With 540 square kilometres, Phuket is the largest island in Thailand situated just off Thailand’s south western coast and similar in size to Singapore. Approximately 70 per cent of the island is covered with mountains. The translation of the words “Phu” and “Ket” mean “mountain” and “jewel”. Thai Baht is the official currency. Phuket has a total population of 386,605 inhabitants (as of 2015) and Phuket Town over 60,000 inhabitants.
Phuket is famous for its 45 meters high white marble Big Buddha, Phuket Pineapple, scuba diving and tropical beaches, such as Patong. The “James Bond Island” got its name from filming “The man with the golden gun” Bond movie in 1974. There is an annual vegetarian event festival in Phuket which is celebrated for nine days.
Thailand is famous for its great food, amazing beaches, exotic islands and a large number of temples. The “land of temples” has approximately 40’000 Buddhist temples with Buddhism being the predominant religion. Thailand is also known as the “land of smiles” due to the peace-loving and always-smiling culture. The name of the country in Thai language is Prathet Thai, meaning “land of the free.” This is due to the fact that Thailand is the only Southeast Asian country which never was a European colony. In 1932, the country officially became a constitutional monarchy with the monarch as the head of state and a prime minister as head of government. A significant part of Thailand is still poor and rural.
The international city Bangkok is the capital of Thailand. To local people, Bangkok is known as Krung Thep. The real name of the capital is the longest city name worldwide: Krungthepmahanakhon Amonrattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilokphop Noppharatratchathaniburirom Udomratchaniwetmahasathan Amonphimanawatansathit Sakkathattiyawitsanukamprasit, meaning: “City of Angels, Great City of Immortals, Magnificent City of the Nine Gems, Seat of the King, City of Royal Palaces, Home of Gods Incarnate, Erected by Visvakarman at Indra’s Behest.”