Phuket General Information

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Phuket General Information
Location & Map
Phuket is located about between 7'45" and 8'15" north latitude, and from 98'15" to 98'40" east longitude on the map, and well below the latitudes of destructive tropical cyclone. Time is + 7 hours ahead of GMT.

Phuket is Thailand's a largest islands (550 square kilometers / 212 square miles) surrounded by 32 smaller islands. Its widest is 21.3 kilometers; longest is 48.7 kilometers.

Phuket is mainly granite, with low forested mountains and many of beautiful white-sand beaches (mostly on the west coast).

The borders :
North: The Pak Prah strait, spanned by two bridges; Sarasin Bridge (the older) and Thao Thep Krasatri Bridge (the newer).

South: The Andaman Sea.

East: Phang-nga Bay (Phang-nga Province).

West: The Andaman Sea.

Climate
Phuket has two major seasons ,the Rains Season and the Hot Season :

  • The Rains Season from May through October. However there are many sunny days throughout the Rains Season: showers customarily last little more than 2 or 3 hours.

  • The Hot Season from November through April. Temperatures are highest in March and April.The best months for travel are November through February.

    Average temperatures range between 22 and 34 degrees Celsius.

* December is the peak tourist month , if you want to avoid the crowds and enjoy off-season hotel rate come during the summertime-they may carry some heavy rains but these quite often occur during late evening and overnight and unlikely to spoil your enjoyment. (Take note that August and September are the wettest month.

How to get there

Private car From Bangkok, take Highway 4 through Nakhon Pathom, Prachuap Khiri Khan, Chumphon, then through the southern of Thailand by Ranong , Kra Buri (Kaper districts), Phangnga (Takua Pa and Takua Thung districts) and onto Phuket island across the Thao Thepkasattri Bridge. The total distance is 862 kilometers.
Bus

There are 3 types of Air-conditioned coaches depart from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal arrival to Phuket every day. Following is the departure times :
-VIP Bus: 5.30 p.m., 6 p.m. and 6.30 p.m.
-Standard 1 Bus: 5.30 p.m., 5.45 p.m., 6 p.m., 6.30 p.m., 6.40 p.m., 7 -p.m., 7.10 p.m. and 8 p.m.
-Standard 2 Bus: 7 a.m., 9.30 a.m., 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Traveling time is about 13 hours. For more details, please call 0 2435 1199, 0 2435 1200.
Train There is no railway station in Phuket so it doesn’t have direct train services to Phuket. Travelers by train must get off at Phun Phin railway station in Surat Thani and take buses to continue to Phuket. Please call 1690, 66 2223-7010, 66 2223 7020 for further information.
Air

- Thai Airways has various daily flights connecting the Bangkok-Phuket route. In addition, they have daily flights connecting Phuket with Hat Yai, Surat Thani, and Narathiwat.
For more information, please call 
- Bangkok Office: 66 2628 2000
- Phuket Office: 66 7621 1195, 0 7621 2946, 0 7621 2499
- Bangkok Airways has daily flights connecting Phuket with Pattaya
and Samui.
For more information, please call 
- Bangkok Office: 66 2265 5678 for more information
66 2265 5555 for reservation 
- Phuket Office : 66 7622 5033 5
- Nok Air offers daily flights servicing Bangkok - Phuket route.
For more information, please call 
- Office : 1318
- Air Asia
offers daily flights servicing Bangkok - Phuket route.
For more information, please call 
- Office : 66 2515 9999

Industry
Tourism: More than ten year, that this industry has become the biggest earner for Phuket, and continues to grow. There are the visitors from Asia and the wider western world more than 3 million that come to Phuket and growing up every year.

Rubber: First introduced from Malaya in 1903, the orderly ranks of rubber trees soon came to define much of the local landscape. Rubber plantations are still much in evidence, but soaring real estate values and the boom in tourism has meant that land is being turned to other uses.

Tin: This mineral has been mined on Phuket from time immemorial; however the demand for tin has declined. Tin dredging in offshore waters has slowed in the past few years, moreover, by zoning regulations designed to help protect the coral reefs and beaches of the west coast. Old tin-mine workings on land, meanwhile, are being converted from unsightly scars in the landscape to beautiful resort hotel developments, yacht marinas, golf courses and bungee-jumping facilities.

Fishing: Fishing still constitutes an important part of life for the people living along the coast, however small-scale fisheries are being hurt by modern trawling, some of it illegal. Large-scale fisheries, meanwhile, are threatened with the depletion of commercial fish stocks from over-fishing.

Phuket People
The people in Phuket are charming and friendly. They are very kindness for visitors, and want others love of their country and trust to their culture like them too. Remember that smile can use in every situations: thank you, you’re welcome, sorry, pardon or not at all.
There are many group of people in Phuket : Thai, Chinese, Muslim, Chao Le-sea nomads-sea gypsy, European,  Indian and Arab.  And they can live together in balance way of life as a melting pot of different culture.
Thai : Thai people in Phuket is come from the province nearby or native-born, and married with the other.
Chinese : Many of Chinese families in Phuket came to here in the early part of this century to work as a labor in the tin-mining industry. Most of them married with native-born and their children were called Baba and Nyonya, their culture is mixed of Chinese and Malayan.
Muslim (originally of Malay descent) :  The Muslim villagers that living in Amphur Talang and islands such as Koh Raya Yai. Many of these people originally came from Malaysia with their cultue.
Chao Le (sea nomads-sea gypsy) :  Chao Le are the native people that across several archipelagoes and sea around Phuket, Krabi, Phang Nga, Trang, Ranong and Satun. There are three group of Chao Le: Sing-ta-le (Moken Pulau), Sing-bok(Morken Tamub) and Uraklawoi, they living on Koh Sire ( 4km east of Phuket Town ), Rawai village, Sapam vilage and Leam Lar ( Maikao district-Amphur Talang )
Europeans :  They come to Phuket since Ayutthaya period in reign of King Naray, the first is Portuguese traders and missionary. There are three important Christian churches in Phuket : at Chao-Fa Rd., Talang Rd. and near Mission Hospital.
Indians and Arabs :  Arabs and Indians lived in Phuket since the World War II. There is a Brahmin temple on Montri Rd.

