The largest of Thailand's tropical islands, Phuket is one of the country's best-loved beach holiday destinations. The wild landscape has green slopes with rocky outcrops leading to unspoiled bays and secluded coves. The pristine waters of the Andaman Sea, a part of the Indian Ocean, lap the shores of Phuket. The waters are rich in marine life and are ideal for sailing or snorkelling in the calmer times of year between November and March. Phuket Old Town was once the heart of the local tin trade and is now the cultural centre of the island. The colonial style architecture is continually being restored and the appearance of the area is being improved. The west coast of the island is now seeing the development of new beach clubs and smart hotels.