Phuket old bank reopens as museum
PHUKET: After a long gestation, the Peranakan Culture Centre has opened in the old Standard Chartered Bank building at the intersection of Phuket and Phang Nga roads in Phuket Town.
Monday 21 May 2012, 03:05PM
To mark the occasion, the Thai Peranakan Association (TPA) held a seminar on Saturday (May 19) about old Phuket Town, attended by around 50 members and curious local people, and unveiled three exhibitions.
TPA president Dr Kosol Tang-Utai said, “This centre will be used for people to learn about the Peranakan culture, which was the [first immigrant culture] of Phuket. There are various topics people can learn about, such as economic and social life, Phuket’s police and historical archives.
“This is the first time this old bank building has been used since the bank closed [around 30 years ago],” he added.
Chartered Bank was the first foreign bank permitted to operate in Thailand. The Phuket branch opened originally around 100 years ago at the start of the mechanised tin boom in Phuket.
The bank merged with the Standard Bank in 1969 to form the existing Standard Chartered Bank. Although it has branches around Bangkok and in Chiang Mai, it has never been tempted back to Phuket.
The exhibits, on view until the end of this month, include old Phuket maps and a display on architecture.
The event was also used to announce the winners of a Peranakan food photo contest. The winning photos are on display in the new museum.
Note: The museum is open irregular hours until a permanent receptionist can be found. People are advised to call Dr Kosol Tang-Utai first before visiting, on 081 892 7014.