Phuket is often called the ‘Pearl of the South’ and Thailand’s largest and most popular island, thriving on tourism. Most people visiting Phuket head for the beaches with its white sand and sparkling blue water. Diving is very popular with a varied marine life, take a trek through the forested hillsides or walk the beautiful shoreline. If it is an idyllic tropical island you are looking for then you will find it all in Phuket.
Wat Chalong is Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple, renowned for its healing powers. Wat Phra Nang Sang, the oldest Buddhist temple on Phuket, is also known as the ‘Temple of the White Blood’ because of a woman who, according to folklore, bled white blood. A large percentage of the population are descended from Chinese immigrants who came to work in the tin mines during the nineteenth century. Consequently, there are a number of Daoist shrines to be seen around the island, mostly in Phuket City. One of the most important shrines worth a visit is Put Jaw Temple, dedicated to the Daoist Goddess of Mercy. The temple has been recently renovated and is actually over 200 years old.
There are a vast amount of activities to do in Phuket, if you are looking for some adventure then take the opportunity to learn scuba diving, go elephant trekking or sea canoeing. If you are here to relax, visit one of Phuket’s many spas, have a relaxing massage or play golf. Horseback riding, snorkeling, Thai boxing, charter a speed boat, the list is endless. Want to see a show? Then you have to go and see the famous Simon Cabaret. This hugely popular tourist attraction has been impressing audiences for years with its transvestite cabaret, performed by the famous ‘lady boys’ of Thailand.
If you have come to Phuket to shop you will find a wild array of goods to buy in the bazaar style streets of Patong, mainly fake designer items, bargain hard! Visit the traditional Thai markets for cheap clothing, shoes and jewellery, Central Festival for quality designer goods, and Phuket Town for boutiques and specialty shops selling unique jewellery, traditional handicrafts, gems and antiques.