There are few destinations that are able to rival what Phuket can offer the discerning traveler seeking an exotic and luxurious beach holiday. This sumptuous rainforest island is home to some of the most beautiful and popular beaches in Thailand, owing to its crystal clear waters, laid back way of life and excellent choice of top-quality resorts. Worthy of its reputation as one of the world’s finest beach resorts, visitors to Phuket can both revel in its natural beauty and also live it up in the lively towns and resorts dotted around the island.
Phuket officially become part of Thailand in the thirteenth century. Due to its island location alongside shipping trading routes between China and India, it was internationally well-regarded and subjected to early foreign influences. Historically, Phuket had an excellent supply of tin and therefore developed a prosperous economy on this basis, though, in the latter half of the twentieth century, rubber plantations and tourism also become important sources of income for the island. In fact, tourism is now by far the biggest industry, owing to the 3 million holidaymakers who visit the island annually.
The Thalang National Museum on the island is a rich source of information relating to the history of Phuket for those who would like to learn more.
COOL THINGS TO DO
Wander the atmospheric streets of Phuket Old Town
When you’ve had your fill of sunbathing, a day trip to the Old Town of Phuket makes a refreshing change and is a great place to seek shade and shelter whilst getting to know another side to the island. A stroll around the area can reveal ancient temples and shrines where you can get really get a flavor of the history and culture of the island, and the many traditional cafes and small boutiques will provide you with plenty of entertainment and reasons to escape the heat.
Discover island paradise in Patong
This lively beach resort is a firm favorite with travelers seeking palm tree-lined white sandy beaches, clear seas and a host of entertainment options. Well-known for its wild nightlife, you can laze the day away in a tropical paradise before taking the island by storm come nightfall in the numerous bars, clubs and cabarets along the neon-lit Bangla Road.
Pay a visit to the temple of Wat Chalong
There are some 29 Buddhist temples in Phuket and Wat Chalong is a particularly fine example, popular with both local worshipers and inquisitive tourists alike. Take time to admire Poh Than Jao Wat, a highly regarded Buddhist statue which can be found in the westerly old hall of the temple or simply soak up the calm, spiritual atmosphere within the temple building and its grounds.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
Phuket has a dry season, stretching across December, January and February which is the time when the weather is most likely to be predictable and fine and the beaches and attractions can be enjoyed to the max,
Naturally, however, this peak season sees a massive influx in the number of tourists and, consequently, inflated prices so, those preferring a more tranquil and secluded break, may want to weigh up the pros of travelling off peak and taking a calculated risk with the weather conditions.
HOW TO GET THERE
The island is served by Phuket International Airport, situated 32 kilometers from the center of Phuket City. The airport is actually the second busiest in Thailand, after Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Many carriers now fly directly to PIA – if not, Bangkok is generally regarded as a central hub to layover.