Introduction Phuket, a large island in the Indian Ocean, is 867 kms. from Bangkok. It is the only island having
provincial status, and was a regional headquarters as well, with a rich and colorful history.
Location and Boundaries Phuket is an island connected by bridges to southern Thailand's Andaman Sea coast,
in the Indian Ocean, lying between 7'45" and 8'15" north latitude, and from 98'15" to 98'40" west longitude
on the map. Phuket, Thailand's largest islands, is surrounded by 32 smaller islands that form part of
the same administration, with a total area of 570 square kilometers. Measured at its widest point,
Phuket is 21.3 kilometers; at its longest, 48.7 kilometers. it is bounded thus:
North- Lies The Pak Prah strait, spanned by two bridges running side-by-side, the older Sarasin Bridge,
and the newer Thao Thep Krasatri Bridge. South-Is the Andaman Sea.East-Is Phang-nga Bay
(In the jurisdiction mainly of Phang-nga Province). West-Is The Andaman Sea.
Geography About 70 percent of Phuket is mountainous; a western range runs from north to south from which
smaller branches derive. The highest peak is Mai Tha Sip Song, or Twelve Canes, at 529 meters, which lies
within the boundaries of Tambon Patong, Kathu District. The remaining 30 percent of the island,
mainly in the center and south, is formed by low plains. Streams include the Khlong Bang Yai,
Tha Jin, Khlong Tha Rua, and Khlong Bang Rong, none of which is large.
Climate Phuket's weather conditions are dominated by monsoon winds that blow year round. It is therefore always
warm and humid. There are two distinct seasons, rainy and dry. The rainy season begins in May and lasts till
October, during which the monsoon blows from the southwest.The dry season is from November through April,
when the monsoon comes from the northeast. Highest average temperatures, at 33.4 degree Celsius, prevail
during March. Lowest averages occur in January, when nightly lows dip to 22 degree Celsius.
Economy Since the early 1980's the tourist business has been Phuket's chief source of income. Hotels,
restaurants, tour companies, and souvenir shops are much in evidence on the west coast. However, while once
all important, tin mining has ceased, tourism is by no means the island's only activity. Agriculture remains
important to a large number of people, and covers by far the most part of the island.
Principal crops are rubber, coconuts, cashews, and pineapples.
Prawn farming has largly taken over the east and south coasts. Pearl farming is also important. Phuket's fishing
port is at all time filled, and processing of marine products, mainly fish, makes a significant contribution to the economy.
With so many healthy industries supplying income, construction has become a major factor in employment.
This range from massive public works projects, large office buildings and hotels,
and housing estates with hundreds of units, down to single family homes, apartments and additions.
Population Official population as of December, 1998, was 231, 206.This figure numbers those who are registered
as living in Phuket. Phuket' s attraction as a center of economic activity has resulted in many living on the island
whose registration is elsewhere. The total population of Phuket varies considerably depending on the time of year,
through it is never less than the figure given above.
Government The island is divided into three districts, Thalang in the north, Kathu in the west, and Muang in the south.
Thailand's system of government relies upon a strong central authority, thus the Provincial Governor is a civil servant
appointed by the Interior Ministry in Bangkok, as are the Nai Amphoe, or District Chief. The cities of Phuket
and Patong have their own city governments, with elected city councils, the leading members of which serve as mayor.
There are also elected provincial, district, and sub-district, or Tambon councils.
The local constabulary is part of the Interior Ministry.
To see as much of Phuket as possible, rent a car, jeep or motorcycle. The island is large and public transport
does not reach many beautiful beaches and places of interest. You can drive along the road around Phuket Island
to discover Phuket's famous ones and explore life style in Phuket with attractive destination below :
Phuket Town is remarkable for its preservation of the old Sino-Protuguese houses and buildings - reminders
of the island's interesting history. Among the well-preserved are most specially found on Dibuk Road,
which has old wooden doors carved in Chinese styles.
Some other old European-syle buildings are the Provincial Hall (Sala Klang), the Phuket Courthouse
(San Changwat), and Nakhon Luang Thai Bank.
Laem Promthep is hilltop viewpoint with wonderful sunset view.There are a lot of people visit here and can not forget.
