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For the first time in Phuket, in cooperation with 30 different southern museums, the Museum Festival 2012 was held on 21st Septemeber 2012 for three days.

Four landmark Sino Colonial buildings - Thai Hua Museum, Phuket Baba Museum, Phuket Thai Hua Club and Phuket Municipality Information Centre - hosted the festival, with the main area being the Thai Hua Museum on Krabi Rd in Phuket Town.
The festival included exhibitions from 30 different museums from around southern Thailand, with collections on display including rare souvenirs, prizes, products for sale, educational seminars and dance performances.

Thalang National Museum

Thalang National museum is the National Museum of Phuket Province.

The museum takes the name of Thalang National Museum to honour the two courageous Thai Heroine sisters ( Thao Thep Kasatri and Thao Sri Suntorn ) who repulsed the Burmese army in 1785 at Thalang town, Phuket. In cooperation with the Fine Arts Department, the museum was first established in 1985 on the 200th anniversary of this famous historic event. It was inaugurated on March 14, 1989 by H.R.H. Princess Sirinthorn.

It is a repository of history, archaeology and culture of Phuket Province and its surrounding area along the Andaman coastline. In addition, the museum continues to preserve the cultural heritage and serves as a vital source of historic information for visitors to Phuket.

The exhibitions are housed in two buildings showing history, archaeology, culture and art of Phuket Province and the Andaman. It has information and exhibits about historic daily life in Phuket, the tin mining history, the island's Chinese heritage, and the indigenous Sea Gypsy culture.

Thalang National Museum

Thalang National Museum

There are broadly five aspects on display:
- Prehistoric artifacts found and excavated in Phuket (especially on the west side) and the Andaman coast.
- The influence of Indian civilization on the southern peninsula of Thailand showing ancient relations between India and this region, with exhibits of Visnu, Buddhist votive tablet, replica of stupa, beads, and more.
- Historical events of Phuket Province, especially the battle of Thalang.
- Displays of culture, tradition, way of living and tools of local people of Phuket.
- There are also displays on the art, architecture and history of other parts of Thailand, including the ancient Sukhothai kingdom.

Moo 3, Srisoonthorn Road, Thalang, Phuket 83110

(200 meters east of the Heroines' Monument)

Tel: 076 311025 & 311426

Open daily from 08.30 am to 4.00 pm
(except national holidays).
Admission: (Adults and children) 30 baht.

Phuket Cultural Centre

Phuket Cultural Centre is located in the grounds of the Phuket Rajabhat University on Thepkrasattri Road. It displays history as well as the arts and culture of Phuket, such as houses, ways of life, and utensils of the city of Thalang in ancient times. Furthermore, the library collects books on Phuket's history and culture.

The centre is open daily for free from 8.30 a.m. - 4.30 p.m., except public holidays.

For a group of visitors who need a guided tour, please address a letter of request to the Phuket Cultural Centre at 21 Thepkrasattri Road, Tambon Ratsada, Amphoe Mueang Phuket, Phuket, or call Tel. 076 240474-7 ext. 148, 076 211959, 076 222370, Fax: 076 211778.

Phuket Philatelic Museum

Please see our architecture section.

Sea Shell Museum

This establishment at Rawai is considered to be one of the world's most outstanding private museums, and is said to contain the most valuable collection of seashells anywhere.

Whilst most of the shells are from Phuket and the sea around Thailand, there are also a large number from other parts of the world.

Each of the 2,000 specimens has been carefully selected for its quality and condition. Shell collectors from around the world have proclaimed this collection to be one of the most extraordinary to be found.

Seashell Museum Phuket - 140 karat golden pearl

Seashell Museum Phuket - 150 million year old Titanites giganteus fossil

Rarities include an oyster weighing 140 karats (the world's largest golden pearl), shell fossils millions of years old, and a huge shell weighing 250 kilograms.

12/2 Moo 2, Viset Road, Rawai, Phuket 83130

Tel:   076 381266 & 381274

Open from 8.00am to 6.00pm daily.

Admission: Adults 200 baht, Children 100 baht.

