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Message from the Creators
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Kittikorn & Sopida Kewkacha
Creators

…WHAT IS ‘THAI’?

That is how it all began…

The very word ‘Thai’ means free, but that only just begins to describe who we are…

To us, ‘Thai’ is a story. A colorful tale of adventure, fantasy and romance, lavishly spiced with mystery and magic. But words alone cannot define the richness found in our many customs and traditions. ‘Thai’ is best expressed in its most unique and eloquent form… through our song and dance… and most importantly, with a fun loving spirit.

Phuket FantaSea is this story…a living tapestry of Thai history and culture, all woven together in one magical creation designed to share the extraordinary wealth of our heritage for all the world to experience.

…So really, what is ‘Thai’?

In bringing Phuket FantaSea to life, we have had so much fun contemplating the meaning of the question that the answer doesn’t seem to matter …

Have Fun and Enjoy the Show!

Sawasdee

Concept
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Phuket FantaSea is a Thai cultural theme park - the world’s first entertainment park that presents Thai Culture and Tradition as its main theme. All the attractions in the Park, be it the show, the restaurant, the shopping street and all other areas are inspired by Thai mythology, legends and folklores. The name “FantaSea” is a combination of the word “Fantasy” and “Sea” to mean “a Sea of Fantasy”.

Grand Opening Date
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The Park had its soft-opening on 20 December 1998 to an audience of over 2,500 invited VIP guests. The official grand opening took place on 6 February 1999.

Operating Day/Hours

Friday ~ Wednesday 17:30 – 23:30 (Closed on Thursday)



Area

60 acres (or approximately 24.3 hectares)



Ticket Types & Prices

Please click here.

Hall of Fame
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Since our grand opening, Phuket FantaSea has had the honor of welcoming thousands of state guests, dignitaries and well known figures from all over the world. The list includes many former prime ministers of Thailand, Li Peng, the former Chairman of the Senate, China, Tong Chee Hwa, the former governor of Hong Kong, S.R. Nathan, the former President of Singapore, the Queen of Bhutan, and International and local celebrities such as David Copperfield, Franz Harary, Tohoshinki (Dongbangshingi), Alicia Keys, Rihanna, Beyoncé & Jay Z, Tiffany Trump etc. To find out more, please click here.



Activities
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Cultural Illusion theatrical show
Buffet restaurant
A la Carte & fast food restaurants
Beer garden & drinks bars
Shopping village
Cultural parades
Street shows
Festival games
Mascot meet-and-greet
Handicraft demonstrations
Thai costume rental & photography
Live performances
Fireworks extravaganza (on pre-announced dates only)
Live band & Thai classical music
Elephant riding and feeding
Tiger feeding & photography
Carp viewing & feeding
Giant Mekong catfish viewing & feeding
Safari adventure walk



Attractions
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‘Fantasy of a Kingdom’ extravaganza
‘Palace of the Elephants’ theater
Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant
Golden Pavilion
‘Iyara Spectacular’ Fireworks extravaganza
Palace Court feat. life-size elephant statue animatronics
Festival Village shopping paradise
Similan Entertainment Center
Viva Bangkok stage theater
Magic Mountain
Golden Elephant Cavern (Ticketing Office)
Tiger Jungle Adventure



Facilities
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Information center;
Car park;
Transportation services;
Petrol station;
Automobile servicing center;
FantaSea hospitality center;
ATM (cash vending machine for major credit cards);
Customer Convenience Center;
Baby Care Center



Guest Services
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Personal guide/escort service;
First Aid;
Pet suite;
Wheelchair service;
Transportation rental;
On site police;
On site currency exchange;
Domestic & international phones (Coin & card);
VAT refund for tourists
VIP grand reception;
Birthday/Anniversary celebrations;
Venue rental;
Costume rental;
Set design and fabrication;
Activity organizer (on site or other locations) please click here for more information



Location & Accessibility
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Phuket FantaSea is the biggest investment venture on Kamala, a beach known for its tranquility and picturesque view. The park is easily accessible from most beaches and hotel areas such as Patong, Kata, Bangtao (Laguna), and Phuket town.

