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About Phuket

Beaches and partying may be Phuket's most popular pastimes, but Thailand's largest island also offers much more beyond the busy resorts on its west coast. Those who find Patong and Karon a bit too crowded may prefer more up-market Mai Khao or the tranquillity of Sirinat National Park. Even more secluded beaches await visitors to Phuket's southeast coast. Shrimp farms, mangrove forests, and plantations of rubber and pineapple are the dominant landscapes of Phuket's largely unexplored interior.

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The island of Phuket is divided into three main sections. The west coast contains the bustling beach resorts of Paton and Karon in addition to several smaller and quieter beaches. The largest community on Phuket's quieter southeast coast, Chalong Bay, is also the main gateway to the smaller Phi Phi islands and Coral islands.

Those who venture into inland Phuket may wish to visit Phra Taew National Park, the Gibbon Project, and the sea gypsy colony on the island of Ko Sire.

Another part of the island which tourists frequently overlook is its capital, Phuket Town. The Chinatown area and Old Phuket's well-preserved 19th century Mediterranean mansions and shops are especially worth exploring. Much of southern Phuket and its surrounding islands can be seen from Khao Rang Hill's summit on Phuket Town's northwest border.

Other nearby attractions include a zoo, butterfly farm, and orchid farm.

Restaurants and Bars

Fresh seafood is the best thing to eat when in Phuket. Popular Thai food favourites are also very easily found in restaurants across Phuket island. Try Tom Yam Goong for a bit of spice, Pad Thai for a light classic Thai dish, Som Tam papaya salad for a healthier bite, or Green Curry Chicken for a filling meal. You should also try street food in Phuket. Banana pancakes, Chinese dumplings, satay, meatballs, sticky rice and shredded coconuts are just some of the amazing street food available in Phuket. Food in Phuket Town restaurants tend to be cheaper than food found in coastal restaurants.

Patong remains Phuket's largest and liveliest beach resort, but places to party and drink can be found nearly everywhere on the island.

Shopping in Bangkok

Most of the island's shopping opportunities are situated in Phuket Town. In addition to some modern shopping centres and department stores, Phuket Town also features several outdoor markets. Ranong may be the largest Phuket Town market, but shoppers can also browse the goods and food sold at the Wirat Hong Yok Road Weekend Market, the Sunday Thalang Market, and the Lad Ploy Khong Market. Chinatown is a good place to shop for traditional antiques and handicrafts. Patong Beach's main shopping options are Beach Road and its surrounding streets as well as a lively night market.