Public Holidays
Thailand has adopted the western calendar to divided the year into days, weeks and months, using Thai names for these units. Years are numbered according to the Buddhist era (BE) which commenced 543 years before the Christian era. Therefore 2003 AD is BE 2546 and 2004 is BE 2547.

Thailand's national public holidays are linked to religious or agricultural traditions and follow the lunar calendar, therefore the dates for some of the holidays change each year.

On those days government offices, banks and almost everything else will be closed. The following are national public holidays in Thailand :

  • New Year's Day: Jan 1
  • Makha Bucha Day : late January to early March
  • Chakri Day : April 6
  • Songkran Day : April 13
  • National Labour Day : May 1
  • Coronation Day : May 5
  • Visakha Bucha Day : May
  • Asanha Bucha Day : July
  • Khao Phansa (Buddhist Lent) : July
  • HM the Queen's Birthday : August 12
  • Chulalongkorn Day : October 23
  • HM the King's Birthday : December 5
  • Constitution Day : December 10
  • New Year's Eve : December 31

Business Hours
Most commercial concerns in Bangkok operate on a five-day week, usually from 8 am to 5 pm. Many stores open seven days a week from 10 am to 10 pm. Government offices are generally open between 8.30 am and 4.30 pm with a noon to 1 pm lunch break, Monday to Friday except on public holidays. Banks are open Mondays to Fridays from 9.30 am to 3.30 pm except on public holidays.

Voltage
The electric current is 220 volt AC (50 cycles) throughout the country. Many different types of plugs and sockets are in use, but two pin flat (US type) or round (European type) are pretty universal. Travelers with electric shavers, hair dryers, tape recorders and other appliances should carry a plug adapter kit. The better hotels will make available 110-volt transformers.

Transportation

Car Rent

Rent a car and drive around is the best ways to see Phuket. There are many of good viewer roads, particularly on the West Coast. It’s fun, easy  and inexpensive. (reminds that you must follow the laws)
The rule about driving in Phuket :

  1. Driving on the left side of the road (as in the UK, Singapore and numerous other countries)
  2. International License and Thai Driving License is the same.
  3. Seat belt wearing and drink driving laws apply, and are occasionally enforced.
Full Comprehensive Insurance is necessary.

Bus

There are 2 lines of the bus that go around in Phuket Town. One is leave from Archeewa collage(The Vocational Education collage) to Big C and back. And the other is leave from Laem-chan government clinic to Rajabhat Institute and back.

  • Bus#1 : Archeewa collage(The Vocational Education collage) to Big C by way of Phuket rd., Phuket Bus Terminal, and Bangkok rd., and back
  • Bus#2 : Laem-chan government clinic to Rajabhat Institute by way of Central Market, Phuket Bus Terminal, Phuket Provincial Prison, Supercheap, and back. 06.00 a.m. until 10.30 p.m. for every day.(10 baht for the fee)
Longtail Maneuverings though the turquoise waters surrounding Phuket is a wonderful experience. Island taxis Boat know as long-tails “Reua Hang Yao” are built to last 50 years, and cut through the sea with ease. Indispensable to fisherman, the long-tail requires a skilled hand and well-defined body behind the helm to navigate the wooden vessel. Many of these seaworthy crafts can be hired to visit nearby islands for a negotiated price.

Motorbike Rent 

There are many road side vendors that offer motor bikes for rent, from the zippy 100cc - 750cc road race variety. You must remember that no motorbike is insurable, regardless of what the vendor tells you, and many person have an accident on a bike here. If you have an accident you almost pay everything by yourself (bike repairs or costly replacement, yourself and third party injuries or damage)
Motorbike taxis  Motorbike taxi can be found throughout Phuket’s main arteries. Drivers wearing colored vests with numbers on their backs generally bargain the price. It is always best to agree on a sum before napping on the back. This way of getting around is quick and easy. It’s must to hang on; these guys like to go fast.
Songtaews These trucks with benches in the back serve both locals tourists in need of a ride. Songtaews travel designed routes, leaving the central market area in Phuket  Town strating at 7 a.m. and stopping at 6 p.m. They frequent the various beach every half-an-hour. The average cost is between 10 – 40 bath.
Taxi There are some taxis in Phuket too, you can take them by call 0-7625-0297, 0-7625-0333, 0-7625-0345. The rates are international standards and although tipping is not customary. Course of they are metered cabs so there are usually present no significant problems for tourists.
Tuk-tuks Tuk-tuks are abundant in Phuket, and its offers more safety and comfort than motorbikes taxi. A set fare is between 20 to 40 baht for travel in Phuket Town, in other areas the price is exchangeable.

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