Airport Access

Phuket FantaSea is approximately 23 km (14.3 miles) from the airport. By car, it will take about 30 minutes.

Hotel Access

Phuket FantaSea is located on Kamala Beach, just 9 km (5.6 miles) from Phuket’s most popular Patong Beach, and can be easily reached from all hotels on Phuket Island. We provide return transfer from all hotels to the park.

Travel times by car to FantaSea:

Kamala Beach (2 minutes) ;
Surin Beach (5 minutes) ;
Patong Beach (10 minutes) ;
Bang tao Beach (10 minutes) ;
Karon Beach (25 minutes) ;
Phuket Town (30 minutes) ;
Kata Beach (35 minutes)



Interesting Facts

1. Phuket FantaSea is the very first Thai cultural theme park in the world!
2. The entire project took over 3 years to construct.



Concept
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The Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant is Asia’s biggest restaurant. It was inspired by 7 half-bird half-angels called the Kinnarees, whose story is depicted in the “Fantasy of a Kingdom” show. Guests from all over the world are invited to a Royal feast prepared and served by these mystical creatures, set against a background of the legendary Himmaphan Forest, where the Kinnarees are known to reside.



Buffet Time

17:30 – 21:00 (Normal day)
17:00 – 22:00 (On busy days)



Area & Capacity
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The Golden Kinnaree covers an area of over 5,220 m2 (approximately 1.3 acres) and has the capacity to accommodate over 4,000 seated guests or 10,000 standing guests.



Type of Cuisine

The Golden Kinnaree offers Thai and International cuisine (Chinese, Japanese, European, Indian, Mexican, Korean and more). Vegetarian, Vegans and Halal food are also available daily in a private area.
Special dietary requirements can also be accommodated. Please contact our reservation for more information.



Guest Services
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Special menus for group (Advance notice required)
Vegetarian menu
Private zoning
Exhibition & conference facilities
Flower arrangement
VIP seat covers
Announcement service
Kinnaree welcome dance
Kinnaree’s Birthday well wishing parade



Facilities

Indoor Air-conditioned
Dimmable facility lighting
BGM, announcement and paging system
Prayer room
First Aid



Restaurant Interesting Facts

There are over 400 m of hand-painted wall murals of Thai Classical Art.

Golden Kinnaree Lake is home to the world’s biggest freshwater fish, the Mekong Catfish, which can grow up to 3 meters in length.

Taiwan’s ‘Father of Rock’, musician Wu Bai, once held a concert here.

The carpet is custom designed for the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant. It depicts the magical ‘Anohdhard’ pool where Kinnarees like to bathe.



Rules & Regulations

1. Please enter the restaurant at least 30 minutes prior to closing time.

2. Buffet ticket may only be used to enter the restaurant once. If you wish to reenter, please obtain a re-entry hand stamp before exiting.

3. Seafood buffet is available only in Suriyamas Restaurant. Should you wish to upgrade, kindly contact our staff for assistance.

4. Please sit according to the table number on the ticket or assigned by our staff.

5. For Muslim food (Halal), Vegetarian, Indian or any special dietary requirements including allergies, please contact our staff for assistance prior to entering the restaurant.

6. Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarette) is strictly prohibited by law. Smoking corner is available at the entrance of the restaurant.

7. Drinks are not included in the ticket price. There will be a surcharge for additional order of drinks. (Government tax and service charge shall also be applied).

8. Food & drinks (including cakes and durian) may not be brought into the restaurant. Corkage charge and cake service charge shall be applied on any alcohol and cake brought in.

9. Food & drinks and other items such as menus, napkins, cutlery and salt and pepper shakers may not be taken out of the restaurant.

10. Phuket FantaSea reserves all rights to alter or cancel any menu or performance (including Sky Bar) without prior notice or compensation.



