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Phuket is the Treasure of Thailand

Dec 18, 2007
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is an enchanting destination, located about 850 km south of the nation's capital, Bangkok, in the Andaman Sea. Phuket holds the distinction of being the only island in Phuket with provincial status.

Sometimes acknowledged as the 'Pearl of the South,' Phuket boasts of a long rich as well as colorful history dating back to more than 500 years ago. An eventful segment in the history of Phuket is the Battle of Thalang, in which the Burmese invaders were defeated by forces under the administration of two women.

Phuket is now categorized into three administrative regions: Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Kathu, and Amphoe Thalang. Al though Phuket has now become a thriving tourist center, it still preserves its old world charm, and come with an incredible array of attractions comprising imposing gorgeous coves and bays, long stretch of palm-fringed beaches, tiny estuaries, beautiful lagoons, lush green mountains, scintillating waterfalls, and age-old mansions reflecting Indo-Portuguese architecture.

Much of the Phuket's glory lies in its beautiful white sandy beaches. Majority of the top beaches in the areas such as Kamala Beach - an excellent area for relaxation, Patong Beach - most vibrant among the beaches in the area, and Karon Beach, located south of Patong Beach, are situated in the western coastline.

Popular beaches in the area also include Kalim Beach, an isolated beach dotted with coral reefs and rocks; Kata Beach consisting of Kata Noi and Kata Yai beaches; Nai Han Beach, which is much favored for its white powdery sand and azure blue waters; Rawai Beach, a pristine beach whose surroundings are home to Chao Le people; and Mai Khao Beach, also known as the Airport Beach. Each of the beaches in the area is enchanting, and is a haven to enjoy a continuum of water sport activities such as fishing, kayaking, diving, snorkeling, rafting, sailing, scuba diving, and more.

However, the activities that can be enjoyed in Phuket are not restricted to water sport activities. For instance, if you are a golf freak, excellent choices are available for you in the form of Dino Park, an 18-hole mini-golf course located on Karon Beach; golf course in Hat Surin built during the reign of King Rama VII; and Log Palm Golf Club near Amphoe Krathu. Besides, superb options are available to enjoy activities such as mountain biking, trekking, bungy jumping, nature walks, and hiking.

When comes to sightseeing, options are truly diverse and endless. For example, a tour to historical sites including Old China Town, packed with stunning Sino-Portuguese mansions, would be a refreshing experience. Likewise, to have a peep into the history of the region, a best way would be visit the interesting museums in the region such as Thalang National Museum and Phuket Sea Shell Museum.

Phuket also provides a feast of attractions to wild life and nature lovers, such as, Khao Phra Thaeo National Park boasting of unique flora and fauna; Butterfly Garden and Insectarium, with thousands of varied species of butterflies; Promthep Cape, from where one can savor the incredible views of the sunset; and Marine Biological Research Centre, an aquarium with a variety of rare fish species.

A visit to Phuket would be incomplete without taking a tour to its ancient shrines including Wat Chalong - one of the biggest shrines in the region; Wat Phranangsang, devoted to two heroines who defeated the Burmese invaders in the Battle of Thalang; and Wat Phra Thong, whose centerpiece is a large half buried image of the Lord Buddha.

Nightlife in Phuket is really sedative, with hundreds of girlie bars, nightclubs, pubs, disco clubs, and go-go bars. Similarly, dining options available in Phuket is endless, consisting of an array of restaurants serving everything from excellent Thai dishes to sumptuous western style cuisines. Additionally, Phuket is a shopper's paradise, with a plethora of markets, department stores, street stalls, and specialist shops, apart from a large night bazaar.

Above all, accommodation options are aplenty in Phuket, ranging from world-class hotels and resorts to elegant tropical style villas and bungalows. No matter you are looking for budget accommodation or one with luxurious amenities, Phuket has accommodation to suit every taste and pocket. With the introduction of the internet, it has now become quite easy to find a hotel in Phuket that go with your requirements. Many of them provide options to book hotel rooms and other facilities online.

With these scores of attractions and a plenty of accommodation options, make your vacation in Phuket memorable.
About the Author
The Accor Group manages Hotels with the Sofitel, Novotel, Mercure, All Seasons, Ibis, Formule 1, Grand Mercure brands and offers services to corporate clients and public institutions: 23 million people in nearly 40 countries use a broad range of services engineered and managed by Accor Services.
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