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The biggest island of Thailand in the Andaman sea - and the most popular one. Phuket is famous all over the world for its beaches, jungle and not to mention its rich night life. Phuket is large and has many different faces. First of all it's muslim, which gives a different cultural feeling than other parts of Thailand. Before tourism came, the island earned it's living by rubber trees, tin mines and merchants had trade with China, India and Portugal. In the old city of Puket town, you find old shophouses with a colourful blend of cultural influences. Patong is the 'bad' city, with numerous and all kind of bars, cabaret, Thai boxing and the full range of everything you want to see and don't want to know about.
There are plenty of beaches in Phuket. Most famous ones are Kata, Karon, Kemala, Surin (West coast), but there are also beautiful and quiet beaches in the south and east of the island. Nature is stunning and in these places you don't realize you are on Phuket.
There are many activities in Phuket. Of course you have many opportunities to snorkel and dive, or participate in all kinds of watersports and there is abundant nature. There are a few National Parks where you can go trekking.
For children there are many options: aquarium, Splash Jungle Waterpark, Dino Park, Phuket Fantasea, Gibbon Rehabilitation Centre and many more.
Khao Lak is situated on the mainland, north of Phuket at the Andaman sea. It's 1.5h drive from Phuket Airport and therefore easy accessible. Khao Lak has endless beautiful beaches and jungle often blends with the coastline. There are no high-rise buildings and the central village is Ban Bang La On (close to Nang Thong Beach). Besides this there is the less commercial area of Bang Niang village. There are plenty of splendid offshore diving and snorkeling experiences. Live coral formations can be found just off the coast.
Similan islands & Surin islandsThe Similian Islands National Marine Park can be easily reached form Khao Lak. These 9 islands are world famous among divers for its amazing underwater siteseeing at depths down to 30m (although coral bleaching has also set in here). Likewise the islands are impressive above the water.
Also within reach, to the north west, is the Surin Islands National Marine Park; these islands are also suitable for exploring and hiking, in addition to snorkeling and diving; some of the best reefs at Surin do not require scuba gear.
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