Concept
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A unique 5-Star gourmet seafood buffet experience set in distinctly opulent Thai palatial decor.



Buffet Time

17:30 – 21:00 (Normal day)
17:00 – 22:00 (On busy days)



Area & Capacity
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Suriyamas is located in the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant, within “Sun and Moon” twin pavilions. The Restaurant has an area of 960 m2 and each pavilion can accommodate up to 300 seated guests at one time. However, to ensure that a relaxing atmosphere is maintained, there is a maximum limit of 120 guests for each pavilion per round.



Type of Cuisine

Suriyamas offers Thai and International Seafood cuisine. A la minute cooking service allows guests to choose from a large selection of fresh seafoods and have them cooked the way the guests wish.

Guests of Suriyamas may also enjoy a large selection of dishes on offer at the connecting Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant, complimentary of Suriyamas.
Vegetarian, Vegans and Halal food are only available daily in a private area in the Golden Kinnaree Buffet Restaurant. Special dietary requirements may also be accommodated. Please contact our reservation for more information.



Type of Drinks

A large variety of soft and hard drinks are available at extra charge. Cold drinking water, coffee and tea are complimentary.

Signature Cocktails are “Suriya – the golden sun” & “Chandara – the golden moon”



Guest Services
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A la minute cooking
Special menus for group (Advance notice required)
Vegetarian menu
Private zoning
Exhibition & conference facilities
Flower arrangement
VIP seat covers
Announcement service
Kinnaree welcome dance
Kinnaree’s Birthday well wishing parade



Facilities

Indoor Air-conditioned
Dimmable facility lighting
BGM, announcement and paging system
Prayer room
First Aid



Interesting Facts

1. Please enter the restaurant at least 30 minutes prior to closing time.

2. Buffet ticket may only be used to enter the restaurant once. If you wish to reenter, please obtain a re-entry hand stamp before exiting.

3. Seafood buffet is available only in Suriyamas Restaurant. Should you wish to upgrade, kindly contact our staff for assistance.

4. Please sit according to the table number on the ticket or assigned by our staff.

5. For Muslim food (Halal), Vegetarian, Indian or any special dietary requirements including allergies, please contact our staff for assistance prior to entering the restaurant.

6. Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarette) is strictly prohibited by law. Smoking corner is available at the entrance of the restaurant.

7. Drinks are not included in the ticket price. There will be a surcharge for additional order of drinks. (Government tax and service charge shall also be applied).

8. Food & drinks (including cakes and durian) may not be brought into the restaurant. Corkage charge and cake service charge shall be applied on any alcohol and cake brought in.

9. Food & drinks and other items such as menus, napkins, cutlery and salt and pepper shakers may not be taken out of the restaurant.

10. Phuket FantaSea reserves all rights to alter or cancel any menu or performance (including Sky Bar) without prior notice or compensation.



Concept
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The Palace of the Elephants is a unique creation inspired by the ancient stone palace of the pre Sukhothai era.



Area
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The entire theater covers an area of 9 rai (approximately 3.7 acres) and has the capacity of over 3,000 seats



Show Time(Fantasy of a Kingdom)

21:00 (Normal show)
19:30 (Additional show)

Theater gates open 20 minutes before show time.



Guest Services
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Camera & Video camera deposit service
Gold seat cover
Souvenir photo service
Souvenir shop
Private zoning



Facilities

6 ‘star rooms’ with private restrooms
Meeting room
Business Center
Medical Center (onsite doctor & nurses)
Escalator & Cargo Lift
Public Announcement & Paging System
Power Generators



Interesting Facts

1. 999 elephant images are sculpted into the Theater façade.

2. The entire theater façade took over 500 days to build.

3. Within the theater façade, is hidden many embedded effects that are used on special occasions such as Iyara Spectacular.

4. Standing in front of the theater is a larger-than-life animatronic statue of the Prince of Kamala riding on Iyara, the magic elephant, which comes to life to greet the audience on special occasions!

