Have you experienced the real Phuket? We’re not talking about, the beaches, the nightlife or the shopping complexes; we’re talking about the real Phuket. If you haven’t explored the history, culture, art and life at Phuket’s museums then you haven’t yet experienced the real Phuket.
Most of Phuket’s museums house collections of rarities and unusual items from Phuket’s history. There are some that include items from Thai waters and every part of the world, such as seashells, golden pearls, rocks and stones, fossils, and collections from Phuket’s long history such as antique pottery, ancient weapons, ancient artifacts and paintings. The discovery of paradise will begin once you start stepping into Phuket’s museums. Each museum presents Phuket in a different way but reflects the same thing – Phuket’s mystery and charm.
So, at each Phuket museum, history, culture, art and life are there for you to view, waiting for you to explore, admire and absorb.
Let’s take you on a tour of our top 5 Phuket Museums. We’ll start with our number 5
When you hear the Phuket Philatelic Museum some of you won’t know what type of Phuket museum this place is. Don’t worry we can tell you that the Phuket Philatelic Museum is also known as the Phuket Post Office museum.
Perhaps a Post Office museum won’t be on your list of things to do or places to visit in Phuket. However there are plenty of people who might actually enjoy this unusual museum.
The Phuket Post Office museum is located in the old Phuket Post Office in Phuket City which of course is the most suitable venue for a philatelic museum in Phuket. When you approach the old Phuket Post Office you will see the old sign which reads Post & Telegraph Office. Below that sign you will also see a banner which clearly states that the Phuket Philatelic Museum is located inside.
When you enter the building you will come across a lot of the authentic equipment which used to be found at post offices around the country. The highlight of what’s on show at the Phuket Post Office Museum must surely be its outstanding collection of Thai and Siamese stamps. For those of you who don’t know, Thailand used to be known as Siam before 1939. So if you collect stamps and are interesting in seeing a nice collection of local stamps then a visit to the Phuket Post Office museum in Phuket Town is simply a must.
There is plenty of other stuff which you can view and items include a collection of old telephones, old staff uniforms, various tools used by postmasters and a very collection of writing desks where clients used to be able to sit down and write letters, telegraphs or simply the addresses on envelopes. It definitely brings you back in time and this museum would be a great place to take your kids so they can learn a bit about history and how things used to be in the past.
4. Phuket Seashell Museum
Phuket Seashell Museum is located near Rawai Beach on the island’s southwestern shores.
For thirty years the Patamakanthin brothers have been searching the world for the most beautiful and unique seashells.
Today their collection of over 2,000 species is displayed at the Phuket Seashell Museum.
Visit the Phuket Seashell Museum and you will see one of the rarest golden pearls, the only left-handed Noble Volute, giant clams, and fossils dating back 380 million years!
Shell Collectors from around the world have proclaimed this collection to be one of the most extraordinary collections to be found anywhere.
You haven’t experienced Phuket if you haven’t seen the sea, the sand, and the Phuket Seashell Museum.
3. Phuket Aquarium
Located on the southern tip of Phuket Island, the Phuket Aquarium is part of the Phuket Marine Biological Center and offers visitors an opportunity for a wonderful, educational and entertaining excursion. Established in 1983, this aquarium is now one of the most popular destinations on Phuket Island, and the aquarium’s mission is to increase the awareness and the understanding of marine life and the coastal areas.
Phuket Aquarium is home to more than 150 species of marine life from both fresh and salt water ecosystems, but the focus is on those forms of sea life found in the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea. There are a variety of interactive exhibits showcasing different water based ecosystems such as rivers, lakes and coral reefs in addition to estuaries and mangroves. This educational journey is in both Thai and English so it is accessible to both resident and tourist.
The main feature of Phuket Aquarium is the tunnel tank. This large tunnel passes through an immense aquarium that is home to sharks, sting rays, wrasses, groupers and snappers. When you reach the end of the tunnel you are presented with eight enormous giant groupers that have been resident at the Aquarium for more than 20 years.
In addition to being an important entertainment and educational center, the Phuket Aquarium carries out serious and important marine sustenance. The scientists at this aquarium hatch and breed endangered species of sea turtles, striving to increase their numbers in the wild. There is even an observation area from where visitors can observe the eggs and the baby turtles in their tanks.
The Thai Hua School at Krabi Road, Phuket, is the oldest Chinese school in Thailand, founded in 1911. Built in 1934, it is a splendid example of European-Sino-Thai architecture of the 1930s, when Phuket architecture began to depart from the Straits Settlements style.
Reinforced concrete is used for canopies, brackets and a hanging staircase, while the decorative forms of the earlier period are also incorporated. The front gate is made of cast iron imported from Yates, Haywood & Co, Upper Thames, London.
When the school moved out to new, larger premises in the late 1990s, the Alumni Association initiated a project to conserve the old school building. Public archaeology in and around the building revealed the foundations of old classrooms, built in 1926.
The old Thai Hua School was used as a venue for community consultations in the planning process. It was used as an exhibition space during the annual Old Phuket Festival.
In mid-2005, The Office of Contemporary Art and Culture, of Thailand’s Cultural Ministry, decided to refurbish the Thai Hua School into an art gallery. The purpose was to promote Phuket’s artists as a contribution to post-tsunami recovery. The repairs and renovation were completed in one or two months.
This building has gained a second lease of life as an exhibition and performance space.
Thalang National museum is the National Museum of Phuket Province. At the beginning of the 1790’s, Phuket was an important factor in the protection of Thailand’s independency from the invading Burmese, two Thai heroines, repulsed the Burmese Army from Thai territory. The place where the Thai Army withheld the Burmese was at the city of Thalang on the Island of Phuket. It is from this historic event that the museum takes its name of Thalang National Museum.
In 1985, on the 200th anniversary of the Thalang War, Phuket Province, with the cooperation of the Fine Arts Department, established the Thalnag National Museum. The museum stands as a monument to honor these two courageous women, and is a repository of history, archaeology and culture of the Phuket Province and its surrounding area along the Andaman Sea. In addition, the museum continues to preserve the cultural heritage and serves as a source of information to those who visit Phuket.
The Thalang National Museum started construction in 1985 and was inaugurated on March 14, 1989 by H.R.H. Princess Sirinthorn.
There are exhibitions housed in 2 buildings showing history, archaeology, ethnology and art of the Phuket Province and its surrounding areas.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed our information on Phuket’s museums and hope you’ll take some time out and see some of the museums we’ve told you about for yourselves.