Every Sunday, Thalang Street in Phuket Town closes to automobiles and motorbikes and becomes a Walking Street (night market). It’s official name is Lard Yai (หลาดใหญ่). It is one of the things that we do often, and talk about enough, that a few of our friends have asked us to write about it. So here it is!
Entering Old Town in Phuket Town is like stepping back in time. It is lined with Sino Portuguese shop houses (town homes where the ground floor is a shop) that are stacked up in rows, some painted in bright, crisp colors, some run down and looking as though they may fall in if it wasn’t the shared walls on either side. The roads are wide and most are one way, so it is easy to walk around the area and take in the scenery.
During the walking street on Sunday (from 4pm-10pm) the shophouses are lit up with colored LED lights. Most of the businesses are closed, save for the bars. You can sit and enjoy an alcoholic beverage at any of the bars on the street, but you cannot drink them while walking, no smoking while walking either. The food stalls and people selling their goods are all positioned down the middle the street, leaving large pathways on either side of them (smaller strollers are good to use here). It is a nicer, more relaxed way to go to a night market than the often overcrowded and stifling humid Weekend Market. The crowds are mostly Thai (even during high season) and it feels safer and everyone is very polite and helpful.
On the end of Thalang Road near Yaowarat Road, there are people lined up to sing Karaoke (some are even pleasant to listen to!). Throughout the area there are street performers, musicians, and even a clown (eek!) that will make extremely complicated balloon “animals” for your little ones (or you if you so wish ).
Overall, the Walking Street is just a fun and easy thing to do on a Sunday night. We often grab our favorite foods (pork and sticky rice, Issan sausages, squid eggs) and anything else that looks tasty and sit at the far end of Thalang Road towards Yaowarat Road in a little seating area set up by Singha Beer where you can buy a pint, pitcher, or mini keg of Sigha or Leo beer. Then we just sit, eat, drink some beer (well, Z drinks water), and chat while people watching. It’s fun for the whole family!
Someone asked me where we park and for a map of the area… so I drew a map to show where to park. Please look past my less-than-perfect drawing skills.
Tips for Enjoying the Phuket Town Walking Street:
- Go Early- If you arrive between 4pm-6pm you will have an easier time finding parking and wandering slowly through the people selling their wares.
- Use a Stroller- If you have a child(ren) it may be easier for you to use a small stroller. It can get a little crowded and often people do not look down when they are walking. I always freak out that Z will get stumbled on (I know it’s just a personal paranoia, but still…).Not only that, it gives you a way to carry the things you buy, and the drinks or food you can’t carry at the same time as enjoying something else delicious.
- Take Your Time and Sit and Enjoy- Don’t rush! Eat some food, sit in one of the restaurants/bars and people watch for a while. Make sure that you get all the street food your stomach desires before rushing off. Most of the places will let you sit and eat street food if you buy a drink or two there.
- Explore the Area- Thalang Road is where the walking street occurs, but the blocks around it are full of fun things to see and do. Most of our favorite restaurants, coffee shops, and craft beer sellers are in the area (more on those in a future post!).
Now it’s your turn! Would you go to the Walking Street? If you could eat any type of street food, what would it be? Do you have an abnormal fear of your child getting trampled? Or a real fear of clowns? Leave a comment and join in the fun!