Phuket is one of the southern provinces of Thailand and is the country's largest island which consists of another 32 smaller islands off its coast. It has an area of 576 square kilometers (222 sq. mi)with the population of around 525,709 residents. Like the most of Thailand, here also the majority of the population are Thai Buddhists (about 71%), followed by Muslims (about 20%).
Phuket is popularly known as ‘the Pearl of the Andaman Sea'. Phuket is a fascinating island with the rich culture, stunning coastline, clear blue skies, amazing natural sights, shopping, dining, and variety of outdoor activities. The day time can be very well spent in exploring the caves and lagoons of Phang Nga by canoe or visit the Phuket Sea Shell Museum. The abandoned mansions of Old Phuket Town or breathtaking sunset from Prompthep Cape Viewpoint is also an interesting option for the tourists looking for relaxation and enriching experience. The various beautiful and glorious temples with the statues of monks will help to bring a spiritual inspiration within you and the most popular Thai massage will make you feel relaxed and rejuvenated.
In the year 1025 AD Phuket was merely used as a stopover by the ships sailing between India and China. Later in the 16th century, Thais ruled the central and northern regions and the remaining regions were used for tin trade. Finallyin the year 1932, Phuket was stated as a separate province of Thailand. Soon after Phuket was formed, it gained popularity as a tourist destination. Phuket was one of the first provinces in Thailand to welcome the tourism industry and soon grew to become one of the most popular destinations for its natural beauty and warm hospitality.
Thai culture is one of the most colorful and fascinating cultures in the world. There are flavours of Buddhism culture visible in the everyday life of the people and wats (temples) are the most evident. Robe-clad monks are all around the place, can be seen roaming around or running errands across the streets and statues of the Buddha are found everywhere. Various vibrant and religious festivals are held every year for religious reason and for fun, just like the rest of Thailand. The annual Vegetarian Festival is considered to be the most celebrated festivals where people perform tests of faith on themselves. Other very popular festivals which are celebrated in Phuket and across Thailand are Phuket King's Cup Regatta, the Chinese New Year, Phuket Bike Week, Songkran, and Loy Kratong. Great number of tourists from across the world love to spend their Christmas and New Year as these are also celebrated here with great enthusiasm.
Phuket revels in a beautiful tropical climate which is mainly divided into two seasons – dry and wet. The dry season lasts from December to March and is the most preferable season for tourism. It is the coolest time of the year with soft breezes, clear skies and calm seas. During this season the average temperature is 28.2°C. The wet season usually starts from June and lasts till October. During this season the sea gets rougher as the currents are strong and the air is hot and humid. In this season average temperature stays around 27.5°C.
Phuket International Airport is the third busiest airport in Thailand and is used by travelers from all over the world to enter Phuket. It is located in the north of Phuket and attends most number of international arrivals from Asia Pacific and Europe. The airport is connected to various cities across the world, such as Abu Dhabi, Melbourne, Seoul, Manila, Singapore, Beijing, etc. and also to Thai cities such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, UdonThani, etc. Major airlines serving this airport include Dragon Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Korean Air, SilkAir, Thai Airways, Tiger Air, Air China and many more.
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