) Busy evening at Chillva Market

Rang Hill

Rang Hill (Khao Rang) on the north side of Phuket Town has long been a popular hangout. The famous Tunk Ka Cafe has been there since before time began and you get very nice views from up there, plus locals use the area for exercise. There are several routes up the hill. If you ascend from the same side as the Vachira Hospital you also find Khao Rang temple featuring a big golden Buddha statue.

The "Other" Phuket Big Buddha

More information - Rang Hill Viewpoint + Rang Hill Temple

Just Walk Around Randomly!

Aside from seeing a few of the "sights", I love a good wander around the old town. When I first took a walk to explore in about 2006 it was very different, hard to find a cafe, many buildings looking rather shabby, but the old town looks much better now, aided by a continuing project to hide all the overhead cables. A good walk around is easy enough, plenty of cafes if you get thirsty, it's good to explore, find local shops, wander down side streets, stumble upon little gems. And these days with 4G and Google Maps you can't get lost :)

Yentafo Sam Pee Nong

Trickeye Museum

Not really a museum and the most "touristy" thing to do on this list - good I think if you have young kids the Trickeye 3D gallery has loads of paintings where you can pose and take photos - it's indoors and aircon, so good for a hot day, or a rainy day. Not so cheap to get in, but kids and some adults will enjoy!

Phuket Town Volcano!

More information : Trickeye Museum / Gallery

Chinese Shrines

With the history of old Phuket Town being largely connected with the influx of Chinese immigrants in the 19th century it's no surprise to find many Chinese shrines in town (and in fact, all over the island). The town is a very mixed community .. one road you may want to find (Soi Talingchan) features a shrine, plus a mosque and a Catholic church. The biggest of the Chinese shrines is Jui Tui, located at the end of Ranong road past the market. This one along with Bang Neow shrine feature heavily during the amazing Phuket Vegetarian Festival. A smaller shrine called Por Tor Kong is the center of the annual Hungry Ghost Festival. And the beautiful little Sang Tham shrine (aka Shrine of the Serene Light) is certainly worth a look.

Shrine of the Serene Light

Sapan Hin Park

In the far south of Phuket Town you find Sapan Hin, a large area of park, sports facilities, mangroves, large open areas that are often used for local festivals. A very popular area in the late afternoon for locals to walk or jog or sit and have a picnic, it's right by the sea. The old Bang Yai canal flows into the sea here - this canal used to be a much larger waterway allowing ships to sail right into town and it carried on past town and was used to transport tin mining produce. The Sapan Hin area also has some small local restaurants and normally quite a lot of food stalls, even when there are no events taking place. There's a Chinese shrine here too.

Evening at Sapan Hin

More information - Sapan Hin in Phuket Town

Great Local Food!

In the Phuket Town area it's much easier to find good, real local food ... close to the beaches it can be a struggle, food tends to be dumbed down for tourists. In town if you want the real local food, look for small restaurants where locals are eating. Just wander into a small noodle shop or get food from stalls in the market. A few slightly nicer restaurants I really like in town include Kopitiam, One Chun, Yellow Door. For very good and simple chicken or crispy pork on rice try Moo Grob Khun Yai. For local food with maybe the best view ... the Tunk Ka Cafe on Rang Hill has to be tried. Also well known are places like Raya, Thamachart, China Inn, Dibuk, Suay... and try the noodles at Mee Ton Poe or Lock Tien. If you want to explore Thai food, Phuket Town is the place to be!

Kopitiam on Thalang Road, Phuket Town

Now, most tourists don't stay in town, preferring to stay near the beach. It's easy enough to get a local bus into town from Patong, Karon or Kata beaches, but note that the buses only run until about 5:30 - 6pm. If heading to town in the evening you'll need a taxi or your own transport. Or why not consider staying in town for a couple of nights so you can explore easily. There are plenty of Hotels in Phuket Town ranging from guesthouses to some very nice boutique hotels. A lot to see in town and it's a great area to see more local life than you'd see at the beaches. I wish you happy exploring!

Hiking to the Big Buddha from Karon Beach

Finally I have done this again! It was back in 2010 that I hiked up to the Phuket Big Buddha from Karon. A hike from nearly sea level up to nearly 400m above sea level. You can find the old blog post here. And since then I have always had the intention to do the hike again, but never found the right time, or just been too lazy. That blog page from 2010 is actually one of the most visited on Jamie's Phuket, and many people have asked me about doing the hike. I often point them in the direction of Steve at the Pineapple Guesthouse in Karon, because he has done the hike again since 2010! Recently Steve told me that the path is now much better, well marked with signs and so I figured it would be time to hike again. Start time was set for 7:30am on Sunday 25th March 2018 and I was joined by Steve, and Lana who is also a long time Phuket resident and runs the GoPhuket website. It was a beautiful high season morning - an early start is absolutely recommended if you don't want to suffer from heat exhaustion on the climb!

