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Phuket

Relief map of Phuket Island

Phuket (pronounced POO-ket) is an island off the west coast of the Kra Isthmus of Thailand near its "elbow." The island is about 30 miles (48km) long and 13 miles (21 km) wide with an area of about 205 square miles (530 km2). It is mountainous, with a maximum elevation of 1736' (529m) and with only about 30% of its area as level ground, but the arable land was heavily cultivated for rubber. The island also produced considerable tin, about 12,700 tons per year in 1941. Tin production, and the island's strategic location on the Kra Isthmus, attracted a considerable Chinese population. The chief port was Tongka (since incorporated into Phuket City; 98.398E 7.888N.) The climate is tropical monsoon with the rainy season from May through November.

The British planned an operation, ROGER, to seize Phuket as a forward base for the recapture of Malaya. However, the operation was first postponed and then canceled, though the area was swept for mines on 24-26 July 1945. The Japanese responded with kamikaze attacks that cost the British a minesweeper.

References
Allen (1984)

AsiaWeb (accessed 2011-11-26)

Stripp (1989; accessed 2011-11-26)

TourismThailand.org (accessed 2011-11-26)



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