Thailand, the only Southeast Asian nation never to have been colonized by European powers, is a constitutional monarchy whose current head of state is HM Bhumibol Adulyadej. A unified Thai kingdom has existed since the mid-14th century, and Thailand was known as Siam until 1939 when it officially became the Kingdom of Thailand.
Thailand is the 50th largest country in the world; most nearly equal in size to Spain. Located just 15 degrees north of the equator, Thailand has a tropical climate and temperatures typically range from 19 to 38 degrees C (66-100 F).
Thailand’s longest shared border is with Myanmar (Burma), stretching 1,800 km.
The population of Thailand comprises of roughly 65 million citizens, the majority of whom are ethnically Thai, though peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao origin are also represented to varying degrees. Approximately 7 million citizens live in the capital city, Bangkok, though this number varies seasonally and is otherwise difficult to accurately count.
Thailand has a rough geographical area of 514, 000 sq km (200,000 sq miles). This makes Thailand roughly equivalent in size to France or Texas.
The vast majority (roughly 80%) of Thailand’s nearly 65 million citizens are ethnically Thai. The remainder consists primarily of peoples of Chinese, Indian, Malay, Mon, Khmer, Burmese, and Lao decent. Of the 7 million citizens who live in the capital city, Bangkok, there is a greater diversity of ethnicities, including a large number of expatriate residents from across the globe. Other geographic distinctions of the population include a Muslim majority in the south near the Malaysian border, and hill tribe ethnic groups, such as the Hmong and Karen, who live in the northern mountains.
Phuket...It’s Past, Present and Future: Phuket was formerly known as “Bukit” but also had many other names such as Thalang, Telong (meaning cape in Malay), and Junk Sailon It was on the world map ever since the 3rd Century A.D. It’s only recently, in 1969 that it was officially renamed “Phuket”.
Phuket being an important outpost in the early days was invaded by the Burmese several times. The year 1785 has an important role on modern Phuket history. The centuries-long threat of Burmese aggression came to a bloody conclusion, when a marauding force swept across the island in an attempt to conquer it. Following the death of the governor of (then capital) Thalang, his grieving widow, Chan, and her sister, Muk, led a group of Thai forces and repelled the invaders. Disguised as mentheir courage terrified the Burmese, who fled north after a seven-week insurgence. In recognition of their bravery, the sisters were honored by King Rama I and given the noble titles of Thao(Lady) Thep Kassattri and Thao Srisuntorn. Today, their statues,called the “2 Heroine’s monument” can be seen on the main highway between the Phuket International Airport and Phuket town, and is also on the provincial emblem.
Islands ( Koh ) of Phuket :Phuket is 570 sq kms, with the longest part being 48.7 km and the narrowest part being 21.3 km. It is impossible to get lost in Phuket as the all the roads are interconnected and go around the whole island.
Phuket also has 32 islands. Racha, Khai, Hae (Coral), Maphrao (Coconut), Maithon, and Nakha are some of the better known ones. Another, Koh Sirey is connected to Phuket by a bridge and is the home of some of the earliest inhabitants of Phuket, the Mokans, better known as the Sea Gypsies.
Phuket Island itself is connected to the mainland, Phanga, by 2 bridges, the Sarasin bridge and the newer Thao Thep Krasatri Bridge.
Future:Phuket is slowly coming up in the world map as a place with many things to offer Holidays and Vacation Homes destination, Incentives and Conferences resorts, one of the world’s top ten dive spots, Cosmetic and Medical Hospitals, World class Spas and massage treatments, easy international flight connections, several golf courses, Yachts and luxury craft marinas, vibrant night life, quiet secluded beaches and honeymoon islands, endless local products shopping, and malls with cinemas and fast food centers.
“Always something for everyone !”
Karon’s gorgeous beachfront is developing rapidly, but the area still has an isolated feel. The beach road, once nearly void of development, now features a string of mainly top-end resorts. Luckily, most are tasteful and set far enough back from the sand to blend into the background hills. Karon is just a few minutes’ taxi ride from Kata, but has none of Kata’s noisy buzz. If you want to slumber in quiet, without being too far from the party, Karon is the beach for you.
You’ll find most of the restaurants in the village of Karon, just north of the beachfront where many hotels are clustered. Karon is still a fairly peaceful place and relatively devoid of the overwhelming commercialisation, neon lights and loud music found on nearby Patong, although you’re still likely to find late night bars and entertainment places.