Things to do in Phuket

Updated: 2014-11-19 13:18

By Valerie Ng(

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Things to do in Phuket

[Photo by Valerie Ng/China Daily]

One of the earliest history of Phuket dates back to the 1st Century BC, when Indian merchants arrived in the island. Ancient maps referred to Phuket as Jung Ceylon. In the 16th Century, the discovery of “black gold” or tin deposits in Phuket sparked colonization by Portuguese, French and British traders.

The flourishing tin mining era in the early 19th Century attracted thousands of Chinese laborers, mostly from Southern China, hired by the European tin magnates. The Chinese intermarried with the Thai, and created a new culture called the Baba or Peranakan. Their influence is seen in the Chinese- and Portuguese-influenced architecture in Phuket old town. Here are some things to do in Phuket:

1. National park, waterfalls, museum and gibbons

Ton Sai Waterfall is a small yet beautifully picturesque waterfall at the foot of northern Phuket’s largest untouched area of forest and today part of the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park. Time is yours to embrace the fascinating blend of forest vegetation and wild life surrounding this small yet untouched water volume.

Ten minutes’ drive from the waterfall is Phuket’s National Museum, where you can see ancient artefacts from Phuket’s long history and exhibits detailing the famous Battle of Thalang, where the Two Heroines, featured in a monument on the main road nearby, defended the island against the Burmese in the 18th Century. The museum also has information and exhibits about daily life in Phuket, tin mining history, the indigenous Sea Gypsy culture and the island’s Chinese heritage.

Continuing along the edge of the Khao Phra Thaeo National Park, drive another five minutes to Bang Pae, set amid the density of the nature parks vegetation, you will find a stunning rock encroached waterfall of over 16-meter high. Captured by the aura of giant trees covered by creepers and climbers of every description, you will find a mystic silence, disturbed only by the amazing singing of the gibbons from the unique on site Gibbon Sanctuary, where domesticated gibbons are trained to return to their native forests.

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