Phuket consists of not only the largest island in Thailand (which is called Phuket itself), but it also ecompasses thirty two other small islands. This province is the smallest in Thailand, and it used to earn its money from trade routes to China and India by selling tin and rubber. Tourism is now the main commerce in Phuket, but fun is not the only reason that people travel to these islands.
A Monumental Story
There is a monument named the Heroines Monument in the Thalang District of Phuket, depicting two ladies, and it comes with a story as inspiring as Joan of Arc. Lady Chan and Lady Mook were sisters more than two centuries ago. Chan had just lost her second husband, and both sisters were distraught. Then in 1785, the Burmese invaded the island. Instead of running away or giving up their lives to sorrow, the sisters rallied local artisans, fighters, and merchants alike to face the oncoming tide of soldiers. Even though the citizens of Phuket had fewer numbers and less experience, Chan and Mook inspired their small army to victory after five weeks with superior tactics.
After the war, King Rama I gave these two ladies the titles of Thao Thepkasattri and Thao Sri Sunthorn. In 1967 the monument was built to remember their courage and strength. A small shrine is located at the base of the statues of Yo Chan and Yo Mook which is used by locals and visitors alike. Most people stop at this shrine to pay their respects and leave garlands for the sisters when entering the province. It is also tradition to stop at the shrine to say goodbye to the island or simply to ask for protection. Whatever the reason, most everyone finds some inspiration from these heroine’s stories.
Stay for the View
While the story of the two sisters is a draw for many, most people will stay for the view. Like many tropical islands, warm beaches with stunning sunsets keep people in a sense of surreality. Phuket is a bigger island than you may imagine, and choosing accommodations can be a challenge. It may be tempting to rent a 2 bedroom waterfront villa in Phuket for the whole stay, but many people find it more fulfilling to stay at multiple places for shorter amounts of time. Since the Phuket province includes many islands, although it may take some time to travel, you could even stay at new islands every so often. It is like visiting a new world when stepping off each dock.
Keep in mind to stay in towns that are localized to the activities that you want to partake in. There are beaches everywhere, different museums, local food vendors, and tour guides to all of them. It will take some research to find all of the things that you can do, but there are many travel guides to be found online and in shops on Phuket. The Big Buddha is probably the most famous landmark in Phuket. This statue sits atop Nakkerd Hill and is forty five meters tall. You can get a good view of the surrounding area atop the hill and will find a lack of noise compared to rest of the bustling city. The Big Buddha is a good example, in that Phuket has a variety of attractions including traditional culture along with all the fun.