Kingdom of Thailand
As a visitor to our southern-most resort, 'Phuket
Island (pronounced POO-kett), you can choose exactly the kind of
holiday you prefer, for Phuket has just about everything on the
island of 550 square kilometer island, a short flight from Bangkok
- or an overnight, or a full-day, trip by motorcoach. The international
airport has frequent flights to and from Malaysia and Singapore,
and charters from Europe. Phuket has also become a port of call
for many deluxe cruise ships.
Fresh seafood, notably Phuket lobster, is avialable
at many multinational eateries. It isn't even necessary to stick
to the many fine restaurants in the hotels since even the local
restaurants are a gustatory delight.
With its early English, French, Dutch and Portuguese
settlers, Phuket has a variety of architecture unmatched anywhere
else in Thailand. Phuket Town is a busy metropolis of 50,000 people
with good hotels, rewarding shopping, an abundance of Buddhist,
Muslim and Chinese Temples, Christian churches and an international
flovor that will delight you.
But of course, the main attraction of this paradise
island in the Andaman Sea, is its wealth of excellent beaches. Most
of the resort properties are situated on the western coast on beautiful,
white sand beaches. The east coast is the home of fisherman, the
Sea Gypsies and the Marine Biological Research Centre, while its
southern tip is noted for its beautiful coral formations and is
favored by scuba divers and snorkellers.
Phuket Town This compact provincial town serves
mainly as an accommodation and shopping center. Splendid colonial-style
residences built by late 19th-century tin and rubber barons and
shop houses from the same period provide a distinctive character.
Khao Rang This small hill to the north of the town
offers a pleasant view of the town and boasts Thailand s first
fitness park, a series of hillside sculptural tableaux which enhance
keep fit calisthenics.
Ko Si Re This small island which is separated from
the mainland only by the Tha Chin Canal, is located 4 kms. northeast
of the town. There is a sea gypsy village considered the biggest
Phuket Butterfly Farm and Aquarium Drive for 3
kms. from the town along Yaowarat Road and then turn left at the
Sam Kong village intersection. It has a fascinating collection of
such tropical creatures as butterflies, insects, fish and coral
all arranged in natural surroundings.
Phuket Orchid Garden and Thai Village Located on
Thepkasattri Road about 3 kms. from the town, it offers cultural
performances demonstrating the Thai way of life with folk dances,
Thai boxing, the unique aspects of Phuket and the South, a handicraft
center, an orchid farm, and an elephant show. Show times are 11.00
a.m. and 5.30 p.m.
Chana Charoen Crocodile Farm This contains an exciting
aquarium with some 1,000 marine, freshwater and estuarine crocodiles
and is located just outside of the town. It is open daily from 9.00
a.m. 5.30 p.m.
Sixty Years Pillar Monument The monument stands
in the south of the town at the area called Saphan Hin, the end
of Phuket Road. It was constructed in 1969 as a memorial to Mr.
Miles, who devised the use of a dredger in mining operations in
Sirinat National Park It is located near Phuket
International Airport along Route Nos. 402 and 4026, some 30 kms.
from town. The park occupies a total area of 90 square kilometers
and has an uninterrupted 13 km. Long stretch of beaches; Hat Nai
Thon , Hat Nai Yang, Hat Mai Khao, and Hat Sai Kaeo.
Wat Phra Thong This temple where the upper half
of a large Buddha statue emerges from the ground is 20 kms. north
of the town along Highway 402. Legend has it that during the invasion
of Thalang in 1785, the Burmese tried in vain to excavate the statue.
Each time they dug into the ground, swarms of hornets would swoop
on them and they had to give up. Later, the visible part of the
statue was covered with gold by the villagers and has remained as
such until today.
Wat Phra Nang Sang This historical temple in Amphoe
Thalang was once a fort resisting a Burmese invasion around 1785.
An old chapel in the compound enshrined the three oldest and largest
Buddha statues made of tin, called the Three Kings.
Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary This extensive
forest area in Amphoe Thalang was declared a wildlife sanctuary
in July 1969. It covers a rich and fertile land and is the habitat
to several types of wild animals. Major attractions include Namtok
Ton Sai near the headquarters. Although small in size, it nevertheless
provides a cool, shady area for relaxation. Another waterfall is
Namtok Bang Pae, which is located at Tambon Pa Khlok. There is an
arboretum and a nursery to rehabilitate captured gibbons before
returning them to the wild. For nature enthusiasts, the sanctuary
has mapped out three walking trails. Further information may be
obtained from the Nature Study Center.
Thalang National Museum Located near the Thalang
Intersection, This museum displays the way of life, culture and
history of Phuket and the South. It is open daily except Monday
and Tuesday from 9.00 a.m.-4.00 p.m.
