Tips before getting to Phuket
Weather in Phuket
Hot Season: April to June.
Wet Season: July to November.
Best time to go: December to March!
Swimming: The sea can be very rough during low season (June-August), with very dangerous rip tides.
Do not enter the sea if a red flag is flying.
Water: Do not drink from the taps. Always use bottled water.
Ice: Always made with clean water. Perfectly safe.
Swimming: The sea can be very rough during low season (June-August), with very dangerous rip tides. Do not enter the sea if a red flag is flying.
Mosquitos: Dengue Fever does occur in Phuket, but is not common. Malaria is rare to the point of non-existence. Avoid getting bitten by using insect repellent, and covering up at night.
Drugs: The penalties for all drug-related offences are very severe.
Driving: Be very careful on the roads – accidents are common.
Emergency: In case of an emergency, dial 191 for police, 1155 for tourist police and 1669 for ambulance.
Customs and Etiquette
Temples: Dress appropriately – cover your shoulders and legs at least to the knee. Remove your shoes and hat before entering temple buildings.
Buddha: Images of Buddha are highly regarded in Thailand. Purchasing statues and getting Buddhist tattoos (if you are not Buddhist) is disrespectful, and sometimes even illegal.
Royalty: The Thai royal family is also very respected and public criticism of them is illegal. The national anthem is played on the radio at 08:00 and 18:00 and before movies in the cinema, where you will be expected to stand for it.
Feet: Gesturing with your feet is considered very rude.
Buddha Days: Alcohol cannot be purchased on certain religious holidays, commonly referred to as “Buddha Days”
Alcohol Sale: Convenience stores will only sell alcohol between 11:00 – 14:00 and 17:00 – 24:00. Entertainment venues will sell it at any time.
Stay Connected SIM cards: Available at the airport and convenience stores across Phuket, generally for 50 baht. You will need to register the number by showing your passport.
Electricity: 220 Volts, 50 Hz. Type A, B & C (USA-style) plugs.
Money Matters Currency: US$1 = 30 baht.
ATMs: Widely available all over Phuket, accepting international cards and providing instructions in several languages, including English. Thai ATMs eject cash before returning your card.
Bargain: Most market vendors will haggle and respond well if you are polite. It is not possible to haggle in convenience stores or shopping malls.
Tipping: Not necessary, but always appreciated.
Taxes: VAT is 7%, but can be reclaimed at the airport on some goods, although you must show your passport at the time of purchase.
Driving: Left-hand side traffic.
Rental: You will need an International Driving License to rent a car or motorbike.
Taxis: Cars are metered. Motorbike taxis are not. Motorbike taxi drivers wear brightly-coloured vests.
Traffic: Congestion is common in built-up areas, particularly Phuket Town and Patong, and around major attractions and shopping malls.
Public Transport: Aside from taxis, there are tuk tuks, local buses (songtaews) and minibuses.
Getting to Phuket Visa: Nationals from most western and Middle Eastern countries can enter Thailand without a visa and stay for up to 30 days. Others will need to apply for a visa from their local embassy.