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.
Entrance for adults is 500 baht, while for children 101-130cm tall the price is 300 baht (these rates are of May 2014). Before entering the museum, all visitors are asked to take off their shoes which are then kept in plastic bags at a counter in the main entrance hall. It’s here where you’ll find the first large painted illusion: a view of an Old Phuket Town street (the corner of Phuket and Phang Nga roads) featuring a large hole filled in with lava.
The first room looks like a classic museum gallery with various canvases hanging on the walls: paintings of Van Gogh, Munch, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Millet (to name just a few) are reproduced in a hyper-realistic way all with an added twist, making them really amusing. For instance, The Gleaners by Jean-François Millet do not glean weeds but rather banknotes, which lie in front of the frame. Another world-famous painting – The Mona Lisa – shows an inflated version of the iconic Italian lady linked to a bicycle pump. Modern images are also presented as you follow the large corridors around the museum, leading you to the largest room of all (which used to be the movie theatre itself). Here you can try to cool off the ‘Human Torch’ (from the Fantastic Four) with a fire extinguisher, attempt to open the safe inside a bank, practice flying a delta plane above Promthep Cape, or get punched in the face by Mike Tyson; each one of the images on display in the gallery takes you to a fantasy world.
The central part of Phuket Trickeye Museum places you in blockbuster movies-like scenes such as standing on a broken bridge above rapids; hanging on a rope ladder pulled by a helicopter in front of a huge waterfall; sharing a subway wagon with a zombie; running in front of bulls set loose in the street of a Spanish town; sitting in the side-car of a motorbike driving precariously on the side of a cliff - and much more.
Visiting Phuket Trickeye Museum is a great experience for children and adults alike; the quality of the paintings on display is outstanding and some sample photos are available to help people position themselves in front of each scene in a way to capture the most realistic photograph as possible. All in all, the visit can last up to two hours and is a perfect way to spend a rainy day or to escape from the heat of the beach for a while. Drinks and snacks are also available right in front of the museum’s entrance.
Phuket Trickeye Museum
- Opening Hours: 10:00 – 19:00 (last admission 18:00)
- Location: at the corner of Montri and Phang Nga roads in Phuket Town, right next to Pearl Hotel
- Tel: +66 (0)76-212806, +66 (0)90-0658822
- Price Range: Adults 500 baht, children 101-130cm tall 300 baht