Phuket, Thailand


Phuket Beach by Scarab

Phuket is Thailand's largest island, measuring 48 km in length and 21 km at its widest. The island of Phuket is located off the western coast of Southern Thailand (facing the Andaman Sea) and about 860 km south of Bangkok. The island's northern tip is connected with the southern tip of Phang Nga Province (on the Thai mainland) by a pair of short bridges. Most beaches are on the west coast, with Phuket Town to the southeast and the airport in the north. 

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Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colourful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China. Phuket's top earner today is tourism, which has transformed the island into Thailand's wealthiest province. Phuket enjoys great popularity as a travel destination, with the main attraction being its beaches. Expect prices on the island to be a bit higher than on the mainland. The west coast of Phuket was severely hit by the Indian Ocean tsunami in December 2004 but there are almost no evidence of the damage today. 

Nai Harn Beach in Phuket by Ahoerstemeier

Phuket is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas is Muslim. Outside of the provincial town, the rural folk speak with a thick southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand. The provincial town’s economy having boomed over the past decade has led to a lot of the youngsters leading similar lives to those in Bangkok.

Phuket Town by The Slash

Phuket is hot and humid throughout the year. The hot season is generally considered to be from March to early May. During the summer monsoon season, from May to October, mornings and afternoons are still sunny and clear but tends to rain in the evenings. Locals consider November to February to be the "cool" season, when the weather is quite tolerable. The weather during this period is comparable to Florida's summer weather with 25-33°C temperatures, flying clouds, short and thunderous rainfalls in the afternoons and evenings. Nevertheless, surfing is still possible off the western beaches.

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