Attractions in Phuket
Phuket is steeped in history. From ancient times the island has been on well-established trade routes and thus frequented by traders , explorers and other, less than honest, travellers.
Tin mining played a pivotal part in the development of the island and when that industry petered out the immigrant Chinese population settled down and profited from the rubber industry. Sea Gypsies also played their part in the formation of modern Phuket. Catch up on local history at one of the island's fascinating museums.
Other Museums in Phuket
Baan Chinpracha, at 98 Krabi Road in Phuket, is a fine example of a Sino-Colonial mansion and is just a few doors away from the famous Blue Elephant Restaurant. Visitors not only will have a sneak peek of how a wealthy Phuket family used to live many decades ago but they can meet its owner too.
Jaroonrat 'Daeng' Tandavanitj and her late husband, Pracha Tandavanitj, inherited this elegant building from his father, who in turn was the eldest son of the original owner, Phra Pitak Chinpracha, who built it in 1903. Read More...
- Opening Hours: From 09:00-16:30. Private functions are also welcome. It is closed on Sundays.
- Location: 98 Krabi Road. It’s only a few doors from the Blue Elephant Restaurant
- Tel: +66 (0)76 211 167 and +66 (0)76 211 281
Phuket Cultural Centre at Rajabhat
Phuket Cultural Centre at Phuket Rajabhat University has a modest exhibition spread over three floors showcasing the life of local southern Thais as well as Phuket’s unique history and culture. Part of the exhibition includes a simulated Thai-Chinese house, a handful of vintage tin-mining items, old ceramics from China and the Netherlands, Thai shadow puppets, as well as a model of a local sea gypsy village. Since the centre does not have information in English, a guide might be needed. Visitors may request a free tour guide by calling in advance or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
- Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 08:30 – 16:30, closed on weekends and public holidays
- Location: Inside the Phuket Rajabhat University on Thepkrasattri Road
- Tel: +66 (0) 76-240474-6 ext. 148
- Price Range: Free
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. Read More...
- 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
Phuket Philatelic Museum
Located inside an 80-year-old building on Montri Road, the stamp museum looks amazing from the outside and the interior is under development but still open for the public at no entrance fee. At the moment, there are three sections inside: The first part exhibits posters explaining how the Thai Postal Service has developed since its start during the reign of forward-thinking King Rama V. The second room houses a good amount of old (some antique) equipment and machines such as telegraph tickers, telephones, and parcel-weighing machines.
The last section is a souvenir room where sets of Thai stamps are on sale, along with other items. When the project is completed they expect to have over 700 sets (totaling more than 1,000 stamps) of real vintage and interesting Thai stamps on display. All information will be in both English and Thai. Currently most information on display is in Thai only.
- Opening Hours: Every day apart from Sundays, Mondays and public holidays, from 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
- Location: Next to the main Phuket Post Office on Montri Road
- Tel: 076-211020
The Seashell Museum near Evason Resort in Rawai contains and displays valuable seashells from all over the world. Many are among the most sought-after by collectors and are from Phuket and Thai waters. It's a perfect attraction to keep kids and adults entertained on a rainy day.
The museum is very well put together and is located in the basement of the large building. It has four main exhibitions, all with information in both English and Thai. The entry fee is reasonable. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00
- Location: Drive from Chalong Circle all the way down to Rawai, it will be on your right-hand side.
- Tel: +66 (0)76 381 266 or +66 (0)76 381 274
Phuket Trickeye Museum is an interactive 3D painting exhibition offering amazing photo opportunities and great fun for the whole family. Located on the corner of Montri and Phang Nga roads in a large two-storey building (which used to be a popular movie theatre until 2002), Phuket Trickeye Museum features a gallery of about 100 painted and sculpted scenes using trompe-l’oeil (French for ‘deceive the eye’) techniques, placing visitors in hilarious unreal world-like situations.
Trompe-l’oeil is an ancient painting technique that requires a certain geometrical skill; the idea is to create a three dimensional illusion on a two dimensional (flat) background. Perspectival illusionism rules at Phuket Trickeye Museum, and you are sure to be fooled by the impressive paintings on display here. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 09:00 – 21:00 (last admission 20:00)
- Location: at the corner of Montri and Phang Nga roads in Phuket Town, right next to Pearl Hotel
- Tel: 076-212806, 090-0658822
Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Road is one of the best looking and well-maintained Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket. This recently renovated building was at one stage a Chinese-language school. These days it is used as a museum, exhibition space and an occasional function hall. Read More...
Phuket's national museum in Thalang contains ancient artifacts from Phuket and the Andaman region's long history and has exhibits about the famous Battle of Thalang where the well-known Two Heroines Chan and Mook (featured at a monument on the main road nearby) defended the island against the Burmese in the 18th century.
It also has information and exhibits about daily life in Phuket, its tin mining history, the indigenous Sea Gypsy culture and the island's Chinese heritage. Read More...
- Opening Hours: Daily except holidays 09:00 – 16:00
- Location: Just next to the Heroines' Monument on Pa Khlok Rd, north of Phuket City.
- Tel: 076 311 025, 076 311 426
Thavorn Hotel Lobby Museum
Eclectic and eccentric are the two words that best describe the small museum in the lobby of the Thavorn Hotel in Phuket City. An assortment of artifacts and photos, gathered by the Chinese-Thai family who run the Thavorn group, are displayed erratically in a rather dingy and dim setting.
In addition to an extensive collection of photos of old Phuket and Thai royalty, there are traditional Chinese wedding hats, tin mining equipment, toy trains, opium smoking beds and pillows, and movie posters. Stepping into this place really does feel like entering another era.
- Opening Hours: Daily, 24 hours
- Location: Thavorn Hotel, 74 Rassada Rd, Phuket City
- Tel: 076-211333-5, 076-211339
- Price Range: 30 Baht