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Our Guide to the Local Foods & Cultures of Phuket

Our Guide to the Local Foods & Cultures of Phuket

Phuket Town’s blossoming street art scene has become one of the primary tourist attractions for those visiting Phuket. Not only is it a chance to appreciate the artistry of the locals, but it also gives the town a more aesthetically pleasing look. Unpleasant and dangerous overhead electrical wires have been removed and buried, one old Sino-Portuguese building has been given a radiant facelift, and sidewalks have been repaved. This town, once known only for its old-world charm, is now getting more popular, thanks to the recent addition of extremely colorful works of art on some of the old buildings.

The Origins of Phuket Town’s Street Art

It was in 2016 when an initiative from a local artist and famous property developer became the talk of the town. The project, known as F.A.T. Phuket or Food Art Town Phuket, brought together Thailand’s local artists and mural painters. The subjects on the paintings were quite controversial, but mostly because it is often misinterpreted.

Gone are the days where kids would spray paint on the walls and create nonsensical graffiti pieces all over town. Street art has now taken a new form—creative and more artistic, with artists being more innovative and advanced in their approach.

The street art pieces and murals all depict bright and vivid local food and cultures. They add fresh paint and a cheery dash of color to the once-dull Sino-Portuguese old buildings.

Let us take a look at some of the paintings and their relation to Phuket’s vibrant culture:

1. Sweet Dream Girl

Sweet Dream Girl tells the story of a girl, soundlessly sleeping with some sweets on her hand. She is dressed in Baba-style clothing, which is traditionally worn for a wedding ceremony in Phuket Town. This adorable and whimsically-themed mural can be found on Ratchada Road in the alley next to the famous Hongkong Restaurant.

2. Children with Firecrackers

Located opposite the popular Ko Benz boiled rice restaurant between Patiphat and Krabi Road, this stunning piece of art portrays children with white clothes playing with different kinds of firecrackers. They are in the middle of a street parade celebrating Phuket Town’s world-renowned Vegetarian Festival. Despite not as popular as the other paintings, Children with Firecrackers is still considered a favorite due to the intricacy of colors and details on the painting.

3. Red Turtle Cake for Phor Tor Festival

Located at the junction of Thalang and Romanee Road, this painting is one of the most frequently photographed in Phuket Town. With its magnificent design and strategic location, the Red Turtle Cake is a large-scale depiction of the yearly Hungry Ghosts Festival (or the Phor Tor Festival).

This painting, in its show-stopping red color, shows that of Mardi being incorporated into Ang Ku—a sweet cake shaped like a red turtle. This snack is the symbol of good fortune and a good life and a famous snack during the Hungry Ghosts Festival.

4. Worshipping Deities

Located in Phang Nga Road, at the entrance to the Saeng Tham Shrine or Shrine of the Serene Light, this mural shows the traditional ka-le group of puppeteers. It has been part of the Phuket culture to offer fruits, sweets, and various foods to Chinese deities in exchange for good luck and blessings. Back in the days, there were Chinese hand puppet shows to entertain the deities.

As Phuket Town’s street arts continue to flourish and blossom, it will be no surprise that there will be more and more art pieces offering grand and unique styles, as well as scenes that convey an affectionate and positive light on Old Town Phuket and the entire island.

Want to walk through the town trying to spot as many murals as possible? We’re just the place to start from. Book a Bed Poshtel is a backpacker poshtel in Phuket—get in touch today to book your stay!