Going Back in Time… The Phuket Tin Mine Museum

Going Back In Time at the Phuket Tin

I love museums. Like really love them (oops, my California accent just slipped out, didn’t it?). Unfortunately Chad is not that much of a fan of them, so I often forgo time at museums in favor of spending time not boring my poor husband. I guess anyone could get bored while I spend eons hours reading every single plaque on each exhibit.

My mom and I are both museum fanatics, so I knew that I could drag her to all the museums I have been waiting to see here in Phuket when she visited. The first one on our list was The Phuket Tin Mine Museum. Dawn from the blog ‘Dawn in Phuket’ wrote a fabulous article about it here, and Jamie at ‘Jamie’s Phuket’ also did here and that gave us all the background information that we needed on this historical Phuket destination.

The Phuket Tin Mine Museum is just a short 25-30 minute drive from my home in Chalong, Phuket. My mom and I, along with my now 4 year-old daughter, Z, piled in our car and using Google Maps to guide us, we easily came upon the stately pink Sino-Portuguese mansion.

The entrance is easy to see from the main road. There is no missing this sign.
The entrance is easy to see from the main road. There is no missing this sign.
The museum from the road leading to it.
The museum from the road leading to it. It is beautiful, isn’t it?

At first we questioned whether the museum was open or not as there were no other cars in the parking lot, but were very glad to see that there were employees ready to take our money at the ticket booth. Soon after we arrived a couple of other people came in as well, but we had the whole place to ourselves most of the time.

One detail to get out of the way… admission for a non-Thai citizen is 100 baht (about $3 US). I attempted to get the discounted locals price since I have a Thai drivers license and live here, but since I am not Thai by birth, no discount for us. Still the price was not that bad, so I didn’t mind paying it.

All three of us were very excited to see what the museum had in store for us and so we cheered a bit (seriously, we did, but not too loud to be respectful and all) and quickly made our way to the first room, the Aung Mo laos’ Room. This room had an old song thaew bus perched and ready to ride off into the mural sunset (or maybe it was a sunrise… not sure). Z and I sat for a quick photo shoot for mom before we entered into a big open room with display cases along both sides.

Here we go!
Here we go!

The room was hot and humid and we would have spent much more time there if there had been some fans that gave a little movement to the air. We did sweat it out for a while because there seemed to be a little bit of everything in the cases in this room, from ancient Thai currency to fossilized dinosaur feces! I could not quite figure out the theme, if there even was a theme to this room, but each display was like a treasure hunt to see what strange thing would be waiting for us.

The next room was The Room of Geology, which essentially was a big dark room filled with flat replicas of the planets of our solar system, complete with a moon that seemed bigger than the Earth. Wait, is the moon actually bigger than the Earth? Hmmm…. may I should research more about the solar system and find out. Regardless, Z was fascinated by this area and loved being able to walk through Earth.


Walking into the Earth.

As Z was leading us and telling us all about what was coming up next, suddenly she jumped back and literally shuddered at the sight of something around the next corner. She was scared of something. I went ahead and also started at what met my eyes…

Seriously, who would not have the crap scared out of them walking around the corner and seeing this?!
Seriously, who would not have the crap scared out of them walking around the corner and seeing this?! Yikes!

Apparently, this is what cavemen looked like… poor guy had some serious patchy chest hair… maybe he was attacked by a saber tooth razor? And his lipstick is a bit much don’t you think?

The caveman was just the first of many creepy looking replicas of people… often times they were hiding just a little out-of-sight so it added to the creepiness of them. Eek!

Z continued to play tour guide through the Types of Mining room which explained the different types of mining. I guess I the rooms name was pretty self-explanatory, huh? This room did have a few complex dioramas (is that what they are called?) that showed what different types of mining would have looked like.

An open mine.
An open mine.

Next came the Mineral Dressing Room, which showed many kinds of  minerals in different states and how people in the past refined them (or something along those lines I think).

Next, came Z’s favorite room which had a large replica of a ship that you could walk through. Inside it had information about different festivals and holidays that are held in Thailand, including the Vegetarian Festival and a few others. Mostly Z just liked walking into and out of the ship. Fun times!

The next room was my favorite room, The Communal Way of Life room. This room had different little alcoves set up to show what an old mining town would have looked like. Well, at least it gave one the idea of what a town would offer… everything from shadow plays, Chinese medicine shops, markets, and even a sad-looking opium den.

The Communal Way of Life
The Communal Way of Life
The little mining community.
The little mining “town”.

Then our trip back in time was over. I loved the Phuket Mining Museum. It was well put together and interesting for all ages. The only thing I would suggest to those planning on going is to bring hand fans to not get too heated along your journey. So far there have been no nightmares for any of us due to the caveman replica, so this museum comes highly recommended from all of us at And Three To Go! If you are in Phuket for longer than a day or two, this is a great rainy day activity! Go check it out!

