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Phuket is the capital of the Thai island with the same name. Although there are some attractive neighborhoods (especially Chinatown), the city of Phuket does not have much to offer tourists, but the island does. Phuket is Thailand's largest island and especially to the west there are beautiful beaches and plenty of diving spots.
Phuket Town has a population of about 80,000; the whole island has a population of 325,000. The majority is Buddhist, but there is a large minority of Muslims (about one third of the population).
Phuket Island is off the west coast of southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea (part of the Indian Ocean). There is a bridge that connects Phuket to the mainland over the narrow strait that lies between. Phuket is located more than 860 kilometers south of the capital of Thailand Bangkok. The relatively dry and cool season is from October to March.
Phuket once was an important stop on the trade route between India and China. The island produced tin and rubber. The tin mines have almost disappeared, but there still are some rubber plantations on the island. For the rest Phuket's economy largely depends on tourism.
Phuket airport is located in the north of the island, about thirty kilometers north of Phuket Town. Phuket International Airport is easily accessible by rental car. The airport is situated right next to the main road (Thep Kasatri Road) of the island, which leads from Phuket to the bridge.
Just like in the rest of Thailand, public transport on Phuket consists of motosais, tuktuks and songtaews. Motosais are for short distances. The riders of these motorcycle taxis can be recognized by their brightly colored jacket with a number on it. Tuktuks are motorcycles with covered seats (usually for two persons). Before getting on a motosai or tuktuk you should negotiate a price. Please beware: some tuktuk drivers demand exorbitant prices! Songtaews are pick-ups with two extra seats. The price you pay depends on the distance you travel.
There are buses between Phuket Town and Patong Beach.
If you don't just want to stay at your hotel, but also would like to discover the rest of the island, then you should rent a car. Drive cautiously and defensively on Phuket. The Thai are not known for abiding traffic regulations, and some roads are twisty and complicated. Driving at night is definitely not recommended.
Phuket is a tourist island and there is a huge range of accommodations in every price range. From luxury resorts to simple guesthouses. The cheapest options are in Phuket Town. If you are visiting Phuket in high season (October-March) we recommend booking your hotel well in advance.
For more information about Phuket we recommend Google and the following sources: