One of my favorite series of postcards found around Phuket are those featuring old black & white photographs of locations around Phuket Town. Most of these constitute my neighborhood in what is known as the Old Town district (actually, Talat Yai which translates to “big market”). The main reasons I moved into this area was because of the local history and the architecture that the majority of the buildings still exhibit. It’s very similar to the Sino-Portuguese style one can see on a larger scale in George Town on Penang Island, Malaysia. I believe the arched “five-foot way” over the sidewalks originated in colonial Singapore.
The view shown on this postcard is looking south down Th. (short for thanon, or “road”) Yaowarat from its intersection with Th. Deebuk. The main commercial district of the town was (and still is) centered on the next crossroad down which is Th. Krabi to the west and Th. Thalang to the east. Many of the buildings have been in the same families for generations, most of whom were Straits Chinese and barons in the local tin mining operations. The tree-covered restaurant on the corner in the right of the photo still operates under the same name, Lok-Tien, and is well-known for its traditional Phuket-style dishes.