Thai Boxing "Muay Thai" as it is called in Thai, strikes blows at - - and with - - every part of the body.
The stadium is located at Sapan Hin in Phuket Town and bouts are held Friday nights.
Pearl Farms Several pearl farms are located in and around Phuket.
Please contact TAT Southern Office : Region 4 (Phuket) for details of arranging visits.
Ton Sai Waterfall & Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary An idyllic setting cooled by sonorous
cascades, this 22 sq. km. area is rich in wildlife, including bears, porcupines, gibbons and macaques,
as well as over 100 bird species. Major attranctions include Ton Sai Waterfall,
a small waterfall which provides a cool shady area for relaxation.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival is held from the first through the ninth nights of the ninth Chinese lunar month;
that is in September or October. It was first celebrated in 1825, when a troupe of actors enacted
these rites toward off a plague. Vegetarian food is eaten by participants and white clothes
worn during the period of the fest. Selfmutilization is practiced by those whose bodies become the temporary
esidence of powerful gods. Parades of worshippers brave fireworks while carrying images through the street;
others walk on fire or climb bladed ladders. Participants number in the thousands.
The whole forms one of the most bizarre festivals in Thailand.
Turtle Release Fair is held on Songkran, the nationwide Thai water festival, on April 13. It is also the National
Fisherman's Day. Baby turtles are released into the sea at various locations.
is usually called the Patong Carnival in English according to from the place where celebrations occur, and is held
on November 1. There are many stalls with merchandise and food,
parades, sports event, and a beauty competition for foreign tourists. The fest is held to cement solidarity
among the government, the private business sector, and the people.
Phuket King's Cup Regatta was first held in 1987 in honour of His Majesty's 60th birthday. The King of Thailand
is a noted boating enthusiast and yachts come from around the world to participate in the competition,
which is the largest and most popular in Southeast Asia. It is held yearly on the anniversary of His Majesty's birthday,
5 December. Site of the regatta is Nai Han Bay.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon This annual year end event sees the world's top triathletes and hundreds of
amateurs competing for prize money and placing on the world triathlon circuit. The course, which includes
swimming, bicycling, and running through the beautiful natural surroundings of Laguna Phuket in Tambon
Choeng Thale, takes from two-and-a-half to five hours to complete.
Phuket Travel Fair , held on November 1, was first initiated in 1985 at Patong to welcome in the tourist season
and designed to foster co-operation among tourism-related operators both in the private and public sectors.
Many colourful and interesting activities are organised, such as merit-making in the morning,
water sports contests, a Miss Visitor Contest, among others.
Seafood Festival, held around May yearly, is designed to publicise the delicious seafood of Phuket and attract visitors
during the rainy season. Activities include a Marine Tourism Resources Parade, seafood stalls,
demonstrations of regional cuisines and cultural shows. The west coast of the island has some of
the best beaches to be found anywhere and, during the sunny and dry November-May season,
the water is calm, clear and warm. Each beach has its own style and distinctive points of interest.
Some, like Patong are hot spots for nightlife, while others, like Nai Yang are quiet havens away from the crowds.
Karon Beach The second largest of Phuket's principal tourist beaches. Large resort complexes line the road
back of the beach, but the strand itself, long and broad, has no development. The sand is very white, and squeaks
audibly when walked on. The southern point has a fine coral reef stretching toward Kata and Poo Island.
Restaurants, bars, tour companies and other non-hotel businesses are at the north end, near the traffic circle,
and at the south, on the little road connecting the back road with the beach road.
The narrow road between Kata and Karon has a number of small businesses as well as
the Dino Park Mini Golf facility. Karon is the most up-scale of Phuket's beaches.
Regular daytime bus service to and from Phuket Town.
Kata Beach The smallest of Phuket's three main tourist beaches, Kata is different in appearance and style from
Karon or Patong. The beach itself is broad and curving, and structures bordering it are low–rise.
The waters are perfect for swimming, and at the north end is a coral reef with many varied corals
and fishes which stretches out toward Poo Island., about 1/2 km off shore.
Facilities for every price range include hotels, bungalows, tour companies, restaurants,
bars and clubs. There is regular bus service to and from Phuket town during daytime.
