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Phuket Cheat Sheet

Online Version 14 10th August 2016


Compiled by Jeff Raymond using a little common sense and 40 years experience
gained firstly whilst travelling the world with the Navy and then as a
Network Controller in the airline industry.
Plus some bits and pieces borrowed from the sites and blogs
of many experienced travellers. I hope you find it useful.
This sheet has grown from its original 5 pages and initially was designed to assist my
daughter and friends in planning their first trip to Phuket. Although primarily intended
for Aussies, it should contain something of interest to anyone visiting Thailand.
Unless otherwise noted, all services mentioned have been used personally by me, or have
been recommended by a number of T/A members. All care taken No responsibility.
Where in some matters there may be a difference of opinion (such as the need for an
International Driving Permit), I have decided to err on the side of caution!
(I gratefully accept updates, suggestions, and corrections please feel free to email me).
Before reading, I suggest you open a new word document - then copy any information you
wish to keep & paste into the new document. You then have your own abridged version

Useful Telephone Numbers (from within Phuket)


Tourist Police 1155 (English normally spoken)
Police 191 Marine Police 076 211 883/ 076 214 368
Fire 199
Ambulance 191 Private Ambulance 1669
Telephone Directory Enquiries (Local) 1133
Telephone Directory Enquiries (Overseas) 100
Operator Assisted Overseas Calls 100
Phone Translation Service (Thai/English) 1021
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) 1672
Immigration 076 221 905
Immigration Volunteers Hotline 090 170 7360
Bangkok Phuket Hospital 1719 (24 hours)
Phuket International Hospital 076 249 400 (24 hours)
Mission Hospital Phuket 076 237 220/6
Wachira Hospital Phuket 076 211 114
Patong Hospital 076 340 444
Thalang Hospital 076 311 111
Australian Embassy (Bangkok) 02 344 6300 austembassy@dfat.gov.au
Australian Consulate (Phuket) 076 317 700 http://phuket.consulate.gov.au
NZ Embassy (Bangkok) 02 542 2530
US Embassy (Bangkok) 02 2054 000
UK Embassy (Bangkok) 02 3058 333
Jetstar 02 267 5125 (Bangkok) or + 001 800 61 1 2957 (Australia)
Virgin + 001 61 7 3333 6888 (Australia)
Qantas 02 627 1701 (Bangkok)
Thai Airlines 076 212 499 076 350 444 (Phuket)
Air Asia 02 515 9999 (Bangkok)
Air Asia 076 328601 (Phuket Airport)
Bal Air 076 327 2307 Extension 1240 (Phuket)
Bangkok Airways 076 225 033 (Phuket)
Britannia Airways 076 327 2307 Extension 1240 (Phuket)
Cathay Pacific 1800 700 707 (Phuket Toll Free)
China Airlines 076 327 099 or 076 327 100 (Phuket)
Far Eastern Airlines 076 327 2307 Extension 1352 (Phuket)
Finn Air 076 327 2307 Extension 1252 (Phuket)
Garuda 02 2856 4703 (Bangkok)
Happy Air 076-327777 (Airport Road Phuket)
Hong Kong Dragon Airlines 076 327 2307 Extension 1230 (Phuket)
Korean Air 076-328540 (Phuket Airport)
Lauda Air 076 327 2307 Extension 1238 (Phuket)
Malaysia Airlines +001 603-7843 3000 (Malaysia)
Malaysia Airlines 076 327 2307 Extension 1232 (Phuket)
Nok Air 076 327 2307 Extension 1318 (Phuket)
Nova Airlines 076 345 184 (Phuket)
Silk Air 076 304 018 (Phuket)
Silk Air 076 327 2307 Extension 1236 (Phuket)
Singapore Airlines 02 353-6000 (Bangkok)
Tiger Airlines 02 649 9688 (Bangkok)
Trans Asia Airways 076 327 2307 Extension 1361 (Phuket)
Uni Airways 076 327 2307 Extension 1367 (Phuket)
Phuket Airport 076 327 230 (Phuket) aotpr@airportthai.co.th
Phuket Airport Lost & Found 076 327230-7 hkt_airportservice@airportthai.co.th
Phuket Bus Terminal 076 211 480 (Phuket)
Lost Credit Cards: Visa (001) 800 441 3485
Mastercard 02 670 4088 (001)800 0011 8876 0663
Amex 02 273 5544 02 273 5522
For safety, register your travel details with your home country before leaving home
Australia: https://www.orao.dfat.gov.au/orao/weborao.nsf/homepage?Openpage
New Zealand: https://register.safetravel.govt.nz/login
UK: https://www.gov.uk/moving-or-retiring-abroad
USA: https://step.state.gov/step/
Canada: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
Tsunami Warnings - I recommend anyone visiting Asia to register for free Earthquake and
Tsunami email and SMS alerts with the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System at
http://www.gdacs.org/ Its a free and effective means of supplementing the Warning Systems
that are in place throughout Thailand and other countries. You will need to activate
international roaming before leaving home (or have a local Sim/phone number).
Timezone Local Phuket time is GMT + 7 (the same as Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam), and
is 3 hours behind Sydney/Melbourne EST or 4 hours behind during Australian DST.
Visas If you hold an Australian, NZ, British, Canadian, or U.S. passport you are exempt
from visa requirements and will receive a 30-day entry stamp on arrival (dont go to the visa
counter at the airport, proceed straight to the immigration queue/s).
This visa exemption now applies to 52 countries Check your entry requirements here:
http://www.thaiembassy.com/thailand/changes-visa-exempt.php
http://www.consular.go.th/main/contents/filemanager/VISA/Visa%20on%20Arrival/VOA_
10-02-59.pdf

New Regulations effective 29th Aug 14 - You may now extend your free 30 day entry by up
to a further 30 days at any immigration office in Thailand for a fee of 1900 baht. Always
check the date on your entry stamp when you enter the country. Do not stay beyond the
permitted to stay date (fine = 500 baht per day). If during your stay in Thailand the police
check your passport and find you have overstayed, you will be treated as an illegal alien and
may spend a night or two in a cell before being deported to your home country and
blacklisted from Thailand. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/429056/tourists-get-
extended-visas
60 Day Mutiple Entry and other types of Visa Now available through the Thai Consulate
in Sydney (and probably from other local consulates) before leaving home:
http://www.thaiconsulatesydney.org/Home/visa
https://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/thailand#entry_and_exit
Warning - New rules with severe penalties for Overstayers are now in force:
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/thailand-overstayers-face-tougher-penalties-rules-posted-
phuket-immigration-21939/
There are 2 main immigration offices in Phuket where you can extend or make visa enquiries.

