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Governor Nisit Jansomwong recently expressed his disappointment that not one of Phuket’s beaches features among the top 100 beaches in the world.
He will no doubt also be disappointed to find that Phuket also no longer appears in the Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice list of the Top 10 Islands in the World.
What makes the blow more bitter for Phuket is that in 10th place in the world is Koh Tao – despite the notorious murders of British Tourists David Miller and Hannah Witheridge in September last year, and frantic Internet discussion about gangsters and godfathers, violence, corruption and lawlessness on that island.
Tripadvisor makes no mention of the murders, describing Koh Tao thus: “Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Ko Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. White sand beaches sheltered by steep hills – some only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles – and 300 days of sun per year invite long afternoons of lounging.”
Phuket does make it into Tripadvisor’s Top 10 islands in Asia, in seventh place, but behind Koh Lanta (4th), Koh Pa’ngan (3rd) and, yes, in first place, Koh Tao.
It remains to be seen whether Koh Tao’s ranking will be battered by two more recent deaths on the island – of Frenchman Dimitri Povse on New Year’s Day and British woman Christina Annesley just two days ago.