5. The theater occupies an area of over 4 acres and is over 44 meters in height.

6. The theater seats 3,000 people and is Asia´s largest permanent show facility.

7. The stage is over 37 meters wide with side stages extending to an additional 24 meters on each end, making it the largest stage in Thailand.

8. There are 2 independently-controlled stage lifts, with a surface area of over 180 m2, capable of descending to a depth of 20 meters below the stage.



Rules & Regulations

1. Please enter the theater at least 15 minutes prior to show time.

2. For security reasons, all visitors are required to go through security check prior to entering the theater. Weapons are not allowed inside the theater. Your kind cooperation will be appreciated.

3. Smoking (including the use of electronic cigarette) inside the theater is strictly prohibited by law.

4. Food and drinks (including durian) are not allowed inside the theater.

5. Photography and video recording are strictly prohibited inside the theater. All visitors are required to deposit all cameras, video cameras and any recording devices (including mobile camera phones) at the camera check booths located at the security check area before entering the theater. Self-service lockers are also available.

6. Visitors are required to sit according to assigned seat number only.

7. Please refrain from using binoculars inside the theater except for visually-challenged guests.

8. Due to the presence of animals in the show, the use of flash lights, light or sound emitting devices and toys is strictly prohibited.

9. Please remain quiet during the performance.

10. As a courtesy to all guests, please do not leave your seat until the show has completely ended.



Concept
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Fantasy of a Kingdom is a Las Vegas style Thai cultural show infused with cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art show elements. The essence of being Thai, everything from the love for freedom and fun, courage and compassion, is being represented in each scene. As the Prince of Kamala journeys through each progressive scene, he slowly discovers these aspects and learns what it means to be the perfect Thai.



Premiere

The show has its premiere on 20 December 1998



Show Elements
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9 exciting show elements are employed to ensure that the audience is kept on the edge of their seats!

1. Thai culture
2. Magic illusion
3. Acrobatics
4. Animal performance
5. Pyrotechnics
6. Stunts
7. Aerial performance
8. 4 dimensional effects
9. Special effects



Cast & Crew

There are over 400 cast & crew members working together to put up the show each night. There are also over 44 elephants, 3 tigers, 40 goats, 40 chicken and 400 pigeons that form a significant part of our cast!



No. of Scenes & Duration

The show comprises 11 scenes and is over 70 minutes long.

I. The Awakening
II. Shadow & Light
III. Mystical Kinnaree
IV. To be Thai is to be Free
V. The Sacred Tale
VI. Sanuk
VII. The Land of Smiles
VIII. First Love
XI. Final Conflict
X. Children
XI. Golden Palace



Main Characters

Kamala Boy ~ the whimsical young prince
Kamala Girl ~ the beautiful country girl
Iyara ~ the magic elephant
Kinnaree ~ the half-bird half-woman creature of ancient mythology
Apsara ~ the free spirited angel
Hanuman ~ the trickster king of monkeys
Tossakan ~ the evil 10 headed giant
Chang & Eng ~ the world famous Siamese Twins
Takhon Ghost ~ the comical & fun loving spirit
Buffalo Demon ~ Kamala Boy’s devilish adversary



Interesting Facts

1. Fantasy of a Kingdom is the longest running permanent show in Asia.

2. Cast includes 44 elephants, 6 buffaloes, 400 birds, 40 goats and more than a handful of chickens!!!

3. The main stage lifts used in the show are among the biggest in the world!

4. The show features the most number of elephants to be assembled in an indoor theater anywhere in the world!



Show Synopsis

Kamala, a land of peace and plenty…
Kamala, a people of joy and harmony…
Kamala, a story of myth, mystery and magic…

For generations, stories have been told of an ancient kingdom of wealth and glory long lost in time, and of a young Prince destined to rule this land with wisdom and benevolence. Sadly dark times fell upon the people as they succumbed to greed and selfish desires, and the goodness inherent in the essence of true Thai people was lost. The guardian spirits of the land became angry and placed a curse on the kingdom, turning the Prince and his faithful elephant companion to stone…until the time came when all the people of the land could learn to unite in true harmony once again…

‘Fantasy of a Kingdom’ brings this story to life and continues the legend….

