Flanked by paradisiacal shores, picturesque Phuket is known for her coastal beauty. There’s more to this island than fine swathes of golden shores, boundless turquoise waters and rugged coastlines; traverse through her lands, and you will discover charming temples, lively outdoor markets and intriguing museums showcasing the rich culture and history of this place and its people.
KATHU MINING MUSEUM
A visit to Kathu Mining Museum promises to be an informative one, providing a good insight into Phuket’s history that is not limited to the tin mining industry. Venture indoors, and you will chance upon exhibitions and images depicting the lifestyles and working conditions of the tin miners, as well as locals residing in Kathu Village. A selection of tin mining equipment and exhibits about the mining methods are displayed outdoors.
2. PHUKET CULTURAL CENTRE AT RAJABAT
Embark on a discovery of Phuket’s history, culture and the lifestyles of the locals residing in the south by taking a tour of the exhibition in the Phuket Cultural Centre at Phuket Rajabhat University. Displayed over three storeys, the exhibition features tin-mining items, old ceramics from China and the Netherlands, shadow puppets, as well as a simulated Thai-Chinese house. None of the information boards are written in English, so do take note to engage a free tour guide from the center during your visit.
3. PHUKET SEASHELL MUSEUM
Home to a whooping 2,000 shell species, the Phuket Seashell Museum is a family-friendly attraction that will delight both the young and old. Pore through the museum’s extensive collection, and you will discover tiger cowries, stout-spinem rex and the noble volute, as well as a variety of rare and unique items.
If you have been enticed by the fascinating seashell collections on display, get a collection of shell souvenirs from the gift store. Gift options are endless, ranging from sea shell carvings, jewellery, key chains and handicrafts, to a variety of pretty pearl accessories and dining sets.
4. THAI HUA MUSEUM
For a well-rounded insight into the history of Phuket, make a stop by Thai Hua Museum. Set in a well-maintained Sino-Portugese building, the grounds of the museum feature a lovely courtyard that opens out to the sky, as well as a garden with displays of tin mining equipment used in the olden days. You will also learn about the historical ties between Phuket and China, traditional ceremonies held on the island, Sino-Portugese buildings in Phuket and the local cuisine.through exhibits, information boards and snazzy high-tech, interactive displays.
5. THALANG NATIONAL MUSEUM
Set sight on a vast collection of ancient artefacts from Phuket and the Andaman region at Thalang National Museum. Wander over to the exhibits on the renowned Battle of Thalang, which provides detailed information on Chan and Mook, two local heroines who defended the island from Burmese invaders during the eighteenth century. Take an exploratory stroll through the lively exhibitions depicting the daily activities carried out by the locals in the olden days, browse through vintage images of the early Chinese settlers, and explore exhibits featuring the island’s tin mining history, sea gypsy culture and Chinese heritage.
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