Phuket is the wealthiest province in Thailand. The island’s wealth means that is has an excellent infrastructure, great roads, world class hospitals, schools, shopping-centers and all of the other comforts you have come to expect from a western lifestyle. It also has the highest cost of living of any Thai province, although it’s still very affordable by western standards and even a modest income from home can make you a person of leisure here. Phuket’s location in the Andaman Sea has made it a home for foreigners, and there are plenty of services available to make it easy to relocate to Phuket, whether for a season, a few years or to retire.
Phuket is a melting pot of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims, and to a lesser degree Europeans, Arabs, Indians and sea gypsies. The majority of the population in the rural areas are Muslim, while there is a strong chinese influence in the towns and business. Outside of the provincial town, the rural folk speak with a thick Southern dialect which is difficult for even other Thais to understand. The provincial town’s economy having boomed over the past decade has lead to a lot of the youngsters leading similar lives to those in Bangkok. Altogether, the lifestyle of the urban Thai-Chinese resembles that of Bangkokians. Influx of tourism and western culture has also had a huge impact in the last decade.
Phuket is hot and humid throughout the year. The hot season is generally considered to be from March to early May. During the summer monsoon season from May to October, mornings and afternoons are still sunny and clear, but it tends to rain in the evenings and water clarity goes down. September and October are usually the wettest months of the year, though even during this period the rains are usually broken by off-and-on spells of fine weather. December to May is often referred to as the "high season", as this is the time period where most tourists visit Phuket.
Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea which is part of the Indian Ocean. It is the biggest island in Thailand and the only island big enough to be a province in its own right. The island is 49km long and 21km wide comprising a total area of 570 sq km. including 70 sq km from 39 smaller islands around Phuket. Phuket is separated from the mainland by a narrow channel and connected by the 600-meter Sarasin Bridge.
There is an abundant amount of things to do in Phuket. Below we have listed a few of the main features:
Phuket has a busy nightlife, second only to Pattaya among Thailand's beach resorts. Nearly all the tourist areas have some bars where you can enjoy a drink, though you will need to head over to the larger resort areas such as Patong or Karon for a more vibrant atmosphere. For discos and nightclubs, and the widest variety of bars, Patong is the place to be.