- It took almost three years of renovation and hard work, but the Kathu Tin Mining Museum finally opened in March 2011. The first cultural living museum in Phuket, it offers both outdoor and indoor exhibits, as well as miles and miles of gardens open for exploring. Mining was the primary industry in the island during the 17th and part of the 18th century. Manned primarily by Chinese immigrants, the industry helped developed the island into what it is today. Outdoor exhibits include mine machinery, dredge buckets and a reconstructed Chinese village. The village itself is worth the trip, as it comes complete with shops, rail cars and even an opium den. Dioramas, photographs and antique artifacts complete the indoor collection and offer a rare glimpse into 17th-century Phuket.
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