The Jui Tui Shrine is a Chinese Taoist temple located next to the Put Cho Shrine in Phuket Town, Thailand. This important temple is the focal point of Phuket’s annual Vegetarian Festival, which is best known for the devotees who piece their body with a wide variety of unusual objects such as the parts of bicycles and lots of different kitchen implements.
The Jui Tui Shrine is open daily from 08:00 to 20:30 and admission is free, although during the 9 days of the Phuket Vegetarian Festival you will struggle to get inside as the temple is packed with local worshippers.
About the Jui Tui Shrine
The Jui Tui Shrine was constructed at its current location in 1911. A shrine of the same name was constructed at another location in the town in the 19th Century near the water wheels which the local Thai-Chinese community built to drive a rice grinding mill. The name ‘Jui Tui’ is a reference to these water wheels.
Phuket, and in particular Phuket Town, has a large community of people whose ancestors came from China to the island during the middle of the 19th Century to work in Phuket’s rapidly expanding tin mining industry. Tin mining was the predominant economic activity in Phuket from the middle of the 19th Century until 1985 when tin mining activity on the island stopped, virtually overnight, due to combination of a collapse in tin prices on the world market and a change in regulations limiting the mining of tin on the island in favour of expanding the tourist industry.
The Chinese people who came to Phuket brought with them their culture, their food and also their religious beliefs which were largely Taoist combined with Chinese folk religions. The beliefs of Taoism and Buddhism are largely compatible and the Chinese community in Phuket built their own temples to Chinese gods as well as adopting the Buddhist beliefs of the local Thai community.
The Jui Tui Shrine is dedicated to Tean Hu Huan Soy who is considered the god of the performing arts. Ancestor worship is a very important part of Taoist beliefs and Tean Hu Huan Soy was a real historical figure who was a famous performer in ancient China. Over time Tean Hu Huan Soy became venerated as a something akin to a saint in Christian theology. Former members of the local community are also worshipped at the Jui Tui Shrine with the names of prominent local people inscribed on the walls of the temple. Some local families are very closely associated with the Jui Tui Shrine and the names of several generations of these families have been engraved into plaques on the walls of the temple. People from the local community come to make offerings to both Tean Hu Huan Soy and their own deceased family members at the same time.
The Jui Tui Shrine has grown over time. The temple constructed in 1911 was a simple building with walls, a roof and an altar with Tean Hu Huan Soy flanked by a chicken and a dog. The temple has grown over time with an elaborate roof added to the original building, a large entrance gate built in Chinese style, and other additional structures erected around the large courtyard, the most recent of which is the striking ‘fire cracker’ house with double tiered roof constructed in 2011.
Location of the Jui Tui Shrine
- The Jui Tui Shrine is located 350 metres walking distance from the Chinpracha House.