Phuket Town Office, Patong Beach Branch,


482 Phuket Road, Beach Road,
PhuketTown, 83000 Phone: (66) 076.340 477
Phone: (66) 076.221.905 Only open Monday & Friday
(On Phuket Road at the entrance to (On the beach road halfway between
Saphin Hin). Bangla Road and Sawadirak Road)

If heading north to Khao Lak, there is a mobile immigration office next to Jai Restaurant
(on the main road) every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm.
Airport Arrival and Departure Tax Nil, now included in the price or your airline ticket.
Call Centres For Tourists (before you leave home) - The Tourism Authority of Thailand
(TAT) has set up a number of international telephone hotlines to help foreign visitors get
updated 24-hour tourism information and have their queries answered about any aspect of
travel and tourism to and within Thailand.
United Kingdom - Tel: +442033550430 or 02033550430
USA - Tel: +15166196810 or 5166196810
Australia - Tel: +61280147129 or 0280147129
The calls will be charged at the local rate for the callers regardless of whether they are calling
from a landline or mobile phone. Thanks to November12010 -
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293915-i3686-k3854391-
Call_Centers_For_Tourists-Thailand.html
Flight times - Jetstar is the only airline flying direct between Melbourne/Phuket and
Sydney/Phuket - (Virgin no long flies direct Perth/Phuket, but now operates code share
flights with Singapore Airlines, flying: Perth/Singapore then onto Phuket with Silk Air).
All times were obtained from official airline sites, but are approximate (including transit and
stopover times if applicable) and may change at any time. Direct flights home to Australia are
usually a bit quicker because of a tail wind.
Jetstar - Sydney/Phuket direct (3 days per week) 9 hrs 15 minutes.
Jetstar Melbourne/Phuket direct (3 days per week) 9 hrs 10 minutes.
Jetstar now also flies Sydney/Melbourne/Singapore/Phuket (final leg via Jetstar Asia)
obviously much longer.
Other Jetstar alternatives are Melbourne/Sydney/Phuket, or Sydney/Melbourne/Phuket
(depends on the day).
Jetstar Perth/Phuket via Singapore From 10 hrs 10 mins depending on connections.
Singapore/Virgin Airlines Perth/Phuket via Singapore From 8hrs 25 mins depending on
connections.
Air Asia Perth/Phuket via Kuala Lumpur From 13hr 50 mins depending on connections.
Malaysia Airlines flies to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur.
Thai Airlines flies to Phuket via Bangkok.
Tiger Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Scoot fly to Phuket via Singapore.
Air Asia flies from Gold Coast, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth to Phuket via Kuala Lumpur.
Other airlines (Qantas, etc) fly into Bangkok or Singapore and you then transfer onto a local
flight to Phuket). Times vary depending on connections in transit cities. Most are from 13 to
18 hours (some may require an overnight stop in the transit city).
If changing flights or airlines when in transit, check your arrival & departure flights are
from the same airport or terminal (and confirm that your luggage is checked all the way
through and whether you will have to go through customs/immigration between flights).
Jetstar Baggage (flights to Asia): Checked baggage;
Jetsaver Light No free allowance (fee applies for checked baggage).
Jetsaver & Jetflex 15 or 20kg
Business Class (formerly Star Class) - 30kg (careful, they now have 2 levels of business class
- one gives you use of the Qantas Business Club/Lounge and F/F points, the other doesnt).
Carry-on baggage; Most flights are now limited to 7kg Check your carry-on baggage
carefully, if overweight or oversize, it can cost you up to AU$160 to check it in at the airport:
http://www.jetstar.com/au/en/planning-and-booking/baggage/carry-on-
baggage?utm_source=jetmail&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=20150518_TAFFF_au
Virgin Australia: Checked baggage (depends on the type of ticket);
Check at: http://www.virginaustralia.com/au/en/plan/baggage/checked-baggage/
Virgin Carry-on baggage; 7kg on all flights
Note: Jetstar and Virgin (and most other airlines) will usually let you share your checked
baggage allowance between two people (but normally only if both bookings are on the same
booking reference). Checked baggage and excess baggage pre-booked and paid for when
booking your flight is usually much cheaper than the rates at the check-in counter.
Dangerous and Prohibited Items: Different rules apply to carry-on and checked luggage.
Check: http://www.casa.gov.au/scripts/nc.dll?WCMS:STANDARD::pc=PC_100515
Travelling Safely With Batteries - https://www.casa.gov.au/standard-page/travelling-safely-
batteries
Carry-on Gels, Liquids and Aerosols are also subject to the 100 mil rule.
Check: http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/international/lags/index.aspx#anc_quantity
Excess Baggage - Posting Parcels To Australia From Phuket - Varies depending on contents
- about AU$130 for 20kg (Surface Air Lifted)
http://www.thailandpost.com/index.php?page=rate_result&country_code=AU&weight=2000
0
Luggage Storage In Patong - Close to Jungceylon Shopping Center Lockers with
dimensions 1 x 1 x 1 m. Suitable for left luggage and smaller objects, can hold 4 medium
moving boxes. http://www.mystorageasia.com/units/units.aspx
Luggage Storage at Phuket Airport - Inside the terminal immediately next to the SixT Car
Rental Counter 80b per item per day.
Travel & Medical Insurance Dont leave home without it !! We usually space our
holidays about 11 months apart that way we can purchase an annual insurance policy and
it covers two or more trips. If you cant afford insurance, you cant afford to travel !
Be Warned: If you are injured whilst (a) under the influence of alcohol, (b) driving a
car or motor cycle without the correct licence, or (c) riding a motor cycle without a
helmet, your insurance claim will normally be rejected.
Most complaints about travel insurance are caused by people not reading the Product
Disclosure Statement (PDS) carefully. Make sure you understand what you are (and are not)
covered for. Read the conditions carefully and ask the company for clarification if necessary.
Remember: verbal conversations are not worth the paper they are written on
GET IT IN WRITING
Insurance Companies you may like to consider:
http://www.insureandgo.com.au/ Overall, the cheapest I can find (may vary depending on age).
https://good2gotravelinsurance.com.au/ Good rates for some annual/multi-trip policies.
http://www.medibank.com.au/travel-insurance/default.aspx
http://www.covermore.com.au/
http://www.allianz.com.au/travel-insurance/
http://www.travelinsurancedirect.com.au/
http://auspost.com.au/finance-insurance/get-travel-insurance-quote.html
http://www.scti.com.au/
http://boomerstravelinsurance.com.au/ - No age limits, but (for a single) I found cheaper
insurance elsewhere.
https://www.acetravelinsurance.com.au/#
Now Available INSTANT THAILAND TRAVEL INSURANCE ONLINE
http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/thailand-travel-insurance-online/
Scoot Airlines Insurance - Scoot passengers only: http://www.scootprotect.com/
Healthcare - Phuket has a wide range of good quality healthcare facilities. Health Tourism
is one of the attractions, and for a much lower price than most western countries you can
avoid waiting lists and receive private treatment. The two major private hospitals on the
island are:

