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Network with Songkhla ‘may boost revival of Phuket Old Town’

January 28, 2014

Progress in turning Phuket’s Old Town into a first-class tourism site continue after the Mayor of Phuket City, Somjai Suwannasupapana met recently with her counterpart from Songkhla, Somsak Thantisaenee.


Kawee Tonsukatanon, Deputy Mayor of Phuket City, told The Phuket News today that the town has joined a network with Songkhla and Chiang Mai, both of which have established Old Town Foundations. Phuket has done the same, and hopes the three cities can learn from one another.

“We are trying to preserve the old town so that it looks the best that it can. The electricity company helped us to put telephone and electricity cables underground [in Thalang Rd] and installed [coloured] LED lights.

“We have also asked owners of shop houses to take part by fixing and painting their window frames and the stucco on their shopfronts. They have to pay only 10 to 25 per cent of the cost; the rest will be met by the Old Town Foundation.”

The city also hopes that companies may step forward to help. The paint company TOA set an example the year before last by painting all the houses on Soi Romanee, providing both paint and labour.

“We have also reopened the five-foot ways [covered walkways] along some parts of the streets by removing walls and persuading shops to move their goods out of the way, allowing people to walk along the street in the shade.

“We wanted to join the network with Songkhla and Chiang Mai because we have had the same experience as them in trying to develop the old town by registering a foundation.”

At the Chinese New Year celebrations on February 7 to 9 at Dragon Park, he said, the Municipality would inform the public of progress so far in reviving the old town and of its further plans.
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