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Lesson Transcript

Hello, and welcome to the Culture File: Thailand series at ThaiPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring essential cultural information about Thailand, Thai Culture and Thai People. I’m Michael, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 2 - Phuket Province.
When foreigners travel to Thailand, most usually take time to visit Phuket Province, or in Thai ภูเก็ต, because of its long white sand beaches, warm sun, and beautiful sea. It’s one of the best places in Thailand to take it slow and relax in the sun.
Phuket was originally called เมืองถลาง or Talang town, and it's Thailand’s largest island. It’s situated in the south of Thailand, about 862 kilometers away from Bangkok. It’s the only island that is also a province.
This island has been well-known since ancient times. In the Ayutthaya era, or in Thai สมัยกรุงศรีอยุธยา, foreign traders such as the Portuguese, Dutch, English, and French came to the island in order to trade tin. Trades are called การค้าขาย in Thai. During the reign of King Rama I, or พระเจ้าอยู่หัวรัชกาลที่หนึ่ง, the Nine Armies War took place. The king of Burma at the time had his general move the Burmese army to strike the southern provinces of Thailand, including Phuket, in 1785. At the time, the governor had just passed away, and the widow of the governor, named Chan, along with her sister, Mook, united local residents and successfully fought off and drove the invaders out of Phuket.
Since Phuket had the most tin of anywhere in Thailand, many foreigners, including the Chinese, Indians, Middle Easterners, Malays, and Europeans, came to do business and settle there. As a result, the architecture around the old town, including the roads called ถลาง Talang, ดีบุก Dee-buk and กระบี่ Kra-bi, are a blend of both Asian and European styles.
Phuket’s long history has made the island unique in comparison to other provinces, combining a variety of ethnic groups and cultures. The original architecture is heavily influenced by foreigners, and the cuisine is second to none!
So listeners, how did you like this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
What would you want to do if you were in Phuket?
Leave a comment telling us at ThaiPod101.com! Until next time!