Phuket is a city located in the southeast of Phuket Island, Thailand. It is the capital of the Phuket Province, covering all of the island.
The largest island in Thailand, Phuket is a mountainous province located in the southern tip of the Andaman Sea. It was originally valued by 17th century Dutch and English explorers as a rich source of tin. The resulting mining industry drew thousands of Chinese laborers to the island. Today, their cultural influence can still be felt in the island's many shops, restaurants and temples.
Over 5.3 million tourists flock to Phuket each year to experience its scenic beaches and picturesque mountain ranges. The island has provided the setting for numerous films, including The Man With The Golden Gun and The Beach.
Phuket comprises approximately 590 square kilometers, including 39 surrounding islands. Seventy percent of the land is covered by mountains, which stretch from the northwestern tip of the island to the southern edge. The remaining 30 percent is plains.
Phuket has a long rainy season in the late spring, summer and autumn months. For this reason, most travel guides recommend visiting Phuket between December and April, when the drier weather permits outdoor activities such as snorkeling, boating and hiking.