Bangkok Hospital Phuket Phuket International Hospital


2/1 Hongyok Utis Rd, 44 Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Rd
Phuket Town. Next to Big C on the bypass road.
Tel: +66 (0)76 254 425 Tel: +66 (0)76 249 400
www.phukethospital.com www.phuket-inter-hospital.co.th

A local Expat has advised me that where possible, he would only use Mission Hospital in
Phuket as the others are prone to charge extremely high fees to non locals.
http://www.missionhospitalphuket.com/English/english_index.html - Details below:

Mission Hospital Phuket Thepkasattri Road 0 7621 2386 0 7621 2149


Su-Th 08:30-16:00 Fr 08:00-12:00

Doctor & Clinic in Patong recommended by a local http://www.phuket-international-


health-clinic.com/ - Thanks to Brio2
Chemists/Pharmacies Most are well-stocked and sell medicine without a prescription and
also sell drugs such as sleeping tablets, Viagra and steroids on request. Smaller private
chemists are more likely to sell such drugs without a prescription - just ask around. Note:
most brand-name make-up and skincare is also substantially cheaper in Phuket.
Buying Prescription Drugs In Thailand 16 tips on buying prescription drugs:
http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/buying-cheap-meds-in-thailand-16-tips/
Taking Drugs and Prescription Medicines into Thailand:
http://www.thailawforum.com/tourst-guide-laws-Thailand-4.html
Taken from the Australian Government Travel site: Some prescription medications
available in Australia are controlled substances in Thailand, even if prescribed by an
Australian doctor. This includes medication to treat Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
Restrictions also apply to some over the counter medications available in Australia,
including drugs containing codeine. If you intend to bring prescription or non-prescription
medication into Thailand you should first contact the closest Thai Embassy or Consulate to
confirm it is legal. http://www.thaiconsulatesydney.org/Content/attach-
file/GuidanceForTravelers.pdf
Bringing Medicines/Non-Restricted Drugs Back Into Australia The TGA that controls
medicines in Australia state that a maximum of 3 months supply of any non restricted drug
can be brought into Australia at any one time... However, they also state that you must have
a prescription http://www.tga.gov.au/consumers/travellers-entering.htm#.U23xVUikeSw
Vaccinations Normally not needed before visiting Phuket, but consult your doctor if you
intend visiting other parts of Thailand. Phuket does not have Malaria but does have Dengue
Fever which may be transmitted by mosquito bites. Dengue causes a very unpleasant fever
and headache that may knock you off your feet for a week. It occasionally develops into a
haemorregic fever in which case you will need to be hospitalised immediately. There is no
vaccination for Dengue Fever. Dengue is rare in Phuket but its worth wearing insect
repellent to be safe - (see notes on mozzie repellent further down).
For more information on Dengue Fever visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dengue_fever and
http://www.thedoctorsdoctor.com/diseases/dengue_fever.htm
For detailed information on Dengue there is a very good book available at Amazon.com
its called Dealing with Dengue by Godfree Roberts and can be downloaded to your
Kindle for around $4.
Check Malaria map here: http://www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk/destinations/asia-
(east)/thailand/thailand-malaria-map.aspx
Advice regarding vaccinations and general health whilst in Thailand:
http://www.traveldoctor.com.au/
http://phukettravelandtours.com/health.shtml
Comprehensive advice from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/traveler/none/thailand?s_cid=ncezid-dgmq-travel-
single-001
Warning: Dont feed/go near monkeys . They and other animals may carry Rabies. If
bitten or scratched by any animal in Thailand, go immediately to a Doctor or the nearest
hospital. Because some people hand-feed wild monkeys, they may attack without warning
(the monkeys not the idiot tourists!). Note: "Human rabies is almost always fatal."
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/rabies/default.htm
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/rabies.pdf
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002310/
http://www.thaizer.com/health/do-i-need-rabies-jabs-before-i-travel-to-thailand/
Dental Treatment & Prescription Glasses Usually up to 50% cheaper than at home.
Recreational Drugs - Dont attempt to use, purchase, carry, or smuggle them Undercover
police have been known to sell them If caught you may be executed.
Duty Free items into Thailand There is a difference of opinion as follows:
(a) http://www.iatatravelcentre.com/TH-Thailand-customs-currency-airport-tax-regulations-
details.htm states that the duty free allowance into Thailand applies to each passenger
holding a passport of his/her own, irrespective of age.
(b) http://thailand.visahq.com/customs/ states the allowance applies for over 20 year olds.
(c) The Thai government site at:
http://www.customs.go.th/wps/wcm/connect/custen/travellers/allowance+and+relief/allowanc
erelief does not mention age (and did not answer my email query), but does refer to items for
personal use. I therefore suggest that the duty free alcohol allowance would apply only to
those legal to drink in Thailand those 20 years of age or older.
Subject to the age restrictions above, each person can take into Thailand:
(a) 1 litre of alcoholic beverages.
(b) 200 cigarettes, or 250 grams of cigars and tobacco combined. Note: Legislation is
currently being enacted to raise the legal smoking age from 18 to 20.
Be Warned Many people on T/A tell stories of how much duty free they smuggle into
Thailand without a problem. This tells the other side of the story:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293916-i3687-k7216121-o40-
Do_NOT_Exceed_Duty_Free_Allowance_Lesson_Learned-Bangkok.html
Arriving At Phuket By Ship: Some of this information is old but it should still be
relevant https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k2420878-
How_far_is_Cruise_Port_from_town-Phuket.html
http://thesmartlocal.com/read/phuket-holiday-guide-costa-cruises-part-2
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k8181009-
Day_trip_off_Cruise_ship-Phuket.html
Sleeping Facilities at Phuket Airport http://www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/phuket.htm
Duty Free on Arrival at Phuket There is a small duty free shop in the arrivals area of
Phuket Airport (after baggage collection in the far right side corner before going through
customs). The range is very small, and you can probably buy at comparable prices from local
establishments in Patong/Khao Lak etc.
Phuket Airport - On arrival (before exiting the baggage claim), grab a yellow "goodie bag"
containing a map of Phuket and discount coupons offered by various shopping outlets. Also
look for Free Sim Cards (normally from a yellow kiosk - to the left of number 5 & 6 baggage
counters). Note: Photography is banned in the Phuket arrivals hall.
Phuket Airport - On the way home - After you check-in for your flight home (but before
going through immigration), take the lift or escalator to level 3 to the Thai Airways
Restaurant. Not the cheapest food we ate in Phuket, but what we ate was good. They had a
reasonable selection of Thai & Western food and it was a nice place to relax before flying
home. Open to all passengers and visitors. A good way to fill in a couple of hours and spend
your leftover Baht. They accept credit cards if you get caught short!
