Phuket is the dream destination of Southeast Asia with its pristine beaches, clear blue sea, fun mile, Sino-Portugese old town quarters, abundant seafood, world class cuisine and the base for the chic and trendy crowd as well as home to the Phuket Royal Regatta. Having been the hub of tin mining and rubber plantations, its metamorphosis to a Jet Set destination adds to the charms of this island. Phuket is a must for water sports enthusiasts with one of world’s top ten diving spot nearby and endless beaches for leisure activities.
- History : Phuket was an important trading port for Chinese, Indian and Dutch and other western traders and was the hub of Tin mining and rubber plantation. It was already a busy bustling town during the 1500s and was mentioned in western navigation maps as Jungsellon and known locally as Thalang.as can be experienced in the old town quarters and at the Thalang National Museum which contains a permanent exhibition of life in old Phuket, ancient artefacts and remains discovered on the coast and materials used during the war with Myanmar. The most important landmark is the Two Heroines Monument, a tribute to the two ladies who rallied islanders in 1785 to repel Burmese invaders.
- Culture & Architecture : The Chinese who settled down and assimilated with the Thais gave birth to a unique culture known as the Peranakan or Phuket Baba whose heritage contribute to Phuket’s charm. The Sino-Portuguese Architecture in the old town is the result of the aesthetic merging of the different races and its practical needs which stands intact until the present time.
- Phromthep Cape at the extreme south end of Phuket is where people flock to view the sunset every evening and was a landmark for the early seafarers travelling up the Malay Peninsula.
- Vegetarian Festival and Ghost Festival: The Chinese descendants in Phuket observe a 9-day vegetarian diet beginning on the first day of the 9th Chinese Lunar month (end of September or early October). The festival boasts several ascetic displays, including fire-walking and ascending sharp-bladed ladders. The Ghost Festival is held on the middle day of the 7th Chinese Lunar month where rituals are performed to transmute and absolve the sufferings of the deceased and to worship ancestors. Other festivities includes buying and releasing miniature paper boats and lanterns on water to give directions to the lost ghosts and spirits of the ancestors and other dieties.
- Phuket King’s Cup Regatta : The event is held in December where the Kata Beach Resort hosts international yachtsmen who compete for royal trophies.
- Laguna Phuket Triathlon : Held in December with the discipline of 1,800 metres swim, 55 km. bike race and a 12 km. run as well as a 6 km. fun run inclusive.
- Sea Gypsy Boat Floating Festival : During the sixth and eleventh month the sea gypsy villages at Rawai and Sapam sets adrift the small boats similar to the Thai Loi Krathong Festival. It is held at night to drive away evil and bring good luck.
- Water Sports : All trend and fund water sports are amply provided in Phuket at most public beaches. Private services are also widely available and diving is a not to be missed activity due to the proximity of one of the world’s best diving spots, Similan Islands, and the lslands around Phuket and Krabi.
- Island hopping : Leisure trips with long-tail boats, speed boats or event sailing boats and yachts either for day trips or overnight opportunities are widely on offer throughout Phuket.