to Phuket and Patong Beach.
(update 19 July 2011)
Patong Beach is the most popular and well-developed
beach on Phuket Island. Long recognized as one of the
world's Top 10 diving sites, Phuket is now Thailand's
most important tourist destination, offering a variety
of beaches, attractions and exciting night life.
Phuket Island has 17 sandy beaches.
This photo is from Patong Beach. Take a look in our
photo gallery for more beach photos.
Koh Phuket is Thailand's largest Island. It is 50 km
long north to south and 21 km wide and joined to the
mainland by Sarasin bridge.
Phuket has been inhabited since the early days of mankind
by ancient tribes and this still keeps archaeologists
occupied to find out the history from the early days.
On the ancient maps of the region around Thailand's South
West coast, the name Junk Ceylon can be seen describing
a way station on the route between India and China where
seafarers stopped to shelter. This Island is today known
Phuket Island was assumed by geologists to be once part
of the mainland in the form of a cape sticking out into
the Andaman Sea but millions of years later the cape
was gradually eroded by natural forces and finally detached
from the main land.
One of the first known traces of Phuket is from
a book written around the year 157 by Claudius
Ptolemy, a famous Greek philosopher, that to travel to
Malay Peninsula by ship, the travelers had to pass a
cape known as Junk Ceylon. Located
between latitudes 6 N and 8 N (which is the present site
of Phuket Island), Junk Ceylon was at that time visited
by merchants of several nations including India, Persia,
and Arabia. The island offered a bay that protected
its harbor from the wind and monsoon, making it a good
stopover. Moreover, it had plenty of tin ore deposits
that fetched high prices at that time.
memorable moment in Phuket history was when a passing
sea captain, Francis Light, sent word that the Burmese
were en route to attack. Forces in Phuket were assembled
led by the two heroines, Kunying Jan, Thao Thep Krasattri,
wife of Phuket's recently deceased governor, and her
sister Mook, Thao Si Sunthon. There was a shortage of
men so she allegedly ordered 500 women to dress as soldiers
with coconut palms daubed in soot to look like weapons.
This tactic seemed to delay a full-on Burmese attack.
After a month's siege the Burmese were forced to depart
on 13 March, 1785. Kunying Jan and her sister were credited
with the successful defense.
The Burmese attacked Phuket three more times between
1809-12 but armed forces from Bangkok arrived in time
to repel further Burmese onslaughts. With Burma's capitulation
to the British, ensured that there would be no more Burmese
invasions of Thailand.
During the Nineteenth Century Chinese immigrants arrived
in such numbers to work for the tin mines that the ethnic
character of the island's interior became predominantly
Chinese, while the coastal settlements remained populated
essentially by Muslim fishermen.
In Rama V's reign, Phuket became the administrative
center of a group of tin mining provinces called Monton
Phuket, and in 1933, with the change in government from
absolute monarchy to a parliamentary system, the island
was established as a province by itself.
It was not until 1967 that Sarasin Bridge was built
to connect the main land with Phuket.
Tin mining industry has played a specially important
role in the economic development of the island province
but it has declined especially after 1985 when the price
of tin fell by half. Other important products of
Phuket are marine products, latex, rubber, fuel oil and
With the opening of an international airport in 1976,
Phuket effectively became a tourist economy. Over 4 million
tourists arrived to Phuket in year 2002 and they spent
about 72 billion baht on the island.
The permanent Island Population consists of a
total of 292,245 (end 2005) with 140,703 males and 151,542
females. They consist of Thai-Buddhist, 71%; Muslim
25%; and Chao Le (Sea Gypsy) 4%. The majority of population
live in Phuket town and at Patong Beach.
If you want to learn more about the history of Phuket we
recommend a visit to the Thalang National Museum. This
museum was established in 1985 in Thalang just 200 meters
from the Heroines Monument. Built in a southern architectural
style, the museum exhibits the Battle of Thalang, the way
of life, culture and history of Phuket and the South.
Photo Patong Beach 1977 ?
Patong Beach is a beach on Phuket's
west coast. It is the main
tourist resort in Phuket and contains the
centre of Phuket's nightlife and cheap
shopping on the island. The beach became popular with
western tourists, especially Europeans, in the late 1980s.
Numerous large hotels and chain hotels are located in
Patong Beach is maybe more famous for its nightlife
than the 2-kilometer beach that runs the entire length
of Patong. Nightlife is centered on two main areas Bangla
Road and Paradise Complex, with Bangla Road being predominantly
straight and Paradise Complex being predominantly gay.
Much mixing of the two scenes occurs due to Phuket Island's
On December 26, 2004, Patong Beach along with many other
areas along the western coast of Phuket and Thailand
were struck by a tsunami caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean
earthquake. The wave caused a great deal of destruction
to the waterfront of the beach although the destruction
was not nearly as bad as nearby in Khao Lak. It took
probably less than 6 months to rebuild 80% of what was
destroyed and 1 year after you could hardly not see any
traces of destruction caused by the Tsunami.
Patong Beach - History
Official permanent population is 14797 (2006) persons
but the real number is probably as high as 60,000 in
1827 Baan Kathu and Baan Patong are small villages without
1898 The Island is organized into five grades of local
1947 The government approves 60,000 THB for a basic road
over the hill to Patong
1969 Patong is upgraded to a "sanitation district" and
taxes of 20,000 THB a year are collected.
1976 A sealed road is built to Patong.
1979 Electricity arrives
1994 Patong sanitation district is upgraded to a municipally
2004 Patong was hit by the Asian Tsunami 26 December
2005 Recovery year, tourism back to
80% at end of the year. Opening of Patong OTOP Shopping
Paradise, Thanon Rat-U-Thit 200P (south end).
2006 Jungceylon, Patong's first full-fledged
modern air-con shopping mall, complete with 200 shops,
integrated hotel, etc. Still under construction and the
opening has been postponed several times, but will probably
launch some time in end of 2006
Welcome to Phuket - Patong - Thailand - Asia