Travelling is always enjoyable and everyone wants to have a wonderful holiday. But sometimes if you don’t know the important travelling information about the place you are going to travel, it can bring bad experience. If you are planning to visit Phuket, the Pearl of the Andaman Sea in the near future, you must know how to make an amazing holiday. We have created an extended list of Phuket Travel Tips to organize your holiday, to avoid any unpleasant wonders and familiarize with Phuket reality!
1. Learn some Thai Phrases
While travelling Phuket, you may face language obstacle. Though English is spoken in Phuket, but it may be difficult to understand Thai English. So, you should learn some basic phrases in Thai before going to Phuket. These phrases may be – “Hello” (in Thai “sa wat dee”), “How are you” (in Thai “sa baai dee reu”), “Pleased to meet you” (in Thai “yin dee thee dai ruu jak”), “What’s your name”(in Thai “(kun chêu a-rai “), “ Thank you” (in Thai “kòp kun mâak”), and “See you later” (in Thai “laaeo phohp gan mai”).
Thai people are very friendly and will help you understand Thai language. If you pantomime they will tolerate it. Learning some Thai phrases is one of the important Phuket travel tips you must know if you visit this city.
2. You’ll find cost-effective and easy transport in Phuket
Phuket Transport will come in second in our Phuket travel tips. While travelling in Phuket, you can choose cost-effective and easy transport. If you always rent taxi or private car, it may cost you much money. Here, you’ll easily find buses, Songthaews, Tuk-tuks, cars, motorbikes, and other transports to move from one place to another. Though train service is not available in Phuket, you’ll find Airport Bus Phuket, a government official bus service providing transportation between Phuket Town and the Phuket International Airport. Besides, you will also find cost-effective water transport including Long Tail Boats, Speedboats, Yachts, Catamarans, Liveaboard vessels, and Chinese Junks in Phuket. You can learn more about Phuket Transport system in our published article.
3.You can travel to Phuket with pets
If you want to travel to Phuket with your adorable pets you must follow some Thai rules and regulations. The Animal Quarantine Station at Airport and Livestock Department of Thailand have adopted the following rules-
(i) Submit the pet transportation form.
(ii) Recently checked health report of pets (not before 2-3 days’ departure)
(iii) Exports permit form along with animal health certificates issued by agent.
4. Pick a right hotel
To choose right accommodation at right place is a very important step for a well enjoyed holiday in Phuket. Many travellers can’t choose right hotels. They book a hotel that is very far from beaches and spend most of their valuable holiday time travelling to and from. They keep little time left for amusing adventure activities and ruin their holiday pleasure. Before reaching Phuket, you should choose right hotel on right beach. Beachfront hotels will help you book a right hotel that is very close to the beach. If you are new to Phuket, it’s preferable to book your hotel near the best beaches in Phuket.
5. Exchange Money Carefully
Every traveller should know how to exchange money carefully. If you’re using credit cards, the hotel reservation agent will convert the amount into your home currency. But they’ll do it at the hotel’s prevailing exchange rate (that can be 10% higher than bank’s rate), plus 3% service charge. There are many money exchange agents available in almost every shopping mall, every bank, and small money exchange booths beside road. So, if any unknown person offers you money exchange service don’t accept it and be careful. Currency exchange rate may vary place to place in Phuket. We suggest you to follow this as one of the best Phuket travel tips.
6. Car Insurance
If you know about car rental process in Phuket, it may save you from any uncertain incidents. Renting a car at Phuket International Airport is very easy. But you should book in advance if you prefer a specific model of car during the high season (November to April). Cars are third party insured and this insurance will only cover the damage done to the other vehicle if you hit. But you must pay for any damage to your rented car. You should always double check the condition of your car before leaving the airport. Besides, you’ll find lot of car rental on the streets around Phuket too.
7. Sim Cards
The fastest way is to pick up a sim card at the Phuket International Airport. On the airport premises, you’ll find many mobile network companies offering sim cards with multiple packages specially designed for tourists. You can choose your desired package ranging from 3-day, 7-day, 10-day or 1 month including different data packs. All sim cards named TrueMove H, DTAC, and AIS 12Call work quite well but DTAC and AIS are better than others for data transmission (Internet and Facebook). Whenever you need to buy mobile data pack or recharge money go to 7-11 store which is available everywhere in Phuket. You should remember this as one of Phuket travel tips.