http://www.inflightfeed.com/ireview-thaiairwaysrestaurantphuketairport/
Duty Free at Phuket Airport (to take home) http://www.kingpower.com/en/store/phuket
Update - Feb 2016: Phuket Airport duty free store will now deliver duty free liquor to the
gate only for Jetstar passengers flying direct from Phuket to Sydney or Melbourne.
Other than that, if you carry liquor in your hand luggage, it may be confiscated due to
Australian security regulations. Update 6/6/2016 1 litre Bacardi approx: AU$29.20 at
Phuket Duty Free AU$30.90 for 1 litre, or AU$55 for 2 litres at Sydney Duty Free.
Duty Free in Australia (to bring home) When you buy your duty free to take to Phuket
with you, you can order and pay for your duty free liquor to bring back in with you. They
store it when you leave Australia just remember to pickup your goods before you get to
immigration when you land back in Australia. Or, you can also buy your duty free after
arriving back in Australia (before going through customs and immigration). Duty free can
then be carried as hand luggage if transferring onto a domestic flight within Australia but
not if transferring onto another international leg. Note: If you buy alcohol from a liquor
store in Phuket, you will have to pack it in your checked baggage to bring it back).
Duty Free Concessions Into Australia - General goods
If you are aged 18 years or over, you can bring up to AU$900 worth of general goods into
Australia duty-free. If under 18 years of age there is a AU$450 limit. General goods include
gifts, souvenirs, cameras, electronic equipment, leather goods, perfume concentrates,
jewellery, watches & sporting equipment. Note: If over your allowance, you may have to pay
duty on all of your goods (including those that otherwise would have qualified as duty free).
https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Brin/Can-I-bring-it-back/Can-I-Bring-It-Back-Duty-
Free http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Duty-Free-concessions
Alcohol Into Australia If you are aged 18 years or over, you can each bring 2.25 litres of
alcohol duty-free into Australia with you. All alcohol in all accompanied baggage is included
in this allowance, regardless of where it was purchased.
http://travelsecure.infrastructure.gov.au/international/lags/dutyfree_to.aspx
Tobacco Into Australia New Laws - If you are aged 18 years or over you can bring only 50
cigarettes or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products duty-free into Australia with you. All
tobacco products in accompanied baggage are included in this category, regardless of where
they were purchased. http://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Duty-Free-concessions
Biosecurity Warning When entering Australia you must declare all food (including nuts,
chips, fruit, sandwiches, etc) plus all soil, sand, plant material and anything made from
wood, bone, shells, or animal products. This doesnt mean that all of those items are totally
banned but, YOU MUST DECLARE THEM. Regulations on specific and restricted
items: https://www.border.gov.au/Trav/Ente/Brin/Can-I-bring-it-back/Can-I-Bring-It-Back-
Top-20
Language: It will help a lot if you learn a few basic Thai words like:
sawat dee krup - hello, good day (if you the speaker are a man)
sawat dee kha - hello, good day (if you the speaker are a woman)
kap kuhn krup (or kha) thank you,
mai ow krup (or kha) - I dont want any,
suay - beautiful,
arroy - delicious,
la tree sawat - goodnight.
chai yes mai chai no
gee baht how much is it (to answer, they will usually display the amount on a calculator)
hong naam - toilet
mai ped not spicy
ped nit noy little bit spicy
ped spicy ped ped more spicy ped ped ped you work it it out!
cha-cha slow down
mai pen rai" - means: Oh Well - or Never Mind - or No Problem - or It Doesnt Matter.
I use this one when bargaining. If they get to a stage where they wont go any lower, I just
smile and say "mai pen rai" (pronounced my pen rye with a soft P) and start to turn away
and they usually go lower. Note: If a Thai uses it in response to a complaint, it commonly
means Its not my problem or as an Aussie might say Tell someone who cares.
Thai Language Cheat Sheets Check the following:
Introduction: http://www.braun-rentacar.com/portfolio/thai-language-braun-car-hire
Thai Phrasebook - http://www.the-backpacking-site.com/countries/thailand-phrase.html
Detailed Thai Phrasebook - http://wikitravel.org/en/Thai_phrasebook
Useful Thai Phrases - http://www.mypattaya.com/80thaiphrases.asp
Learning Thai Online - http://learnthaionline.com/
Places Of Worship In Phuket
All Nations Church - http://allnationschurchphuket.org/
Calvary Chapel At The Bridge - http://www.phuketchurch.org/
Hope of Phuket International Church - http://www.hopeofphuketchurch.com/
Jewish Services -
http://www.jewishthailand.com/templates/articlecco_cdo/aid/913648/jewish/Phuket.htm
Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses - Phuket - +66 86 211 9251
Orthodox Church Temple Of The Holy Trinity - http://phuket.ortox.ru/
Our Lady Of The Assumption Phuket Town
https://www.flickr.com/photos/eustaquio/3126908799?ytcheck=1
Phuket Christian Centre - http://phuketchristiancentre.org/en/index.php
Phuket Church Of Christ - https://www.facebook.com/Phuket-Church-of-Christ-
249335905084606/
Phuket SDA Church Phuket Town
http://www.seedchurchthailand.com/en/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=23
&Itemid=81
Sacred Heart Church Patong - http://en.phuketcatholic.org/article/3/164.html
St Josephs Catholic Church - http://phuketcatholics.com/
Sikh Temple - Gurdwara Sahib Suthat Road Phuket Town\
Other Religions There are also 37 main Buddhist temples, 51 Mosques, 16 Taoist Chinese
temples and a number of Hindu Temples.
Power Supply - Voltage is 220 Volts with most hotel rooms having at
least 2 of the 3 sockets shown. Aussie 240V appliances will work ok.
Most hotels will loan an adaptor, or you can buy one cheaply from
local stores. Note: I always take a small four socket power board with
me so that I can plug in and charge everything at once.
Protect your passport: Taken from the Australian Government site at :
https://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/thailand - Operators may request your passport as a
deposit or guarantee before hiring jet skis or motorbikes, etc. If there is a dispute about
damage to a rented jet-ski or motorbike, rental operators may try to keep your passport until
they receive compensation. Passports are valuable documents that should be appropriately
protected. Australians should not provide passports as deposits or guarantees under any
circumstances.
I suggest you copy the photo and details page of your passport plus any visa pages. Make
extra copies for Car/Motorbike Rentals etc. Your partner can then carry a copy of your
documents and you carry a copy of their documents. Having a copy usually makes it much
easier to get replacements if you lose your originals.
Note: I also type up one page which includes the emergency free-call numbers for Visa,
Mastercard, Amex, etc (and the numbers of each of my cards) just in case I wish to put an
emergency stop on a card (in case of loss/theft etc). Also the policy number and emergency
contact details (both local and at home) for my travel/medical insurance. On the same page I
put the address and phone number of our hotels, and the same details for any tours/drivers we
wish to book, etc. We both keep a copy of that sheet.
Alternatively, scan all your documents/details etc, copy onto a CD and leave at home with
