Sunset on Patong Beach, Phuket
(1 October, 2005)
) is the biggest island and biggest tourist destination of Thailand. It is also a province of Thailand. Phuket is located on the western coast of South Thailand, and dangles like a pendant off the Isthmus of Kra.
Map of Phuket
Places of Interest in and around Phuket
- Phuket City (Administrative Capital; GPS: 7.89011, 98.39863)
- Ao Sane Beach (GPS: 7.77822, 98.29665)
- Ban Bangtao (GPS: 7.98006, 98.29246)
- Ban Thalat Choeng Thale (GPS: 7.99695, 98.30944)
- Bang Pae Waterfall (GPS: 8.03927, 98.3913)
- Bangtao Beach (GPS: 7.98953, 98.28978)
- Gibbon Rehabilitation Project (GPS: 8.04194, 98.39382)
- Kamala Beach (GPS: 7.95692, 98.28309)
- Kathu (GPS: 7.90894, 98.31979)
- Khaorang Hill (GPS: 7.8936, 98.37977)
- Koh Hae (Coral Island) (GPS: 7.74516, 98.37563)
- Laem Singh Beach (GPS: 7.97013, 98.27941)
- Laguna Phuket (GPS: 7.97013, 98.27941)
- Layan Beach (GPS: 8.03097, 98.28636)
- Nai Yang Beach (GPS: 8.0889, 98.29743)
- Naithon Beach (GPS: 8.05786, 98.27802)
- Pansea Beach (GPS: 7.9829, 98.27652)
- Patong Beach (GPS: 7.89619, 98.29541)
- Phuket FantaSea (GPS: 7.95676, 98.28728)
- Promthep Cape (GPS: 7.75909, 98.30365)
- Sarasin Bridge (GPS: 2019, 98.29803)
- Surin Beach (GPS: 7.97538, 98.27838)
- Thalang (GPS: 8.032, 98.33346)
- Thao Thepkrasattri Bridge (GPS: 8.20055, 98.29797)
- Wat Chalong (GPS: 7.84687, 98.33691)
- Wat Phranang Sang (GPS: 8.02668, 98.3325)
Regions of Phuket
Phuket is about the size of Singapore
. It faces the Andaman Sea, and is located 867 kilometres south of Bangkok
. The island has a colourful past. It used to derive its wealth from tin and rubber - today, many old houses in Phuket City
testify to the old money from these commodities. The island was a stopover along the trading routes between India and China and was frequently mentioned in ship logs. In the old days, the island was called Junk Ceylon.
In 1785 a passing sea captain, Francis Light (click here for his biography
), sent word that the Burmese were en route to attack. Forces in Phuket assembled to face the Burmese.
The Thai counteroffensive was led by two heroic sisters, Kunying Jan (aka Thao Thepkasattri), wife of Phuket's recently deceased governor, and her sister Mook (aka Thao Sisunthon). As there was not enough men so she ordered 500 women to dress as soldiers with coconut palms daubed in soot to look like weapons. This tactic succeeded in delaying a full-on Burmese attack. After a month's siege the Burmese were forced back on 13 March, 1785. Kunying Jan and her sister were credited with the successful defense.
The Burmese were to make three more offensives on Phuket between 1809-12 but armed forces from Bangkok arrived in time to push them back. Burmese invasion only stopped when Burma capitulated to the British. The Portuguese, French, Dutch and English all established trades with Phuket. While Phuket was fighting back the Burmese, Captain Francis Light had other intentions. He was looking for a site to be used as a British outpost, and contemplated Phuket. However, Phuket was spared when in 1786 he chose Penang instead.
Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, and powdery white sand covers its beaches. The west coast faces the Andaman Sea, and hence the waves are rougher. Most of the beach resorts in Phuket are located on the western coast, along beaches such as Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala and Nai Yang.
Phuket has two distinct seasons: the wet season from May through October, and the dry season from November through April. The best months to visit Phuket are from November through February. Average temperature ranges from 22-34 degrees Celsius. An international airport links Phuket to Bangkok and the rest of the world. By land, Phuket is linked to mainland Thailand by the Sarasin Bridge at the northernmost tip of the island.
Travel to Phuket
Phuket International Airport (HKT) is the second largest hub in Thailand. It has flight connections with Bangkokg, Kuala Lumpur, Pattaya, Penang, Singapore, among others.
Travel within Phuket
The most common way to get around Phuket is by tuk tuk. The Phuket tuk tuks are minivans or pick-up trucks (also called songthaew
), with four wheels rather than three. Agree on the fare before boarding. Short distances cost about ฿40, while for a journey between Patong Beach and Phuket Town, expect to pay no less than ฿200.
Central Festival Mall, Phuket
(12 July, 2004)
Statue of Khaw Sim Bee on Khao Rang Hill.
(12 July, 2004)
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
(12 July, 2004)
Here I am at Promthep Cape
(12 July, 2004)
The Thao Thep Kasattri Thao Si Sunthon Monument on Google Street View
The Thao Thep Kasattri Thao Si Sunthon Monument celebrates the two heroines, Thao Thep Kasattri ท้าวเทพกระษัตรี
and her sister Khun Muk คุณมุก
who rose to led the defence of Phuket against Burmese invaders in 1785.
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