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Phuket

About 865 kilometres south of Bangkok, Phuket, the Pearl of Andaman, was originally a wealthy tin and rubber manufacturing city and a major trading city for the Indian, Chinese, Portuguese, French, Dutch and English. Today, Phuket is one of the most important tourist destinations in Thailand with a wide variety of magnificent beaches, hidden coves, secluded bays and forested hillsides.

Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, palm-fringed powdery beaches, and sparkling island-dotted seas. All of these, combined with sincerely hospitable people, superb accommodation and seafood, delightful turn-of-the-century Sino-Portuguese architecture, as well as numerous sporting and leisure opportunities, create delightful and truly memorable holidays. The best months for visiting Phuket are November to May, particularly March and April when the water is crystal clear.

Major Phuket festivals worth attending are Thao Thep Kasattri and Thao Sisunthon Fair, held in March to commemorate the two great heroines who rallied Thalang inhabitants to repel Burmese invaders in 1785, while the Seafood Festival in May, and the Vegetarian Festival usually held in October will amaze you with ascetic displays of fire-walking and ascending sharp-bladed ladders. Shopping buys when visiting Phuket include cultivated pearls, batiks, and pewter ware. Culinary delights include Kanom Chin Phuket, Nam Prik Kung Sieb, fried or boiled noodle dishes, cashew nuts of all kinds, and the most delectable pineapples of Phuket.