The fantasy adventure begins as the people of Kamala gather from all corners of the land in harmonious union to bring their beloved Prince back to life. Together they embark on a journey through exotic lands and magical times, rediscovering compassion… love… courage…and the many other shining virtues that define what it is that makes a people Thai…



THE AWAKENING ~ UNITY

On a magical moonlit night, deep in the enchanted jungle of Kamala, a mysterious ancient palace shimmers into existence. In the center of these ruins stands a statue of a boy sitting atop an elephant, miraculously preserved through the ages. The sudden trumpeting of distant horns heralds the majestic arrival of the elephants. Villagers gather in response to the call, joining in rhythmic chant and prayer. The intense power of the ritual dance and the growing spirit of their Unity awaken the statue and the Legend is unveiled…


SHADOW & LIGHT ~ CIRCLE OF LIFE

By the glow of flickering fires, shadow and light leap and dance to form colorful images, illuminating the story of the magical Kingdom of Kamala and the legend of a boy Prince…One chapter in the never-ending tale of the Circle of Life…


MYSTICAL KINNAREE ~ COMPASSION

Deep in the heart of the Kamala Kingdom lies a magical forest glade, where reside the graceful Kinnaree, the half-bird, half-woman angels of age-old myths.The Prince comes across this enchanted place and is entranced by the magnificent beauty he finds there. Overwhelmed with desire, he decides to capture one of these fascinating creatures using his magic lasso. The sight of the tearful and terrified angel fills the heart of the young boy with great pain and regret and he is taught a princely lesson in Compassion from the delicate Kinnaree.


TO BE THAI IS TO BE FREE ~ FREE - SPIRITED

As evening falls and the grandeur of the night sky is revealed in all its starry splendor, the Prince catches a glimpse of celestial beings soaring majestically through the heavens. Apsara, the angels of Freedom, rejoice in ecstatic movements celebrating the very heart of Thai ideals.


THE SACRED TALE ~ GOOD & EVIL

Kamala Boy finds himself in a mythical battle between the ancient forces of Good and Evil. Rama, the embodiment of all righteous ideals and goodness, is engaged in a fierce battle against an army of demon warriors led by the evil ten-headed Tossakan. Hanuman, the clever trickster king of the monkeys, aids Rama by stripping Tossakan of his invincibility. Tossakan and his army flee in fear and cowardice from the battlefield and Goodness triumphs over Evil.


SANUK ~ FUN - LOVING

Chang and Eng, the inseparable Siamese Twins, along with a colorful troop of mischievous Ta Khon ghosts, play host to a magic carnival and invite everyone to join in the Sanuk, the irrepressible Fun-loving essence of the Thai people. The Prince appears to be unimpressed with the twins’ chaotic antics and frivolous magic. This drives the bickering duo into even more frantic behavior as they try harder to outwit the young Prince.


THE LAND OF SMILES ~ HARMONY

Throughout the Prince’s journey, the grand countryside unfolds before him revealing a marvelous tapestry of natural beauty and wondrous bounty. As he travels to the 4 regions of the Kingdom, he witnesses the exotic song and dance from the colorful people of those places. As far as the Kingdom reached in all its glorious splendor, the Prince discovers that people can transcend their diversity and live in Harmony with one another.


