On January 10th 2011, Mr. Niphit Intharasombat, Minister of Culture, said that the Senate’s Committee on Tourism had proposed Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket and Phuket Province itself be registered on the World Heritage List. He added that Phuket could apply for World Heritage registration together with Malacca and Penang, Malaysia. However, this needed to be confirmed by Malaysia.
Another solution was apply for registration alone, without Malacca and Penang’s area, but still propose the common natural and cultural uniqueness that the 3 cities had, together with the natural characteristics of Phang Nga Bay and Krabi Province in the application.
He had assigned the Department of Fine Arts to study the possibility of Phuket and Sino-Portuguese buildings being registered on the World Heritage List following the regulations of the Committee on World Heritage.
Sino-Portuguese architecture is a combination between eastern and western architectures. It was first found in 1511. This style of architecture can be found in Malacca, Penang, Singapore, Macau and Thailand.
In Thailand, such styles of buildings are located in Phuket, Ranong, Krabi, Phang Nga, and Trang. Most of the buildings were constructed in the period of Kaw Sim Bee Na Ranong, the Governor of Phuket during 1901-1913. The creators of the buildings were wealthy Chinese tin mine operators.
Phuket City Municipality together with private and government sectors have developed and conserved the buildings known as Phuket Old Town since 1994. Phuket Old Town covers an area of 210 rai on Rassada Road, Phang Nga Road, Yaowarat Road, Krabi Road, Dibuk Road, Thalang Road, and Thepkrasatri Road. Any buildings higher than 12 meters are not allowed in this area.
Translation based on News from Quality of Life, Manager Online