**Disclaimer-Phuket Tin Mine Museum did not sponsor this post and was unaware that I was going to write about it. The opinions in this article are all mine and not influenced by anyone other than my smiling and happy daughter.**

Now it’s your turn! Are you a museum person? What do you like to see when you visit them? Are you more of a history, science, or other type of museum goer? Leave a comment and join in the conversation!


  19 comments for “Going Back in Time… The Phuket Tin Mine Museum

  1. Sue Slaght
    July 3, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    i can’t say I am a real museum lover but this looks very interesting. I especially like the idea that it wasn’t crowded. I hope you are having a lovely visit!
    Sue Slaght recently posted…How To Prevent Sea Sickness – An Unexpected Galapagos AdventureMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 4, 2015 at 10:05 am

      It was very interesting. And no crowds are the best! There’s nothing worse at a museum than so many people present that you can’t languish and read everything. 🙂

  2. Vilma
    July 3, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    No, not a museum (nor a tour) person but then there are exceptions. And I think I may be changing a little… I remember museums being super boring as a kid but I think they are more child friendly nowadays, we’ve had quite a few fun visits and my children have enjoyed those too. I’ve also found them good conversation starters with the children. Maybe the key is to not have to spend more time there than you feel like? Sometimes a glimpse is enough, sometimes I want to stay longer too.

    • andthreetogo
      July 4, 2015 at 10:07 am

      Flexibility is always key whether it’s a museum trip or a trip to the park. 🙂 and I agree, much more at museums nowadays than when I was a kid, or at least it seems like it. 🙂

  3. joylovestravel
    July 4, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Love museums and the quirkier the better – this one looks great. Also love it when you have it all to yourself!!
    joylovestravel recently posted…Exploring Glorious GhentMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 4, 2015 at 10:08 am

      Nothing better as far as museums go! All to ourselves to run and cheer and learn! 🙂

  4. Sha
    July 4, 2015 at 2:31 pm

    Totally love museums!! I can be quite a geek about it and can never get enough of visiting museums. Haha…I love this one! It looks quite informative that I can lose myself in….are the information in English? I have encountered museums in non-english speaking countries where the title is in English but then the rest of the information is in their own language which is frustrating because I like reading all these things…haha…but I’ve learnt to since read up first before visiting to have a little bit of information so that I do not get too lost in these museums. 🙂
    Sha recently posted…Sandboarding With an Injury in Lancelin, PerthMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 5, 2015 at 8:36 am

      Actually most of the information was translated into English, though most of the translations were pretty humorous. Most of them I could glean an understanding of what they were trying to say though.

  5. Lani
    July 4, 2015 at 2:56 pm

    I love museums, too. The Thai word for museum is funny because it sounds like “Peter Pan”. And I don’t like those creepy people replicas either. I’ve seen them when I’ve visited other museums here and they are just weird.
    Lani recently posted…My minimalism journey // part oneMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 5, 2015 at 8:37 am

      Peterpan! That’s good to remember… I am starting Thai lessons this week! I am so excited 😉 I love learning different languages.
      I have to say I kept it together for my child, but I was pretty creeped out by them… Even poking at the one laying down because it kind of looked like a dead body!

  6. Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood)
    July 5, 2015 at 7:36 am

    I like science museums a lot where there are interactive exhibits. I haven’t been to the Getty in years so I might take the kids. That caveman is a bit scary. =)
    Melissa (Wading Through Motherhood) recently posted…4 Things Parents Can Learn From Mary PoppinsMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 5, 2015 at 8:39 am

      Interactive exhibits are the best! For all ages. 🙂 I have never been to the Getty museum.
      Still no nightmares so I think we are in the clear on the caveman.. Whew 🙂

  7. Frei
    July 5, 2015 at 5:22 pm

    That sounds awesome – I have not yet been able to go to this museum (it’s still high on my ‘to go-list’). And after reading this I think it’s about time! Did you try the Thai Hua Museum already in Phuket town? Have to say I was pleasantly surprised when I went there a while ago. Bring proof of residency and it will slash the entrance fee price 🙂

    • andthreetogo
      July 5, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      I didn’t make it to the Thai hua yet, but the next rainy day I plan to! Thanks for the tip! And for commenting 🙂

  8. thehomeschoolingdoctor
    July 5, 2015 at 9:36 pm

    Love museums! My husband too gets a little bored as I read every sign!
    thehomeschoolingdoctor recently posted…Are You Food Independent?My Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 5, 2015 at 9:48 pm

      I think our husbands should start a support group

  9. kemkem
    July 6, 2015 at 1:51 am

    I love museums, and just like your hubby, mine doesn’t enjoy it much either. He tolerates them, unless it’s a photography museum. He’s getting better. This museum looks like fun, even though l think l would have been just a wee bit scared. I am a chicken 🙂
    kemkem recently posted…Wild Tales – Fab Friday Find FilmMy Profile

    • andthreetogo
      July 6, 2015 at 8:07 am

      Well at least you will be prepared for the creepy replica people I guess 🙂 Poor z was totally unprepared 🙂

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