FIRST LOVE ~ LOVE

The Prince passes through a small village and finds the people harvesting rice and singing in playful joy amidst a tranquil country scene. A special young girl captures his heart and a romantic Love blossoms. All too soon, their powerful affection for each other awakens a great, slumbering evil residing deep below. Storms and chaos follow as the menacing Fortress of the Buffalo Demons rises to the surface. The young girl is taken hostage and the Prince must find a way to rescue her…


FINAL CONFLICT ~ COURAGE

In great haste, the Prince assembles an army and prepares to engage the demon warriors at the gates of the evil fortress. A fierce battle ensues and the odds seem overwhelming against the boy Prince. The Prince’s troops fight valiantly but the Demon Warriors appear from everywhere. All seems lost until the Prince, summoning his last strength, calls upon his beloved friend, Iyara. Suddenly, Iyara appears as if by magic, trumpeting fiercely. The demon warriors become terrified as they encounter the rage of the mighty elephant. With powerful blasts from his magical trunk, the walls of the fortress are blasted down and the Demons quickly retreat in fear. The Prince is reunited with his Princess and through his Courage, tested on the field of battle, a love greater than any ever known is born.


CELEBRATIONS ~ HOPE

As the last remnants of the fires burn slowly away and a delightful fragrance of peace permeates the air, the children and their elephant friends come out to dance and play, their pure and innocent spirit kindling a new Hope and the dawn of a new beginning.


THE GOLDEN PALACE ~ PERSEVERANCE

999 lordly elephants of great strength and unwavering Perseverance work in unison to rebuild the kingdom and restore its magnificent palaces. The people of Kamala join in to celebrate the glory of their Kingdom and the long awaited arrival of a righteous and benevolent ruler, a true Thai King.


Meet the characters
I ~ Prince of Kamala

The beloved young Prince who rules Kamala Kingdom, on a quest to discover the true nature and the meaning of being Thai.


II ~ Iyara

Iyara, guide and faithful companion to the young Prince, divine descendant of the ancestral Elephant Lords who built the Kingdom.


III ~ Kamala Girl

A lovely, young village girl full of beauty and grace. Born to a simple farm family, she is destined to win the heart of the young Prince of Kamala and help save the Kingdom from the demon warriors.


IV ~ Kinnaree

Angelic creatures of ancient mythology, half-bird and half-woman, these graceful and magical beings provide comfort and shelter to all who seek the heavenly realms.


V ~ Apsara

Celestial beings who celebrate the spirit of Freedom through song and dance.


VI ~ Hanuman

Hanuman, the Trickster King of the Monkey warriors, protects his King with devout loyalty and clever antics.


VII ~ Tossakan

With ten heads and twenty arms, Tossakan is the most feared and dangerous among all the evil lords. He is magically protected from harm and cannot be killed by ordinary beings.


VIII ~ Chang & Eng

Siam’s most famous duo, these two inseparable boys enjoy entertaining their guests with song, dance and magic.


IX ~ Ta Khon Ghost

Mischievous and mysterious, these playful ghosts create chaos with their fun and frolic


X ~ Buffalo Demon

These are demon warriors, half-man, half-buffalo, who are powerful and formidable warriors led by the evil Buffalo Demon Lord.


Phuket Island Information

Printable version of the below information can be downloaded at our Information Download page.


Phuket Introduction

Phuket (pronounced 'Poo-Ket') is Thailand’s largest island, approximately the size of Singapore. Nestled in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coastline, Phuket is approximately 862 kilometers (536 miles) south of Bangkok, and covers an area of approximately 543 square kilometers (134,178 acres) excluding small islets. It is estimated that if all its 39 other small islands are included, Phuket Province will cover an area of approximately 590 square kilometers (145,792 acres). The island’s total length, from north to south, is estimated at 48.7 kilometers (30 miles) and 21.3 kilometers (13 miles) wide.

Phuket's topology is exceptional with 70 percent of its area covered with mountains which stretch from north to south and the remaining 30 percent being plains located in the central and eastern parts of the island. The island does not have any major rivers except for a total of 9 brooks and creeks.

Phuket formerly derives its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traders.


History

Commonly referred to as the 'Pearl of the Andaman', Phuket Island has a long history and a rich tradition with many influences from the east as well as from the west.