8. Electricity and Plugs
Electricity in Phuket is 220 volts at 50 hz which is compatible with devices found in many countries in the world. If you’re coming from a country that is not compatible, you can use a voltage converter. You’ll find it among travel accessories sold in Phuket International Airport or in other local stores. Even if you don’t need a voltage converter you’ll probably require plug adapters. Most electrical outlets or super shops in Phuket sell plugs with either ‘two flat pins’ or ‘two round pins’ in the same configuration.
9. Water and Ice
One of the most important Phuket Travel Tips you must know is about water. According to the general consensus, tap water is not safe to drink and it may cause many stomach problems. Bottled mineral water is safe & hygienic, so you should drink only bottled water. Your hotel will supply a couple of complimentary bottles of water, and you can also buy bottled water from 7-11 stores found everywhere in Phuket. Ice producing factories are licensed and regularly inspected by the government and they produce ice from filtered water so it is totally safe to consume.
10. Eat right food
One of the important Phuket travel tips is while staying in Phuket, you should eat right food. You can get sick by eating wrong kinds of foods like short-fried meat, spoiled meat, uncooked fresh vegetables and raw or undercooked shellfish. Thai foods have worldwide fame for its tasty and spicy flavour. Choose your desired dish from the 8 best Thai foods which are very tasty and healthy. There are also many healthy international dishes like sandwiches, hamburgers, pasta, fish and chips found immensely in beachside restaurants, shopping malls, and in rustic eateries. You should choose healthy and delicious food for an amazing holiday.
11. Respect Thai Culture and Custom
You must not forget one of the necessary Phuket travel tips which is Thai culture and custom. You should greet others with the Wai (placing palms together at your chest and bowing your head). You must stand when national anthem is played before movies, concerts and sporting events start. Thai King and Queen as well as the Royal Family members are held in great respect by Thai people, so as a traveller, you should refrain from making disparaging remarks about the royals.
12. Don’t touch anyone on the head and don’t point your feet to others
The important thing to know in Phuket is that head is considered sacred by Thais and shouldn’t be touched. Also, you should not point your feet to others. When you’re are sitting on the subway, it is somewhat impossible to perform this. But if you are sitting directly opposite to someone while talking, point your feet off to avoid being disrespectful.
13. Don’t be topless in public places in Phuket
You shouldn’t be topless in public places in Phuket. Thai people consider it as a bad taste and a low standard of behaviour. Dressing properly is the most respectful way to travel anywhere in Phuket. But
on the beaches you can enjoy sunbathing as you desire.
14. Bargain and negotiating price
The interesting fact you should know is bargaining. Bargaining or negotiating price is a form of art in Phuket and is practiced very openly. At markets, small stores, shops and street vendors, bargaining is the norm and it can save your money. Before you get in taxi or Tuk-tuk, you should negotiate a price. If you don’t bargain or negotiate price, you’ll have to pay more. By bargaining, you can expect to pay 10-40% less than the original asking price. Remember, price is fixed in all supershops, big shopping malls and international brand stores. This is one of the necessary Phuket travel tips you should remember.
15. Put passport, cash and jewels in the safe place
You should not carry passport, jewels and lots of cash money with you when travelling outside hotel. Accidents may take place or you can lose the bag containing these items. You should put them in a deposit box safely in the hotel and make some colour photocopies of passport pages to present on demand. It is one of Phuket vacation tips to remember.
16. Don’t carry a large amount of money when going out at night
Though rare, crimes of violence may happen in Phuket. Sometimes the news of attacks on foreigners’ riding motor cycles or cars at late night on deserted roads is published in the dailies. The attackers snatch away bags, jewellery and other essentials from the foreigners. You should not carry a bag with a large amount of money and essentials when going out at night. Don’t forget this another of Phuket travel tips to avoid unwanted incidents.
17. Beware of Credit Card Fraud
Though credit card fraud has not reached at an alarming scale in Phuket, you should beware of it. If you face any ATM problems, you should not take help of others, rather you should contact the bank immediately. You must use ATM machines attached to banks to avoid credit card defrauding and should not forget this important Phuket Travel Tip.
