This wonderful itinerary will take you slowly through the highlights of Phuket.
It is unlikely you will return to Phuket. This excursion will allow you to see everything in a most pleasant way.
Phuket's history dates back to 1025 AD. The island's present name derives its meaning from the Tamil word, manikram, or crystal mountain. However, for the greater part of the last millennium, Phuket was known as Junk Ceylon, which, with variations, is the name found on most old maps. Phuket was a way station on the route between India and China for seafarers to stop for shelter. During the 19th century, Chinese immigrants arrived in such numbers to work for the tin mines that the ethnic character of the island's interior became predominantly Chinese, while the coastal settlements remained populated chiefly by Muslim fishermen.
The focus of your experience today is to delve into the culture of the island, which includes its famous beaches, its relation to Buddhism and China and an immersion into Thai lifestyle. You will be whisked away to begin your adventure along the coastline past Karon Beach and Kata Beach to get a sense of the city and view the beaches and waterfront from a high vantage point. This is always an opportunity to hear the history of the area and receive an introduction to the city. The draw to Phuket will now be apparent because of the beach lifestyle, but you will now head to Rawai Beach and visit Wat Chalong, the revered monastery. Here you will see the cast statues of a some of the heroes of the island and your guide will narrate some of their stories. On top of nearby Nakkerd Hill is the Big Buddha, a highlight decorated in pieces of while marble where people from around the world come to share and donate more. It is always a mesmerizing experience to visit these Buddha shrines.
Your Thai lunch is the next stop and the restaurant will place you by the sea for lovely atmosphere and great local food. Relax and when ready, you will visit a small cashew-nut factory where you will see locals tapping the nuts off the tree and the system for roasting. This time-consuming work helps one understand why the cashew nut is more costly than most.
Up to now you have spent most of your time in the more rural and beach areas but now we head for Phuket town to see a Chino-Portuguese house at Thalang and Debuk Road. The beginning of the tin boom in the 19th century led to construction of many fine mansions and shops that are still well preserved. The architectural style, typical of the region, is described as Sino-Portuguese and has a strongly Mediterranean character. Shops present a very narrow face onto the street but stretch back a long way. Many, especially on Debuk Road, have old wooden doors with Chinese fretwork carving. Enjoy visiting this traditional home as well as a beautiful Chinese shrine nearby before heading back.
- Please dress comfortably; there is some walking on this tour.
- All admissions are included in the tour.
- Thai lunch, along with tea, coffee, or soft drink.
- Please note there is surcharge pricing for all National and New Year holidays as well as peak season. You will be notified of any increased costs prior to confirmation. Contact ShoreTrips with any questions.
- You will need to provide your passport information at the time of the booking.
- Please alert ShoreTrips in advance of any dietary restrictions. We will do our best to accommodate.
Days offered: 7 days a week