An introduction to Phuket
Pearl of the South
|The biggest draw of the South cannot
be any other place than Phuket, Thailand's dreamy island province
in the Andaman Sea.
||The word Phuket was formerly
believed to have come from the Malayan word Bukit, which
means a mountain. However, it has recently been discovered that
Phuket is actually a Thai word meaning a mountain ( phu)
of jewel (ket). The name is recorded in a Thai chronicle.
|Formerly known as Koh (island) Thalang,
Phuket was only noted for its rich tin ores, from which its wealth
was derived. Today, it is better known as a tourist paradise, a
most rewarding place for holiday makers. With its magnificent long
white beaches, its luxuriant vegetation, its crystal blue sea water,
its fantastic undersea scenery, its calm and relaxing tropical atmosphere,
and its fresh prawns, lobsters and other kinds of seafood, Phuket
- the Pearl of the South - entices many travellers to visit her
again and again.
The numerous places of attraction in Phuket can be conveniently
grouped into the following routes: In-town, Northern Route, Western
Route and Southern Route. (see the map of Phuket)
Spoil yourself to a oil Massage at Tanya Spa in Kata Beach Phuket.
Tanya Spa Phuket
For Zoomed image
By road, 862 km. from
by Highway No. 4 (Bkk to Ban Khok Kloi,
Phang- nga Province), then by Highway No. 402 (Ban Khok Kloi
to Phuket town), about 13 hrs. drive. Daily coach service between
Bkk and Phuket available from Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal. By
air, 1.10 hrs., several flights daily. No rail service. (see
Useful Calls Bangkok, for telephone numbers)
Transportation: Airport to Town and Beaches
By mini-bus to Phuket town, 70 Baht per person; to Kata, Karon,
Patong, 100 Baht per person. By Taxi, to town, Kata, Karon,Patong,
400 Baht. By limousine to town, Surin, 400 Baht; to Kata, Karon,
Patong, 600 Baht.
No public buses, but there are mini-buses which operate a communal
service. Just tell your destination to the driver, In the town area
the fare is 10 Baht.
Visitors to Phuket should not miss the opportunity to have a taste
of Phuket many kinds of famous seafood which are always fresh and
palatable. Prices are also very reasonable. Various seafood dishes
are available in town and along famous beaches such as Patong, Kata,
Karon, Rawai and Chalong Bay. But if you want to try the local food,
mi sapam, misua (kinds of Chinese noodles), khanom chin
( Thai rice noodles with curry soup and vegetables), ho mok
(steamed curried fish), kaeng luang and namprik gung siap
Town to Beaches
There are mini-bus services between the town and all the tourist
beaches. Buses leave for the beaches at the market on Ranong Road
at the half-hour intervals until 6:00pm. After that, you must hire
a taxi. Bus fare: about 10-30 Baht.
jeeps and motorbikes can be hired from a car-rent company for your
Phuket is also a centre of all kinds of aquatic sports with ideal environment,
modern equipment and professional guidance for diving, windsurfing, sea-canoeing,
big game fishing, etc.
go to Sports
Facilities in Phuket
A Miraculous Story of Pra Thong
For people in Thalang, Phuket, Wat Pra Thong is the most important
Buddhist monastery, enshrining a most revered Buddha image called
"Pra Thong", meaning the Gold Buddha.
A miraculous story has it that once a young boy tethered his
water buffalo to a post protruding from the ground. Then both the
boy and the animal were stricken by a mysterious sickness. Discovering
later that the post was the decorative topknot of a buried gold
Buddha image, villagers tried to excavate the whole image for enshrinement,
but only the upper part could be uncovered and the lower part still
stuck firmly in the ground. So they built a temple over it, believing
that that was the desire of the Buddha himself.
In 1785 during the invasion of Thalang by Burma, the Burmese
also tried their utmost to move the gold image to their country,
but failed because a desperate horde of hornets attacked them every
time they began to dig.
For fear of robbery, the villagers later covered the image with
gilded stucco, and it has remained so ever since. Thus Pra Thong
is sometimes called Pra Phut which means a Buddha image swelling
from the ground.
When you are in Phuket, you have no need to go to Bangkok just to
buy some quality goods and souvenirs. Because apart from pearls,
nielloware, sea-shell ornaments and dried seafood which Phuket is
famous for, Phuket also offers large selections of the best buys
of Thailand. The shopping areas are mostly on Ratsada Road, Montri
Road, Yaowarat Road, Phang-nga Road, Thalang Road in town, on Thepkasattri
Road north of town, and in Patong, Kata and Karon Beaches.