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Phuket is a southern province of Thailand. The island is surrounded by the Phang Nga and Krabi provinces. Phuket, which is located off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea, is slightly smaller than Singapore and Thailand’s largest island. It is connected to mainland Thailand through just two bridges. The island region known currently as Phuket was formerly called Thalang, derived from the Malay Telong, which translates to “Cape.” The island is divided into three districts, Mueang Phuket, Kathu, and Thalang, which are split between 17 subdistricts and 103 villages.
Phuket is celebrated for its sublime beaches. Hat Patong, a 3 kilometer long beach, is located just 15 kilometers from Phuket town and boasts a slew of restaurants, hotels, nightclubs, and various tourist activities. Hat Karon is the second largest tourist beach in Phuket, and is home to large resort complexes, shopping centers, and restaurants. Kamala Beach, Hat Kamala is an undeveloped beach north of Patong Beach, and known for its coral reefs and surfing. View Point is an especially scenic beach, and offers views of Kata Noi, Karon, and Kata beaches and Ko Pu Island.
Besides its internationally-known beaches, Phuket has a number of cultural attractions such as museums and monuments. The Two Heroines Monuments, situated in Amphoe Thalang, is a commemorative statue of heroines Thao Sri Sunthron and Thao Thep Kasattri, who together formed a rally in 1785 to fend off Burmese invaders. The two heroines disguised local women as male Thai soldiers in order to trick the Burmese into thinking that Phuket had a stronger military power. The Thalang National Museum, built in 1985, exhibits life in historic Phuket, ancient artifacts of the island, and weapons used during the war with Burma.