Baan Chinpracha, at 98 Krabi Road in Phuket, is a fine example of a Sino-Colonial mansion and is just a few doors away from the famous Blue Elephant Restaurant. Visitors not only will have a sneak peek of how a wealthy Phuket family used to live many decades ago but they can meet its owner too.
Jaroonrat 'Daeng' Tandavanitj and her late husband, Pracha Tandavanitj, inherited this elegant building from his father, who in turn was the eldest son of the original owner, Phra Pitak Chinpracha, who built it in 1903.
Baan Chinpracha Highlights
Khun Daeng opens most of her house to the public such as two upstairs bedrooms, the kitchen and all of the ground floor area. She has managed to keep this beautiful house in fine condition including the vintage Italian floor tiles, some original furniture that was imported from Europe and China and many old pictures belonging to the Tandavanitj clan.
The most attractive section inside Baan Chinpracha is the inner courtyard, which is open to the sky (originally with a well). In the old days, this central open area was the heart of Sino-Colonial style houses. It was here that you would find the women of the house chatting while cooking or doing the washing. It was also, in a sense, the lungs of the house, allowing air to flow through, even in the hottest month, April, when temperatures in Phuket can rise to 38 degrees C. Also contributing to the cool atmosphere are the thick, solidly-built walls.
What not to Miss
The large kitchen features old-style stoves, clay cooking pots, brass pans and kettles as well as kerosene lamps.
Also, there are quite a few food carriers (or ‘pinto’ in Thai) displayed above the wooden cabinet. This item is an important part in Southeast Asian food culture. For example, people use it as a school lunch box as well as in the morning when going to the temple to donate food to the monks or to transport fresh home-cooked food to give to friends and family members when paying a visit.
Good to Know
Baan Chinpracha has been used as a location for many films, both Thai and Western, including 'Heaven and Earth' and the TV series 'The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles'.
You can’t see Baan Chinpracha from the road but you will know that you have come to the right place when you spot the office of Tourism Malaysia alongside some new but empty shop-houses. Baan Chinpracha is the only Sino-Colonial mansion in Phuket that is open to the public. There is a small entrance fee.
More Information: Baan Chinpracha in Phuket Town