one or two trusted friends. Should you need your details, they are no further away than a
quick email or SMS request. You could also store them in a USB memory stick and carry it
around your neck (or leave it in the safe at your hotel).
My Personal Money Strategy If going for two weeks, I usually take between AU$1,000
and AU$2,000 in cash. Each day, I split my cash into four bundles my wife carries two (in
two different places) and I do the same. This limits any potential loss/theft to one quarter of
my total cash. If my hotel has an in-room safe (and Ive personally reset the combination), I
leave half the cash in the safe and split the rest into four bundles and then carry two bundles
each. I also dont carry my bundles in one lump (for instance, if carrying a bundle of $400,
split it into 4 small bundles with a rubber band around each). Then when I need cash to make
a purchase I can slip out one of the smaller bundles without flashing my entire wad
I also take a cash/debit card and 2 different credit cards as a backup. Because of the potential
fees involved, I dont use my cards unless I run out of AU$ to exchange. I then use the cash
card at ATMs or banks to draw down on my pre-loaded cash. I only use the credit card/s for
large purchases or hotel bills, and I check my balance regularly. Dont forget that your bank
will probably charge you 3% or 4% to convert your Thai charges back to your local currency.
Credit Cards and ATMs etc Phone your credit card company and tell them when and
where youre going, otherwise they may reject your overseas charges or freeze your card.
Only use your credit card at reputable shops/dealers and dont let it go out of sight (I suggest
you put a sticker over the security number on the back to prevent people copying it).
There are plenty of ATMs and money exchange booths everywhere including at the airport
when you arrive in Phuket. Rates may vary but not by much. The exchange rates in the
Banks and ATMs in Phuket are usually much better than in Australia.
Thai banks charge 200bht (increasing to 250 baht in August 16) for each foreign credit card
withdrawal from an ATM, so it pays to withdraw larger amounts rather than frequent small
amounts (your own bank/credit card company will probably charge you a fee as well).
Some ATMs may only show up to 10,000 baht on the fast cash screen, but you can usually
manually key in up to 20,000. You may like to withdraw a slightly lesser amount (19,500) so
you will get some smaller notes in your withdrawal.
Always check ATMs for card-swipers before use. Criminals put these inconspicuous
devices on top of the actual ATM card slot to read your card details and store them for later
copying. ATMs on bank premises are usually safer than those in the street. If you have
trouble with a credit card in an ATM in Phuket call the Financial Consumer Protection centre
on 1213. For more info on Thai currency and exchange visit:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-s601/Thailand:Banks.And.Money.html
Note: If an ATM prompts for a five digit pin ***** its looking for a Thai card try your
card/pin just once then if it doesnt go through, cancel the transaction, extract your card
straight away and try another ATM (if you try the same machine two or three times, or leave
your card sit in the slot for a while, it may swallow it).
Travellers Cheques If taking T/Cs, take them in your own local currency (dont change to
any other currency as you then lose the difference between the buy and sell rate twice).
The Thai government "stamp duty/tax" is 153 baht (regardless of the T/C value), so its better
to take larger cheques. There is no bank or exchange fee for cashing T/Cs they make their
money on the spread (the difference between their buy and sell rate). When cashing T/Cs
(or exchanging currency) most places will want to see your Passport or Photo ID (the
original not a copy) and will give you a receipt listing the amount exchanged, the rate, and
the government tax taken out.
For a comprehensive report on Thai banks & money exchange see:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g293915-s601/Thailand:Banks.And.Money.html
Currency Cheat Sheet Before leaving home, I suggest you visit the following site:
http://oanda.com/currency/travel-exchange-rates - key in your relevant country details and
print an up-to-date currency cheat sheet (example below). Cut it out, laminate it, and carry
in your wallet/purse as a guide (the rate may change a little but it will be near enough).
THB AUD THB AUD THB AUD
10 = 0.33 100 = 3.29 1000 = 33
20 = 0.66 150 = 4.94 2000 = 66
30 = 0.99 200 = 6.59 3000 = 99
40 = 1.32 250 = 8.23 4000 = 132
50 = 1.65 300 = 9.88 5000 = 165
60 = 1.98 350 = 11.52 6000 = 198
70 = 2.30 400 = 13.17 7000 = 230
80 = 2.63 450 = 14.82 8000 = 263
90 = 2.96 500 = 16.46 9000 = 296
PS This is an old chart for example purposes only - I wish the AU$ was still at this rate
Daily ATM Rates From Various Thai Banks Key in AUD and THB then select
TT from Currency type at: http://bankexchangerates.daytodaydata.net/default.aspx
Mobile/Cell Phones You can use your own mobile phone with your own SIM card if you
make arrangements with your mobile carrier for access to global roaming (before you leave
home) but calls may be expensive and you will pay for the international leg of incoming
calls (from Australia to Phuket). If someone calls you from home and you have global
roaming activated, they just dial your normal mobile/cell number.
An alternative is to buy a cheap local Sim card in Phuket (sold at 7-11s etc) Note: You
must now present your passport when buying a Thai Sim card.
Most hotels have a public computer for use by guests and most have Skype installed. This
allows you to make free calls to anyone else with Skype installed, and very cheap calls to any
mobile or home phone world-wide. I suggest you check out Skype before leaving home and
install it if taking your laptop/tablet or smartphone with you http://www.skype.com
To dial a Thailand number from home, the country code for Thailand is +66 and the area
code for Phuket is 076 (drop the 0 when dialling from overseas).
If you have a Smartphone, make sure you have global roaming and updates switched
off whilst overseas or you may face a HUGE bill when you arrive home.
Free Sim Cards are available from Phuket airport (and can be topped up on the spot, or at
7-11s etc) see: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k3392854-
Using_Mobiles_in_Phuket_Easier_and_Cheaper_FREE_SIM_Card-Phuket.html
Note: Your Australian mobile phone must be unlocked to work with an overseas SIM card.
See: http://www.unlockingcodesforphones.com/unlock_au.html for details on how to unlock
your mobile phone.
Note: All Thai Sim cards must now be registered: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-
news/Mandatory-phone-SIM-registration-begins-Sunday/48178#ad-image-0
Comprehensive advice on using your mobile device in Thailand: (thanks to hollywood)
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293915-i3686-k6222502-
Sim_Chips_Smartphones_iPhones_and_Tablets_in_Thailand-Thailand.html
Phone Translation Service - If you find yourself in a situation where no one speaks English
and you have access to a Thai phone, call *1021 for the Thai/English interpreter service. You
tell them your message in English and they repeat it to whoever is with you in Thai (and vice-
versa). Its a free service you just pay the local call rate. Very handy!
Local Calls - An area code is required even if you are within the same city in Thailand, so if
you wish to make a local call from Patong to Patong (or elsewhere on Phuket), you still dial
