“One can’t just look at events on Phuket in isolation, but should be aware of the large historical context in which they occurred.”
Colin Mackay, Author
With its stunning white sand beaches juxtaposed against soft, azure waves of the Andaman Sea paired with the laid-back vibe of its locals, it is not surprising that Phuket remains one of the most attractive destinations in Southeast Asia. But Phuket island also possesses a long and complex history, which remains largely unrecognized by most. Whereas other regional tomes tell only bits and pieces of these fascinating former times, A History of Phuket And The Surrounding Region offers readers and scholars alike a comprehensive narrative of the island, providing in-depth detail on everything from the island’s first settlers thousands of years ago to the growth of its modern tourist market. Written by Colin Mackay, who earned his Master’s degree in History at Edinburgh University and now lives in Phuket, the book is at once a major landmark in historical research and a wonderful guide to one of the world’s most pristine regions.
Thanks in part to its geographical coastal position, Phuket’s history is greatly intertwined with the histories of a diverse range of Asian empires, from the ancient Malay kingdom of Srivijaya in the eighth century, to the south Indian Chola dynasty in the twelfth century, to the Burmese, who invaded and eventually conquered Phuket for a brief period in the early nineteenth century. Stationed in close proximity to many of the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century ship lanes, Phuket held host to a multitude of European tradesmen, including the Portuguese, the Dutch, the French and not least, the British. Undoubtedly, the influences of these various cultures, as well as those from the neighbouring Malay populations and immigrant Chinese, can still be found in the subtleties of island life by anyone willing to take a deeper look. A History of Phuket covers all of this and more. With a book like this, no reader is left in the dark when it comes to Phuket’s lively history.