Your Tourist Guide To Phuket’s History

Phuket is a popular tourist destination in Thailand and is one of the most visited places in the country. Phuket has many tourist attractions and exciting activities that will make your vacation one remember.

In this quick guide, we cover our favourite things about Phuket and ideas for where you can visit. But first, if you are going to visit this beautiful place you might want to know a little more about it so let’s quickly cover some interesting facts about Phuket. 

What is the meaning of the name 'Phuket'?

In brief, the island’s name comes from “Pu” meaning “island” and “ket” meaning “palm”.

What is Phuket and why is it a popular vacation destination?

Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand and sits on the Andaman sea. The nearest province to Phuket is to the north, Phang-nga and is only a short 1.5 hour’s drive from the centre of Phuket. 

The island is known for its white beaches, delicious food, and magnificent sandy beaches such as Patong, Kamala, Kata Noi, Karon, Kata Yai, Rawai and Mai Khao. All the beaches in Phuket have their unique similarities where you can enjoy swimming, snorkelling or enjoy a picnic while you watch people surf.

After spending the day at the beach we recommend staying a little longer to enjoy the spectacular sunsets. If you are able to make your way up to the Laem Phromthep Viewpoint as it’s said to host the most beautiful sunsets in Thailand.

Phuket isn’t all just golden sand beaches, blue waters and breathtaking views though. You will also want to pay close attention to classic architecture around the towns along with the welcoming atmosphere and the famous Phuket nightlife.

The History of Phuket

The history of Phuket dates back to the 6th Century. Phuket has been inhabited since the 6th century BC and it was used as a trading post by the Europeans in the 16th century when they came to Thailand to trade with the Siamese Empire.

The province has a long history of tourism dating back to the early 1900s and has been an international destination for both Thai and foreign tourists since then.

How big is Phuket Island?

Phuket has an area stretching 540 Sqm and is almost the same size as Singapore. Phuket has its own international airport that has daily direct flights to major cities in Asia. Europe and the rest of the world.

The easy access to the island has created the perfect escape for a lot of travellers to make this a top destination, not just for vacation but also to buy a property.

Do foreigners live in Phuket?

Phuket is host to around 600,000 people, including more than 30,000 ex-pats of different nationalities, and at Phuket’s peak season, you could find around 1 million tourists from around the world visiting the island.

Though 600,000 is a big population the main groups in Phuket are Buddhists and Muslims, but around 30% of the island’s population is made up of Chinese descent from migrants who relocated to Phuket to work in tin mines. Residents in the province are known for being super friendly and welcoming to all ex-pats.

Where did the Phuket influence come from?

As we mentioned there is a strong  Chinese influence that came to Phuket in the 19th century back in the tin-mining days as multicultural Peranakan Chinese from across Southeast Asia and immigrants from mainland China migrated to the island to work the mining industry, on rubber plantations, or as traders or fishermen. 

Before Phuket’s tourism era, Phuket was well-known by another name. Back in the 1900s sea travellers and miners that landed on the island would call it Jungceylon, not Phuket. Today, the name still lives on, however, Jungceylon is now the name of a big shopping mall located in Patong.

Phuket Beaches

We mentioned beaches previously, however, it is important to know that Phuket has over 30 pristine beaches, and out of those Patong still ranks no.1 when it comes to nightlife, dining options, and inexpensive shopping centres.

Being number one does come with having a lot of people each day, and that is great for the local economy. Originally, Patong means the forest filled with banana trees, but these days there are no banana trees left to be seen. 

However, Patong does not define Phuket, which is a common misconception. There are many other beautiful beaches around Phuket such as Surin, Kamala, Bangtao, Kata, Nai Harn, etc., that are all worth visiting and some even say are much better than Patong. This might be because they are less crowded.

Phuket beaches are some of the most beautiful beaches in the world

With all of the above in mind, you can see why Phuket is a popular vacation location and has become a popular destination for homeowners too as the island has so much to offer through its rapidly developing infrastructures.

These infrastructures and developments in the country are set to keep expanding over the coming years and will make Phuket and Thailand an even more attractive location.

How to Get to Phuket with All the Travel Options

The best way to get to Phuket if you are not already in the country is to fly. It will take much less time than any other option, and it is the most reliable as Phuket airport makes travelling so simple. There are many airlines that offer flights to Phuket, but the two main ones are Thai Airways and Air Asia and many services like Sky Scanner.

The Best Time of Year to Visit Phuket

The weather in Phuket is hot and humid all year round, but the best time to visit is between November and February with average daily maximum temperatures of 35 C and an average low of 25 C. The coolest month of the year is September with an average daily maximum of 31 C and an average low of 24 C.

Of course, you could be unlucky and see the odd rainy day but don’t let that distract you. Phuket has much to offer and you can find out what is happening in this Phuket event calendar.

Phuket has so much to offer, not just as a vacation destination but as a place to call home. The recent government incentives for foreigners to own property are starting to attract much attention from other Asian, European and American home buyers as a place to either relocate to or purchase an investment property aboard.

If you would like to explore your options for buying a property in Phuket get in contact with us and book a call with friendly consultants. 

You may be interested in this post >>> Things You Should Do In Phuket

You may be interested in this post >>> Things To Do In Bangkok

Chris Wyatt
Chris Wyatt

Chris is an knowledgeable real estate professional with many years experience in promoting and helping people find the right property to buy.

You might also like these blog posts

Disclaimer: This article is not to be taken as legal advice in any form. The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. If you require legal advice in Thailand you should contact a professional.

Compare listings