Monday, 18 June 2018
European architectural influence in Thailand: Southern Thai charms
It all started in Phuket. By the middle of the 19th century, as the island’s tin mining industry grew, it became an important trading hub on the Andaman Sea. Tin mining was an important revenue source and major commodity for the wealthy Phuket elite. These mines were developed by the British in Kathu district as early as 1830 and then in Thalang around 1860. Mining particularly attracted Chinese workers and traders who mostly came from Penang in the then ‘Malaya’.
Walk around Phuket Town and Georgetown, Penang in Malaysia today and it is obvious that the two destinations are linked architecturally as defined by the rows of Sino-Portuguese shophouses and gracious stand-alone mansions. Peranakan design influences in Sino-Portuguese architecture include bright colours on walls and tiles, columns, stucco and pediments.