Phuket Island (pronounced puu gèt) (ภูเก็ต) , is Thailand’s largest island at 48km in length and 21km at its widest. Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coastline 862 kilometres south of Bangkok. It formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoys a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English traders. The region now derives much of its income from tourism, which has transformed the island into Thailand’s wealthiest province.
Western Phuket: Bang Thao, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Laem Sing, Mai Khao, Nai Thon and Nai Yang, Patong, Surin Beach
This region is what Phuket is known for the world over. There is a wide variety of beaches, some calm, some crowded by millions of visitors each year. Patong is one of the party capitals of Asia.
Southeastern Phuket: Chalong Bay, Cape Panwa, Nai Han, Rawai, Ya Nui
Slightly off-beat beaches that are worth the trip. Chalong Bay is the largest town that acts as a harbour for outgoing boats to Phi Phi island and others south islands.
Interior Phuket: Bang Rong, Ko Sire, Phuket Town, Phra Taew National Park, Thalang
Besides Phuket Town, the interior of Phuket is pretty much unvisited by foreign visitors. This fertile hilly expanse consists of mangrove forests, fishing villages, rubber and pineapple plantations, small Muslim communities and shrimp farms. The Phra Taew National Park is a nice escape from the tourist crowds, as is the Gibbon Project.