Phuket is both the capital and the name given to Thailand’s largest island, which measures just 21 km at its widest point. Yet it is globally renown, aided in no small way by the fact that two major films were filmed around here: James Bond’s, “The Man with the Golden Gun” and “The Beach”, which was filmed on Phi Phi island to the south.
It’s a picturesque, mountainous island with 39 smaller islands surrounding it and tends to have a long rainy season from late Spring to Autumn. December through April is the suggested period to visit. The more popular beaches, like Patong, Karon, Kata, Kata Noi and Nai Ham, lie mainly to the south and west of the island. Those to the north, like Kamala, Surin and Bang Tao, are more secluded beaches. There are several coral islands to the south of Phuket, and it is, therefore, excellent for scuba diving and snorkelling.
The interior is also interesting to explore, with its national parks, waterfalls and forests, and last remaining tropical rain forest lying to the north of the island.
There are many activities to be enjoyed here apart from diving and swimming, such as tours to the other islands, markets, temples, golf, trekking, canoeing, sailing, white water rafting and even elephant safaris. Phuket at night has much to offer in the way of restaurants, bars, clubs, live music and cinemas. There are also the famous full-moon parties, or all night beach parties.
To the north you have the famous Phang Nga Bay, which is where they filmed “The Man with the Golden Gun”, and its limestone rock formations rising from the sea won’t fail to impress in their sublime beauty. It’s also a protected marine national park.