Saphan Hin and Mining Monument - (สะพานหิน)

Parks and Open Spaces in Phuket
Saphan Hin (Stone Bridge) is part of the history of Phuket. Originally a port used by tin dredgers the area derived it's name form a road made with piles of stones running down the beach and used by the dredger crew to board small boats to take them out to the dredgers moored at sea, due to the fact that the sea had become shallow due to mud washed in from the dredgers. In more recent times the local council used the mangrove forest to reclaim the land by filling it with waste and covering it with sand. It was around 40 years before it came to look as it does today. The remaining mangrove forest that lies just beside the exhibition area has a walkway that takes you around the forest and beside the beach. A great place to go at low tide to see the small fiddler crabs and other mangrove forest wildlife. Just look for the entrance next to the police office.





When Saphan Hin's Tin Mining Monument was built it was next to the sea, now there are restaurants and recreation areas as well as Phuket's Incinerator. Photo Credit - unknown.


In December 1907 Captain Edward Miles, founder of the Tongkah Harbour Tin Dredging Company N.L, introduced the first Tin Dredger to Thailand at Saphan Hin and to honour the beginning of a new era of Tin Mining a monument was erected in his honour on 28th December 1969. An interview with Captain Miles's Great Grand Daughter can be seen on Youtube. To see what a Dredger looked like here is an example from Malaysia Perak, Tg Tualang Tin Dredging  The Tongkah Harbour Company is still operating today http://www.tongkahharbour.com/Tongkah/company_SML.html with several different activities including offshore tin mining and gold mining.


Tin Mining Monument Phuket
Yes that's me reflected in the shiny stone! 
Saphan Hin,Phuket
The Tin Mining Monument makes a great slide for local children!
Mining Monument Phuket

The area has been a popular place for the Thai people to spend their free time, nowadays much of the population will head for the air-conditioned shopping malls as a place to relax with the family, but in past times Saphan Hin was the only place to stroll or take a picnic on the weekends and up until 1990s the Lucky Complex offered somewhere to shop.  Unfortunately the Lucky Complex failed as a Shopping Mall (a long time before the Lotus, Big C and Central Festival arrived) but the building still remains even now more than 10 years after its closure. Lucky Complex was taken over by the OrBorJor in 2002 and after several attempts to get the complex up and running again, the current (2012) Governor of Phuket Khun Paiboon, has suggested turning the complex into a sports centre so hopefully Saphan Hin will soon have a new attraction.



In present times the area holds exhibitions and concerts on a regular basis and is an important part of the Vegetarian Festival, when on the last day there is a large procession from Jui Dtui Shrine in Phuket Town to Saphan Hin Shrine in order to send the Gods back to heaven. 

In 2011 a Dancing Water Fountain was introduced to bring new life to the area. The shows are three times per night and are held at the pond in front of the college. (Hope to get better photos in the future!)


Parks and Open Spaces in PhuketParks and Open Spaces in Phuket


"สะพานหินเดิมเป็นชายหาดเล็กๆ ที่อยู่ใกล้ตัวเมืองที่สุด ก่อนปี 2500 สะพานหินมีชายหาดพอเล่นน้ำได้ บริเวณที่ติดกับต้นสน ด้านซ้ายมือของรูปเป็นป่าไม้โกงกาง โดยมีแนวหินที่ทำเป็นถนนลงไปในทะเล ซึ่งอยู่บริเวณฟุตบาตในรูปนี้ เพื่อใช้ให้คนงานเรือขุดในทะเลเดินไปลงเรือเล็ก ความยาวประมาณ 500 เมตร เพราะในอ่าวทุงคามีเรือขุดแร่ของ บริษัททุ่งคาฮาเบอร์ และเรือขุด ของบริษัทอ่าวขามติน ลอยทะเลขุดแร่อยู่แล้วปล่อยขี้โคลนลงมา คลื่นก็พัดขี้โคลนเข้าหาฝั่ง ทะเลด้านนี้จึงตื้นเขิน ต่อมาหลังจากเทศบาลเอาขยะไปถมที่ซอยพูนผลจนเต็มไม่มีที่จะทิ้ง จึงนำขยะมาทิ้งด้านซ้ายมือของรูปนี้ ในป่าโกงกางเพื่อทำแผ่นดินยื่นไปในทะเล เอาขยะมาทิ้งแล้วเอาทรายกลบ สมัยก่อนไม่มีพาสติก กลิ่นมันเลยค่อนข้างแรงมาก แต่เราก็ได้แผ่นดินเพิ่มมาทำประโยชน์ และได้กำจัดขยะด้วย....จำได้ว่า 10 ปีแรกเราได้พื้นดินแค่ อนุสาวรีย์หอยเท่านั้น หลังจากนั้น ต้องใช้เวลา อีก40 ปี ถึงได้เป็นเหมือนปัจจุบันครับ.... "

คอบคุณ คุณทวียศ นาโคศิริ / Thank you to Khun Tawiyot Nakosiri 
for sharing the history and an old photograph of the area which can be seen on facebook: 

Parks and Open Spaces in Phuket





Klong Bang Yai, Phuket Town's Canal runs from Saphan Hin through the center of town to the foot of Kao To Sae, part of e canal was filled in to make roads but old photos will show that, about 100 years ago boats, could travel right into town and that Bang Niow was at that time a port.

Canals in Phuket

Klong Bang Yai Phuket

The end of Saphan Hin as a waste landfill project left Phuket with the problem of how to deal with the ever increasing waste created by locals and the tourist industry. The only solution was for the building of a large incinerator which now stands alongside Klong Bang Yai.


Incinerator Phuket

The Incinerator stands out on the skyline as you look down Klong Bang Yai from the Transport Office and is clearly visible from the top of Kao Rang Hill.

Looking towards Saphan Pramahachanok from infront of Transport Ofiice (Kon Song) Phuket
Looking towards Saphan Pramahachanok from infront of Transport Ofiice (Kon Song)

Saphan Pramahachanok looking towards Saphan Hin
Saphan Pramahachanok looking towards Saphan Hin

Previous events held at Saphan Hin:

OTOP Fair 2012
Mobile Museum 2012