Historical Landmarks (Self Guided), Phuket

As an independent country, Thailand is young, but the roots of its nation and traditions are deep and centuries-old. Phuket is an amazing city that offers diverse attractions and entertainment. Taking this walking tour will help you discover the town's best museums and historic landmarks.
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Historical Landmarks Map

Guide Name: Historical Landmarks
Guide Location: Thailand » Phuket (See other walking tours in Phuket)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 8
Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Author: irenes
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Provincial Hall (Sala Klang)
  • Gurdwara, the Sikh Temple
  • Wat Wichit Sangkaram
  • Phuket Philatelic Museum
  • Thavorn Hotel Lobby Museum
  • Wat Mongkol Nimit
  • Phuket Thai Hua School Museum
  • Pithak Chinpracha House Museum
Provincial Hall (Sala Klang)

1) Provincial Hall (Sala Klang)

For purposes of administration, Thailand is divided into 76 provinces, each ruled by a Governor and appointed by the democratically elected central government. The Governor is responsible for maintaining law and order in the province and his office is called the Provincial Hall or the Sala Klang Changwat in Thai. Most Provincial Halls in Thailand are multi-storied and white colored buildings designed in true Thai styles. A government office, the premises hoist the Thai national flag and house the statue of King Chulalongkorn, who envisioned the division of Thailand into provinces for efficient administration. The Provincial Hall of Phuket is no exception.

Located away from the busy tourist areas of the west coast, the Provincial Hall sits in the quiet neighborhood of the south-east coast of the island of Phuket. An old construction, the intricate architecture of the building gives an impression that it is made of wood. However, closer inspection reveals that the elaborate work on the front façade is actually concrete. In fact, the Hall was one of the first buildings in Thailand to be built in reinforced concrete. It was known to have 99 doors and no windows. With the advent of air-conditioning, windows were installed and wooden doors were replaced with glass ones. The building houses a picture gallery depicting the history of Phuket which can be visited during working hours of the weekday.
Gurdwara, the Sikh Temple

2) Gurdwara, the Sikh Temple

Phuket is a brilliant combination of scenic beauty, history and diverse cultures, where one can visit various temples and shrines. The temple of the Sikhs, called the Gurdwara, literally means “gate to the Guru”. Gurdwaras were built in Thailand for the Sikh community that came into the country in 1939 for purposes of mining and construction. The community further grew after the Second World War as Sikhs were part of the Indian National Army (INA) and guarded British interests in Thailand. In the post war era, many Sikhs immigrated to Thailand to fuel the demand for the hotel industry. The rising numbers of Sikhs required new Gurdwaras to be built and the old ones to be renovated and expanded. The Sikh Temple in Phuket was last renovated in 2001.

The Temple is open to one and all irrespective of their religion, caste or creed. However, it is mandatory for all to remove their footwear and cover their heads when inside the Temple. The main hall houses the Guru Granth Sahib, the holy book of the Sikhs and is used for daily prayers. Prayers include singing of the hymns, reading and explaining the hymns and are ended with the distribution of ‘Prasad’. The ‘Pangat’ or ‘Guru ka Langar’ is a community kitchen which provides food to all devotees and visitors. This ritual is a great leveler and promotes social equality. Located on Suthat Road, the Gurdwara offers peace and calm to all its visitors.
Wat Wichit Sangkaram

3) Wat Wichit Sangkaram

Among locals, Wat Wichit Sangkaram is known as Wat Kuan. It is a beautiful edifice worth visiting. Bright colours along with traditional architecture that is still impressive make this place a draw for tourists. Wat Wichit Sangkaram is a perfect example of history and traditions, culture and beliefs. Many religious ceremonies are held here, so you may have the opportunity to see one!
Phuket Philatelic Museum

4) Phuket Philatelic Museum

Phuket is filled with small museums which do not get the attention they deserve but are a sure treat for the eyes. One such museum worthy of a visit is the Phuket Philatelic Museum. Right next to the city’s main postal office, this little Museum manages to take its visitors to the good old days when communications meant letters and telegraph services.

