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Phuket is the biggest island in in the Andaman Sea of southern Thailand. It has a population of about 2.87 million. The island is mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south. The mountains of Phuket form the southern end of the Phuket mountain range, which ranges for 440 kilometres (270 mi) from the Kra Isthmus.The Island, is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoys a rich and colorful history. Nowadays, the region now derives much of its income from tourism. Since the 1980s, the sandy beaches on the west coast of the island have been developed as tourist destinations, with Patong, Karon, and Kata being the most popular. The most popular (and overcrowded) tourist area on Phuket is Patong Beach on the central west coast, perhaps owing to the easy access to its wide and long beach. Most of Phuket's nightlife and its shopping is in Patong, and the area has become increasingly developed.
Climate and weather
Phuket features a tropical monsoon climate and because of its proximity to the equator, in the course of the year, there is little variation in temperatures. The city has an average annual temperature as high as of 32 °C and an annual low of 25 °C. Phuket averages roughly 2,200 millimeters (87 in) of rain. Phuket has a dry season that runs from December to March; however, like many cities with a tropical monsoon climate, Phuket sees some precipitation even during its dry season.
Phuket International Airport is I located in the north of the island where tourists can find it easy to reach Phuket. One can find are many scheduled flights and chartered flights from domestics and other countries in Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America landing in Phuket.
Phuket has constructed Bus Station 2 BKS Terminal which provides the long-distance arrivals hub for buses to and from Bangkok and other major Thai cities and provinces. It is located four kilometres to the north of Phuket’s town centre and port and the complex is large and modern, linking with transportation by tuk-tuk, metered taxi, motorcycle taxi, songthaew or local bus to the island’s beaches and resorts. There are daily scheduled buses from private and government run companies going to Phuket from Bangkok's Morchit and Southern terminal stations. Songthaews (passenger pick-up vehicles) are a common mode of transport on Phuket as there is no rail line to Phuket. They are the cheapest mode of transportation from town to town and between the town and beaches.
Outside Bangkok, Phuket probably has the widest variety of food choices in Thailand. Kao Tom, a typical Thai breakfast, is boiled rice served with a choice of meat and other titbits and sometimes also an egg. Tt is one of the most popular dishes for Thais at the start of the day. Kao Niow with Gai Yang (sticky rice with barbecued chicken) is a must try to first time visitors, which is best eaten without benefit of cutlery - a guarantee of informality. Many people never encounter sticky rice before coming to Thailand. At first try, there is a great chance that you will end up with bits of rice stuck to your fingers, wrists, your elbows, all over.
Day or night, you will see street food and hawker stalls everywhere in Phuket along the beach front, the roadside, and the markets. The Hawker stalls (some permanent, some temporary) sell an incredible range of food from fruit to spicy salads. Freshly cut fruit is also widely sold by vendors who walk the streets pulling their stall along looking for customers. You will be offered a little bag filled with sugar and salt and chili mix for a little extra bite.
Thais have no hard and fast rules about what to eat for dinner. Many Thais will simply have a light, healthy bowl of noodles. But for families, dinner is the main meal of the day, the one time they are all likely to come together, so the dinner never consists of a single dish. Satay Gai (chicken marinated in herbs and honey then grilled, served with peanut sauce), Pad Pak Ruam (mixed fried vegetables); and Tom Yam Goong (spicy-sour soup with prawns) are just the favorites of the locals.
As with most of Thailand, the majority of the population is Buddhist. Phuket's Big Buddha is thus, a must-visit island destination as it is one of the island's most important and revered landmarks. The huge image sits on top of the Nakkerd Hills between Chalong and Kata and at 45 metres high it is easily seen from far away. The image is 45 m in height and covered in white Burmese marble.
Phi Phi Island is Thailand's island-superstar. The islands came to worldwide prominence when Ko Phi Phi Leh was used as a location for the 2000 British-American film The Beach. The islands feature beaches and clear water that have had their natural beauty protected by national park status. Phi Phi Isalnd is one of Thailand's most famous destinations for scuba diving and snorkeling, kayaking and other marine recreational activities.
Phang Nga Bay is a 400 km² bay in the Strait of Malacca between the island of Phuket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. A distinctive feature of Phang Nga Bay is the sheer limestone karsts that jut vertically out of the emerald-green water. A leisurely day trip cruising through the dramatic limestone islands is far more rewarding than the standard bus-boat tour. Limestone cliffs with caves, collapsed cave systems, and archaeological sites are found about Phang Nga Bay. The most famous of the many islands in the bay is the so-called James Bond Island, a needle formed limestone rock in the sea, which featured in the movie The Man with the Golden Gun.