In the Andaman Sea, off the west coast of the Thai peninsula, lies the little island of Phuket. The island has been inhabited since the first century BC and has been part of various Tai kingdoms since earliest times. Large numbers of Chinese people arrived here in the 18th century and more than half the population today are of Chinese origin.
The island has had various names including that of Junk Ceylon. Like Ceylon (Sri Lanka) the island is laces with the most incredibly beautiful beaches that attract visitors from all over the world. These visitors being usually young, rich and free have brought with them a party culture that Phuket has not only embraced but incorporated into its socio-economic life.
There is much to do in Phuket. You can warm up on the sun kissed beaches or the hot night spots, you can cool down in quiet natural surroundings or at the all night effervescent bars, you can revel in spirituality, history and culture or hang loose at a lady boy cabaret.
Phuket has something for everyone, so get there and just do it.
- Scuba Diving: Phuket is ranked among the top 10 scuba diving spots in the world. Crystal clear waters, an abundance of marine life, coral reefs and rock formations are the visual treats awaiting the diver.
- Snorkelling: The clear calm waters of the Andaman Sea are perfect for snorkelling. November through April is the best times.
- Surfing: This sport is rapidly gaining popularity. Many beaches are ideal surf spots with giant waves and curling breakers. Surfs up from April to September so head to Kata or Kamala or many of the other beaches, boards, classes and competitions are all available.
- Kayaking/Canoeing: Expert canoe operator cum guides will sail you through one of the most unique experiences of your life. A launch will take you out to sea. Then you settle yourself in a canoe and float through the towering rock formations into the hidden world of the hongs. The hongs are a collapsed sea cave system that has developed into a multitude of unique eco systems. Immerse yourself in the silence, broken only by the call of the monkeys and the melody of birdsong.
- Thai Boxing (Muay Thai) This super dangerous contact sport is governed by tradition and courtesy. The participants are highly disciplined in spirit and in body. For those who dig contact sports watching these super fit fighters is a treat.
TEMPLES MUSEUMS HISTORICAL SITES:
- Big Buddha: This massive 45m statue stands atop Nakkerd Hills. It is a recent addition to Phuket and is well worth a visit.
- Wat Chalong: This temple is the spiritual centre of Phuket. Hundreds of tiny glass pieces in the many pagodas of the temple glitter with myriad reflections.
- Old Phuket Town: Birthed by the Phuket tin boom of the last century, this quaint little town is replete with temples and shrines, cafes and museums.
- Kamala Beach: A long stretch of deserted beach, perfect for a peaceful and relaxing day.
- Patong Beach: This is a beach with a bustling night life, bars cabarets and parties.
Â NIGHT LIFE:
- Bangla Road: This Street is full of entertainment of all kinds. It rocks from 9pm to the early hours. A visit here requires morals, pre conceived notions and judgements to be left behind in the country of your origin. Lady boy cabarets, discos, clubs, transvestite and transgender extravaganzas, gay bars, and pick up joints everything stopping just short of absolute nudity is available.
- Rat-U-That and Beach Road: Here all of the above can be found along with good live music and beats by international DJ’s.
PHI PHI ISLAND:
The twin islands of Phi Phi Leh and Phi Phi Don are the perfect getaway for those bogged down with the hustle and bustle of civilization. The former is uninhabited and the latter has no roads.