18. Contact the tourist police when any problem is faced
Being a much-commercialized tourism location, Phuket attracts a few criminals and scam masters. The crimes that affect travellers a little are thefts and scams in the forms of pickpocketing in busy areas or thefts from the hotel rooms. If you fall into trouble or face any problem, the tourist police are ready to help you. They speak good English and have a lot of experience in dealing with foreigners. They are a great resource for vacationers in Phuket and will assist you with advice, directions and answers of any questions you may have. The tourist police will also inform the police of the matter if it is outside of their jurisdiction. You can contact the tourist police on 1155. We’ll say this is one of the most important Phuket travel tips so you should save this number in your mobile while travelling Phuket.
19. Swim safely in low season
We are presenting “safe swimming in low season” as one of the important Phuket travel tips you should follow. Rip currents prevail in the Andaman Sea during low season (from May to October). They are treacherous and move at a speed of up to 8 feet per second. One second you stand on the sand, the second later you will be metres away, and swimming back can be impossible. If you want to swim in low season, choose a hotel with a fantastic swimming pool or the best way to go on sailing yacht or motor yacht. You must not swim in the sea if there are red warning flags on the beach. You should take warning signs seriously. You’ll also see life guard on every beach so take help from them if it’s necessary.
Don’t forget this one of the very important Phuket travel tips while swimming on any beach in Phuket
20. Jet Ski damage scam
Jet Ski damage scam is one of Phuket tourism guides you must remember while travelling Phuket. Jet Ski costs around 1,500 bath for 30-minute riding but it is not fixed. It is just an indication; the rate varies with the gasoline price. Jet Ski riders often become the victims of scams involving huge unjustified fines. When you return Jet Ski, the owner of it can ask you to pay for some damages whether you have made these damages or these were previously there. If you would like to rent a jet ski you should be alert. Check your jet ski before taking it out and note any damage if exists.
21. Beware of visa overstaying
One of the most important Phuket travel tips you must remember is Thai visa overstaying regulations. According to the newly announced overstay rules found from Thai Visa Forum, if you overstay it will cost 500 baht for per additional day for the next 40 or more days, but not more than 90 days. If you overstay more than 90 days, the following rules apply:
- Overstay more than 90 Days – 1 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 1 Year – 3 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 3 Years – 5 year ban from Thailand
- Overstay more than 5 Years – 10 year ban from Thailand
You must memorise the expiry date of the arrival stamp on your passport to avoid this penalty.
22. Never Whistle at Night
Thai people believe that whistling at night brings bad luck because this act calls the evil spirits. They become very uneasy if they hear a whistle in dark. This is one of the travel tips for Phuket to remember while staying in it.
23. Dress politely when visiting temples
Walking around town areas in beach attire is considered impolite and you should take it one of the useful Phuket travel tips. You should be extra-conscious of your attire when visiting temples. Wear clothing that covers shoulders and knees. Avoid beachwear, short skirts and T-shirts with offensive images in Phuket temples. Some temples like Big Buddha, Wat Chalong offer the facility to take a free sarong from a booth on their premises in case you’ve come directly from the beach or did not know about the dress code. Remembering this necessary one of Phuket travel tips, you’ll pay proper respect to Thai culture.
24. Tipping anyone for some service is not mandatory in Phuket
If you tip anyone for their service it will be appreciated but NOT customary in Phuket. Unlike the other parts of the world, you will never observe a Thai staff waiting for a tip. Tipping totally depends on your whim and intention.
25. Choose transport carefully while planning a Phi Phi Tour
Phi Phi is one of the most popular islands near Phuket and visited by thousands of travellers. Many tour agents arrange Phi Phi tours by speedboats. But in low season these tours may be risky because this time rip current exists in the Andaman Sea. So, it is highly recommended to avoid speedboat for Phi Phi Island tour. If you want to make a safe, comfortable and enjoyable Phi Phi tour, we will suggest to go by a well-maintained high speed catamaran. We at PhuketNow arrange a Phi Phi Island day tour to have an amazing and unforgettable day out for the travellers.
We’ve tried to present the most important Phuket travel tips to make your holiday extraordinary. However, you should not stress over visiting Phuket. Phuket is really an amazing island city and the best holiday destination in Thailand. Once you reach this city, your pre-holiday worries will disappear as other new travellers.
If you are new to Phuket or a frequent Phuket traveller, you may know many necessary information about Phuket. If you think there are other tips to learn, please place your comments below to let us know. We would like to share your experience with Phuket fans and readers. Stay with PhuketNow.com, where your holiday begins.