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Mice Net : December 2008
asia update phukEt revisited Story by Johanna Mc Kinnon it’s time to take a look at thailand’s biggest island. P huket is one of the southern provinces of Thailand and is an island off the coast of Krabi. Located in the Andaman Sea the island is 570 square kilometres and is made up of one large and 39 small islands. Even though it is referred to as an island it is connected to the mainland by a bridge and can also be accessed through the Phuket International Airport. The region derives much of its income from tourism and after the Boxing Day tsunami that devastated the area in 2004, the island has rallied to re-build and is once again an attractive destination for groups. Phuket is the largest island in Thailand with a number of distinctive areas. One of the most popular is Patong Beach which is located on the central western coast. This is the place for nightlife, cheap shopping and access to a wide, long beach. Patong is Thai for “the forest filled with banana leaves” and visitors will be able to pick up more than just banana leaves in this bustling part of Phuket. Other popular beaches are located south of Patong including Karon Beach, Kata Beach, Kata Noi Beach, and on the southern tip, Nai Harn Beach and Rawai. Getting around and exploring the island is a must and there are several coral islands south of Phuket like Phi Phi Island where visitors can snorkel and scuba dive. Phuket’s culture is a mixture of Buddhists, Thai-Chinese, Muslims and even sea gypsies. In the rural areas of Phuket the majority of the population is Muslim. Contrary to some misconceptions the area doesn’t suffer from any religious tension. So how will your group get there? From Australia it’s easy. Jetstar is now offering direct return flights from Sydney to Phuket three days a week for under $2000. Thai Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Emirates and Singapore Airlines also have regular direct flights. And where will your group stay? There are a range of accommodation options available on the island from mid-range to five-star. If you are looking for a location where your group can conference, be entertained and relax, Laguna Phuket is the perfect destination resort. Laguna Phuket is more than just a collection of deluxe resorts, it is a community located in Bangtao Bay. The development is made up of the Banyan Tree, Dusit Thani, Sheraton Grande, Laguna Holiday Club Phuket Resort, Laguna Beach Resort and the Allamanda. It was launched in 1987 as the first integrated resort in Asia. In total this development offers more than 1000 rooms that range from private villas to deluxe rooms. And within Laguna Phuket there is a range of conferencing and event options that can cater for large scale groups. For more information go to www.lagunaphuket.com. mice.net 107