Phuket has a long recorded history, and according to most begins around A.D. 1025 when it was used as a stopover point by ships sailing between China and India through Malay Peninsular. Formerly known as “Phu-Kej” – “Muang Kaew” means crystal city. One of the oldest historical archives that recognized this city is the sailing map of Claudius Ptolemy, A famous Greek philosopher, who recorded their journey from Suvanabhum Cape down to Malay cape through “Junk Ceylon” cape which it eventually became known as Phuket, which is derived from the Malay word ‘Bukit’ meaning hill.


Taken by the Portuguese in 1511, the port of Malacca begins its ascent to become the trade hub of Southeast Asia and later opened a tin trading company in Thalang. Natives called the place Cha Lang, which evolved to Tha Lang the name of the main town to the north of the island . During the 16th century Thalang became also a popular trading port for tin with Portuguese, Dutch, English and French traders flocking to the island. This contributed to making the development of mining so unprecedented.


In 1767, Ayuthaya, Thai Kingdom, was ruled by the Burmese and ended by King Taksin, who drove the Burmese out and re-unified the country. The Burmese, however, invaded the coastal area intending to capture the people of Thalang and put them into slavery in Burma. It was under the leadership of Chan, the widow of the governor, and her sister, Muk, who united local residents and successfully fought and drove the invaders out of the island .


The area to the south of the island (Phuket City today) was developed and became a tin trading center. In 1853, Phuket was elevated to be a peer status with Thalang. It attracted more immigrants from Thalang and nearby communities. In 1894, Phuket was promoted to be a Monthon Phuket under the direct supervision of Interior Ministry and Phraya Tipkosa was named the first Regent of Phuket .


During the early 19th century, It was also a time for the second important industry on the island became established, that of rubber farming. Praya Rasda ("Kawsimbi") a Chinese grandee who governed Phuket from 1890 to 1909 is accredited with introducing the first rubber tree into Thailand in 1901; this became such a successful industry that Thailand is now the largest exporter of rubber in the world. In 1933 Phuket became a separate province of Thailand, and has remained such until present day. Late 19th century, the tin mining era has come to an end especially after 1985 when the price of tin fell by half.With a completion of Sarasin Bridge in 1965 and the opening of an international airport in 1976, Phuket saw a new industry emerged, tourism. Today, tourism is by far the island's biggest industry with over 3 million tourists visiting the island annually, making Phuket one of the most popular travel destinations in South-East Asia.


Phuket is divided into 3 administrative counties namely Amphoe Muang, Amphoe Thalang and Amphoe Kathu.


Phuket has a lot more to offer its visitors other than its natural heritage sea, sand, sky, beach, forest, and world renowned diving sites. Sino-Portuguese architecture casts its spell delighting travelers to the city, while Phuket-style hospitality has never failed to impress visitors from all walks of life. In addition, accommodations ranging from world-class resorts to tropical-style bungalows have warmly catered to the different needs of travelers. For seafood lovers, there is a lot more to sample than just Phuket's famous lobster. Altogether, these characteristics have made Phuket a truly unique destination.


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