Kopitiam Restaurant in Old Phuket Town

We first found Kopitiam in Old Phuket Town back in 2011 when it had just recently opened. I often enjoy a little walk in the old town with it's old buildings and interesting little shops. Thalang Road is the center of the old town, and over the last 5 years especially now that many of the ugly overhead wires have been hidden, the area has become very pleasant and more popular with tourists, especially Thai tourists - if you walk down Thalang road or the little side street called Soi Romanee you'll always see young Thai folks snapping photos of each other in front of old doorways! A fair number of small cafes and restaurants have opened on and around Thalang road over the last few years and there are also some older establishments like Abdul's Roti Shop. On that walk back in 2011 we decided to try out Kopitiam. There was a table full of Phuket locals sitting outside, always a good sign for good local food! It's become a favourite place for us since then.

Kopitiam locals

(above) Outside Kopitiam in 2011

Kopitiam coffee shops are found commonly in Malaysia and Singapore - the word comes from Kopi (Malay for Coffee) and Tiam (a Hokkien Chinese word for Shop) - Hokkien people migrated in large numbers to Phuket in the late 19th century and in Phuket Town this is obvious - many people are of Chinese descent (although the families now have Thai names), many shops have Chinese signs and there are Chinese shrines in and around Phuket Town.

Kopitiam is run by the Bumrungwong family who also run the well known herb shop next door - and the family also had the Wilai restaurant which is on the other side of the herb shop. Kopitiam is also called "Kopitiam by Wilai". The Wilai restaurant is now part of Kopitiam - an airconditioned section! And it has a little secret - a passageway through the kitchen leads to the Shrine of the Serene Light which has its entrance on Phang Nga Road one block south. There's quite a bit of history here!

The Oldest Herb Shop

(above) Inside the old herb shop next door to Kopitiam

Kopitiam on Thalang Road, Phuket Town

(above) Kopitiam from the outside

The history is evident inside Kopitiam, which has kept an old feel, built in a turn of the century (20th century) style shophouse with wooden beams across the ceiling and a stone floor. This used to be the family home. You'll find decorations consisting of Chinese signs, old Phuket photos and tasteful wooden furniture. No need for aircon really - it was a warm day, but these old shophouses never seem to get hot. A couple of ceiling fans is enough. If you are too hot, well, pop over to the other side of the herb shop into the aircon!

Kopitiam restaurant, Thalang Road, Phuket

(above) Inside Kopitiam

Kopitiam on Thalang Road

(above) Outside looking to the east along Thalang Road.

And the food! I note that despite our many visits I have very few food pics! I love the Phuket style pork, the various fried noodles, the penang curry is good, you can get snacks like french fries or tofu, they do Bak Kut Teh too. And many many different drinks. All kinds of juices, herb drinks, teas and coffees. And beer too! And during the Phuket Vegetarian Festival they do only vegan food.

Penang style stir fried flat noodle, "Char Kway Teow"

(above) Char Kway Teow

Mee Hokkien, vegetarian style.

(above) Mee Hokkien

Kopi at Kopitiam Phuket

(above) "Kopi O" - strong back coffee

Butterfly Pea Flower Drink

(above) On a hot day, maybe even better than a beer - try a butterfly pea flower drink ("Anchan")!

Photo of old Phuket Ferry

(above) You can have a history lesson while you wait for the food - there are loads of old Phuket photos around the walls showing the town, tin mines, and I was particularly interested to see pictures of the old ferry connecting Phuket to the mainland - the Sarasin bridge was only completed in 1967. Before that, Phuket really was an island!

