Learn About Phuket’s Chinese Heritage.
|Thai Hua School Museum|
I do remember always trying to take the kids to interesting museums when on vacation to widen their general knowledge while enjoying a fun family outing.
Upon entering the museum after paying the 200 baht entrance fee you are greeted by a beautiful room with multiple piano’s that have played roles in Phukets history.
While enjoying the ambiance of this room, take a few minutes to look through the pamphlet given to you as you paid. This will give you an understanding of the museum, its purpose and history.
Briefly, the build was established as a Chinese language learning center, the oldest in Phuket. The school was originally established in 1934 and was only recently converted in 2010 to a museum to showcase the Chinese-Phuket people’s way of life from their early arrival to work in the tin mines to a position of prominence and patronage in Phuket.
The objectives of the Museum are clearly outlined on a sign in this lobby area:
In the thirteen exhibit rooms the various aspects of this progression are displayed as to how these immigrant people became the model of success. The first set of rooms you mainland China to Phuket, where did they come from and why did they come. Which parts of Phuket did that choose to settle and why. The migration is broken in multiple periods, starting as early as 1,000 years ago lasting through the Ayudha era (about 300 years ago) and the Rattanakosin era (about 200 years ago) until now.
The second and third rooms contain displays outlining the various alliance’s and close relationships existing between China and the Chinese residence of Phuket. These rooms contain displays showing the supporting associations of the overseas Chinese with organizations here in Phuket and demonstrate the good relationships that existed and still exist between Phuket and mainland China. The fourth room follows this same theme, in the specific role that patrons played in establishing the Thaihua School.
Phuket Vegetarian festival help in Phuket Town. Finally the thirteenth room shows the various influences that the Chinese had on the local cuisine, both ingredients and cooking methods.
The Thaihua Museum runs under the management of Kusonsongkhroh Foundation (aka Lok Xian Kok), a charitable organization with a long history dating back to the mining era in Phuket. It was set up by a group of the local well-to-do immigrant Chinese businessmen. Their original plan was to help their unfortunate fellow immigrants and to help improve living conditions for the islanders by building hospitals and schools. They still carry on the same mission today.
I actually started my tour in room 10 while trying to find the stairs and then wondered around the first floor until heading upstairs.