The old house of Pithak Chinpracha, now open as a museum.
The 'stately' home of Pithak Chinpracha, or Tan Ma Siang as he was known in the Chinese community, was built around 1904. To ensure the best quality, he imported a lead carpenter from Penang, which was a major trading partner of Phuket at the time. By the time the house was completed in 1907, he had reputedly spend 500,000 Baht (12,985.00 USD at today's conversion rate), which was an enormous amount of money at the time.
Although covered in frilly gingerbread around the roof edges, the building nonetheless appears quite solid on the outside. Inside, the building is pierced by a large courtyard, with many of the main living areas of the house looking inward. The house is open daily for tours, although at times it can appear deserted.
Pithak Chinpracha later built another, larger and more impressive mansion next door. Occasionally used by past Phuket governors as their official residence, the building is now home to the Phuket Blue Elephant restaurant and cooking school.