Inside Kopitiam Restuarant on Thalang Road

(above) Inside Kopitiam (photo taken March 2016)

I always enjoy a walk around Phuket Town. There's still more work going on right now on other streets to hide all the wires like has already been done on Thalang Road. The area has been considered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is my favourite part of Phuket and my wife and I even joke (but in a serious way) about living in an old shophouse in town one day :)

Kopitiam Location Map (Phuket Town)


View Kopitiam by Wilai - Restaurant in Phuket Town in a larger map

Birthday oy 74 years old and still kicking

Thanks to all my friends and family who took time out in their busy lives to wish this ole man a Happy

Birthday , I'm 74 now and today's Dr. check -up said all my Numbers or normal anddddd my Dr. she said 

I was the senior Poster Man in her book , and good to go for lots more years . Yee Haa .Had a great day 

friends and family stopped by with well wishes and and I had dinner at the Jungle Restaurant with the 


LOVE OF MY LIFE Ciejay. Thanks AGAIN for the well wishes.






The Big Chicken Restaurant

The Big Chicken has been a favourite place of mine to eat since 2008. This blog post was originally posted back then, but it has now been updated (March 2016). We used to eat there a lot, since it's pretty close to our house, prices are good .. very convenient for us, but a couple of weeks ago we realised that we'd not eaten there for maybe 2 years, as we have found other favourite places and sometimes the older places get forgotten. If you drive on the normal bus route between Patong and Phuket Town, after passing through the area called Tungtong, and passing the Phuket Country Club you'll see a restaurant that is also a local landmark. Everyone knows where the Big Chicken is! You can't miss it. There is a big chicken outside.

Big Chicken Restaurant

The actual name of the restaurant is Krua Tungtong. Not sure how many years it's been open, must be at least 20 years. I remember the first time we ate there - we figured it was a slightly fancy local place as the decor is quite decent (I mean wooden chairs instead of plastic!) and there always seemed to be nice cars parked outside. We thought it might be a bit more expensive than some other local places. Well, yes, a little bit, of course there are places to eat for 40 Baht, but although many of the customers do often seem to be well-off locals (with a fair few local foreigners) the restaurant is quite cheap. Thai dishes go for 80 - 120 Baht. You can get simple things like fried rice or chicken fried with garlic for 50 - 60 Baht. It always seems to be busy, and with a good trade you can keep the prices down.

Big Chicken Restaurant

(above) At the Big Chicken in 2016

Big Chicken Restaurant

(above) And my family eating there in 2008! It's hardly changed at all. Same decor, decent food at a good price. After a bit of a gap, I think it'll be back to being a regular place for us. You see, with this kind of restaurant, we can eat out as a family and the bill might come to 700 Baht. Can be less. Can be more. Depends of course what you order and how much you eat! I think our last bill was 790 Baht, but that included a couple of beers and a lot of food!

Tom Yum Gai

(above) Tom Yum with chicken and lots of mushrooms. My kids like to order it with extra mushrooms.

Chicken and lime sauce

(above) Chicken with lime sauce (like mayonnaise with lime) served with fried seaweed. Yum! Good if you don't like spicy food.

Aside from normal Thai food, they have a long, long list of Isaan food (northeast Thailand), and (they say) Vietnamese food. Having never been to Vietnam I can't say if this is authentic, but I had a "Vietnamese" noodle and sausage soup which was very tasty (and only 70 Baht!). The menu is about 10 pages. There's also a healthy supply of grilled chicken (Gai Yang) - which I guess is the house specialty and is why you find a 30 foot chicken outside! And grilled pork (Moo Yang) which I think is very good. A simple dish I like is Moo Yang with fried sticky rice.

Gaeng Om

(above) Gaeng Om, a kind of Isaan spicy, herby soup. You have to try something different sometimes!

Laab Neua (Laab with Beef)

(above) Laab with beef. Super tasty. I have also had the laab with fried fish and want to try more. The menu has a whole page of laab options!

Sometimes local restaurants open and close within a couple of years. There are at least 8 that I have blogged in the past that have closed down. Big Chicken is an old time favourite, very popular and I can say, to the best of my memory, that I have never had a bad meal here. Simple and tasty and here to stay.

More of our favourite places to eat in Phuket...

Laem Hin Seafood
Kopitiam in Old Phuket Town
The Beach Bar
Dairy Hut
More Phuket Restaurants

Big Chicken - Location Map