Although the common saying that Thailand is packed with all sorts of beautiful destinations that are each worth mentioning on their own merit, the fantastic island of Phuket continues to set itself apart time and time again.
With picturesque landscapes, breathtaking sunsets, an impeccable climate all-year-round, and fantastic beaches, it’s definitely no secret that this tropical destination is a cut above the rest. As millions of tourists continue to flock to its unmistakably-beautiful shores in search of the perfect tropical destination, however, there’s one question that comes to mind:
What makes Phuket such a popular destination in the first place?
Aside from the fact that it’s outfitted with various reasons that keep tourists coming back for more, Phuket’s popularity as a tourist destination lies within its rich history— especially when you consider its history of welcoming foreign traders from all over the world.
To better understand exactly what makes this island such a popular destination amongst digital nomads, traveling families, and adventurous travelers, let’s go over its history in further detail.
Thousands of years ago
Long before tourists from all walks of life began to fill its shores due to its beach parties and nearby bars, Phuket started welcoming traders in search of vast natural resources to fuel the success of their respective empires. India’s own colonists, in particular, made one of the biggest contributions to Phuket’s tourism industry by creating Phuket Town in the first century B.C.
By the time the third-century A.D came around, a Greek geographer named Ptolemy had given one of Phuket’s area’s the name of Jang Si Lang – which later on became known as the very Thalang we know today.
Generally speaking, Phuket’s rich history as a tourist destination and cultural hotpot can be attributed to the number of outside influences that arrived and made their mark in the island province’s own identity and culture. Thanks to its former purpose as an essential trading post for Malays, Indians, Chinese, Siamese, Arabs, and Burmese traders, Phuket was able to use its convenient location by using shared cultures to build its identity as a whole.
The fifteenth century, onwards
As soon as the 15th century settled in, Phuket established itself as a formidable tin-mining location in all of Southeast Asia as the combination of productivity and vast wealth of natural resources helped put it on the map. Thanks to its status as a foremost tin producer and supplier, French missionaries, British Forces, and Dutch immigrants came in search of chances to build up their livelihoods. This essentially explains the large number of immigrants today and European influences that are endemic to the island’s own culture.
The nineteenth century and the rise of rubber
After a few centuries, Phuket eventually lost its steam as a tin producer and attracted less European traders and travelers. Yet, the island soon got back on its feet as a productive manufacturer thanks to its key position in the 19th-century rubber trade.
As it continued to make leaps and bounds in the 19th-century rubber trade, Phuket eventually saw itself drawing in tens of thousands of Chinese laborers. Aside from helping the province’s rubber industry, they also made a significant contribution to the islands’ cultural heritage and identity by sharing their own cultural contributions, all of which still exist and are deeply rooted in Phuket’s identity to this day.
Thanks to its rich history of welcoming traders and explorers from all over the world, Phuket offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere that welcomes tourists from all over the world.
Looking to visit Phuket sometime soon and witness its history and culture for yourself? Get in touch with Katathani Phuket Beach Resort today to book your stay!