Phuket is an often-mispronounced jewel in South East Asia. By far the most popular island destination in the region, it offers sandy beaches, beautiful Portuguese architecture and a rich history that will delight any seasoned traveler.
The island does have a rainy season and tourists are advised to avoid its charms in September and October when it is soaking wet. For the rest of the year, particularly from November through February, Phuket’s limestone cliffs, tropical forests and powdery beaches make it a place that you don’t want to miss.
The earliest history of the island comes from the Greeks. Claudius Ptolemy wrote of its charms as early as 157 A.D. For most of the past 2,000 years Phuket was used as a stopover for traders who needed to avoid monsoons. When tin was discovered, migrant workers from as far away as Portugal began to arrive and Phuket soon became one of the most influential meeting points for European traders in South East Asia.
When the price of tin collapsed in 1985, the island government began hawking Phuket as a possible tourist destination. Travelers took the bait and its popularity and economy have soared.
There is a diverse group of people living on the island; 35 percent of the people are Muslim ‘ representing a variety of religious and cultural histories. Hence, tolerance of all types of lifestyles has become the trademark of Phuket.
While the nightlife of Phuket is always hopping, there are also a variety of activities to do during the day and as with most of Thailand, there are many wonderful western and traditional restaurants.
Dino Park on Karon beach is one of the sillier tourist attractions. It is a small 18 hole golf course set in the age of the dinosaurs. It even features a dinosaur themed restaurant!
All of the many beaches that encircle the island are wonderful places to snorkel and dive. At nearly any point along the coast you can find places to rent equipment and guides to help you explore the beautiful undersea vistas and the exotic fish that call the waters around Phuket their homes.
Ko Kaeo visitors will not only find a beautiful sandy beach, but also a famous replica of the footprint of BuddhaKo Si-Re also features a wonderful reclining Buddha image.
Cape Phanwa is home to the Phuket Aquarium, the place to go if you want to see the beautiful fish that the region has to offer, without having to go to the effort of diving or snorkeling to find them. The nearby Phuket Butterfly Farm has also been growing in popularity with the tourist trade.
The Phuket Submarine offers people the chance to dive 30 meters under the sea in the comfort of full air conditioning and the Phuket Zoo is the safest way for you to see some of the regions more exotic animals.
Patong Beach is tourist central and you will find a wide array of family friendly activities including go-karts, a haunted house, water skiing and Tarzan’s Water Bunny Jump.
The Khao Phra Thaeo Wildlife Sanctuary covers nearly 5,600 acres and has hundreds of different types of local protected animals.
Wat Phra Thong is the most beautiful temple on the island. According to local legend whenever invaders have tried to steal the beautiful Buddha inside, hornets have attacked and driven them away.
The adjoining island of Ko Nakha Noi has the regions only year round pearl farm that is open to the public. If museums are your thing the Thalang Museum has great artifacts documenting local culture.
Of course, once you’ve had your tourist fun and have accumulated enough stories that you can safely tell your friends and neighbors, it will be time to head out at night and take advantage of the hot gay island nightlife.
No matter where you decide to go, Phuket is guaranteed to offer you a fun experience on your vacation. We can’t wait to see you there!
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