Phuket, pronounced (roughly) "pu-ged", is Thailand's largest island and one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoys a rich and colourful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign traders' ship's logs.
In recent times, Phuket's top earner has been tourism, which has transformed the island into Thailand's wealthiest province. It also enjoys great popularity as a travel destination. Most beaches are on the west coast, with Phuket Town to the southeast and the airport in the north.