Phuket, Thailand, is commonly referred to as the "Pearl of South" and is the largest island in Thailand. Phuket Island runs 48 kilometers (34 miles) north to south and 21 kilometers (16 miles) east to west. Phuket is broken by a chain of mountains and valleys mainly from a north-south range running down the west coast. This accounts for about 70% of the land area. The tallest peak, Mai Tao Sip Song (12 Cane Peak) is 529 meters. The other 30% of the island is flat land located mainly in the central and eastern portions of the island. Laying in the Andaman Sea off southern Thailand's west coast, the island's terrain is incredibly varied, with rocky headlands, long broad sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, forested hills, small estuaries, lagoons, and tropical vegetation of all kinds. Its large size has allowed microclimates to develop in different areas of the island.
The island offers many different looks and feels for you to discover and enjoy. Kata Beach with its spectacular tropical scenery compared with the stately cassurina trees that are found on Nai Yang Beach just a few kilometers north. The triple canopy rainforest of Khao Phra Thaeo National Park to the mud flats and mangrove swamps of Koh Siray. Limestone outcroppings line the east coast and solid granite boulders on the west. Phuket is truly a tropical wonderland and offers something for just about everyone. Phuket is Thailand's largest island and nestles against the Indian Ocean Coast some 870 kilometers south of Bangkok. Phuket derives its wealth from tin and rubber, is blessed with teeming marine life, and has enjoyed a rich and colorful history. Phuket is also one of the major Asian gateways for ocean cruises. Recently a new concept has emerged: Spa Cruises. Combining Thai traditional ways of relaxing the body and mind with all amenities of an up-market cruise
Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, powdery, palm- fringed white beaches, sparkling island-dotted seas, sincerely hospitable people, comfortable accommodation, superb seafood, lushly forested mountains, lovely waterfalls and parks, and delightful turn-of -the-century Indo / Portuguese and Chinese-influenced architecture which create an enchanting ambiance perfectly suited to total relaxation.