Phuket Island is a stunning combination of golden beaches, turquoise seas, green hills, mangroves and rainforest. Phuket lies in the Andaman Sea southern part of Thailand surrounded by beautiful many islets. Phuket's wealth originally came from tin mining. The tin mining boom started in the eighteenth century and brought a wave of migrants including many Chinese to labour in the mines. Today, Phuket has an excellent infrastructure. There is a good road, electricity and telephone network. There are many up-market hotels and every major beach is developed. There are several major shopping malls and cinemas. The major tourist towns contain all the amenities any visitor could want. “Phuket is a leisure place for all”.
The word "Songkran" is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning "passing" or "moving", measuring the movement of the sun through the twelve astrological signs beginning with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces; each passing taking approximately 30 days through each sign. It takes a year for the sun to pass through all the signs. This calendar is in use in India and the Southeast Asian Nations that have been influenced by India-Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, etc. The 13th is Maha Songkran day, the first day of the new year celebrations, when the sun moves from Pisces into Aries, and when the lengths of the day and night are equal.
If you have never snorkeled in tropical waters, your first experience of floating over a coral reef surrounded by colorful fish is something you will always remember. You do not need to be fit or a strong swimmer to enjoy snorkeling. Floating in Phuket's tranquil dry season sea is relaxing and beautiful. Snorkeling can actually be a better way to view sea life than scuba diving where the bubbles scare away a lot of fish. Remember to wear a shirt or put some sunscreen on your back as it will be exposed to the sun and you can easily lose track of time.
The influence of Baba-Peranakan on Phuket’s culture started when Chinese ancestors migrated to Penang and Phuket, when the tin mining industry was flourishing. In those days, the raw materials had to be smelted in Penang as the journey to Bangkok was more difficult. Consequently, cultures in Phuket such as clothes, architecture, cuisine, language, knowledge etc were dramatically changed by a Penang influence. To this day, many Phuket people still have relatives living in Penang.
In Phuket, traditional culinary culture is seen as an enabler for intercultural and intergenerational dialogue and, over the years, has benefitted from rich cultural and knowledge exchanges. While the sector of gastronomy records a significant contribution of $3.6 billion to the local economy each year, important efforts have been undertaken to implement a more balanced, environmental-friendly and sustainable production and exploitation plan surrounding local food resources. This commitment to preserve, perpetuate and promote traditional expressions is highlighted by the annual Old Town Festival, which restores ancient know-how in gastronomy, crafts and folk art, and visual arts.