The start of the hike is easy. You just cross the road from Pineapple and walk up Patak Soi 14 next to Ice Family Tour. The first kilometer is on this road. Not a busy road. There are a few houses up here, some nice little places for rent and local houses. Easy to follow, not very steep, reaching about 100m above sea level when the road splits. And there is an obvious sign pointing the way.

Buddha Hike Signposts at first junction

So, there have been busy hands at work in Karon recently making this hike easier to follow. You can actually take the left or right road. I was following Steve's advice as he'd done the hike just the week before. We turned right, which leads to a steep path. The left route is longer, but not so steep and we planned to come down that way.

Buddha Hike Signpost

(above) I'd suggest turning right at this point. Only another 1.5km? Sounds easy! It gets steeper! After the right turn you need to keep left and a side road heads more steeply uphill less than 100m after the first right turn. And then a dirt track turns left again and things get steep. I'd carry some water with you, but you can buy water at the Buddha anyway. This hike is not super hard, but you will need to be reasonably fit.

Hike to Phuket Big Buddha - Dirt Path

(above) Start of the dirt track. Things start to climb pretty quickly. After less than 10 minutes we reached a point where the jungle opened up and we got some views back towards Karon beach.

Phuket Big Buddha Hike - View over Karon Beach

(above) Lana and the view after about 25 minutes walk. It's very green up here in the hills. You can see there are condominium developments further down the hill, but nothing once you get above 100m above sea level. I was sweating already, but the really steep walking was just about to start! In the next half kilometer we gained about 150m in altitude and it took about 20 minutes. The steepest sections have ropes to help you. And the ropes were needed! This new path is easy enough to follow, but it's not an easy hike!

Steep Path up to the Big Buddha

(above) On the steep section of the hike up to the Big Buddha. This was hard work for a little while. I'd not want to try in wet weather and was glad I did not wear my usual footwear (flip flops!) - running shoes or walking boots best although something like a decent pair of Teva sandals might be OK.

On the jungle hike to the Phuket Big Buddha

(above) Me and Steve on the way up. Several short breathers were needed. I mean, I am not too unfit these days and was not huffing and puffing too much, but it was very sweaty work!

Finally things flattened off a bit for a couple of hundred meters before the path came out onto the normal road up to the Big Buddha, which starts in Chalong. You could also simply hike up the road, but where's the fun in that! From the upper reaches of the road you get views across the sea with Karon beach way down below.

Road to the Big Buddha

(above) Easy walking for the last half kilometer along the road to the Big Buddha.

Big Buddha Entry Sign

(above) There has never been an entry fee to the Phuket Big Buddha, but there are a lot of donation boxes, and also stalls selling Buddha related items and you still have the chance to write your name on a piece of marble which may be used in construction of the surrounding buildings. A reminder on this sign above to dress modestly. If you have just hiked up in a vest you'll need a sarong or scarf to cover shoulders (Lana brought one with her). Shorts are OK, but please not swimwear or anything showing too much flesh. I last went up to the Buddha about a year ago and was pleased to see some changes. The steps going up look much better now and are being marbled and the viewpoint area looking east to Chalong Bay has been made nice (and the view is great of course!)

The Phuket Big Buddha

View east from the Big Buddha

(above) The Big Buddha and the view east over Chalong Bay. Steve, Lana and I have of course all visited the Big Buddha many times before, but we took a walk around for some photos and to enjoy the breeze which helped dry my sweat a bit! Nice to visit the Buddha early in the day when it's not so crowded and not so hot!

View looking north from the Big Buddha

(above) I have always loved the view north across the hills, along the "spine of Phuket". Up in the hills, Phuket is still so green. The name "Phuket" comes from the Malay word Bukit, which means hill.

View looking south from the Big Buddha

The view south (above) is also pretty great - you can see right down to the tip of Phuket at Phromthep Cape. More green hills. The developed area on the right side of the picture is along the back road behind Kata beach and heading towards Chalong. To the left is Chalong Bay heading down towards Rawai.

And then - time to walk back down again ... back down the road, but passing the steep path where we'd come up. The steeper sections of that would probably see me going down on my backside! If you walk further there's an elephant riding place / ATV place on the left and the path is signposted back to Kata / Karon.

Hiking down from the Big Buddha

(above) Me and Steve at the start of the path down again. There was plenty of easy walking, though the distance is further than the steep path on the way up.

Heading down from the Big Buddha

(above) Lana and Steve on a nice easy path on the way down. There are some steeper sections going down, especially one part with a slippery dirt path, but it's mostly easy going. I would add a couple more photos, but .. my phone battery died - I was taking photos, plus running 2 different apps to track the path (Strava and MapMyWalk) - I think having both of these using GPS plus all the photos drained the battery. I wanted to map the paths up and down. So it looks like I need to do this hike again very soon! For now, you can find the map of the upward path on both Strava and MapMyWalk. For some good exercise, great views and to avoid paying a taxi I recommend hiking up to the Big Buddha!

You can download a .gpx file here - this can be imported into Google Earth (click on File > Import .. then choose the file you downloaded and make sure the file selection is set to "all files". Then you can see the path to the Big Buddha in Google Earth).