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What comes into the mind of travellers when we talk about sea, sun and sand? Phuket must definitely be one of the answers. A number of exciting activities can be found on this island. In the early days of regional maritime trade, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to be the name of the main town to the north of the island. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China, and also Siam. During the 16th century, the island was a popular trading port for tin. In 1785, Thalang town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united the local residents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory. As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, respectively. They are still highly respected by Phuket residents even today. When the city was in a peaceful state, the development of mining was so unprecedented. Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving wealth. The island's long history has shaped the Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. These attributes have made Phuket a complete tourist destination that offers a lot more beyond its natural heritage of sea, sand, forest, and world-renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walks of life.
Getting to Know: 1. Phuket is located approximately 862 kilometres south of Bangkok. 2. There are only two seasons in a year the green season (May to October) and the hot season (November to April). 3. Phuket is divided into 3 administrative districts: namely, Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Thalang and Amphoe Kathu.
- The beaches of the south coast are typically crowded, while the north is far more tranquil.
- All the major beaches (such as Patong beach, Kata beach, Karon beach, Nai Han beach, Mai Khao beach , Nai Yang beach) offer instruction and equipment for diving, snorkling, wind surfing and sailing. Don't forget to notice red flag! before swim.
Phuket features a dizzying array of accommodation options ranging from luxury hotels to family friendly beach resorts, secluded island villas to budget hotels. With so many types of accommodation available in Phuket, you may actually have a challenging time trying to decide which is the best to suit your needs; it may be helpful to learn about the attractions (or lack thereof) near each of the beaches in Phuket and then narrow your search once you have a couple different beaches in mind.
As one of the premier tourist destinations in Thailand, Phuket has innumerable activities to participate in, ensuring that visitors with any interest will find something to keep them entertained on their Phuket holiday. The following are some of the most popular activities on Phuket:
In most other Thai tourist destinations, Phuket features outstanding shopping opportunities, from street markets to shopping malls, and visitors can buy souvenir products from all over Thailand, such as Thai silk and chopstick sets, or essential beach supplies, such as swimwear, sun block, and children’s beach toys. Locally produced handicrafts that are popular with visitors to Phuket include cultured pearls, neilloware, pewterware, and dried seafood. Specialist shops dealing in souvenir products can be found in and around Phuket Town and at the more popular beaches of Patong, Kata, Karon, and Rawai. There are various other shopping districts in isolated inland areas of Phuket as well.
Most geologists believe that the area known as Phuket today was once a cape that extended into the Andaman Sea. Geographical formations gradually changed the cape’s location, finally detaching it from the mainland.
A famous Greek philosopher, Claudius Ptolemy, was the first person who mentioned the cape in his book written in the year 157. The cape was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, which was located between latitudes 6 N and 8 N (the present site of Phuket Island). Natives called the place Cha Lang, which evolved to Tha Lang, the name of the main town to the north of the island.
As a perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China and also Siam. During the 16th century, the island was also a popular trading port for tin with Portuguese, Dutch, English and French traders flocking to the island. This contributed to making the development of mining so unprecedented that Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoyed the thriving business wealth.
Apart from serving as a meeting point for traders from Europe, Central Asia and China, Phuket also attracted ambitious immigrants, especially those from Portugal and China, to work in the tin mines. With its colourful history, visitors admire the Sino-Portuguese style architecture in the city especially those buildings located along the Thalang and Yaowarat Roads.
Thalang town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area in 1785. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united local residents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory. As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon respectively. To honor them, a monument was established at Tha Ruea Intersection, 12 kilometers to the north of Phuket City in 1966. They are still highly respected by Phuket residents even today.
However, 24 years later, the Burmese succeeded in seizing Thalang causing many local residents to flee to Phang-nga and Krabi. In 1825, some of them returned to re-establish a town and established a rice farming community. On the other hand, the area to the south of the island (Phuket City today) was developed and became a tin trading center.
When Phuket was elevated to a town in 1850, it attracted more immigrants from Thalang and nearby communities. In 1894, Phuket was promoted to be a Monthon administrative unit under the supervision of the central administrative body (located in Bangkok).
In 1902, Phraya Ratsada Korsimbi, a Sino-Thai businessman who contributed to developing the modern city of Phuket was appointed Governor of Phuket. He also helped to improve the welfare of local residents and set up the market system in the countryside. In 1916, Phuket became a province.
The tin mining industry has gradually failed to generate economic growth in Phuket, especially after 1985 when the price of tin fell by half. However, with its natural resources, Phuket later emerged as a tourist destination with great potential. This polished pearl of the Andaman is truly a destination that provides visitors with memorable experiences.
The island’s long history has shaped the distinctive Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. With approximately 35 percent of the population being comprised of Thai-Muslims, it is possible to see an equal number of Wats (Thai temples) located next to Mosques.
Everywhere on Phuket Island is beautiful but the south part of the island is straight out of a tropical daydream. The southern coastline is blessed with magnificent mountains covered with lush jungle forest that stretch out to meet the azure blue sea and are framed with white powder sandy beaches and fringed with coral reefs. When you see a photograph of Phuket, it is likely to have been taken in the south part of the island. The southern beaches offer superb vistas and some of the most glorious sunsets in the world. The South Coast Area covers the part of the island that lies south of Relax Bay on the west and then across the island to include the Cape Panwa area. Many of the best hotels and restaurants in Phuket and some of the most beautiful beaches in the world are located here.
By taking a tour or Beach Safari of the northern beaches of Phuket you will certainly be leaving the crowds behind. The north part of the island is less developed and gets only a tiny fraction of the visitors to Phuket. Many of those waiting to be loaded like cattle on to a boat and shipped off to Phi-Phi Island or one of the other tourist Islands seeking a remote island experience would be well advised to keep their feet dry, and drive for an hour to the north end of Phuket. Miles of unspoiled beaches, and good food await you. The rugged beauty of the northern beaches can only be enhanced by the feeling of having them all to yourself.
As you travel north you will encounter beaches dominated with casuarina pine trees rather than palm trees. These unusual trees are like a natural beach umbrella and offer cool shade from the blistering tropical sun, and a if you listen carefully they make slight singing sound as they sway to the call of the offshore breezes. Expect a quiet enchanting experience if you break away from the herd and visit the north end of the island.
We have compiled the most complete list of activities and things-to-do during your stay on Phuket available anywhere. We have sought out the leading companies in each activity, those who have established a track record of providing a quality service at a fair price. Travel industry is geared for big, they like big boats, and big buses, because it is easier for them to schedule customers. But Phuket is a small island, many of the best activities, and places to visit are in small out-of-the-way locations, or are provided by small companies. Many of the local boat charters like the Fi-Tuen and Coral Seekers carry only six passengers, but offer a personal and pleasant day of adventure. Our goal is to provide you with enough local information that you can make informed choices about how to spend your holiday time and money.
ne trip to Phuket and the island can become an obsession, an addiction. Symptoms include heartbreak on leaving Phuket International Airport, seeking out Singha and spicy food at home, and blabbering incessantly about the island’s beauty to friends who don’t quite get it. We understand. This website is a way to fill a void; inundating you with high quality – often stunning – pictures of all your favourite spots, it’s the next best thing to being here. Our day-to-day activities take us to every corner of the island, and we always take a camera.
Find out how your favourite beach looks. Get in-depth views of tours and day trips, both on and off the island. Learn about local life. Explore lesser-known locales. Take a virtual excursion to Phuket’s neighbours – Phi Phi Island Khao Lak, or Coral Island (among others). We’re proud of our DAILY TOUR . Sharing Phuket with the world isn’t a job – it’s a passion.