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Phuket is one of the southern Changwat, otherwise known as provinces in Thailand. Consisting of the Phuket Island which is Thailand’s biggest island alongside other 32 smaller islands nearby, it lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket Island is connected to the land via Sarasin Bridge which leads Phang Nga Province in the north. To the east across Phang Nga Bay in Krabi, which is the nearest province to Phuket.
It was suggested that Phuket was named as such from the Malay word “Bukit” which means hill since Phuket Island looks like a hill from a far distance. Previously Phuket was known as Thalang, again derived from the Malay word “telong” which means cape. The earliest mentions of Phuket would come from Portuguese explorer Fernão Mendes Pinto who arrived in Siam around 1545. In his travel accounts, Phuket was referred to as Junk Ceylon seven times, in which this Junk Ceylon was a destination port where trading vessels made regular stops for supplies and provisions before its decline due to pirates.
Phuket would later become a centre of attention from the Dutch, English and French forces due to its rich tin deposits. Around 1785, Phuket got attacked by Burma, in which Than Phu Ying Chan and her sister Mook began assembling forces to defend against the siege. It is due to their bravery that the two sisters were immortalized in the Seal of Phuket. During King Chulalongkorn’s reign, Phuket is made the administrative centre of all the southern provinces that produce tin.
Today, Phuket is one of the major tourist destinations in Asia, with the Western Phuket region being the highly recognized party capitals. Since the 1980s, the sandy west coast beaches of Patong, Karon and Kata have developed as a significant vacation place which helped to boost the province’s economy alongside the rubber plantation industry. Covering an area of 576 square kilometres which is somewhat slightly smaller than the city-state of Singapore, it is the second smallest province in Thailand and has a population of 386,605 residents as of 2015.
It is widely recognized for being the largest island of Thailand, being mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south. Seventy percent of the region is made up of mountains stretching from the north to south and lack any major rivers, whereas, on Phuket Island, sixty percent of it is made of the forest, rubber, and palm oil plantations.
As for the climate, Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate with dry season running from December to March and a wet season that covers through the rest of the eight months. Little variations would occur in its average temperatures due to its close proximity to the equator. Like any other provinces in Thailand, people in the city speak mostly Thai or English in addition to other local languages such as Chinese or Malay. Most of the signage in the city is extensively written in Thai.
You can reach Phuket by plane. Phuket International Airport (IATA: HKT) is about 30 kilometres north of the island. It is the second largest hub and a major airport for Thailand after Bangkok and is the third busiest in terms of passengers.
From the airport; both taxi and ride-sharing services would provide access to various destinations around the province. In addition to that, there is also the air-conditioned airport buses and shuttle buses transferring passengers from the airport to the places around town.
If you drive on your own, the island is connected to the mainland via Thao Thepkasattri Bridge and is accessible to Bangkok via Highway 4 although you need to clock in about 862 kilometres worth of driving. All cars exiting Ko Phuket will be inspected through Tha Chat Chai police checkpoint.
Getting around Phuket is such a breeze, given its relatively small and size. While the train services are not available here, there are songthaew or local buses which are simply converted pickup trucks serving as buses, local taxis and also motorbike taxis with the drivers wearing bright and visibly numbered vests. For end-to-end travels, you can opt to rent your own bike or car, however extra caution is advised due to the local driving culture.
Phuket is one of the most travelled places in the country. With its reputation as one of the best places to party, it is an open secret that the nightlife in Phuket is one of the best to be offered by the country if not the region. Other than that, the Phuket Town has rich Chinese heritage and history found in the Chinatown which could be worthy of visiting and checking out.
Patong is a town on the west coast of Phuket Island, being the main tourist resort in the island and the centre of nightlife and shopping around the area with numerous hotels that can be found here. There is also a 2850 meters beach with the same name that can be found nearby that runs the entire length of Patong's west side. Nightlife here is centred in two main areas, Bangla Road and the Paradise Complex. This romantic beach makes an ideal spot for a honeymoon trip.
Opened to the public since 1998, it is a prominent Thai nighttime theme park that can also be found on Phuket Island. Phuket FantaSea is a 60-acre park featuring three main attractions, which is a Thai culture theatrical show, a theme buffet restaurant, and a shopping street
Wat Chalong is the most important of the 29 Buddhist temples in Phuket. Located in the Chalong Subdistrict, Mueang Phuket District, it is dedicated to two highly revered monks, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang who led the citizens to fight against the Chinese rebellion in 1876 and helped the injured with their knowledge of herbal medicine.
Thai Hua Museum
An attraction found in Phuket Town, it was once used as a Chinese language school and features a detailed history of the Phuket Chinese. Being one of the well-maintained Sino-Portuguese buildings in Phuket, it has a charming inner courtyard, a lovely garden and a dozen exhibition rooms.
While Phuket is known for its beaches and nightlife, the dishes here too is something to look forward to indulging. Featuring some of the best Thai dishes around the region, Phuket certainly has something to provide in order to satisfy your grumbling stomachs and passion for uniquely Thai food.
Tom Yam Goong
If there is one dish that truly defines the Thai cuisine, it has to be tom yam, a mixture of sour soup made of coconut milk, red chili, mushroom, herbs and other spices, as well as spicy Thai sauce and river shrimp, which is considered as the truly original version of tom yam. It goes great with rice and noodles and is perfectly enjoyable when hot. Head on to Cherngtalay Phuket Restaurant to get one of this dishes for your own serving. The dish is best enjoyed together with friends and family.
Gaeng Keaw Wan Gai (Green Curry Chicken)
Green curry chicken is yet another uniquely Thai dish that could be found in abundance when dining around Phuket. Typically made with chicken, the curry is then cooked with green curry paste, coconut milk, lime wedges, peanuts, sliced red chillies, basil leaves for garnish and eggplants cut in quarters. In Karon, Bai Toey and Sabaijai Café are among the eateries serving the dish.
Kao Phing Kan
Also known as James Bond Island due to it being featured The Man with The Golden Gun movie, Kao Phing Kan is yet another island located northeast of Phuket, which is also part of Ao Phang Nga National Park. Consisting of limestone tower karsts, it is the habitat of deciduous limestone shrubland and evergreen trees, while some plants like Pandanus, cycads, euphorbs and prickly pear cactus grow on nearly soil-free cliffs. There are also more than 100 species of birds that can be found in the park, making it ideal for bird watching.
Krabi Hot Springs
Found deep inside the rainforest nearby Khao Phra Bang Khram Nature Reserve which is 70 kilometres away from Krabi town, it is one of the natural hot springs around with hot waters ranging around 35 to 40 degrees Celsius. The waters would come from deep-rooted thermal springs that are located inside volcanic chambers and visitors can sit on the smoothly shaped rocks. It is said to be brimming with natural mineral salts, capable of curing all manner of health complaints including rheumatism and sciatica.
With the flight and hotel ticket package available at Traveloka Malaysia, you can visit Phuket more easily and cheaper. Choose a variety of tour packages that we offer, and modify as you like to get the combination you want.
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