the 076 area code.
The International Dialling Code from Thailand is 001 followed by the relevant country
code. The country code for AUS is 61 in front of the home or mobile number you are calling,
but drop the zero. For Example: To dial Sydney from Phuket 001 61 2 **** ****.
If dialling an Australian mobile/cell phone from a mobile in Thailand use the + sign followed
by the country code then the mobile number without the zero +61 *** *** ***
Thailand Telephones More info at: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-
s605/Thailand:Telephones.html
Internet Access - Internet shops are everywhere and broadband connections are generally
good. Near the beach you can expect to pay two baht a minute. Further from the beach, prices
drop to one baht a minute and if you get out of the tourist resorts then you can find internet
shops charging 20 baht an hour. Many hotels have wireless coverage in their rooms and most
have an internet desk or internet access available (charges may apply).
Free Wi-Fi http://www.stickmanweekly.com/WiFi/ThailandFreeWirelessInternetWiFi.htm
SCAM Warning - Delete all unwanted messages from your email account/s before leaving
home and ensure you delete all email and log off from any email accounts you visit from
public internet sites. My sons email account (yahoo) was hacked whilst he was in Europe
and everyone in his address book was emailed advising he had lost his wallet and ID, etc. and
desperately needed $2000. I suggest you setup a password (secret name or phrase) with your
friends so that they can verify it really is you if you email them requesting help or money, etc.
Mozzie repellant - The Thai people believe that black clothing attracts mosquitoes and its
the little blighters that bite during the day (not at dusk) that usually spread dengue fever. If
you go to Priceline before you leave home, you can buy a tube of Bushmans Repellent
with 80% DEET which also contains sunscreen (so its worth carrying at all times). I have
recently been advised by one disgruntled friend that is dissolved her nail polish
A popular local mozzie repellent in Thailand is Off (I have also been told that it dissolves
furniture varnish). Other popular local products are Sketolene and Wild Lives they are
cheap and effective and obtainable at most local supermarkets, 7-11s, pharmacies etc.
Sketoline costs about 80-100baht for a 125ml spray (the yellow one containing 20% Deet).
Note: Before using DEET you may like to check the following sites:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DEET http://www.naturalnews.com/001586.html
For those who advocate using essential oils instead of DEET based repellents please
read here: http://www.bioone.org/doi/abs/10.2987/09-0016.1?journalCode=moco&
Sunburn If you sit outdoors without sunscreen (even on overcast days), you will burn.
I suggest bringing sunscreen with you as it can be quite expensive locally (put it in your
checked baggage ... or it must be 100 mil or below if carried in your hand luggage).
Dettol (antiseptic) Handwipes or Gel worth carrying we use the gel to clean our hands
before eating out (you never know what your hands have been in contact with) and paper
money is often crawling with germs (I sometimes think people use it to wipe their b-ms).
Tissues worth carrying Many public toilets dont have toilet paper (or they charge for it).
Now - to complete your education - The following is reproduced from an article at
http://www.associatedcontent.com One of the most amazing Asian inventions is the toilet
hose or 'bum gun'. This is a small hose with a spray nozzle on the end that's attached to the
wall in practically every toilet in Thailand and is used after you've been to the loo, to spray
your nether regions to get them clean.
It's a wonderful invention as, unlike in the US and England, where we tend to just wipe
around with some toilet paper, smearing **** all over our private areas, in Thailand the
locals use the bum gun to spray water on themselves, then use soap that they bring with them
to make sure theyre completely clean, and then use the toilet hose again to rinse off. A quick
dry with some toilet paper, and theyre just as clean as when they left home that morning.
The bum gun really is a wonder invention but, how do you use it ?
First things first, test the water pressure before you use it. Its called
the bum gun for good reason. The nozzle on the end of the hose is
shaped a bit like a gun, with a trigger that you press to release the
water. The secret to using the bum gun correctly is this every one of
them has a different pressure so, before you start spraying around your
nether regions, make sure you test the pressure first by spraying some
water into the toilet. Some bum guns have very high pressure and you
could literally, just about shoot yourself off the toilet if you use it with
too much force. Dont Panic - Ive never needed to use one and have never had a problem
Jeff
Stings I always carry a small plastic bottle of vinegar in my bag. It helps neutralise most
jellyfish and sea lice stings and usually stops mosquito bites and scratches from itching and
becoming infected (always dribble the vinegar over the sting dont rub it). Seek
medical advice if the sting (or other symptoms) persist.
Weather Most days will have an average temperature of between 26 and 30 (with a
maximum of 36) regardless of the season (but it may feel hotter because of humidity). In the
green (wet) season it will rain most days, but usually during the night (with anything from 5
minutes to perhaps an hour or two during most days). The green season (April/May through
October) is still a very comfortable time to visit and its much cheaper. Most hotels usually
charge around 50% of high season rates and many other services are also cheaper.
See Phuket weather charts at: http://weather-and-climate.info/average-monthly-Rainfall-
Temperature-Sunshine,Phuket,Thailand
For daily forecasts check: http://www.wunderground.com/global/stations/48565.html
The Thai Meteorological Department website offers a two-day forecast for various regions in
Thailand at: http://www.thaimet.tmd.go.th
Daily Weather: http://www.windguru.cz/int/index.php?sc=310 (as used by Phuket Sail Tours)
Weather Stats for Khao Lak: http://www.holiday-weather.com/khao_lak/averages/
Keep in mind that although Phuket weather charts show May has a higher rainfall than April
and June, much of that rain is usually at night so it normally has a minimal effect on the
average tourist. Note: We spent 13 days in Phuket (June 2010) and had rain on only 2 days
for about 30 minutes each day (but heavy storms overnight). Even less rain (but occasional
short storms) during visits to Khao Lak in May 2011, May 2012, July 2013, June 2014 and
June 2015. With a total of 60 minutes rain during a 12 day visit in October 2015 - Jeff.
Update May/Jun 2016 - Well it had to catch up with us 9 days fairly heavy rain out of 12
but it was still very pleasant around 27/28 degrees on the wet days and 32 when sunny.
Thai Royalty Dont say anything contentious about the King or Queen and if you drop a
banknote or coin, dont put your foot on it unless you plan on an interview by police (or even
a small holiday behind bars). They take royalty very seriously.
Local Customs Dont touch a Thai person on the head and dont point your feet at people
the foot is the most unclean part of the body and the head is the most noble part of the
body (a sincere apology should be offered immediately if you touch someone's head
unintentionally).
This custom/concept can be expanded to include dont put your hat on the floor dont sit
