Where does Phuket get it’s name?
The first western references to Phuket call the island Jung Ceylon as written on Portuguese maps. That name is thought to be a corruption of Cape Si Lang recorded by a third century A.D. geographer . (Phuket was probably once attached to mainland forming a cape). Nowadays most people know Jung Ceylon is the shopping mall in Patong.
Earlier historical records dating back to A.D. 1025 suggest the present name derives from Tamil for “Crystal Mountain.” That’s equivalent to the Thai words Phu (mountain) and Ket (Jewel). Phuket is still often referred to as the “Pearl of the Andaman.”
Other historical references refer to Phuket at Bukit (Malay for mountain).
Phuket was also called Thalang after the islands capital city at the time. This was an evolution of Cha Lang, the name given to the island by King Ramkhamhaeng.