Phuket, which is approximately the size
of Singapore, is Thailand’s largest
island. The island is connected to mainland
Thailand by two bridges. It is situated
off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman
Sea. Phuket formerly derived its wealth
from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich
and colorful history. The island was on
one of the major trading routes between
India and China, and was frequently mentioned
in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French,
Dutch and English traders. The region now
derives much of its income from tourism.
Phuket is the biggest
island in Thailand, located in the Andaman
Sea of southern Thailand. The island is
mostly mountainous with a mountain range
in the west of the island from the north
to the south.
Phuket is approximately 536 miles (863 km)
south of Bangkok, and covers an area of
approximately 543 square kilometres (210
sq mi) excluding small islets.
Phuket's topology is exceptional with 70
percent of its area covered with mountains
which stretch from north to south and the
remaining 30 percent being plains located
in the central and eastern parts of the
island. The island does not have any major
rivers except for a total of 9 brooks and
Forest, rubber and palm oil plantations
cover 60% of the island. The western coast
has several sandy beaches, while on the
east coast beaches are more often muddy.
Near the southernmost point is Laem Promthep
(Brahma's Cape), which is a popular sunset
One of the most popular tourist areas on
Phuket is Patong Beach on the central western
coast, perhaps owing to the easy access
to its wide and long beach. Most of Phuket's
nightlife and its cheap shopping is located
in Patong, and the area has become increasingly
developed. Patong means "the forest
filled with banana leaves" in Thai.
Other popular beaches are located south
of Patong is Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach,
and around the southern tip of the island,
Nai Harn Beach and Rawai. To the north of
Patong are Kamala Beach, Surin Beach and
Bang Tao Beach. These areas are generally
much less developed than Patong, and sought
out by individuals, families and other groups
with a preference for more relaxed and less
crowded environs than Patong. There are
many islands to the southeast, including
Bon Island, just a short boat trip away.
There are several coral islands to the south
of Phuket, the Similan Islands lie to the
north west, and Phi Phi Islands to the south
east. Islanders engage in a lively tourist
trade, catering to snorkellers and scuba
Phuket has a tropical
climate, more specifically a tropical monsoon
- Dry season from November to April
- Rainy season from May to October.
Average temperatures are consistent.
- Highs range 29°C (84°F) to 33 °C (91 °F);
- Lows range 23°C (73°F) to 26 °C (79 °F).