I wasn’t inclined to like it at first. Then, I saw something incredible that changed my mind.
A mainstream destination in the middle of one of Thailand’s most-touristed (and arguably, over-touristed) city? Chris, what the hell are you doing here?
What can I say? Sometimes a mainstream place offers surprises — and we had some time to kill. Why not?
Some larger examples of the Siratus Alabaster — an uncommon shell found anywhere from Japan to the Philippines. While somewhat faded, the English signage remains the easiest place to find information on the Latin name, where it’s found, and how common it is.
You won’t just see one example, of course — you typically saw a number of them carefully arranged by size.
OK, not a shell… Something you might see on the beach, perhaps, though I’d be more likely to shoo it away than anything else…
A Trachycardium Elongatum from right here in Phuket, Thailand.
OK, so there’s plenty of colors, shapes, and sizes of shells at play here. While fairly satisfying, head back upstairs (the ground floor you came in on) for the big reveal…
The biggest seashell store I’ve ever seen — an entire floor of seashells. Oh. My. God.
The glass cases held plenty of examples of the shells you saw in the museum downstairs, albeit for sale. Some were in the hundreds of baht, while some were as little as 10 baht.
Neatly sorted into plastic bowls, there’s almost as much variety here as there is in the museum below. Look for earrings (90 to 720 baht), a mother-of-pearl clutch bag (starting at 1,350 baht), and plenty of larger shells (120 to 2,800 baht).
If you find yourself less interested in paying the admission fee for the museum, say you’re ‘just shopping’ and walk on. You’ll probably see much of the variety for none of the price. The museum is still worthwhile, but the souvenir center takes up the entire floor.
Name: Phuket Seashell Museum
Address: 12/2 Moo 2 Viset Road, Rawai Beach, Rawai, Phuket 83100 (GPS: 7.782771, 98.329021)
Directions: The museum is easily spotted along the main road, Viset road / route 4024. From the southern Rawai Beach on Phuket, head north on route 4233 and go about 1km.
Admission: 200 baht if you decide to enter the museum, free for just the shopping area.
Phone: 076 613 808 or 076–613–666