Phuket is one of the southern provinces of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Phang Nga and Krabi, but as Phuket is an island it has no land boundaries.
Phuket, which is approximately the size of Singapore, is Thailand's largest island. The island is connected to mainland Thailand by two bridges. It is situated off the west coast of Thailand in the Andaman Sea. 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 ship logs of Portuguese, French, Dutch and English traders. The region now derives much of its income from tourism.
Since the 1980s, the sandy beaches on the western coast of the island have been heavily developed into tourist centers, with Patong, Karon and Kata being the most popular ones. Since the 2004 Tsunami, all damaged buildings and attractions have been restored. Phuket is currently going through an intensive period of leisure urbanization with many new hotels, apartments and houses under construction. In July 2005, Phuket was voted one of the World's Top 5 retirement destinations by the acclaimed Fortune Magazine. There are thousands of expatriates living in Phuket, many of them retirees.
The training center is centrally located in Patong with easy access to shopping, restaurants and night life venues. It is just a two-minute walk from Thailand's famous Patong beach in Phuket.
This is Phuket's most developed beach and is 3 kilometres (1.9 mi)-long. It is located 15 km from Phuket town. Patong is mostly made up of hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and various tourist attractions. Daytime activities are primarily centered around the beach with many watersport activities available. Patong is equally well known for its nightlife, centered around Soi Bangla. Patong is also the cheap shopping option in Phuket selling items from clothes, fashion accessories to souvenirs. The northern end of Patong Bay is called Kalim and is a popular place for viewing the sunset and between April and September each year for surfing.