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Phuket History
Written by Administrator    Wednesday, 24 March 2010 15:59    PDF Print E-mail

Being an island, Phuket has found itself as the path of human migrations and movements since prehistoric times 


Most of the varied peoples who have passed this way, leaving relics, settlers or influences, have come by sea.

In following pages we offer stories and photographs that have been published in PHUKET MAGAZINE over the years, covering many aspects of the island’s early history

These pages will come on-line progressively as we build the site. The stories they will contain are among the most authoritative on their subjects, by professionals

Below are some of the historic peoples and events that will have separate pages.

The earliest inhabitants of which we have traces are those who drew paintings in the caves – though there is debate about who they might have been.

Sea gypsies
are the earliest of the settlers who can still be found here, with about a dozen villages scattered along the Thai Andaman coast between Myanmar (Burma) and Malaysia. Two of those villages are found here on Phuket.

Malay fishermen
migrated north in their fragile craft and built villages in sheltered estuaries, but rarely moved inland.

Thai Buddhists
moved down the peninsula seeking flat, fertile lands for their rice culture, establishing the dominant villages and towns.

Burmese invaders
repeatedly tried to prise the island away from Thai control, sometimes impressive in their failure.

Early European
explorers dropped anchor in Phuket many times, even considering it as a base for British power in the western Indian Ocean, a status finally placed on Penang.

Chinese immigrants landed via Singapore and Penang, seeking work and wealth in the tin mines. Many found it and established the base for the island’s modern commerce.

Arab and Indian Muslims also found their way here, if in smaller numbers, blending into the local Muslim communities but also bringing cultural influences.