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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!