The name Phuket is derived from the Malay word bukit, meaning hill. The island was previously named Junk Ceylon on European charts, a corruption of the Malay Tanjung Salang meaning Cape Salang. Later it became known as Thalang, after the name of the main town on the island. The island did not come to be known as Phuket until quite late in its history when the administrative centre was moved to a mining town in the centre of the island called Phuket.

Located on trading routes between India and China, Phuket was subjected to foreign influences long before many other parts of Thailand. Ships would anchor in the safe harbors of Phuket and wait for the northeast monsoon winds which would allow them to proceed to India. The interior jungle was inhabited by indigenous tribes until they were displaced in the 19th century by tin miners. The coastal areas were inhabited by Chao Leh - sea-gypsies who made their living through piracy and fishing for pearls. Although threatened by development, Chao Leh villages can still be found along the coast of Phuket and neighboring islands.

Phuket first became part of a Thai state during the thirteenth century when Thai armies from Sukhothai wrestled control of the island from the Sirivijaya Empire based in Sumatra.

Tin & Rubber

Phuket is first mentioned as a major source of tin in the sixteenth century when the island became an important source of revenue for the Thai kingdom at Ayutthaya, as well as an important trading post. It was also during this period that the first Europeans arrived on Phuket.

Due to Phuket's abundant supply of tin and its importance as a trading port, the island's economy continued to prosper. The British secured a tin mining concession and nearly claimed Phuket as part of the British Empire, opting instead for Penang due to its safer harbors. Phuket's streets were lined with handsome buildings constructed in the Sino-Portuguese style by the tin-barons, many of which can still be seen in older quarters of the town.

At the end of the nineteenth century, the island's interior still remained relatively untouched. Much of it was still covered in ancient rainforest. However, at the beginning of the twentieth century, large areas of the island were cleared to make way for rubber plantations.

Tourism began on the island in the 1970s with the first beach bungalows at Patong Beach. During this time Phuket was a haven for backpackers. Phuket's idyllic tropical beaches and clear warm waters attracted travelers from all over the world to the island. This was facilitated by the building of an airport in the mid-1970s.

Today, tourism is by far the island's biggest industry with over 3 million tourists visiting the island annually, making Phuket one of the most popular travel destinations in South-East Asia.



Phuket Top Attractions

1. Promthep Cape - A promontory stretching into the sea and forming the farthest south end of Phuket. Tall cliffs offer a stunning panoramic vista and an ideal location to watch a stunning sunset.

2. Phi Phi Island – Located 48 km southeast of Phuket, Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh are encircled by water so clear that you can see almost to the seabed from the surface.

3. Phang Nga Bay - Ao Phang Nga has a seascape both bizarre and beautiful. Covering some 400 sq kilometers of coastline, the mangrove-lined bay opens out to limestone karst formations of up to 300m in height, jungle-clad and craggily profiled. The bay is thought to have been formed about 12,000 years ago when a dramatic rise in sea level flooded the summits of the local mountain ranges.

4. Phuket FantaSea – A nighttime fun-for-all entertainment complex that is definitely a “must-see” for visitors to Phuket. Dubbed as the world’s first Thai cultural theme park, Phuket FantaSea offers a highly entertaining and spectacular theatrical show (think 30 elephants!), a grand 4,000 seat buffet restaurant, and a colorful shopping street full of games and carnivals!

5. Spa - Phuket is host to the burgeoning wellness industry of health spas and a variety of yoga, meditation and detox centers set in natural environments dotted across the island.

6. Patong Nightlife - Boisterous, flashy and loud, Patong is the center of the hedonistic night life of discotheques and beer bars mixed in with up-scale restaurants and chic designer night-spots. With its wide variety of activities and nightlife, Patong is an ideal place to party and play.

7. Similan Islands - Known as one of the world’s top 10 spots for awe inspiring above-water and underwater beauty, the 9 islands that make up the Similian Islands are located approximately 100km northwest of Phuket. Massive granite boulders set magnificently against turquoise waters give the islands their distinctive character, and the 30-meter underwater visibility is nothing short of overwhelming.

