Often referred to as the Pearl of the Andaman, Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, shaped like an irregular pearl. It is located 867 kilometres south of Bangkok and measuring approximately 21 kilometres long. Connected to the mainland by a causeway, it has a coastline fringed with white sandy beaches and quiet coves, bathed by the clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea and set against a backdrop of green hills, coconut groves, and rubber plantations. Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and has a rich and colourful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ships’ logs. The Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French came to trade during that time. Ph uket ’s most f amou s mon ument is the memorial statue of the heroines Thao Thep Krasattri and Thao Sisunthon, who rallied the islanders in 1785 to repel Burmese invaders. Blessed by nature and the smiling hospitality of its people, and supported by superb tourism facilities, Phuket is today one of the world’s premier tropical resorts. Palm-fringed beaches, an island-studded sea, superb accommodation, delicious seafood, numerous sporting and leisure opportunities and, of course, year-round sunshine, are a few of what makes a trip to Phuket a truly memorable holiday.