The Thai Hua Museum is a museum in Phuket Town dedicated to Chinese culture in Phuket and is located within what used to be school house run by the local Chinese community.
The Thai Hua Museum is open from 09:00 to 17:00 every day except for Wednesdays (and public holidays) and admission costs 200 THB.
About the Thai Hua Museum
The Thai Hua School, in which the Thai Hua Museum is located, was opened in 1934. The Thai Hua School was built in the style of a grand mansion similar to some of the other grand mansions built in Phuket Town by the descendants of Chinese immigrants who came to Phuket in the 19th Century to work in the expanding tin mining industry.
School Transformed into a Museum
The Thai Hua School was built in a style which is often as Sino-Portuguese which describes an architectural form blending European design features with Chinese architecture and interiors. The original Thai Hua School closed down in 1995 and the building was left vacant and unused for over a decade, falling into disrepair, until it reopened as museum in 2010. The Thai Hua Museum is very much a ‘labour of love’ created through the efforts of the local Thai-Chinese community in Phuket and is intended as a celebration of their history and culture.
Galleries at the Museum
The Thai Hua Museum has 14 exhibitions:
- Chinese Migration: This exhibition explains the pattern of migration of Chinese people to Phuket and why they came.
- Alliances: This room is about the Kongsi (Chinese gangs or secret societies) which eventually came together to form The Federation of Thai-Chinese People in Phuket promoting and protecting the interest of Chinese immigrants to Phuket.
- Relations between Phuket and China: This room documents the long history of Chinese people visiting Phuket Island.
- Patronage: This exhibition remembers the 9 people who were the main founders of the Thai Hua School.
- Looking Back: This room contains displays relating the design of the building and its changing usage to beliefs and evolving history of the Chinese community in Phuket.
- The Chinese of Phuket: This is an interesting room with displays bringing to life chapters of a book written by Prasit Chinnakarn, a Phuket writer and historian, about life in the Chinese community 100 years ago.
- Tin Mining Era: This room has information about the tin mining industry in Phuket, which is what attracted many Chinese immigrants to come to the island in the first place.
- Attire: An exhibition about the distinctive clothing worn by the Chinese community in Phuket.
- Master Sunpin: This room tells the story of the school’s headmaster during the difficult period of World War II.
- The Chinese School: This exhibition tells the history of the school which has changed name and location several times since being established in 1913.
- Chinese Settlement: An exhibition about the living conditions of the early Chinese immigrants to Phuket.
- Precious Heritage: This exhibition is about the cultural and religious traditions of the Chinese community in Phuket, including a very informative section about the origins of Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival.
- Phuket Cuisine: Phuket has its own cuisine similar to, and influenced by, the food of Penang combining cooking styles and ingredients from Thailand, China, India and the Malay Peninsula.
- Lok Xian Kok: The final room in the museum provides information about the ongoing activities of The Federation of Thai-Chinese People in Phuket who were influential in creating the Thai Hua Museum.
Location of the Thai Hua Museum
- The Thai Hua Museum is located 1.2 km walking distance from Phuket Bus Terminal 1.