Hat Surin The hillside beach with groves of large
pine trees is about 24 kms. northwest of the town. Drive along Route
No. 402, turn left at the Heroines Statures, and proceed on for
12 kms. There is a golf course to the right. Hat Surin is not recommended
for swimming because of its steepness and heavy seas and winds during
the monsoon season.
Ao Bang Thao This is a long stretch of sandy beach
north of Hat Surin suitable for swimming and other water sports.
Laem Sing 1 km. From Hat Surin, this scenic rocky
cape is next to a small white sandy beach. To reach the beach, visitors
can ask permission to cut through a private road, or take a detour
along the hillside slanting to the beach.
Hat Kamala Located 26 kms. from the town, turn
left at the Heroine Statues past Hat Surin and Laem Sing, Hat Kamala
is about 2 kms long, quiet and not crowded.
Hat Pathong Phukets most developed beach
is 15 kms. west of the town. Cabin and bungalow complexes, hotels,
bars, nightclubs, discotheques, shops, and restaurants front the
crescent bay. Windsurfing, snorkeling, sailing, sailing, sunbathing,
and swimming dominate the major activities.
Hat Kalim Once in Patong, turn right to Hat Kalim,
which is a small beach with large rocks and a coral reef. Accommodation
Hat Karon and Hat Kata South of Hat Patong, both
are long and peaceful beaches and eminently suitable for swimming
Hat Nai Han This beach, nearly southmost of the
island, is about 18 kms. from the town. Beyond the beach is a large
swamp called Nong Han. Although not so long, the beach has white,
clean sand. Swimming is not recommended during May-October due to
the monsoon season. A small bay next to Hat Nai Han past the Phuket
Yacht Club is Ao Sen, which is peaceful and picturesque with white,
At the midpoint between Hat Nai Han and Hat Kata
Noi, there is a viewpoint overlooking three adjacent beaches.
Laem Phromthep The southernmost point of Phuket
is the perfect place where picturesque sunsets are seen.
Hat Rawai This palm-fringed beach about 17 kms.
from the town is home to Phukets sea gypsies. Several offshore
islands have gleaming white beaches and dazzling underwater scenery,
which attracts fishing enthusiasts and scuba divers.
Ko Kaeo This is an offshore isle about 3 kms. from
Hat Rawai and can be reached in 30 minutes by boat. There are sandy
beaches and underwater scenery, as well as a replica of the Holy
Footprint on the island.
Laem Ka Yai This is another small beach, about
16 kms. from the town on Highway No.4024, where boats can be rented
to visit nearby isles.
Ao Chalong This bay is some 11 kms. from the town
and extends in a broad sweep. A few kilometres from the bay is Wat
Chalong where statues of Luang Po Chaem and Luang Po Chuang, Phukets
most revered monks, are enshrined.
Marine Biological Research Center Located on the
southernmost tip of Laem Panwa, 7 kms. south of the town, the center
houses an aquarium which displays hundreds of exotic, grotesque
and flamboyantly colorful marine species found in Phukets
teeming waters. It is open daily between 8.30 a.m. 4.00 p.m.
Phuket is well equipped to provide offshore tripe
making it a center of tourism in the Andaman sea. Trips can be arranged
to see forests and mountains, rocky formations, beaches, coral reefs
and fishing. Most of Phukets 39 satellite islands are located
to the east. Islands of special interest include: -
Ko Racha Yai with its gleaming beaches can be reached
by chartered boat from Ao Chalong. It takes about 2-3 hours for
boat trips during off-monsoon season (December-April). Sightseeing
services are available from tour operators in town. Accommodation
Noted for its exotic corals is Ko Mai Thon, which
is also suitable for scuba diving and fishing.
Ko Hei is known for its beautiful beaches and unspoiled
corals. The island is about 5 kms. from Hat Rawai. Accommodation
The terrain of Ko Lon is mountainous with flat
land along the shore. A ferry leaves Ao Chalong between 8.00-9.00
a.m. Accommodation is available.
Seafood Festival Held around May yearly, this festival
is designed to publicize the delicious seafood of Phuket and attracts
visitors during the rainy season. Activities include a Marine Tourism
Resources Parade, seafood stalls, demonstrations of regional cuisines,
and cultural shows.
Vegetarian Festival This is held from the 1st to
the 9th day of the waxing moon of the 9th Chinese calendar month,
which falls roughly around September-October. During the festival,
people get their food from various shrines. Many rites and rituals
based on mythical beliefs are performed such as fire walking and
climbing of ladders with knife-edged rungs. There are processions
around town with onlookers throwing firecrackers. The tradition
is believed to offer virtues to the gods and celestial beings to
protect Phuket and its people,
Phuket Kings Cup Regatta This was first organized
to celebrate the 60th birthday anniversary of His Majesty the King,
and it has now become a popular annual event held on December 5,
His Majestys birthday. Entries from all over the world join
to vie for the coveted trophy.