Tin Mining Museum

The tin mining era in Phuket was between the 1930's and 1980's. There was a huge demand for tin worldwide during this period, and the island was renowned for its tin, which contained no arsenic (thus making it less dangerous to mine).

Tin, when combined with copper, was used to form the harder material bronze. It was also used as a coating to prevent rust.

The museum indicates the important role that the tin mining era had in the culture and ethnic mix of the island. There is also information on tin in general, various methods of extraction and how the ore is turned into pure metal. There also many old photographs from the era.

Phuket Tin Mining Museum

The museum is housed in an impressive Sino Portuguese mansion.

In actual fact, the museum was due to open in 2007 but two years later it still had not been officially opened. However visitors are most welcome, and currently there is no charge.

The museum is located fairly close to the British International School. When heading north on Thepkrasattri Road, turn left (towards the School) almost opposite Boat Lagoon. Proceed west past the school (on the right hand side). Two kilometers after the School, the imposing entrance gateway to the museum can be seen on the left hand side in the middle of the countryside. (This road continues on to the Loch Palm golf club at Kathu).

The old Thavorn hotel lobby

Not quite a museum in the true sense, but perhaps a unique walk back in time to visit memories of old Phuket.

This is the old and original Thavorn Hotel, centrally located in Rasda Road, Phuket City. The old Thavorn Hotel is unique. It is a sight not to be missed and has a intereseting history that is still shown proudly in a permanent exhibition (also called the "museum") in and around its lobby.

Foreign tourists rarely stay in this original Thavorn Hotel but it is a magnificent piece of Phuket history. However, (ex-) Phuketians still prefer it to other hotels. During the Vegetarian Festival or during the Songkran holidays, the Thavorn is the first hotel to be fully booked.

The Thavorn Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Phuket City, and it has a most remarkable past.

It was founded in the beginning of the twentieth Century by the Thavorn Wong family, a Phuketian family of Chinese origin.

old Thavorn hotel Phuket

old Thavorn hotel Phuket

The lobby has a magnificent staircase. But not only is the staircase special for the Thavorn Hotel, its elevator is also famous. It was the first elevator in Phuket province, and one of the first elevators in Thailand. This was such a "miracle" at the time, that tour operators in the wide surroundings organized tours to Phuket Town in these old days, with the elevator in the Thavorn Hotel as the main attraction! These tours were very popular. The elevator has since been modernized!

The Thavorn Hotel has seen many important visitors, including their majesties King Bhumibol Adulyadej and Queen Sirikit, and many politicians (Thai and foreign).

In addition to an extensive collection of photos of old Phuket and Thai royalty, there are movie posters, opium smoking beds and pillows, traditional Chinese wedding hats, tin mining equipment, and even toy trains. Stepping into the old Thavorn hotel really does feel like going back in time.

74 Rasada Road, Phuket City.
Tel: 076 211333-5, Fax: 076 215559

The On On Hotel - Phuket City

This is not a museum, although according to some reviews it probably should be.

It's first claim to fame is that it is supposedly the first and oldest hotel in Phuket, dating around 1929. The hotel is located in the historic district of town and is certainly the cheapest backpacker hotel around.

It was built in the days before aircon, and accordingly the circulation of cool air was more important than noise and privacy. This no doubt explains why the walls are little more than paper thin partitions with gaping holes at the floors and ceilings. Flourescent light, from the noisy meandering corridors with some Chinese spittoons, stream into the rooms with their sparce decor and hard mattresses.

On On hotel Phuket city

It's second and third claim to fame is it that it was featured in the film "The Beach" and later in the Tsunami mini series.

In "The Beach" this huge wooden maze of battered rooms portrayed a dilapidated hotel in Bangkok, in the early scenes of the film.

In the Tsunami mini series it acted out its own role as a dilapidated hotel in Phuket.

Its fame and the charm of its faded glamour will no doubt keep it going. It is certainly fairly unique and has some character all of its own.

19 Phang Nga Rd, Phuket Town.
Tel: (076) 211154 and 225740, and 225741

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