Phuket – The Pearl of the Andaman
The largest island in Thailand’s group of islands, Phuket is a dream holiday destination. Its spectacular white sandy beaches lined with crystal blue sea water, the vibrant as well as serene atmosphere, and the amazingly hospitable and cheerful locals will make one never want to leave Phuket again.
1. History of Phuket
Phuket was originally founded by Indian colonists in the 1st century B.C. Ptolemy, a Greek geographer named the city as ’Jang Si Lang’ which later became Junk Ceylon. Ever since early times it has attracted explorers, traders and villains from as diverse places as Arabia, Sri Lanka, China and Portugal – all hungering for its ivory, pearls, timber, animal hides, and gems. Throughout the last few centuries, this city has witnessed foreign parties of the Dutch, French and the English vying for control over the city’s resources especially tin. Keeping invaders at bay, this city stayed a free nation and finally in 1933 it acquired the status of Province.
2. Night Life in Phuket
Clubs, music, parties and drinks, when the sun goes down. The nightlife of this city is ‘high’ on energy, spirit and entertainment. Bangla Road is where the real action takes place when the sun no longer keeps the party animal hidden. The Factory, Seduction and Famous are just few of the night clubs in the area to give you the experience of the nights of your life. For a much more relaxed vibe, Kata hill is the place to be where one can chill, sip cocktails and watch the sky turn blue. For the family guys, Phuket FantaSea and Siam Niramit are where the local stories are shown with full drama and fair along with other nighttime attractions.
3. Safety in Phuket
It has a great record of low crime rates and assured safety in all the popular places. There has been a slight increase in crime over the years mostly as crimes of opportunity, but violent crimes are still very low.
4. Living Expenses in Phuket
This city being a big tourist destinations offers most of its accommodation in forms of hotels. Most hotels are available in the range of 500 to 3000 BHT (USD 85). Renting an apartment for 3 whereas would cost around 20,000 BHT (USD 560) in the city centre and 17,350BHT (USD 486) outside the city centre. Living expenses are never a worry in this city as one can always find the right place to live in at the right price.
5. Cuisines of Phuket
Laden with mostly Thai and Chinese food in the local markets, it is a dream place for the foodies. There are other restaurants which provide South Indian Food along with bigger and branded hotels and restaurants providing continental cuisines like Italian along with Western food.
6. Statistics of Phuket
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, located some 860 kilometers south of Bangkok in the tropical Andaman Sea on the western coast of southern Thailand. The island is sizeable at around 570 square kilometers, Phuket is home to an estimated population of around 500,000 people, made up mainly of Thai Buddhists, but roughly 30 percent of the populace are Muslims, as evident by the mosques, halal cuisine, and traditional attire in which they can be seen.
7. Public Transport in Phuket
Public Transport in Phuket has transformed into small vehicle rentals and tourist buses. For short distances Tuk Tuk can be used as they are relatively cheaper than other modes. There are two sorts of buses which are available, the ‘Songatew’ or the open air blue buses, which connect the town area to hotels and resorts and the micro buses which service the town area itself. Car rentals and taxis give you more accessibility at a higher cost.
Pollution in Phuket: The pollution levels in Phuket are quite below average as it being a tourist destination leads to a regular cleaning of the city. Water and air pollution are the most troubling issues. Hazes and dirty water at the beach are what affects the cleanliness the most. PM levels tend to be around 56 – 78 which is a manageable level as compared to Delhi’s 180.
8. Weather in Phuket
It is warm in Phuket all year round with temperatures ranging between 25 – 34°C (77 – 93°F). Phuket’s weather is typically divided into two distinct seasons, dry and rainy, with transitional periods in between. Average rainfall is 2500 mm or 100 inches.
Northeast monsoon: December to February. Average Low: 22°C. Average High: 32°C.
Summer: March to May. Average Low: 23°C. Average High: 30°C.
Southwest Monsoon: June to September. Average Low: 24°C. Average High: 28°C.
Winter: October to November. Average Low: 20°C. Average High: 24°C
9. Culture of Phuket
Housing a diverse group of ethnic communities, a diverse culture permeates the very atmosphere of Phuket. The flair and energy which the locals put to display their history and traditions of their culture is simply captivating, transporting you to a different world altogether. A tourism oriented city, cultures from all over the world mix with the local flavor and make Phuket a culturally rich place to be.
10. Places to visit in Phuket
Things to do in Phuket: Enjoy the Phang Nga Bay with its James Bond Island where the iconic The Man with the Golden Gun was filmed. The emerald waters and the vertical limestone cliffs are wonderful natural structures to behold. Sino-Portuguese splendours and funky shops in the most unlikely places will surprise and delight you in the heart of Phuket’s sleepy provincial capital, Phuket town. Bangla Road is where you want to be to enjoy a boisterous night time.
Things to do for kids in Phuket: Phuket Trickeye Museum will amaze you with illusions and 3D unbelievable artwork especially for the young at heart. Love shows and sports, check out the Fantasea Show or go zorbing on the hills.
Museums and Galleries: Visit the Trickeye or the seashell museum to see some of Phuket’s unique artwork and collections on displays.
Places nearby: The Phi Phi and the Coral islands are the nearby places which have their own vibes. Not so far from Phuket town, one can easily go on a day trip and enjoy the beautiful islands.
Offbeat: The Kamla and the Nai Han beaches are the beaches less travelled and the perfect place to satisfy the craving for a quiet time away from the high spirits and crowds as you can watch the waves lap lazily at the shore and the sun dance across the sky.
Author’s Conclusion: Phuket is an unbelievably beautiful, culturally rich and alluring place, perfect for the holiday getaway you have been planning in the winters. This city of smiles with its beautiful beaches and delicious local cuisine and the affordable rates for entertainment be it activities or sightseeing, you are sure to have the time of your life.
|Population||525,018 (mid 2015)|
|Languages||Thai, Malay, English|
|Currency||Thai Baht (1 TB = 0.028 USD)|
|Time Zone||Thailand Time Zone (UTC + 7:00)|
|Driving||Left Hand Traffic, Right hand drive|
|Helpline||Police:191, Fire: 199, Tourist Police: 1155|
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