14 November 2011

Phuket Mining Museum – a step back in time

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Reflecting the history of Phuket, Phuket Mining Museum is located somewhat away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Structurally it is a vast complex of colonial structures surrounding a central courtyard. The interiors are decorated to represent the old world scene of Phuket. Some of it portrays the street life of the Island. Others have photographs or paintings of miners hanging on the walls. It is said that once the prosperity of the Isle depended solely on Rubber, Tin Mining and Fishing and that the income of tourism was a more recent addition to the economy. So although there is no quarry work occurring today it still remains a big Part of Phuket’s history. The extraction of Tin is also held responsible for the establishment of Phuket Town and Chinese immigrants.

As you enter the museum, there is an old bus parked so that you can perhaps get on it and pose for a picture. The vehicle from the excavation days is found in a room that has painted walls. These walls represent the streets of an old mining town. Another space has decorative furniture, some photos and a few household items from the same era. The museum also has a large education section focusing on the earth and aspects of geology in both Thai and English. This section further opens to an area displaying the general miners’ history from the Stone Age to the period of Tin quarries in Phuket. It is divided into segments of Tin mining techniques, processing, technical details with graphic representation and lots of information. There is also a section of rocks on display that can be viewed through the use of a magnifying glass.

A favourite part of the Museum is the mock setting of the old Phuket streets full of cafes, shops and even shrines. The walls have intricate detailing painted on them so well, that you really feel like you have taken a step back in time. There are actual people who make the scene all the more real. For example the tea lady in the tea kiosk is warm and welcoming. There are also interior representations of homes of the past with furniture and items from the time of mining.

The Phuket Mining Museum is for tourists who want to experience more than just the beaches of the Island. When visiting the Island you will need to find accommodation at a Phuket resort that will let you experience the best of this wonderful tropical paradise. A luxurious and pampered stay would be found at the Anantara Phuket Thailand, who offers the some of the finest Phuket villas available in town.