In the early days of regional maritime trade, the cape of Phuket was locally referred to as Jung Ceylon, while locals called it Thalang, which evolved to be 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 also Siam. During the 16th century, the island was a popular trading port for tin. In 1785, Thalang 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 residents 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 Kasattri and Thao Sri Soonthorn, respectively. They are still highly 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 wealth. The island's long history has shaped the Phuket of the present with its diverse ethnic groups, culture, architectural influence, and fine cuisine. These attributes have made Phuket a complete tourist destination that offers a lot more beyond its natural heritage of sea, sand, 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 walks of life.
Phuket Province is located in Southern Thailand. It is the biggest island of Thailand and sits on the Andaman Sea. The nearest province to the north is Phang-nga and the nearest provinces to the east are Phang-nga and Krabi.
Phuket has a large Chinese influence, so you will see many Chinese shrines and Chinese restaurants around the city. A Chinese Vegetarian Festival is held there every year. While the Chinese community is quite big, there are many other ethnicities bringing all their traditions and festivals from all over the world to Phuket.
Being a big island, Phuket is surrounded by many magnificent beaches such as Rawai, Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata Yai, Kata Noi, and Mai Khao. Laem Phromthep Viewpoint is said to feature the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand.
It isn’t all just beaches though, there is also fantastic classical architecture such as the Goom Restaurant. That and the very welcome atmosphere and the famous Phuket nightlife, you can see why the island is a hotspot for tourists in Thailand.
Visiting Phuket is easy as there are many travel options.
The beaches of the south coast are typically crowded, while the north is far more tranquil.
All the major beaches (such as Patong beach, Kata beach, Karon beach, Nai Han beach, Mai Khao beach, Nai Yang beach) offer instruction and equipment for diving, snorkling, wind surfing and sailing. Don't forget to notice red flag! before swim.
EVENTS AND FESTIVALS
Chinese New Year–The Old Phuket Festival (งานตรุษจีน-ย้อนอดีตเมืองภูเก็ต)
Held during the last three days of Chinese New Year. The Festival takes place on Thalang Road, Krabi Road, and Soi Rommani which are Phuket’s historical part of town. There will be all kinds of activities and performances revolving
around Phuket’s past, local foods, snacks and opera performances from China.
Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Si Sunthon Fair (งานท้าวเทพกระษัตรี-ท้าวศรีสุนทร)
Held on March every year to commemorate the two great heroines who rallied the Thalang people to repel Burmese invaders. Many activities and celebrations are organised.
Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) Boat Floating Festival (งานประเพณีลอยเรือชาวเล)
Held during the middle of June and November yearly. The sea gypsy villages at Rawai and Sapam Village hold their ceremonies on the 13th; Ko Si-re and Laem La (east of the bridge on Phuket’s northern tip) celebrates on the 14th. Ceremonies, which centre around the setting adrift of small boats similar to the Thai festival of Loi Krathong, are held at night and their purpose
is to drive away evil and bring good luck.
Vegetarian Festival (เทศกาลถือศีลกินผัก)
Held on the first day of the 9th lunar month (September-October). Phuket islanders of Chinese ancestry commit themselves to a 9-day vegetarian diet, a form of purification believed to help make the forthcoming year “troublefree”. The Festival is marked by several ascetic displays, including fire-walking and ascending sharp-bladed ladders.
Patong Seafood Festival and Phuket Travel Fair (เทศกาลอาหารทะเลหรืองานเปิดฤดูการท่องเที่ยวจังหวัดภูเก็ต)
Starting on 1 November yearly that marks the opening of “High Season”. The activities are include cultural shows, colourful parades, the delicious seafood of Phuket, demonstrations of regional cuisines.
Laguna Phuket Triathlon (ลากูน่าภูเก็ตไตรกีฬา)
Held in December at Hat Bang Tao. The triathlon (a 1,000-metre swim, a 5-kilometre bike race and a 12-kilometre run) attracts world-class athletes from all over the world.
Phuket King’s Cup Regatta (งานแข่งเรือใบชิงถ้วยพระราชทาน)
Held in December. The Phuket Yacht Club hosts international yachtsmen, largely from neighbouring countries who compete in the
Nai Han Beach area for royal trophies.