This mansion is regarded as the finest and grandest example of 'Angmor-lao' the Chinese name for a home of this size and quality in Phuket. 'Angmor ' meaning foreign and 'lao' meaning mansion. The ochre hued Italianate styled Phra Phitak Chyn Pracha Mansion sits on the edge of old Phuket Town. Facing south to Krabi Road the mansion captures the tropical breezes and is situated on a land plot of almost 2 acres. The banyan trees on the property are breathtaking!
The mansion was built in 1903 by the Tin mine baron Tan Ma Sieng. In the past on occasion, it has been used as the governor's mansion explaining it's present moniker. Inherited by the son, Sithi Thandaavanitj it was barely maintained for decades. When we arrived in Phuket in 2000 the building was very worn and tired and rumours abounded, what would happen to it? After the death of Khun Pracha Tandavanitj in 2006 the house was occasionally opened as a private museum by his widow during Phuket's Heritage Week celebrations. Finally in 2008 a lease was signed with the famous Blue Elephant restaurant group. A major restoration ensued from a new roof to the foundations. It has quite a different interpertation on the interior now from the original but it nontheless is beautifully done and has given the old mansion a new and exciting life!