Phuket Province comprises Phuket Island, the country's largest island and 32 other small islands off the coast. Located in southern Thailand, Phuket (Phuket Province) is the largest island in Thailand with an area of nearly 540 km². The North borders Mergui Islands of Myanmar while the West faces the archipelago Andaman of India. Phuket Island is connected by Sarasin Bridge to Phang Nga Province in the north. The nearest province is Krabi, to the east via Phang Nga Bay. The provincial capital is Phuket city. The island is located on one of the major trade routes between India and China, and is often mentioned in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch and British traders. It previously obtained wealth from tin and rubber and now from tourism.
The coastal city of Phuket
In addition to Bangkok, Phuket is the city in Thailand that attracts a majority of foreign tourists visiting every year. This vast coastline with hundreds of islands, numerous peaks, cliffs and caves is a top choice destination for expeditions. Patong Beach is a very famous attraction located west of Phuket City. This is considered a paradise for sea tourism with all facilities and sea sports. Every year, Patong Beach alone welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world.
A beautiful destination for beach lovers
History of Phuket
The city of Phuket was founded in the 17th Century by King Narai. Portuguese explorer Fernão Mendes Pinto set foot on Phuket in 1545. He called the island Junk Ceylon, a name the Portuguese used for Phuket on their map. Pinto said that Junk Ceylon is a port of destination where merchant ships frequently stop to deliver and trade. However, by the middle of the 16th century, the island was ruined by pirates.
In 1682, the Siamese King Narai, seeking to reduce the Dutch and British influence, chose the governor of Phuket as a French medical missionary, René Charbonneau, a member of the Society's Siamese delegation. Missionary Paris. Charbonneau remained governor until 1685.
In 1685, King Narai confirmed the French monopoly in Phuket with their ambassador, Chevalier de Chaumont. However, the French were expelled from Siam after the Siamese revolution in 1688.
Burmese attacked Phuket in 1785. During that time, Francis Light, a Captain of the British East India Company, passed through the island, informing local authorities that he had observed Burmese forces preparing to attack. After a month-long siege, the Burmese were forced to retreat on March 13, 1785. Under King Chulalongkorn (Rama V), Phuket became the administrative center of southern provinces producing tin. In 1933 Monthon Phuket was dissolved and Phuket became a province.
Main tourist attractions in Phuket:
- Wat Chalong: This is Phuket's most important Buddhist temple that visitors should not miss when traveling to Thailand. This spiritual site is highly revered by Thai people, as they believe this land is capable of curing illnesses. Inside the temple, the prayer rooms contain many statues, including three statues of the temple's most revered monks, Luang Por Chaem, Luang Por Chuang and Luang Por Gluam. When visiting the temple, you will see the people coming here to pay homage to the statues of respectable monks, making offerings and praying for blessings.
Wat Chalong, Phuket
- Wat Phra Nang Sang: If Wat Chalong is the most important Buddhist temple in Phuket, Wat Phra Nang Sang is the oldest one in Phuket city. The temple was built when Thalang was still the capital of the island. Not only that, this sacred site plays a historical significance, as it was the occurrence site of the Thang battle in 1785, when the local people fought against the invaders. In Phuket, many people still call Phra Nang Sang pagoda by the name "temple of lymph" because according to folklore, there was once a woman who shed white blood when executed here. Even inside the temple there is a room dedicated to this woman.
Wat Phra Nang Sang, Phuket
- Sino-Portuguese buildings: Local residents have built works imbued with the cultures of Europe and China. If you travel to Phuket, you can start your trip by exploring the architectural constructions of this type from Standard Chartered Bank building, to the colorful shops in Thalang or those at Soi Ramanee with gilded pillars. Phra Phitak Chyn Pracha Villa and Chan Pracha Old House also have similar architecture. To better understand the richness in culture of Phuket, visiting Thaihua Museum is a good idea.
Sino-Portugese architecture in Phuket Town
Thaihua Museum, Phuket
Even though Phuket is famous for its entertaining services, beaches and sea sport activities, there are plenty of historical attractions as well as temples to visit. It is a general rule that tourists must dress appropriately to show respect for Buddhism as well as the people of Thailand. Before packing your stuffs, remember to bring along some long- sleeved shirts, long pants/ skirts to change if you intend on visiting the magnificent temples at Phuket.
As one of the most exotic festivals in Thailand, the Phuket Vegetarian Festival is a Taoist event held every year by the Chinese community in Thailand. Also known as the Savior's Festival or Kin Jay Festival, the Phuket vegetarian festival lasts 9 days on October or November every year, attracting a large number of foreigners to participate. This festival coincides with the Taoist fasting season, so devotees will not be allowed to eat meat and must wear white because white signifies purity.
Phuket Vegetarian Festival
Weather in Phuket
If you want to experience and explore Phuket, you should come here from December to March. At this time, it is neither too wet nor dry and the cool wind will help you feel extremely comfortable. The hottest time in Phuket is from April to May, with temperatures from 27 - 36 degrees C. June, July, August sometimes follows by heavy rain yet unpredictable and doesn’t last long. The rainy season of Phuket is during September - October.
Transportation in Phuket
- The most convenient way to get to Phuket is by plane. You can either book a flight directly to Phuket or from Bangkok to Phuket if you wish to visit the capital city first.
- Many tourists choose to rent a bike as the main transportation to get around while they’re at Phuket. This is indeed a very convenient and cheap way as you can save some expenses and explore all corners of the island at the same time.
- If you plan on visiting different small islands at Phuket, you can book high speed boat service in advance or at your hotels. Day tour between islands is also available for tourists to choose.
Tuk-tuk in Phuket