Kata Noi Beach South of Kata is Kata Noi, a smaller beach with only a few hotels and little other development.
The beach is superb. Many fish inhabit the rocks and corals along the beachless shoreline stretching south.
To get there take the narrow beach road up over the hill from Kata.
Nai Yang Beach This is where the National Park office is located. The beach itself is on a long
curving bay lined with evergreens that provide shade to picnicker.
The large coral reef is home to many different species of fish, and Nai Yang is well known as a site where
sea turtles come to lay their eggs during the period from November to February;
the population of these has however, dropped off greatly.
First class accommodations are available and small food vendors cater to the many day trippers.
To get there take the Nai Yang Rd., and look for signs indicating the park entrance.
Nai Thon Beach This quiet bay nestled at the foot of high hills has a fine strip of the sand. There are some
accommodationes but virtually no other business. Located between Bang Thao Bay and Nai Yang Beach,
Nai Thon Beach can be reachd by taking Thep Krasatri Rd. Turn at the first traffic light north of Thalang Town to Nai Yang Rd.
Look for signs indicating the turn-off to Nai Ton.
Mai Khao Beach Many kilometers of deserted beach characterize Mai Khao where there is little
tourist business. The water is fine for swimming during the dry season; the rainy season brings
big waves and strong currents that are dangerous. This lonely beach is another area where
sea turtles come to lay eggs. It is also home to what the Thais call a sea cicada,
which is a form of marine life. To get there go to the northern tip of Phuket
the beach lies along the road's length.
Sai Kaew Beach This strip of sand is just the north portoin of Mai Khao Beach and has much the same
character. Located west of the bridges spanning the channel between Phuket and Phang–nga provinces.
Surin Beach Evergreen trees rim this small, curving bay beneath the foothills north of Kamala.
Surin is home to Phuket's first golf coures, a nine-hole course laid out more than sixty years ago
during the reign of King Rama VII. It is now largely in disuse except as a park.
The steep incline of the beach, turbulent water, and big waves make Surin a dangerous place
to swim during the rainy season. Located at the end of Sri Sunthon Rd., the road running west from the
Two Heroines Monument, 24 kms. from Phuket Town. Accommodations and restaurants are nearby.
Kamala Beach Kamala is a Muslim fishing village north of Patong. Tourist development on the beach
much of which is covered by a Muslim graveyard and a police outpost has been slow in coming. Buffalo herds still
come down to the beach to cool off in the afternoon. The beach is beautiful and about 2 kms. in length.
There are accommodations ranging from guesthouse to international class, and a number of small
Thai restaurants specializing in seafood for the tourist. Kamala is the perfect place to get away
from it all and has little to offer in the way of entertainment for that go across the mountains to Patong.
Regular bus service to and from Phuket Town during daytime;
tuk-tuk service available to Patong, 5 kms. away on the new road.
Patong Beach This is Phuket's central tourist and night time entertainment district. Over the years,
Patong has turned from a fishing village into one of the island's two cities.
The famous bay and 4 km. beach is know as a centre of entertainment with restaurants catering to every
nationality. Live music can be found in most pubs and bars. Accommodations range
from budget to five-star. Shopping opportunities appear to be endless. In addition,
there are many tour companies waiting to help visitors plan their vacations.
Some of the options available are listed below.
Nai Harn Beach A popular swimming beach and yacht anchorage during the dry season.
The beach is fine, but big waves strike it during the wet season, making swimming dangerous.
Regular bus service to and from Phuket town during daytime. Nai Han is just north of Phrom Thep Cape
Viewpoint From this point can be seen the bays of Kata Noi, Kata and Karon, and also Poo Island.
It is one of the island's best views. A large public sala, or shelter is there for visitors,
and several vendors sell food, drinks, and souvenirs in the area when the weather is nice.
The viewpoint is between Kata and Nai Han Beach.
Rawai Beach Site of the Chao Ley or Sea Gipsy village, many restaurants and bungalows,
shell handicraft shops, and both fishing and charter boats to the nearby islands.
The beach itself is suitable for swimming. Rawai is 7 kms. west of Chalong Circle.