Thai Private Eye


A private investigator must become familiar with his or her surroundings and understanding the history of a particular location can help unlock its secrets. One of the most fascinating areas where our investigators operate is Phuket, a beautiful island steeped in history and which deserves a mention here.

Phuket (Thai: ภูเก็ต) formerly known as Tha-Laang or Talang, or Junk Ceylon in Western sources, a distortion of the Malay Tanjung Salang, i.e. “Cape Salang”) is one of the southern provinces (changwat) of Thailand. Even though it is theoretically an island, it is connected to the mainland by bridge. The island is also served by Phuket International Airport, located in the north of the island. The main city on the island is also called Phuket. Phuket is Thailand’s largest island, approximately the size of Singapore. Phuket nestles in balmy Andaman Sea waters on Thailand’s Indian Ocean coastline 862 kilometers south of Bangkok. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the delightful Andaman Sea.

It has approximately 322,000 residents (2007) and this number is increased daily through the influx us tourists and long term foreign visitors.  It has an area of approximately 570sqm and it’s made up of 1 large and 39 small islands.

None more famous than James Bond Island, officially Koh Tapu or Nail Island. It is more of a rock in the sea, than an island, it is worth spending a some time investigating the whole Pang Na national Park area with its numerous coves and caverns and countless limestone rock formations rising majestically from the blue waters hundreds of meters into the air.

Internationally renowned as the tourist destination “James Bond Island” from the 1974 film “The Man With The Golden Gun.” Is another good reason to visit the area so you too can become a private investigator and as did the worlds best known Spy 007, seek out the haunts of Scaramanga. Phuket is truly a delightful setting for a Private Investigator to practice his or her skills.

Phuket formerly derived its wealth from tin and rubber, and enjoyed a rich and colorful history. The island was on one of the major trading routes between India and China, and was frequently mentioned in foreign trader’s ship logs. In the 17th century, the Dutch, the English, and from the 1680s the French, competed with each other for trade with the island of Phuket (named Junk Ceylon at that time), which was valued as a very rich source of tin. In September 1680, a ship from the French East India Company visited Phuket and left with a full cargo of tin.

In 1681 or 1682, the Siamese king Narai who was seeking to reduce Dutch and English influence, named the French medical missionary Brother Rene Charbonneau, as the Governor of Phuket, he held that position until 1685 when the new governor (another Frenchman) Sieur de Billy was installed as governor of the island. The French were expelled from Siam in 1688 however, following the 1688 Siamese revolution, and on April 10, 1689, a French general led an expedition to re-capture the island of Phuket in an attempt to restore some sort of French control in Siam. The occupation of the island failed, and the French left in January 1690.

The Burmese attacked Phuket in 1785. a British East India Company Captain Francis Light was passing by the island, and sent word to the local administration that he had observed Burmese forces preparing to attack. Khunying Jan, the wife of the recently deceased governor, and her sister Mook then assembled what forces they could. After a month-long siege, the Burmese were forced to retreat on March 1785. The two women became local heroines, receiving the honorary titles “Thao Thep Kasatri and Thao Sri Sunthon from King Raman I. During the reign of King Chuklalongkorn (Rama V), Phuket became the administrative center of the tin-producing southern provinces. In 1933 Phuket became a province by itself.

Phuket is the biggest island in Thailand, located in the Andaman Sea off southern Thailand. The island is mostly mountainous with a mountain range in the west of the island from the north to the south. The mountains of Phuket form the southern end of the Phuket Mountain Range, which ranges for 440 km from the Kra Isthmus. The highest elevation of the island is Mai Thao Sip Song (Twelve Canes), at 529 m above sea level. It is estimated that Phuket has a total area of approximately 570 square kilometers (including the provinces other islands). The main island’s total length, from north to south, is about at 50 kilometers and approximately 20 kilometers wide.

Forest, rubber and palm oil plantations cover 60% of the island. The western coast has several sandy beaches, while on the east coast beaches are more often muddy. Near the southernmost point is Laem Promthep (Brahma’s Cape), which is a popular sunset viewing point. In the mountainous north of the island is the Khao Phra Thaeo Non-hunting Area, protecting more than 20 km² of rainforest. The three highest peaks of this reserve are the Khao Prathiu (384 m), Khao Bang Pae (388 m) and Khao Phara (422 m).

The Sirinit National Park on the northwestern coast was established in 1981 and protects an area of 90 km² (68 km² marine area), including the Nai Yang beach where sea turtles lay their eggs. Situated on the central western coast, and perhaps owing to the easy access to its wide and long beach, is one of the most popular tourist areas Patong Beach. Patong means “the forest filled with banana leaves. Most of Phuket’s nightlife and cheap shopping is located in Patong, now home to our locally based private investigators the area has become increasingly developed. Other popular beaches located south of Patong. In a counterclockwise direction these include Karon, Kata, Kata Noi and around the southern tip of the island lies Nai Harn Beach and Rawai.

To the north of Patong are Kamala Beach, Surin Beach and Bang Tao Beach. These areas are less developed than Patong, and sought out by individuals, families and other groups with a preference for more relaxed and less crowded environs than Patong. Phuket is blessed with magnificent coves and bays, powdery, palm-fringed white beaches, sparkling island-dotted seas, sincerely hospitable people, investigate for yourself the superb accommodations and seafood, delightful turn-of-the-century Sino-Portuguese architecture; numerous sporting and leisure opportunities; a lush tropical landscape – all of which combine to create a delightful ambience for truly memorable holidays.

Many islands are found to the southeast, including Bon Island, just a short boat trip away. Suitable for snorkeling. There are also several coral islands to the south of Phuket, the Similian Islands lie to the north west and Phi Phi Isklands to the south east.  All the islands are well worth a visit and you don’t have to be a private investigator to find your own little bit of paradise..

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