Fun Phuket facts: history, culture, and natural beauty

Image via letsphuket

With its immaculate beaches, abundant palm trees, and warm blue waters, Phuket, the biggest island in Thailand, entices tourists with the beauty of a tropical paradise. There is more to this picture-perfect getaway than first meets the eye, though. Phuket boasts an extensive and varied past that captivates both residents and visitors, from its mountainous terrain to its cultural events and historical sites.

Facts about Phuket

The largest island in Thailand

Slightly smaller than Singapore, Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, spanning 222 square miles (576 square kilometres). With 33 islands, including well-known tourist spots like Koh Phi Phi and Racha Islands, Phuket functions as both an island and a province.

Phuket hosts a huge vegetarian festival every year

Held in October, the annual Vegetarian Festival is one of Phuket’s most exciting events. This spectacular eight-day event is based on the Chinese community’s view that giving up meat and other stimulants might help foster a healthy and relaxed mind. The event is well known for its extreme rituals carried out by mediums who summon the gods via body-piercing and firewalking, among other practices. Every year, thousands of tourists swarm Phuket to observe these fascinating customs, which are practised close to the island’s six Chinese temples.

Fun Phuket facts: history, culture, and natural beauty | News by Thaiger

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Most of Phuket is covered in mountains

Although Phuket is well known for its beautiful beaches, it’s important to remember that mountains make up over 70% of the island. Stretching 270 miles (440 km) from the Kra Isthmus, these mountain ranges constitute the southernmost tip of the Phuket mountain range.

Khao Mai Thao Sip Song, often known as the “Twelve Canes,” is the highest peak at an astounding 529 metres (1,726 feet) above sea level. In addition to offering a picturesque setting, the mountains are the location of dense forests, rubber plantations, and palm oil plantations, all of which support the local economy.

Image via Freepik

Home to one of the biggest Buddhas in Thailand

Of all the attractions in Phuket, the Big Buddha is one of the most notable. One of the biggest Buddhas in Thailand, this magnificent white marble monument is perched atop a mountain with a view of Chalong Bay. At 45 metres (147 feet) in height, it represents serenity and spiritual enlightenment. On the island, the statue and the temple that surrounds it are now well-known monuments.

Fun Phuket facts: history, culture, and natural beauty | News by Thaiger

Phuket was one of the first places to introduce tsunami-detection buoys

Phuket has also been a major player in international affairs. In response to the catastrophic December 2004 tsunami that severely damaged the area, also killing thousands. Phuket took aggressive steps to guarantee the security of both locals and tourists.

A real-time tsunami warning system was put in place by the local government, and 22 tsunami-detection buoys were positioned throughout the Indian Ocean. These buoys, which are located 620 miles offshore, offer crucial information to lessen the effects of upcoming tsunamis.

Image via U.S. Navy by Philip A. McDaniel

It hasn’t always been called Phuket

It’s interesting to note that “Phuket” is a new name. The name, Jungceylon, which was originally derived from an incorrect transcription of the Malay phrase “Tanjung Salang,” was given to the island in 1511 when it became well-known for its bountiful tin deposits and lush terrain. These days, Jungceylon is mostly connected to the Jungceylon Shopping Centre in Patong, which is a well-liked worldwide hub for leisure and shopping.

Fun Phuket facts: history, culture, and natural beauty | News by Thaiger
Image via jungceylon

Phuket played a leading role in a James Bond movie

The film industry has also taken notice of Phuket’s distinct characteristics and natural beauty. The remarkable limestone cliffs towering from the emerald green water were included in the classic moments from the 1974 James Bond film “The Man with the Golden Gun.” These Phang Nga Bay cliffs, referred to by locals as Koh Tapu or “nail island,” have been unofficially dubbed James Bond Island. Thousands of people visit it nowadays in awe of its pristine beauty.

Fun Phuket facts: history, culture, and natural beauty | News by Thaiger
Image via the luxury signature

Phuket is a fascinating location for tourists looking for both leisure and adventure because of its unique combination of natural beauties, cultural events, and historical sites. Phuket provides an exceptionally captivating experience, whether it’s lounging in the sun on its picturesque beaches or losing yourself in its colourful culture and rich history. So why not travel to this tropical haven and experience Phuket’s attractions for yourself?

Looking to learn more fun facts about certain places in Thailand? You can learn more with these fun facts about the ‘Rose of the North’ with this article on captivating facts about Chiang Mai!

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Jimmy Donovan

Jimmy, currently with The Thaiger, translates his global journalism experience to bring insights about Thailand to life. Originally from St Albans, England, he now calls Bangkok home, where he focuses on delivering nuanced socio-political stories. His robust skill set and commitment to truth have established him as a trusted voice in journalism.

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