People around the world all have different interpretations of Thailand, its people and culture. The Thai people are so charming, the scenery is magnificent, and the food is out of this world.
Unless you’ve already visited Thailand you would never truly know what the country has to offer. It certainly lives up to its mantra of “Amazing Thailand”. And down in the south of Thailand looking facing out onto the Andaman Sea is the island of Phuket, perhaps one of the most amazing places in Thailand, if not the world.
Phuket is a dream come to true for many holiday makers. So we decided that if we could sum up Phuket in under 1,000 words just what makes this island so remarkable, the following is what it would look like.
So below are a few fun facts about Phuket and what we think you need to know about this magnificent island.
Getting to Know Phuket:
- Phuket is 7°53′24″ North of the Equator.
- It is the same distance from the equator as the African countries of Ethiopia and Nigeria and the South American countries of Venezuela and Colombia.
- It is around 863 kilometres (536 miles) south of Bangkok and 700 kilometres (434 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.
- The island’s highest Point: 1,736 feet (529 metres)
- It is Thailand’s largest island covering around 576 square kilometres (222 square miles). It is around the same size as Singapore.
- Although Phuket Island is the biggest Island in Phuket Province, there are 32 other smaller islands surrounding it.
- It is roughly 48 km from the northern tip to the southern tip, and around an average of 21 km from east to west.
- 70% of Phuket is covered in mountains stretching north to south.
- Over 60% of the island is covered by forest, rubber trees and palm trees.
- The main agricultural products are pineapples, palm oil as well as the rubber from rubber plantations. There are also some other fruit and cashew farms.
- Fishing is also a major industry on the island.
- Phuket has approximately 10 million tourist each year, but this number is growing.
- Although Phuket is an island, it is connected to the Thai mainland in the north by the Sarasin Bridge
- Contrary to what we tend to hear regularly from foreigners, Phuket is pronounced “Pooket” not “Fooket”.
- The name Phuket is derived from the Malay word for hill or mountain “bukit”. Old western maps named the island Junk Ceylon.
- Phuket has a high season between November to April and a rainier season between May and October.
- Phuket has around 36 beaches. Most of those on the west coast have crystal clear turquoise blue waters (especially in the high season).
- Patong is the main tourist town on the island, renowned for its wild nightlife and Go-Go or girly bars.
- Phuket has 4 yacht marinas, 6 golf courses, amazing sports facilities and 2 new water parks.
- In 1974, the movie “The Man with the Golden Gun” was filmed on the island of Khao Phing Kan in Phang Nga Bay. From that point on the island was called James Bond Island.
- Phuket is estimated to have around 600,000 inhabitants, although the number of people on the island can run into the millions in the high season.
- Phuket has one of the biggest Buddha’s in Thailand. The Big Buddha, standing 45 metres high, is perched on the mountain top overlooking Chalong Bay and is also home to one of Phuket’s most popular temples.
- Phuket has many amazing festivals every year, where tourist numbers increase considerably.
- The vegetarian festival is when Phuket’s Chinese immigrants celebrate the ninth lunar month with abstinence from meat and alcohol.
- The incredible Songkran water festival is in April, which marks the start of the Buddhist New Year.
- Usually around the first full moon of November, the Thais celebrate Loy Kratong. The festivities includes Chinese lanterns and releasing small floats made of flowers and leaves and a burning candle on to the lakes and into the sea.
- Two of Phuket’s most famous ladies lived on the island in the 18th century and have a monument dedicated to them, called The Heroine’s Monument. It sits in the centre of the island and is a tribute to their bravery when they fought off Burmese invaders in 1785.
- One of the most beautiful experiences in Phuket is the annual turtle release on Mai Khao Beach. Usually around April time, the baby turtles are left to run free across the beach into the ocean.
Outside of Phuket
Although Phuket is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the world, you’ll be amazed to know that it is still a small amount of the things to do and see in this part of Thailand. Phuket has so much to do it is impossible to do it all in just one holiday.
- Phang Nga Bay, just a short boat ride away, has an array of attractions and is also a protected conservation area.
- Phi Phi Island, which is in Krabi province, is only 46 km south-east by ferry.
- Krabi Province can be reached by car in only 2-3 hours.
- Beautiful Khao Lak in Phang Nga Province is only 100 km away up the west coast of the mainland.
- Khaosok National Park, not far from Khao Lak, still has wild elephants as well as bears, boars, tapirs, macaques, gibbons, mouse-deers, wild cats, Asiatic wild dogs and an array of bird life, including 3 species of hornbills.
- The Similan Islands, where whale sharks can still be found, are 120 km North West of Phuket.