Phuket, “The Pearl of the Andaman”
Phuket is an island located in the southwest of Thailand, in the Andaman sea. This stunning island raises its reputation as an international well-known tourism destination often referred to as “The Pearl of Andaman”. Phuket combines many magnificent beaches easily accessible to holiday makers such as Patong, Karon, Kata and Kata Noi.
Phuket is one of the southern provinces of the Kingdom of Thailand. It consists of the island of Phuket, the kingdom’s largest island and another 32 smaller islands off its coast. This world class tourist destination lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket Island is connected via bridge to Phang Nga province to the north and across Phang Nga Bay to Krabi province to the east.
Phuket Province has an area of 576 square kilometres (222 sq mi) and is the second smallest province of Thailand. The island formerly derived its wealth from both tin and rubber and enjoys a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes linking 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 as it has developed into a world class tourism destination offering something for everyone.
The most popular tourist area on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central west coast, perhaps owing to the easy access to its wide and long beach. Most of Phuket’s nightlife and its shopping is in Patong, and the area has become increasingly developed. Patong means “the forest filled with banana leaves” in Thai. South of Patong lie Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach, and around the southern tip of the island, Nai Harn Beach and Rawai. To the north of Patong are Kamala Beach, Surin Beach, and Bang Tao Beach. These areas are generally much less developed than Patong. To the southeast is Bon Island and to the south are several coral islands. The Similan Islands lie to the northwest, and the Phi Phi Islands to the southeast.
Tourists are able to travel with ease to numerous attractions and areas near by Phuket such as, Phang – Nga province, Similan Islands, Ko Yao Noi and Ko Yao Yai. Phuket Town is readily accessible from pretty much anywhere within the island of Phuket.
Pathong is the most famous of the developed beach areas of Phuket with a 3 km long street, full of dive shops, restaurants, entertainment and night markets. Karon, Kata and Kata Noi beaches located at the southern area of Pathong beach, travellers would be able to enjoy water activities such as swimming, snorkelling, wind surfing and sunbathing.
There are a range of diverse outdoor activities to join in with in Phuket and Phang -Nga such as snorkelling and scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, wind surfing, sea canoeing, white water rafting, golf, elephant treks and zip lining. You can be as active as you wish or simply relax and do nothing at one of the many fine resorts on the island. The day trips within Phuket are plentiful and easily arranged, just ask your tour guide or hotel staff and they will be pleased to assist you in your sightseeing requirements. Boats are readily available taking travellers to the world’s top 10 dive spots in Similan islands, the islands in the northwest of Phuket having white sandy shores, pristine rainforests, and is also home to the giant sea turtles, manta rays and a huge variety of fish and sharks.
Promthep Cape is one of the most amazing landmarks of Phuket. It is the southernmost part of the island being the best spot to watch the sunsets whilst enjoying snacks and a cold beverage.
Travellers also can be part of Phuket’s Vegetarian Festival; with parades showcasing a number of interesting performances such as fire walking and body piercing. There are nine days of festivities held early October every year.
Furthermore, Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, another major festival in Phuket is the greatest and the most popular regatta in Asia which held on the first week of December every year.