on your hat dont let your shoes touch your hat etc.
Women should NEVER touch a monk otherwise he has to go through a prolonged cleansing.
The traditional Thai greeting (hands together in front of the body in a prayer-like position) is
the Wai (pronounced why). The junior person normally Wais to the senior person first.
Children are not normally Waid to. It is not expected that Westerners will Wai back to a
Thai, but I find that a respectful bow of the head is well received in response to a Wai.
Thais address each other using the title Khun and their first name. John Smith would be
addressed as Khun John and not Khun Smith.
A smile is the Thai unspoken communication for happiness and pleasure.
Public Displays of Affection Any overt display of kissing, cuddling etc, in public view is
frowned upon.
More on Thai Customs - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-
s606/Thailand:Tipping.And.Etiquette.html
Taking Buddha Out Of Thailand - Buddha Statues are religious items not souvenirs. Some
people take them home, but be aware that its probably illegal without the proper permit. If
you really want one, try your local market, garden centre or gift shop after you arrive home.
What formality is required to export Buddha statue out of Thailand? - Reproduced from
the U.S. embassy in Bangkok: http://bangkok.usembassy.gov/embassy/cbp/faq.html The
traveler has to request an export permit from Thailands Office of Archaeology and National
Museum, Fine Arts Department Tel: (+662) 628-5033. They have to complete the form
which is available in English. etc.
Temple Behaviour:
Dont pose with Buddha.
Dont raise your voice or swear.
Dont point at anything with your feet, particularly towards any statues of Buddha.
Be respectful at all times, a temple is a sacred place.
If entering a temple, point to your camera the attendant will let you know whether photos
are ok or not. Most people dont mind you taking their photograph, but pay them the
courtesy of seeking permission first. I found that by smiling at them and pointing at my
camera, most of them would simply nod, signifying that its ok.
Dress for Temples: - Show some respect it will be appreciated. No bare shoulders,
stomachs or legs (knee-length shorts are ok for guys). Most temples will offer a sarong or
scarf to cover up with if youre a little on the bare side - but no swimmers, singlets or skimpy
attire please. Remove your shoes, hat and sunglasses before entering any of the buildings.
Personal Attire I usually wear neat, clean shorts and sandals everywhere including when
dining out (and also on the plane). I do take the t-shirt/golf shirt off and put on a button up
collared shirt for a big night out. You may need something a little warmer for your plane trip.
Note: Most Thais shower twice a day if you wear yesterdays shirt they will notice!
Bargaining (or haggling) The term used by many people is Bartering which is incorrect
(to barter is to exchange goods without cash). Unless you are in a fixed price shop (a 7-11,
pharmacy, or department store, etc), it is expected you will bargain Do it with a smile and
youll find it much more enjoyable and will usually have more success.
Always bargain the price for one item first then bargain down further for multiple items
etc. Be Warned: Its not unusual for a seller to quote up to 5 times the normal price when
first quoting to an unsuspecting buyer. If they ask what hotel Im staying in, I tell them Im
staying with friends who live locally, and that Ive been in Phuket for 4 weeks (that way, they
expect that I have a better appreciation of the normal price).
Inspect the goods carefully, find an imaginary fault or two (they will actually respect you for
this), smile, then make your first offer one fifth of what they ask ... then, (after they have
stopped jumping up and down and rolling their eyes), keep smiling and let the negotiations
begin. And unless you really, really want it, dont go over one half of their first price (which
may be over what you should pay anyway).
Please note: Its bad manners to make an offer for an item then walk away if they accept your
offer. If you dont want it, dont make an offer if they do accept your offer, buy it!
Remember its all a game! I found our cheapest prices (with the least haggling) at the
stalls at Chalong Temple and the street shops at Promthep Cape. Jeff
Reclaiming VAT on Purchases - http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-
c125905/Thailand:Reclaiming.Vat.html
Two-tier Pricing - Its legal. The Thai government funds or supports many tourist
establishments, therefore the Thai taxpayer has already contributed. For instance, current
entrance fees to the Aquarium are: Farang (Foreigners) - 100 baht for adults and 50 baht for
children. Thais - 50 baht for adults and 20 baht for children.
Shopping Check http://www.braun-rentacar.com/phuket-Shopping.htm for a wealth of
information on shopping and shopping centres.
A list of popular items to purchase: https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g293920-
i5037-k4439709-Products_that_I_MUST_buy_in_Phuket-Phuket.html
Drink only bottled water (I also use it to brush my teeth). Most hotels supply one or two
bottles per person free of charge each day (Hint: If its in heavy glass bottles, tip it into your
own plastic bottle to carry around with you) and its cheap in the 7-11s. 7-11 stores also
have a good supply of snacks, etc and beer ranges from 35 to 50 bht per can.
The ice served in drinks (normally little cylinders with holes through the centre) is treated
and is safe. Dont use the ice from the fridge in your room unless you make it yourself from
bottled or boiled water (it may have been re-filled with untreated tap water by the previous
occupant). Be warned my wife spent 3 days in hospital after consuming ice from the
fridge in our room !
Advice from a local: For severe stomach/intestinal problems buy Disento from a local
pharmacy - 4 tablets within 24 hours and everything is usually OK.
Personally, I always carry lomotil or gastro-stop (or similar) with me when travelling.
Its much easier than trying to find a remedy in the middle of the night should you get a
dose. Check with your doctor before leaving home!
Accommodation When choosing a hotel/motel anywhere in the world, I always do my
research at http://tripadvisor.com My method is as follows:
1.. First do some basic research and decide on the area you wish to stay in, then go to
http://tripadvisor.com and search on that city/area. i.e. Patong, or Karon, or Kata, etc.
2.. Click on hotels which will then display all the hotels in that city/area, listed from
highest to lowest according to the ranking/reviews given to them by trip advisor members.
3.. I then read the first 10 or 20 reviews for each of the top ten hotels (certainly those reviews
listed in the past 6 to 12 months) ... then check the price for each hotel and make my choice
according to the best reviewed hotel (that suits my needs) within my budget.
4.. Just remember that not all people have the same needs and you will occasionally find very
conflicting reviews. However, if 8 out of 10 reviews are good and describe the hotel as one
that would suit you, then it probably will (reviews are personal and highly subjective and you
will always get one or two people that are hard to please). But watch out for badly worded
reviews, which may be a sign that its been posted by a local (maybe a friend of the hotel
owner?) also watch out for reviews that have been posted by first-time reviewers who
may have been rewarded by the owner for posting a favourable review).
