The city of Phuket is the capital of Phuket Island, which is situated off the west coast of mainland Thailand in the Andaman Sea.
Phuket originally became wealthy as a tin and rubber manufacturer and was an important trading post for countries including China, India, Britain and Portugal.
However, due to its beauty and exotic location, Phuket is now best-known as a tourist destination and millions of people go there each year to experience the beaches and the famous Thai hospitality.
Phuket experienced tragedy like many of its south-east Asian neighbours in 2004 when the Boxing Day Tsumani struck and brought devastation to its beachfront locations.
However, local people and many from abroad rallied round to help with rebuilding and Phuket is now back to its former glory.
Those who travel to Phuket tend to make a beeline for the beaches of Patong, Karon and Kata, which are three of the most famous sandy idylls on the island, but there is plenty more to see and do there.
Phuket Travel Tips
Phuket International Airport is the main hub for the island and you may be able to get direct flights there. Alternatively, the airport is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges, so it will be possible to fly to other cities and then travel across to Phuket.
From Phuket International Airport, there is a Municipal Airport Bus, shared minibuses or metered taxis to get you to your Phuket hotel.
There is not as much public transport on offer in Phuket as there is in other destinations such as Bangkok, but you will still be able to get around with ease.
Ask at the Millennium Resort Patong Phuket to see if there are free shuttle buses available - if not, staff will be able to order a taxi for you. However, you should make sure the driver uses the meter and has the destination written clearly in Thai in case they do not speak English.
Buses are available in Phuket and you can hail them when you see them approaching and then tell the driver when you want to get off.
Finally, there are the infamous three-wheeled tuk-tuks, but it is best to use these only for short journeys because they are not as economical as other modes of transport.
What to pack:
Phuket has a tropical climate and does not experience defined seasons because of its close proximity to the equator. Temperatures do not vary very much from month to month and rarely dip below 30C.
You should pack plenty of light clothing and something to cover you against the frequent downpours if you do not want to get wet - although the rain can often be welcome after spending time in the heat.
The dry season usually takes place between December and March - but it still rains during these months - while November to February is seen as being the cooler season.
If you intend to visit any of Phuket's religious buildings, it is a good idea to pack some long clothes to cover your skin as a mark of respect.
What to do and where to go?
Most people staying at Phuket hotels find the whole island such a beautiful and diverse place to visit that they start planning their next trip before they even leave.
Make sure you try plenty of different foods during your stay, as Thailand is famed for its excellent cuisine. You should also have a go at snorkelling or even scuba diving in the crystal clear waters to see all the extraordinary marine life.
Our Phuket travel guide below will provide you with some ideas for exciting things to do.
Two Heroines Monument
Laem Phromthep (Phrom Thep Cape)
Arts and Culture:
Wat Chalong (Chalong Temple)
Kathu Mining Museum
Phuket Seashell Museum
Thalang National Museum
Bang Neow Shrine
Parks and Recreation:
Area: 1,008 sq km (whole island)