|Phuket (in Thai: ภูเก็ต Ko Phuket) is the largest island of Thailand and simultaneously one of its provinces. It is situated on the Andaman Sea off the west coast of the Malay Peninsula. It stretches for 48 kilometres North to South and 21 kilometres East to West. The biggest urban area and the capital of the province is the city of Phuket. The island is connected to the land with a bridge called Saphan Sarasin, which means the Bridge of Love. The inside of the island is mountainous, with the highest elevation of 529 meters above sea level, and covered with forests. Though this island is visited by numerous tourists, it still preserves its natural scenery, marvellous beaches and azure sea. There is a reason why they call it the Pearl of the Andaman Sea.
|Phuket owes its popularity to its unusual and beautiful landscape. Mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, palm groves, white beaches, and azure sea. This combination is a real allurement for nature lovers. Not only does Phuket offer vivid cultural propositions with an abundant nightly programme, but also calmer regions for true rest and relaxation. There are many possibilities to practice sports, indulge in cultural activities, and participate in numerous festivals, parties or in a wild celebration of the New Year. The island will enchant everyone with its beaches, and golf enthusiasts have 5 courses to choose from. If the aim of your trip to Thailand is exploring the underwater world, you will not regret it. There are one hundred institutions offering diving services on Phuket, and the visibility under water reaches up to forty meters in the area around nearby islands.
|Phang Nga Bay. Islets and club-shaped rocks emerging form the azure surface of the water are characteristic landscape elements of the most beautiful Thai bay – Phang Nga, an exceptionally picturesque location. The bay is situated off the coast of the Andaman Sea, North-East from the island of Phuket. It is an extraordinary place, where the calm of gentle sea waves is accompanied by breath-taking, tremendous natural formations. The effect is enhanced by uncanny shadows reflecting from the surface of water, casted on small and defenceless people. Huge limestone rocks resemble stone walruses floating on their backs, sea monsters about to emerge from the deep or camels walking on the bottom of the sea with only their humps projecting above the surface of the water.
|Phi Phi Islands The name Phi Phi covers two islands: Koh Phi Phi Don – called the Large Phi Phi and Koh Phi Phi Leh – called the Small Phi Phi. Koh Phi Phi Don, is not much more than two limestone rocks projecting from the sea covered with lush vegetation and connected by a narrow isthmus with sandy beaches on both sides. This makes it one of the most beautiful islands in the whole Thailand. Koh Phi Phi Leh is a beautiful, uninhabited island. It features a few picturesque bays, one of which is particularly attractive Maya Bay, where the film “The Beach” with Leonardo DiCaprio was shot. A lagoon engulfed by high slopes, ideally clear water, vegetation, and the beach itself. Yellow sand, delicate and fine like pollen, and very warm water.
|Phuket Beaches Not many islands may offer such a large number of beautiful sandy beaches and azure waters as Phuket. Winding coastal roads stretching along the Western shore provide beautiful views. The most attractive beaches of the Western coast are not identical. Some of them seem to be infinitely long, other develop into sandy bays surrounded by high granite rocks. 2-3 kilometre stretches of Patong, Karon and Kata beaches are the most popular among the tourists. Those beach-lovers, who are seeking peace and quiet, will not have problems with finding almost unoccupied spots on Nai Yang, Bang Thao, Pan Sea, Kamala and in other places.
|Phuket Town For the tourists who do not limit their activities only to relaxing on the beaches, a visit to the city of Phuket, the capital of the province, may be a huge attraction. In the beginning of the 20th century, it was a place where many rich tin barons chose to reside. Their beautiful, elegant mansions scattered around many parks are an attraction even today.
|Wat Chalong temple Wat Chalong is the most important of the 29 Buddhist temples located on Phuket. The temple is dedicated to two monks – medics and herbalists, Luang Pho Chaem and Luang Pho Chuang – who were mediators between the fighting sides during an uprising in 1876. They healed the wounded and reduced fractured bones. This is why Thai people believe that praying here has healing effects. This beautiful place is worth a separate mention.
|Big Buddha This is one of the most characteristic spots on the map of the surrounding area, a 45-metre statue of Buddha in a sitting position, looking East on one of the highest mountains of Phuket whose summit may be reached by driving a 6.5 kilometre long uphill road. At the feet of the Big Buddha you can enjoy the beautiful landscape of Chalong Bay and Phuket Town.
|Phuket FantaSea This location on Phuket is a place where both adults and younger tourists can have great fun. This amusement park is intended to acquaint every visitor with the extraordinary beauty of the island and cultural richness of the whole Thailand. 140 hectares of the park are packed with attractions as densely as possible. The Elephant Palace is among the most interesting objects. Its name comes from stone statues of these large animals positioned in front of the palace. This building, stylized to look like a historic monument, is the site hosting many entertainment events: fireworks presentations, performances of acrobats and illusionists, concerts… Carnival Village is a part of FantaSea which takes us through ages of architectural history of Thailand. Apart from that, this location has many stores where you can buy jewellery, handmade items, silk, and various souvenirs. Children would surely like to visit the Hanumana Cave, a place filled with surprises. Each youngster will have a great time there, and their parents can gain a moment of rest. The Tiger Adventure will allow you to become familiar with Thai myths and legends. The show is made more attractive thanks to the participation of live animals and the use of fantastic multimedia effects.
|Khao Phra Thaeo National Park The most important national park in the area. It covers 2.2 thousand square kilometres, and provides the living space for numerous, rare species of animals. Two truly paradisiac waterfalls situated in the park are very much worth seeing. The larger one, Bang Pae, is 18 metres high. There is also a Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre in Khao Prataew. Its employees have been trying to save these endangered monkeys entered in the IUCN Red List from the hands of street salesmen for years.
|Seashells Museum This is a must-see for people collecting seashells, but an average person should also take interest in it. It is one of the biggest assemblages of this kind in the world. The collection includes the biggest golden pearl in the world (140 carats) and a shell weighing a quarter of a tonne! Extremely rare species of shells in different forms can be seen here, even fossils. The owner of the museum is really serious about his passion.