Phuket, a large island in the Indian Ocean, is 862 kms, from Bangkok. It is the only island having provincial status and is a regional headquarters. Known as the Pearl of Thailand, it derived much of its former glory and its enormous wealth from tin production, which dates back over 500 years. Today, Phuket is Thailand's largest tin producer. The surrounding waters contain a lot colorful marine life and the town is noted for its old European style architecture. It is a very attractive island for the sightseer, with lovely seashore, limestone cliffs and forested hillsides.
Phuket Island has a long shape from the north to the south and its general geographic characteristics are rolling hills alternating with basins. It includes 32 smaller outlying islands. Phuket, the smallest southern province occupies 543 square kilometers. The overall length from north to south is 48 kms. and it is 21 kms. at its widest point.
Phuket borders on Phangnga Bay to the north at the 490 meters wide Pak Phra Channel. There, it is joined to the mainland by the 660 meters Sarasin Bridge linking Chatchai Landing of Phuket and Tha Nun Landing of Phangnga. To the south and west lies the Andaman Sea and the Krabi Sea to the east. It is administratively divided into three Amphoes: Muang, Thalang and Krathu. The main occupation of the population is rubber plant cultivation while the rest are engaged in the cultivations of coconuts, fruits and fishing.
Khao Rang is a small hill, located behind the town, maintained as a public park by the Municipality. It is also the location of a Radio and Television Station operated by the Department of Public Relations.
Phuket Butterfly Garden and Aquarium, is located at Mu Ban Sam Kong, some 3 kms. from town, offers a two of excellent attractions. They are the lovely butterfly garden and the underwater world of corals.
Leam Ka Noi and Laem Ka Yai capes are 14 kms. from Phuket town, close to Hat Rawai, where it is safe for swimming.
Hat Rawai beach has been famous for a time. It is located 14 kms. from the town and here there is the Chao Le "Sea Gypsy" tribal village.
Ko Kaeo Pitsadan is accessible by a 30 minute boat trip from Hat Rawai. It features beautiful sandy beaches and a shrine containing a replica of Buddha's Footprints.
Laem Phrom Thep cape,"Laem Chao", is located 18 kms. from Phuket town. From this point, the best scenery of Phuket can be seen.
Genesis Photo Stock - Laem Phrom Thep, Phuket
Hat Nai Han beach is located 18 kms. from the town. Travelling, from Chalong 5-Way Junction through the road to Hat Rawai about 4 kms. - the access road branches of on the right to Hat Nai Han. The beach is small but peaceful.
Ao Patong bay has a beautiful long beach, totalling a distance of several kilometers, suitable for swimming. It is located 13 kms. from Phuket township area in Amphoe Krathu
Sunset Patong Beach, Photo by Matteo Rigotti
Hat Surin is the most famous beach on Phuket, located 26 kms.from the town. However, the beach shelf is steep and the fairly heavy surf renders it unsuitable for swimming. There is a golf course above the beach line.
Laem Sing Cape is located one kilometre beyond Hat Surin and features beautiful rocky reefs.
Ao Kamala bay is located 1 km. from Laem Sing.
Hat Nai Yang National Park is located on the road to the airport, 37 kms. from Phuket town. The park covers an area of 90 square kilometers and has a long secluded stretch of beautiful beaches fringed by casuarina trees. They are Hat Nai Thon, Hat Nai Yang, Hat Mai Khao and Hat Sai Kaeo. From November to February gigantic sea turtles struggle ashore to lay their eggs there. For accommodations contact the National Park Division, Royal Forestry Department, Tel. 5790529, 5794842.
Vegetarian Festival The festival falls in September - October every year.
This annual festival originated among immigrant workers in the 19th century and is one of the major events of Phuket. Residents of Chinese ancestry go on a ten-day vegetarian diet. There are ceremonies at local Chinese temples, as well as, a parade that features remarkable feats by ascetic believers.
Of course, after listing all the attractions above, it has to be said that Phuket is overwhelmingly known for its beaches.
Famous beaches include : Surin Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Rawai Beach. Laem Promthep as a picture higher on this page shows, is ideal for observing impressive sunsets. There is a small risk that Phuket will be of the map for tourists because of the impression of being a disaster area. However, now is as good a time to visit as ever (or even better, since prices may be lower).