It was a rainy morning and stuck for what to do I decided on a walk around Suan Luang Rama 9 Park (สวนสาธารณะสวนหลวง ร.9). The park is located on an old tin mining area just outside the main part of Phuket Town on Chao Fa East Road (click 'location' at bottom of post for a map). The park is also known as Phuket Provincial Commemoration Park as it was re-developed in 1987 to celebrate the King's 60th birthday.
Usually on a fine day and especially early morning or just before sunset the park is full of locals coming to walk, play takraw, volleyball, football or basketball, picnic or even just sit and watch the world go by. At 10am this morning the park was deserted except for a couple of westerners working out on the exercise machines that surround the central lake..
The one thing that hit me was the lack of litter - none at all! People were there cutting grass, planting reeds in the water and one guy going around in a small boat collecting rubbish from the pond.
Many of the Ficus trees (ต้นไทร) had spirit houses underneath.
It is common for Thai people to put unwanted spirit houses under Ficus trees along the roadsides as these trees are believed to be sacred as well as bringing shade and the park has found it necessary to put up a huge sign threatening a 2000Baht fine if caught!
At one end of the park is an old bridge that suddenly makes you feel you are in Europe and not Phuket.
The park is a nice place to sit and read or even just watch everyone else being active!
Part of the park doesn't allow pets so don't bring your dog unless you want to stick to the roadside.
If you visit the park in the evening you can also continue on to Phuket's well known Weekend Market or Suan Luang Market. Just head out of the side entrance on Wirat Hong Yok Road and you will find Suan Luang Market (open everyday) or turn left and head to the Weekend Market (only on Saturday and Sunday of course). There are also plenty of places to eat outside both entrances of the park as well as convenience stores if you want to do a picnic. If you are at the park in the morning then you could always combine this with a visit to Naka Temple.