Unbeknownst to many, Phuket Island was founded on tin. Once an integral part of the island’s booming commerce and trade, tin was even dubbed ‘BLACK GOLD’ by the locals. A major industry for centuries, tin remained a form of currency until the 1930s.
Discovered 200 years ago in Kathu District at the centre of Phuket, tin became the FOCUS of multiple mining operations. By 1750, large-scale mines had opened across the island, with offshore dredging introduced in 1902.
It was around this time that Khaw Sim Bee Na-Ranong was appointed governor of Phuket. Having successfully introduced rubber tree farming to Southern Thailand, he was charged with overseeing the RISE of Phuket’s tin mining industry.
The island FLOURISHED under his leadership. Both the tin and rubber tree industries paved the way for development across Phuket, putting what was once a sleepy 'unknown' island on the map. Khaw Sim Bee was later awarded the royal title of Phraya Rassada Nupradit. A statue of Phraya Rassada now presides over Khao Rang Hill, his watchful eye cast over Phuket Town.