Kathu Mining Museum

Phuket Mining Museum - Kathu Tin Mining Museum

Useful Information

Location: Kathu. Kathu-Ko Kaeo road, near Loch Palm golf course.
Open: All year Mon-Sat 8-16.
Guided tours at 9:30, 11, 13, 14:30.
Fee: Foreigners: Adults EUR 100, Children (6-15) EUR 50.
Thais: Adults EUR 50, Children (6-15) EUR 20, Students in uniform free, Seniors (60+) free, Disabled free.
Classification: MineTin Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours:
Address: Kathu Mining Museum, Mu 5 Kathu, Ko Kaeo Road, Tambon Kathu, Tel: +66-8-6470-7767. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1980s end of mining.
1999 planning of museum started.
2006 construction of building started.
2008 building completed.
2011 opened to the public.


The Kathu Mining Museum is dedicated to 200 years of tin mining history on Phuket island. The museum is intended as a way to preserve this heritage, but also as new attraction for the substantial tourism in the area. The explanations are both in English and Thai. Most exhibits are donations from mining companies and wealthy Phuket citizens. The museum is located in a new building, which was constructed like a building of the colonial era, in a style called Sino Portuguese. Typical are the arches, the stukko, and the square courtyard.

Tin mining has a long tradition on the island, it started in the 14th century. The tin was rather easy to mine in open cast mines, and the ore did not contain arsenic, which made processing much safer. The wealth of the island made it a traget for all colonial countries. The tin mining was made a priviledge of the king in order to keep controll. In the year 1785 the Burmese tried to invade the island and there was a big battle in which the island was defended. According to legend two sisters, Than Phu Ying Chan and Mook, defended the island with a trick. The island did not have enough soldiers, so they dressed women as men, made swords from wood and used all kinds of tricks to fool the Burmese.

During the 19th century many Chinese workers came to Phuket to work in the tin mines. This changed the character of the island, the culture and the cuisine. The daily life, both during work and at home are a central part of the exhibition.

The museum has exhibitions on local geology, the tin mining, and a huge mineral collection. The daily life of the chinese workers is presented in dioramas and a reconstructed street. Also the mining techniques and the tin processing is on display. The exhibition in the museum is completed by a fake open cast tin mine on the grounds. It explains terms like hydraulic mining, ground sluicing, or gravel pumping.