Thailand’s fascinating history, culture and creativity attracts visitors from across the globe. For visitors that want to learn more about the destination they are visiting, museums, galleries and exhibitions offer an easy and enjoyable snapshot.
Whether you are exploring the stunning delights of the Andaman Sea or relaxing on an island in the Gulf of Thailand, there may come a time when you are in the mood for a little culture to counterbalance all the sand, sea and sun.
Thailand is a nation steeped in history and even the islands are home to an intriguing culture. A trip to the local museum, art gallery or a cultural exhibition offers an inspired reminder of where in the world you are.
Below is a selection museums to be enjoyed during a trip to Phuket or Koh Samui.
Since ancient times, Phuket has been one of Southeast Asia’s key trading hubs. Tin mining played a particularly important role in the island’s history, and was the foundation for an economic boom in the 19th
century. To delve deeper into this enthralling aspect of Phuket’s past, take a trip to the island’s Mining Museum, which features lifelike displays ranging from realistic models of a tin mine to a recreation of one of the island’s opium dens. The museum is located in Kathu on the road between the Loch Palm Golf Club and the British International School.
Thai Hua Museum
Once a Chinese language school, Phuket’s Thai Hua Museum is one of the best-preserved examples of Sino-Portuguese architecture on the island. The museum’s various exhibits offer a comprehensive overview of Phuket’s history, explaining the strong links between Phuket and China, describing local history, and even telling the fascinating story behind the island's local cuisine. Thanks to its large, airy courtyard, the Thai Hua Museum is a pleasant place to spend a warm day. There's even a garden for visitors to enjoy in between exhibits.
Museum with a Difference
If you are holidaying with the kids but they aren’t particularly keen on local history, then a trip to Phuket’s Trick Eye Museum may be just the thing to perk them up on an afternoon of mooching around the island. The rather eccentric museum is packed full of life size, mind boggling optical illusions that will have everyone in the family roaring with laughter as you recreate crazy scenes and pose for photographs.
She Sells Seashells
Shell collecting has been a favourite seaside activity for centuries. If it’s something you and your children are interested in, then a trip to Koh Samui’s Sea Shell Museum may be the perfect excursion to inspire the next beach combing adventure. Located in Ban Makham on the west coast of the island, the museum is home to an incredible collection of sea shells from the oceans of Thailand and beyond, providing visitors with a unique insight into underwater life.
For Art's Sake
Art Samui is the ideal attraction when you need something a little different to inspire your creative side. Like Phuket’s Trick Eye Museum, Art Samui offers an entertaining afternoon for the whole family with an impressive collection of 65 optical illusions to mind boggle every visitor that crosses the threshold. The gallery also has several modern art installations on display created by professional artists. Keep your camera at the ready to snap what are sure to be some unique holiday moments.