White sandy beaches, warm aquamarine waters, balmy weather, an easy pace of life and sumptuous seafood are some of the things that entice visitors to this near-perfect idyllic escape. Lesser known but just as attractive are its lush forests and the many nearby islands which offer spectacular scenery and some of the best reef diving in the world. From a small island inhabited by tin miners, rubber planters and fishermen 20 years ago, Phuket has blossomed into Asias premier beach resort, far outstripping its sister resort of Pattaya on the western shore of the Gulf of Thailand only an hour away from Bangkok.
The word Phuket was formerly belived to have come from the Malayan word Bukit, which means a mountain. However, it has recently been discovered that Phuket is actually a Thai word meaning a mountain (phu) of jewel (ket). The name is recorded in a Thai chronicle, though the spelling of the second syllable has been changed.
Formerly known as Ko (island) Thalang, Phuket was only noted for its rich tin ores, from which its wealth was derived. Today, it is better known as a tourist paradise, a most rewarding place for holiday makers. With its magnificent long white beaches, its luxuriant vegetation, its crystal blue sea water, its fantastic under-sea scenery, its calm and relaxing tropical atmosphere, and its fresh prawns, lobsters and other kinds of seafood, Phuket - the Pearl of the South - entices many travellers to visit her again and again.
After the first tidal wave ever hit phuket, the island has recovered very quickly, for those of you who might have cancelled your holiday plans, or is planing your holiday. Don't worry phuket is back in shape, and there is no chance of a second wave for another hundred of years. The beaches are now crowded with toruists again, enjoying their holiday, at very good deals, as you can expect to get a deal this high season at low season rates, it is an amazing opertunity for many of you to stay in a more luxurious enviorment, at a great rate, do not miss this oppertunity. Almost all of the affected hotels is back in bussiness so there is plenty of good places to stay, we would recommend surin beach, karon beach or kata beach for the family, and patong beach for the bachelors...
Short news on upcomming and yearly events in phuket.
Phuket has more than a handful of beaches, each one unique on its own and well worth a days visit or two. Even if the water on some beaches is not as crystal clear as on the small nearby islands they are still in the world class, one of the top 10 destinations in the beach search by Discovery Travel. With patong as the most crowded beach, and when the sun sets turns into a haven for the night-owl, none of the wild party animals will be disappointed here.
When most visitors arrive in Phuket they go to Patong and end up feeling that the whole island is like that. Not true. While Patong fairly buzzes with people and activity, there are many other beaches to which one can escape and discover blissful solitude.
The numerous places of attraction is Phuket can be conveniently grouped into the following routes: in town, nothern route, beach route, southern route, and nearby islands.
One of the joys of a holiday in Phuket is the chance to savour its superb cuisine. Its waters are rich with crabs, tiger prawns, shrimp, mussels, squid and half a dozen varities of fish, and its land abounds with fresh vegetables and fruits. Seafood, fresh from trawlers, and vegetables from the countryside are sped to kitchens to be turned into unforgettable dishes.
Until recently, Phuket has been better known for its daytime than its nighttime activities, but this is slowly begining to change. Phuket town has always offered Thai-style nightclubs which are more appealing to local than foreign tastes, but it does have world class cinemas and a night market. As might be expected, Patong, the most developed of the resorts, offers the widest nightlife opportunities. Kata and Karon are now beginning to open up as well.
By comparison with Bangkok and Chiang Mai, Phuket offers the serious shopper a rather narrow selection and too few shops to build up a head of steam. But for the past years there has been quite a development in the local shopping industry. With more and more vendors in patong offering a very wide range of oppertunities, and with the shopping mall at Lotus and Big-C, and soon the new Central available it is to say that you will not leave phuket empty haded, you will more or less find everything you need.
Plan your visit to coincide with one of these Thai festivals. Thais celebrate even their religious holidays with gusto and invite the visitor to join in. Precise dates for many of the festivals and holidays may vary from year to year.
Some information and history of phuket is provided to make sure your stay will be as plesent as possible, avoiding most of the comon tourist traps.
In the nearby Phuket area there are plenty of sites well worth visiting, we have tried to provide information guides on some of the ones not to be missed.