Thailand: Phuket Island
One of the southern provinces of the country is Phuket Island. Phuket is a modern name, derived from the ancient writing that, as is evident from the sources, is an accurate translation of the word “Tamil Manikaram”, which used the Tamils who came to the island from India in 1025 BC!
“Manikram” means “crystal island or mountain.” 2-nd translation version is “the island, like a precious stone”: the form of Phuket resembles an irregular pearl.
The island is located approximately 680 kilometers south of Bangkok and is the largest of the islands of Thailand – about 48 km in length and 21 km in width. 70% of its area is covered with mountains and valleys. The highest point – Peak of 12 reeds (Mai Tao Sip Song), has 529 meters height above the sea level. The remaining 30% are full of plateaus of eastern and central areas of the island. Landscapes of the island, lying in the Andaman Sea near the southern coast of Thailand, are extremely diverse: the rocky highlands, long broad sandy beaches, limestone cliffs, forested hills, small river mouth, lagoon and tropical vegetation of all kinds.
Sarasin is connected with continental Thailand with its northernmost point – dam, which forms the highway …
The population of Phuket
Phuket has about 200 thousand people. Thai and Chinese account 60% of the population, Muslims of Malay origin – 35% and 5% – Chao Nam, or “sea gypsies” living here for over a thousand years! The Chinese are from China’s Hokkien province and are distant relatives of the Chinese in Singapore and Malaysia.
Communities of Muslims of Malay origin are concentrated mostly in the beach area of Kamala and Surin. Their main occupation is work in rice paddies and rubber plantations. In addition to Thai and Malay, many of these people speak “Yawi” language (an ancient dialect of the Malay language). The Muslim influence on the Indonesian-Malay culture is still very noticeable not only in language but also in art and religion of southern Thais. One of the most interesting people of Phuket is sea gypsies, wandering from bay to bay and remaining in one place only until they catch some fish.
Main towns of Phuket are located on the opposite sides of the island:
Phuket Town (83 thousand people.) is located on the south-east of the island, and Patong Beach, the population of which varies depending on time of the year – in the north-west.