8. Phuket Town - Phuket City features an exciting mix of old and new, simple and sophisticated, peaceful and pulsating. The night markets off Ranong Road and along Soi Downtown offer exceptional shopping opportunities.

9. Beaches - Few islands can boast of such an abundance of sandy beaches and clear waters as Phuket. The winding coastal roads along the west coast of the island offer stunning views and easy access to some of the world's finest beaches, such as Nai Torn Beach, Paradise Beach, Surin Beach, Leam Singh Beach, Nai Han Beach. The monsoon rains of May-October can bring unpredictable swimming conditions, so heed the posted flag warnings.

10. Wat Chalong is the most visited Buddhist temple on the island and the most beautifully ornamented of Phuket's 29 Buddhist monasteries.The Chalong Temple is associated with three revered monks of Luang Por Chaem, renowned herbal doctors and setters of bones, who helped the people of Phuket put down the Ahngyee -- Chinese Coolie, Rebellion in 1876 during the reign of Rama V.


Getting Around

The single most dangerous thing in Phuket is the traffic. Foreign tourists should exercise extreme caution, especially with motorcycles, if you choose to drive on the island.

Car Rental
The safest way to tour the island at affordable rates.
Tuk Tuk The most visible form of taxi service, small brightly colored Daihatsu and Isuzu pick-ups with covered bench seats in the back. Prices to destinations must be negotiated with the driver.

Song Taew
Small pick-ups and buses with benches along each side of the bed, picking up and dropping off passengers as they go. You need to know the route it goes before getting on.

Motorbike Rental
The cheapest and most common method of transport on the island. Helmet laws are strictly enforced. Motorbike Taxi For short trips across town, these offer a less expensive way to move quickly around most traffic and road conditions.



Climate

Phuket’s climate tends to be moderate all year long, with monsoon rains from May to October, but with generally sunny and tropically warm weather most of the time.



Safety

Phuket is generally very safe. Nevertheless, as with all other places, a foreign tourist tends to be an easy target for criminals, so caution is advised. And remember…

Never walk alone at night along the beach or dark places.

Red flags on the beach indicate strong currents and dangerous undertows and not safe for swimming, especially during the monsoon months of May to October.

Do not take drink/food from strangers!



Do’s and Don’ts

Do’s

1. Smile! They don’t call this place “the land of smiles” for no reason. Here, a little smile goes a very long way as you will surely discover.

2. “Wai” A simple, gentle and graceful tradition of greeting by placing your palms together at chest height with your head bent slightly forward. This shows respect to others and denotes a politeness of character.

3. Learn to speak Thai! Thai people are extremely hospitable by nature and would appreciate a foreign friend trying to utter a few words in Thai, no matter how funny it may sound.

4. Dress appropriately when visiting temples or revered sites. The more body covering, the better for these sacred areas.

5. Relax and Have Fun. Sanuk (meaning ‘the essence of fun’ ) is a deep-rooted cultural heritage among the Thai people. Do laugh freely and enjoy your stay, that’s the best way to share in the Thai experience.

Don’ts

1. The Thai monarchy is highly loved and revered by all Thais. Rude remarks or gestures directed at the monarchy are very offensive to Thai people.

2. The top of the head is considered the holiest part of the body, so care should be taken when using Western methods of showing affection. Best to stick with the “Wai”.

3. Lose your temper. It is considered rude and embarrassing to all who encounter anger or irritation as a sign of lost control. Keep a “Cool Heart”, or “Jai Yen Yen”, as the Thai say, in any inflammatory situation.

4. Worry Too Much – “Mai Pen Rai” is one of the most common expressions in Thai, and it means “It doesn’t matter” or “Don’t mind that” or “It’s nothing really”, which sums up the big picture most effectively.

5. Don’t forget that you are on a holiday resort island, with its own pace and lifestyle. Things and people naturally move to a more moderate pace, so be patient in trying to get things done while you are here!



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