Located in the southwest of Thailand along the Andaman coast, surrounded by the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, Phuket is widely regarded as Asia’s premier resort island. Although its origins as a tourist destination begun as part of the backpacker trail in the 1970s, Phuket now attracts a wide range of visitors from all over the world who flock here to enjoy the gorgeous beaches and clear waters. The island is blessed with stunning natural beauty both above and below the water. With countless surrounding islands offers the best dive spots in the country and some of the best in the world such as the Similans and Surin Islands. One of the things that sets Phuket apart from Thailand’s other island destinations is the rich culture and history that has existed here for hundred of years, long before the advent of tourism. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Sino-Portuguese shop houses and mansions dotted around Phuket Town, which date from tin-mining era at the turn of the 20th century, many of which have been well conserved to this day.