Taken on: 23rd April, 2009. Copyright: All Rights Reserved - See NathanChor's page of Flickr

Read more about Phuket

Thailand's largest island is its best example of the benefits and problems of tourism. Huge promotions of Phuket by the TAT and travel agents since Thailand first start attracting international travellers on a large scale in the 1980s have brought in millions of tourists and billions of baht -- the province is visited by over a third of all international visitors to Thailand in any given year. But along with them has come unregulated development, severe environmental degradation, organised crime and a raft of other ugly annoyances.

The Pearl of the South has quickly lost a good deal of its lustre in the past few decades. As property prices soared, many locals sold up to national and international hotels and many of the most beautiful beaches are now host to scores of them, along with over-priced restaurants, bars, travel agents, massage parlours and the rest of the usual suspects.

For many though, the very developed and westernised beaches that run down the western coast ... Read our complete Phuket travel guide

More images

Another Longtail! James Bond Island Longboat ashore - phuket Thailand image image image image image image Week 7 Bamboo Island, Longtail. Sleepy beach, Cape Panwa, Phuket, Thailand Fish for sale, Rawai Beach, Phuket, Thailand From the viewpoint, Cape Panwa, Phuket, Thailand Surfing on Kata Noi, Phuket Kata Yai Beach, Phuket Sunset on Phuket's Kata Yai Beach Kombi van, Nai Harn Beach, Phuket Ao Sane, Phuket Beachgoers at Ya Nui, Phuket Bungalows on Raya Island Offshore storm at Coral Island Clear waters on Siam Bay Beachgoes on Coral Island Tritrang II Wat Chalong, Ao Chalong, Phuket Leather Back Turtle - Koh Phra Thong Taxi Rank, West Railay. Chicken Island Nail Island. Very Cheap! Billy's Sister. Multi nations and Bob. Downtown Patong. Soi Crocodile 2 Soi Crocodile Billy Two (+) Hats. Tri Trang Beach Patong Bay Running repair. Adapt or die!! Sea Eagle ? Legend of the Seas Jetty Sunset. CSC_0919 Karon Cliff, Phuket Fruit anyone? Phuket sunset table service Phuket street scene