The Museum is housed in an 80 year old building that was once a post office itself. Today, the building holds one of the most fascinating museums which is slowly but steadily earning its reputation among both locals and tourists. The Museum is divided into three sections, which focus on the history and development of the postal services in Phuket proceeding to the later years when the postal services developed into a flourishing industry in the country.

Learn about King Rama V under whose reign the Postal services of Thailand was first established. Get nostalgic with the display of old equipment and machinery which were once the backbone of the postal services. Old telephones, telegraph machines and much more, this is a perfect museum for adults and children.

The Museum also has a souvenir shop where visitors can pick up mementoes for friends and family or if you like, a few Thailand stamps for those who are passionate about philately.

Operation hours: Tuesday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm
Thavorn Hotel Lobby Museum

5) Thavorn Hotel Lobby Museum

This is a small museum in the lobby of the Thavorn Hotel. A marvelous selection of photos of old Phuket and Thai Royalty, portraits, documents and artifacts have been gathered by the family that runs the hotel. This is the right place to visit if you wish to travel back in time. You will discover some interesting things, such as opium smoking beds and pillows, tin mining equipment, toy trains, and traditional Chinese wedding hats.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 8 am – 5 pm
Wat Mongkol Nimit

6) Wat Mongkol Nimit

Wat Mongkol Nimit, another amazing Thai Buddhist temple, attracts more than a thousand visitors annually, both tourists and locals. It has a soaring roof with multiple tiers and glass tiling, and numerous glass elements inside and out. Wat Mongkol Nimit is very colourful, like other traditional and conservative temples in Thailand. The colours, chosen not just according to the architect's taste, are very significant and selected with great care.
Phuket Thai Hua School Museum

7) Phuket Thai Hua School Museum

Located on the Krabi road in Phuket is the Thai Hua Museum. Formerly known as the Thai Hua School founded in 1911, the building was the oldest Chinese-language school. In 2002, the Alumni Association decided to convert it into a community museum. When the school shifted to new premises in 2005, the Office of Contemporary Art and Culture decided to covert the building into an art gallery. Finally, in 2010, the building was finally converted into the Thai Hua Museum.

This “Sino-Portugese” style building also has a hint of European and Chinese architectural styles. The work of the tin miners, the life of merchants, the conversion of the Phuket town into a powerful trading center are some of the events recounted in the museum that depicts the history of the Chinese residing in Phuket. The museum is spread over two floors where the ground has displays aspects of Thai-Chinese culture like clothing, food, etc. The tales of the arrival of the Chinese into the town and the organization of the community are some of the events covered in the second floor. The museum also has a wide collection of books on Chinese history and culture, Chinese Dictionary, etc. Some of the rooms in the building have the school desks and photos of the students who studied in the Thai Hua School. This developing museum is a worth a visit if you are in the neighborhood.

Operation hours: Monday - Sunday: 9 am - 5 pm
Pithak Chinpracha House Museum

8) Pithak Chinpracha House Museum (must see)

Another destination that makes it to the list of the hidden treasures of Phuket is the Pithak Chinpracha House Museum. Unlike the popular overly published tourist destinations in Phuket, the Pithak Chinpracha House manages to offer its visitors a romantic escape cut out from the noise of the city. Located at 98 Krabi Road, this elegant mansion is worthy of a visit.

Pithak Chinpracha, also known as Tan Ma Siang, built this edifice in the early 1900s with the vision of living here along with his entire family. The construction was started in 1904, and every little detail of the structure was looked into personally by Pithak Chinpracha. Such was his enthusiasm to build a perfect home, that he specially brought the lead carpenter all the way from Penang to head the project. The resultant magnificent, peaceful hideaway he desired, cost him a whooping B 500,000, which was quite a sum in those days.

The mansion has housed many families over the years, and still preserves the romantic feel that inevitably captivates everyone who visits the place. Adorned with a beautiful garden, this little mansion turned museum has a little something for everyone.

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