Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and a popular tourist destination. This is mostly due to the beautiful beaches and a variety of fun activities that are available.
As wonderful as this island paradise can be, there are a few things you should know before booking your trip. Here are 5 things to know before traveling to Phuket.
#1 – Use Common Sense When Exchanging Money
There are ATM machines located all over the main island. So, you will have no trouble finding a place to withdraw money. But, you should use common sense.
Make sure that no one is peering over your shoulder. Also, do not forget your card. Most of these machines will dispense money before ejecting your card.
When exchanging money at a money exchange, you should also remember to count out your money in front of the cashier. Generally, you will have nothing to worry about. But, there have been issues with cashiers short changing tourists.
#2 – You Should Book Your Accommodations in Advance
There is no shortage of hotels and resorts to stay at in Phuket. But, booking in advance can save you some money. You will generally find cheaper rates when booking ahead of time, instead of finding arrangements after your arrival.
When choosing a hotel or resort, consider the location. This will help cut down on travel. Choose a location that is near the destinations that you want to visit.
If you plan on doing a lot of shopping, stay in the Patong area. There are plenty of shops, markets, malls, bars, and restaurants. Though, this region is also the most crowded. If you prefer seclusion and a quieter time, then look for resorts in the Mai Khao Beach area.
#3 – Only Experienced Drivers Should Rent Vehicles
As mentioned, you should book lodging near the destinations that you want to visit to cut down on travel. Though, you will still likely take an occasional trip around the island. When it comes time to travel, take a taxi or hotel shuttles, unless you are an experienced driver.
You can rent motorbikes and cars in Phuket. But, getting around the island is not always easy. It can be incredibly intimidating for inexperienced drivers. You will need an international driving license and a credit card.
Scams are also common with rentals, so only rent from places that you have researched. When renting a motorbike, you will likely need to haggle on the price, unless you want to pay more than you should.
Also, these bikes do not come with insurance and you will need to pay for any scratches or damage. So, if you do rent a bike, inspect it ahead of time so that you are not charged for damages that you did not cause.
Taxis and tuk-tuks are good options, but you also need to be careful. Taxi drivers may “forget” to turn on their meter and try to overcharge you. Make sure that the meter is on and running. If it is not running, tell the driver to turn it on.
With tuk-tuks, you should negotiate the price before you depart. Find out how much it is going to cost before you get in the vehicle.
#4 – Do Not Drink the Tap Water
Do not drink the tap water during your stay. This is a general recommendation that applies to most foreign travel. While it may not make you sick, you do not want to risk an upset stomach during your vacation.
Hotels will generally give you a few bottles of water. There are also 7-11 convenience stores just about everywhere that you go. So, you are not without options for purchasing water.
What about the ice? Ice is not a problem. The local ice companies only use filtered water. Between ice and bottled water, and beverages from local bars and restaurants, you should have no issues staying hydrated.
#5 – Travel Between December and March
If you are familiar with the region, then you may already know this last suggestion. You should travel to Phuket between December and March.
These are the coolest and driest months to visit Phuket. Though, it can still get warm. After all, Phuket is a tropical region.
The wettest time of the year is between September and November. April and May are hot, while June through August is a mixture of heat and rain.
If you want to avoid the winter crowds, your best option may be to book a trip between June and August, but there is a good chance that you will need to deal with rain.
Remember this information if you are planning a trip to Phuket. This island is amazing and you will likely have a wonderful time. But, these tips will help ensure that you make the most of your trip. Have fun and do not forget about these 5 details. Stay safe and enjoy yourself!
Author Bio – This article is written by John Craig on behalf of Phuket Ferry, a leading ferry agent in Thailand.