What comes into the mind of travellers when we talk about sea, sun and sand? Phuket must definitely be one of the answers. Especially when we think about the island in which there is plenty of accommodation and all kinds of facilities. In addition, a number of various activities can also be found in this island.
In the early Christian Era, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to Thanlng the name of the main town to the north of the island. As the perfect stopover sheltering traders from monsoons, Jung Ceylon welcomed merchants from India, Persia, Arabia, Burma, China and aslo Siam. During the 16th century, the island was also a popular trading port for tin. In 1785, Thaland town was surrounded by Burmese troops who invaded the coastal area.
It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united the local resedents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of Phuket. It took over 30 days for the defending troops of Phuket, under the command of Chan and Muk, to claim their victory. As a result of such heroic deeds, noble titles were granted to Chan and Muk as ‘Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, repectively. There are still hightly respected by Phuket residents even today.
When the city was in a peaceful state, the development of mining was so unprecedented. Chinese businessmen and miners later migrated to Phuket and soon enjoy thriving weath. The island’s long history has shaped the distintive Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. Phuket has a lot more to offer its visitors than its natural heritage of sea, sand, sky beach, forest, and world renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travellers to the city, while Phuket style of hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walk of life.
Getting to Know:
1. Phuket is located approximately 862 kilometres south of Bangkok.
2. There are only two seasons in a year the green season ( May to October) and the hot season (November to April)
3. Phuket is divided into 3 adminstrative districts: namely, Amphoe Mueng, Amphoe Thalang and Amphoe Kathu.
Time: 06.00 – 19.00
Literally translate as Brahmas Cape, Laem Phromthep is perhaps one of Phuket’s most important landmarks. There is a saying that you havent been to Phuket unless you visit Laem Phromthep. It is here that visitors soak up the sun and savor the breathtaking panoramic view of the Andaman Sea from the islands southern-most tip. The Cape is crowded especially in the evening, as it is a popular observation point at sunset. Laem Phromthep is located approximately 2 kilometers from Rawai Beach.
Thai Village and Orchid Farm
Time: 09.00 – 17.00
Located on Thepkasattri Road, approximately 3 kilometers from Phuket City is an extraordinary place for culture lovers. The village provides stunning classical Thai dance performances, sword-fighting, Thai boxing, southern customs and elephant shows. Handicrafts and traditional mining techniques are also featured. The orchid farm outside is worth exploring. The performances are at 11.00 a.m., 2.00 p.m. and 5.30 p.m. The fees are 400 baht for adults and 200 baht for children. Call 076 214860 for more information.
Wat Phra Thong
Time: 07.00 – 17.00
The temple is a popular attraction for both visitors and local residents. Located in the temple is the upper half of a large Buddha statue which seems to emerge from the ground. Legend has it that during the invasion of Thalang town in 1785, the Burmese made several attempts to excavate the statue in order to take it back to Burma. Each time they dug into the ground, swarms of hornets would swoop on them and they had to give up in the end. Later, the visible part of the statue was covered with gold by the villagers and has remained as such until today. The temple is located approximately 20 kilometers from Phuket City. Travel along Thepkrasattri Road, upon reaching the Thalang District Office, turn right and proceed directly to the temple.
Time: 17.30 – 23.00
Located on Kamala beach, Phuket Fantasea is dubbed as the ultimate nighttime cultural theme park of Phuket. It has won several awards from the TAT, among the distinctive ones are Best Attraction Thailand Tourism Award (for the years 2000 to 2003). This large-scale night time amusement center is spread out over an area of 140 acres near the village of Kamala Bay, or just 4 kilometers north of Patong. Attractions include the Culture-Illusion Stage Show, Fantasy of the Kingdom, a spectacular buffet restaurant Golden Kinnaree Restaurant, shopping village the enchanted Festive Village, Cultural Parade & Street Shows, Traditional Games and Carnivals, Handicraft Demonstrations & Live Performances (performed in Palace of the Elephants). Phuket Fantasea’s stage performance is exceptionally extraordinary and beyond just a spectacular show. It is indeed a perfect blend of Thai cultural traditions and the latest modern Las Vegas style technology. Visitors can see magic elephants disappearing into thin air, gymnastics, musical fountains, and a circus. Tickets (including buffet dinner) cost 1,600 baht for adults and 1,100 baht for children, while tickets without buffet dinner cost 1,100 baht for adults and 800 baht for children. Call 076 385111 to reserve your seats or browse www.phuket-fantesea.com for more information. The park opens from 5.30 p.m. to 11.30 p.m. daily except Thursday. Show time is 9.00 p.m.
Events and Festivals
- Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon Fair, held on March 13 every year.
- Vegetarian Festival, held on the first day of the 9th lunar month (end Sept or early October)
- Phuket King’s Cup Regatta, held in December.
- Laguna Phuket Triathlon, held in each December.
- Phuket Travel Fair, start from November 1st.
- Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival, during middle of the sixth and eleventh lunar months yearly.