Phuket, which is somewhat smaller than the size of Singapore, is Thailand’s largest island. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoys a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traders. The region now derives much of its income from tourism.
Western Phuket (Bang Thao, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Laem Sing, Mai Khao, Nai Thon and Nai Yang, Patong, Surin)
This region is what Phuket is known for the world over. There is a wide variety of beaches, some calm, some totally ruined by millions of visitors each year. Patong is one of the party capitals of Asia.
Southeastern Phuket (Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Nai Han, Rawai, Ya Nui)
Slightly off-beat beaches that are worth the trip. Chalong Bay is the largest town that acts as a harbour for outgoing boats to Phang Nga Bay.
Interior Phuket (Bang Rong, Ko Sire, Phuket Town, Phra Taew National Park, Thalang)
Besides Phuket Town, the interior of Phuket is pretty much unvisited by foreign visitors. This fertile hilly expanse consists of mangrove forests, fishing villages, rubber and pineapple plantations, small Muslim communities and shrimp farms. The Phra Taew National Park is a nice escape from the tourist crowds, as is the Gibbon Project.
Phang Nga Bay (Ko Bon, Ko Hae, Ko Lon, Ko Mai Thon, Ko Maphrao, Ko Racha, Ko Yao)
Famous for its limestone cliffs, caves, mangroves, fishing villages and James Bond Island.
Phuket is hot and humid throughout the year. The hot season is generally considered to be from March to early May. During the summer monsoon season from May to October, mornings and afternoons are still sunny and clear, but it tends to rain in the evenings and water clarity goes down. Locals consider November to February the “cool” season, and the weather is quite tolerable, much more so than in the tourism centres around the Gulf coast. It’s comparable to Florida’s summer weather in temperature and intensity of rain storms: 25-33 deg C, flying clouds, short and thunderous rainfalls in the afternoons and evenings. Surfing is possible off the western beaches
Phuket is a melting pot of indigenous Thais, Thai-Chinese, ethnic Malays and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. Outside of the provincial town, the rural folk speak with a thick Southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand. The provincial town’s economy having boomed over the past decade has led to a lot of the youngsters leading similar lives to those in Bangkok. Altogether, the lifestyle of the urban Sino-Thais in Phuket resembles that of their counterparts in Bangkok.
|Languages spoken||Thai and English|
|Currency used||Thai Baht (Thb.)|