Phuket City Profile
Phuket Province is stunningly beautiful. Its incredibly diverse geography offers enough in the way of beaches, scuba diving, hiking, and idyllic rural communities to keep a traveler busy for weeks.
Phuket City also is very interesting. Its architecture and culture reflect a history of co-mingling between native people, Portuguese colonists, and Chinese immigrants. Thirty-five percent of the residents are Muslim. Phuket is also known for its Vegetarian Festival, which takes place at the end of Buddhist "lent" in late September or early October. The province is the wealthiest in Thailand, per capita.
Although the employment opportunities for teachers are limited in this part of Thailand, most teachers spend at least some time here. Since there are so many tourists and international business opportunities in Phuket, teachers may be able find students to tutor individually or in small groups.
Phuket is the name of the city and the island province on which it is located. The island lies off the west coast of the Malay Peninsula in the Andaman Sea. It is connected to the mainland by a bridge.
Like other places in Southern Thailand, Phuket is hit by both the southwest and northeast monsoons, and it rains more than ten inches per month from May to October. Temperatures do not vary much throughout the year, and average about 82°F/28°C.
You can get to Phuket by both air and bus from other locations in the country. From southern cities, you can hire a "share taxi," which is a regular car that takes you for about twice the bus fare.
Places of Interest
Beaches are the best reason for visiting Phuket, and the island is ringed by them. You will find many opportunities to dive or snorkel around the island. Rates are lower if you swim off of the beach yourself, but for boat-diving tours, rates range from US$40 for a one-day local trip to US$400 for a luxury, three-day trip to the Similan Islands.
For typical Phuket-style food, visit the Raan Jee Nguat restaurant. You may see non-dubbed foreign films in the sound room of the Pearl Cinema.
Other activities include visiting Ko Sire island, with its sea-gypsy village, or visiting Khao Phra Taew National Park, twelve miles to the north. At the tip of Ao Chalong Bay are the Phuket Aquarium and Marine Biological Research Center.
Popular restaurants for ex-pats in Phuket city are the Mae Porn and the Kanda Bakery on Rasada Road. The Timber Hut is also popular and features live music after 9pm.
Wherever you have a large number of foreigners you will find more theft from hotel rooms and homes. There have been a few isolated cases of assault and druggings of tourists in southern Thailand in the last ten years. Be careful about taking "gift" drinks, cigarettes, or candy from strangers on buses.