Phuket, with a population of around 700,000, is the only island province in Thailand. It is also the smallest of the 76 provinces in terms of land area. Being the nation’s largest island, Phuket is about 550 sq km, which is about the same size as Singapore. Situated 8 degrees north of the equator, the island is approximately 40 km long and 8 km wide at its widest point.
Phuket lies off the west coast of southern Thailand in the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean), approximately 890 km south of Bangkok and is connected to the mainland via a road bridge. Phuket was originally inhabited by Sea Gypsies, or fishermen; in the mid-19th century, tin was discovered and this has attracted many Chinese immigrants who came for mining.
When the price of tin fell, primary commodity was rubber. Till today, many parts of the island are still covered by rubber trees, which remains a large industry. In 1970’s, tourism became popular due to nice and sandy beaches, warm weather. Phuket became a well-known destination after the release of a James Bond movie – “The Man With The Golden Gun”, which was filmed around Phuket and Phang Nga Bay area.
The Boathouse is located at Kata on Phuket’s west coast, also better known as the bustling, family-friendly town. Kata has a lot to offer in terms of sights, things to do and places to eat. Kata Beach is also a beautiful beach with a lively atmosphere, popular with surfers and sailors during low season as it is with sunbathers and snorkelers during the high season.
Thailand which lies equidistant from India and China was known by outsiders as Siam for centuries. Thailand shares its border with Myanmar (Burma) in the west and north, Laos in the northeast, Cambodia to the east and Malaysia in the south.
Parliament is composed of 2 houses, being the House of Representatives and the Senate. A Prime Minister is elected from among the representatives and leads the government. All provinces have applied governors.
Thailand is often called the “Land of Smiles”, and rightly so because you will see more smiling people here than anywhere else in the world. Approximately 75% of the citizenry are ethnic Thais, 14% are Chinese, and the remaining 11% are mostly Indian, Malay or Khmer.
The “Wai” is the traditional Thai Greeting which is used instead of a handshake, but it can also be used as a means of saying sorry, thank you, or to pay respect. Thai person will often Wai as he approaches a temple, Buddha image, or other item of religious significance.
If you are introduced to a Thai and that person Wais to you then you should try and return the Wai. Generally the younger people will Wai first. When you receive a thank you Wai from one of our staff it is unnecessary to return the Wai yet a smile is always welcome.