Travel Phuket

Tourist information for Phuket, Thailand

Map of Phuket

Travel Phuket

View Larger Map

Phuket, which sits like a small pearl to the south west of Thailand's mainland, and north-west of Malaysia, is a small province of Thailand, and the county's largest island. Located at 7°53'24"N 98°23'54", it has a total area of only about 210 square miles or about 544 square kilometers. About 536 miles or 863 km south of Bangkok, the island is estimated to be about 30 miles or 48 kilometers long, and 13 miles/21 kilometers wide.

Frequently referred to as "the pearl of the Adaman" (Sea), Phuket is linked to the mainland by two bridges in the north. As shown in the above map of Phuket, most of the island is mountainous, with only about 30% being relatively flat land. Three of the highest peaks are in the south of the island:

  • Khao Phara, 1,385 feet or 422 meters high.
  • Khao Bang Pae, 1,273 feet or 388 meters.
  • Khao Prathiu, which is 1,260 feet or 384 meters high.

However, the highest point – or elevation – of the island is Mai Thao Sip Song which is some 1,736 feet/529 meters above sea level.

There are several streams on the island, and two rivers in the east; the Phum Duang and the Lang Suan. The largest body of water within the mountain region is the Chiao Lan Dam in the Khao Sok National Park.

Then there's the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, with its spectacular rain forests and a stunning waterfall. Much of the rest of the island was cleared of its natural forests and planted with Rubber and palm plantations centuries ago.

All the major beaches, except one (Laem Ka), are on the west coast, where the Adaman Sea laps up over beautiful white sand. There are also beautiful reefs along the coast which are home to thousands of marine creatures including more than 200 coral species, more than 100 coral reef fish species, and some 850 other species of fish, including dolphins and those that are regarded as trophy fish (for instance blue marlin, sailfish, sharks and barracuda). Sea turtles are found in protected marine reserves.

Phuket Town, the capital city of Phuket Province, is in the south east, on the Bay of Phuket. Only a "city" as such since 2004, Phuket Town has become a popular international destination offering fine dining and a diverse night life. It is located about 32 kilometers/20 miles from Phuket International Airport, which is in the north of the island, on the west coast between Mai Khao and Nai Yang Beaches. Thailand's second busiest airport for passengers, Phuket International is currently undergoing a multi-billion refurbishment that is expected to be complete in 2014.

There is a good network of roads on the island of Phuket, and a favorite way to explore is to hire a car. Alternatively you could join a tour or simply sign up for a tourist package which includes transportation, or you could head for one of the many world class resorts that are dotted along the coast and inland. If you do opt to hire a car, invest in a good map that shows all the nooks and crannies, and enjoy exploring.

There are hundreds of smaller islands, not in any way connected to the mainland (or to Phuket itself) that you can also explore. Again you can take a tour or hire a boat of some sort. There are also regular speedboat trips to many of the islands, where you can swim and dive, walk and enjoy the very best that nature has to offer. While many of the islands in the Andaman Sea are inhabited, many more aren't.