Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Road in Phuket Town was a good surprise. I visited it few years ago when it was just reopened and despite being a beautiful house, it was just an empty building. Museums in Phuket tend to be soulless run down buildings, a bit like the Thalang Museum or even the recent Phuket Mining Museum in Kathu so in general, I don’t really place Museums at the top of my list of 10 Things to Do in Phuket. So what changed my mind?
Now let me give you three reasons why you should stop and visit the Thai Hua Museum. First it is really well located, near all the beautiful historical streets and buildings of Phuket Town so you can learn about all the buildings, shops and businesses you just walked by in town. Second, it is done with great taste and quality design. Third, the history itself is well displayed, well explained and not too academic like museums often like, which makes it a pleasure to read.
I won’t get too much into details about the island’s history, as I will (try to) write a page about it later and I would be the one boring, but you will be introduced to all the major figures who influence the course of Phuket history in the past centuries, including several Chinese families still prominent today. Learn what brought them to Phuket and what was the trade like at the time, very influenced by the tin mining.
Thai Hua Museum built in 1917 was originally a school and was first called ‘Phuket Huabun School’ and later ‘Ratjunhua School’ until it got its today’s name of ‘Thai Hua School’. The museum dedicates a large section to the old Sino-Portuguese Phuket and the architecture of the many beautiful mansions I described on ‘18 Great Mansions of Phuket‘ but also how people built and run restaurants, shops and even a scaled model of a typical Sino-Portuguese shophouse and visit a classroom from the past. A room describes all the major events and festivals of Phuket such as the famous and bizarre Phuket Vegetarian Festival and how it all started in 1825.Stop for an hour and enjoy it. The setup is done just right so it doesn’t get boring or over educational and the architecture of the museum is just beautiful. The price is a bit high: 200 Baht for the visit, plus 200 additional Baht if you want to take photos! Don’t ask me why, I have no idea.
Open: Daily from 09:00 – 17:00
Tel: +66 (0)76 211 224
Entrance 200 Baht for foreign visitors and 50 for Thai visitors + 200 for photo taking.
Thai Hua Museum is # 42 on Phuket Map