Phuket Mining Museum, located in Kathu on the road between Loch Palm Golf Club and British International School, is one of the island’s most interesting museums. It features displays ranging from tin mine models to a recreated scene in an opium den.
A visit with a guide (or someone who has some knowledge about Phuket's history) is recommended as, for now, most of the signs and descriptions are only in Thai. There’s a minimal entrance fee.
Phuket Mining Museum Highlights
In the past Phuket was a major tin-producing centre and drew thousands of Chinese labourers who eventually settled on the island. In short, Phuket would not have its multicultural identity without tin. The museum covers the issue well with both outdoor and indoor exhibitions.
Outside the building, visitors will see a few styles of tin mining methods as well as some actual equipment used in the old days. Once inside, there are many exhibitions including pictures illustrating the lives and working conditions of the workers. There’s also a good section about locals who lived in Kathu Village back then. Kathu was considered a major area for this industry.
While the men went out and did the hard labour, the women stayed home to raise the children. They did a bit of extra work in their free time to help earn more money such as making brooms from reed grass and making sweet to sell. Looking at these displays makes ones feel just like you are staring at someone’s kitchen or private room when the owners were not around or unaware. They look pretty real indeed.
Opened in August 2009, Phuket Mining Museum is a very informative cultural and historical attraction. It was built in the Sino-Portuguese style similar to the vintage mansions belong to the well-to-do Chinese families scattered around the old Phuket Town area.
At first the entrance was free and donations were accepted. Now there’s a reasonable fixed fee; For Thais 50 baht per adult and 20 baht per child and for foreigners 100 baht per adult and 50 baht per child.
Phuket Mining Museum
- Opening Hours: Mon to Sat from 08:00 – 16:00, closed on Sundays
- Location: On the road between Loch Palm Golf Club and British International School. You can't miss the entrance: a Sino-Portuguese style double archway
- Tel: +66 (0) 88 766 0962