Phuket is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. It consists of the island of Phuket, the country’s largest island, and another 32 smaller islands off its coast. It lies off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. Phuket Island is connected by the Sarasin Bridge to Phang Nga Province to the north. The next nearest province is Krabi, to the east across Phang Nga Bay.
Phuket Province has an area of 576 km2 (222 sq mi), somewhat less than that of Singapore, and is the second-smallest province of Thailand. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign ships’ logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch, and English traders, but was never colonised by a European power. It formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber and now from tourism.