This is reported to have happened in a hotel in Karon (Phuket) where one guest advised they
were provided with free drinks poolside for filling out their coerced reviews. Note: 22 out of
24 reviews were by first-time reviewers (an extraordinary statistic when compared with other
high-ranking hotels). Those suspect reviews shot the hotel to Number One in popularity
(for a short-time only). It quickly reverted to about Number 27 which is probably where it
belongs (maybe Trip Advisor smelt a rat and relegated them?). However, most experienced
trip advisor readers would quickly recognise that the reviews all had a similar tone to
them (particularly when most were from first-timers) and would therefore be suspicious.
5.. Before booking your chosen hotel, compare their rates on a number of booking websites
(if you enter the hotel name into Google, you will usually get a list of sites that book that
hotel). Dont forget to check the hotels own website where they may sometimes list off-
season specials pay for 5 stay 10 nights etc. Note: Many small boutique-style hotels
dont list with online booking wholesalers and will have to be booked direct, but dont be
afraid to email them with your dates and ask if they have any specials If you dont ask,
you dont get. When comparing rates make sure you understand their cancellation policy
and check that the 10% service charge and 7% government tax are included - also check if
there are additional charges for breakfast, car parking or internet use, etc and whether
there are compulsory attendance charges for special occasions such as: Christmas Dinner,
New Years Eve, etc.
Check out the airlines package-deal prices they sometimes have good deals (flights &
accommodation combined), but may be limited in their hotel choices. Dont just accept the
airline description of the hotels they list check them out on Trip Advisor. Airlines have
been known to run off at the mouth when promoting their own hotel deals. Personally, I
always have better results doing my own research and booking my flights and
accommodation separately.
6.. In Thailand I always book accommodation on a B&B or Room Only basis. There is
just so much good cheap food available that you would be denying yourself some wonderful
dining experiences by booking full-board (all inclusive) and eating all meals in your hotel.
7.. Finally, when you return home, do the rest of us a favour and post a Trip Advisor review
(good or bad) on the hotel you stayed in (and the restaurants you ate in). That way, we all
benefit from your experience.
Online Hotel Booking Sites Check here: http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-
c121265/Thailand:Suggested.Online.Hotel.Bookers.html
Taxis Latest News: http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phuket-airport-meter-taxis-move-front-
queue-monday-phuket-transport-revolution-gains-speed-20888/ Since the new regulations
came into effect, official meter taxis should now be available all over Phuket. To get a taxi
at the airport, ignore all the touts, walk outside to the front of the
terminal, and you will see the meter taxi counter about 50
metres on your right. Tell the taxi counter where you want to go,
pay them the 100B airport fee and they will allocate a driver.
Tell the driver you want to go straight to your hotel (no shops,
tour desks, travel agents, timeshare, jewellery stores, etc) and
make sure he turns the meter on. You pay what is on the meter
and its normal to give him the small coins change (dont forget that a 20bht note is only
about AU 80 cents). A cab to most popular hotels from the airport will probably cost
between 700 and 800 baht depending on location and traffic, and it normally takes 40 minutes
to one hour into Patong or Karon/Kata. It may help if you have a Thai translation of your
hotel address (usually available from the hotel website). Note: The official taxi booking
desk used to close between 1am and 7.30am Its not yet known if times have changed under
the new regulations. Update Jan 2016 Metered taxi Airport to Patong actual meter cost
705 baht plus 100 baht airport fee. For a cheaper transfer, book ahead through one of the
transfer sites shown below from 550 baht (no airport fee payable).
Dont take an airport limo, they are usually more expensive and will often stop off at tour
agencies, etc, where they may attempt to pressure you into booking tours (or even worse, tell
you that your hotel has burned down or is booked out).
Airport shuttle buses are cheaper, but will probably not leave the terminal until they are full
(which may take an hour or more) and they are also known for stopping off at hard-sell tour
agencies where they will often refuse to proceed until all passengers have alighted and visited
the tour counter to receive their dose of hard sell. Another view on the Mini/Shuttle Bus -
https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g1215781-d8873880-r335600575-
Phuket_Vacation_Travel_Day_Tours-Phuket_Town_Phuket.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT
If unsure, book a car through your hotel and they will have a driver waiting for you at the
airport with a sign displaying your name. It will probably cost 200 to 400 baht more through
the hotel. Note: Hotel cars are often on a fixed price contract and some tend to drive very
quickly (more jobs per hour, more money) our first arrival in
Phuket at 9pm saw us transported to our hotel at up to 110kph
on dark winding wet roads. Cabs on the other hand dont mind
slowing down when they are on the meter. If a cab is going too
fast just smile and say cha-cha (slow down).
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293920-
s304/Phuket:Thailand:Taxis.And.Rental.Cars.html
Airport Transfer, Taxi, Private Minibus and Tour Services: Taxis normally carry only 3
passengers with luggage (they are small cars and often use the front passenger seat for
luggage). Pre-booked mini buses carry 6 to 12 people and usually work out cheaper than 2
taxis. Prices for a pre-booked car/minibus from the airport to Patong range from 550 baht (per
vehicle) and the following have all been recommended on T/A:
http://phuketindex.com/youngestcarservice/ Seat belts
http://www.phuketsrctravel.com/transfer_service.php Seat belts Baby Seats
http://www.followmephuket.com/services/#airport-transfer Seat belts
http://www.krabiok.com/index.php?lay= &ac=article&Ntype=8&Id=539748933 Seat belts
http://www.chaidriverinphuket.com/transfer_service.php Seat belts Baby Seats
http://phukettaxi.com/index.php Seat belts - (baby seat available upon request)
http://panyaktour.com/phuket/airport-transfer/ Seat Belts ? (didnt answer my enquiry)
http://www.phuketshuttle.com/ Seat belts - (baby seat available upon request)
http://www.airporttransferphuket.com/booking.php Seat Belts ? (didnt answer my enquiry)
http://www.phuket-taxi-meter.com/ Seat belts - (baby seat available upon request)
http://www.phuketbesttours.com/transfer-service/index.htm#1 (12 seat minibus available)
http://kids-on-board.com/ Seat belts - (baby seat available upon request)
http://phuketbabyrentals.com will deliver baby seats to most Phuket car rental agencies
(including the airport).
Grab Taxi A New Service Similar to Uber: Book a cab direct from your Smart Phone.
Recent write-ups suggest it may be a viable alternative for commuting around Phuket. These
taxis all use their meter plus charge a 50 baht booking fee.
Read about it at: http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/grabtaxi.htm ... and
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/grabtaxi-revs-phukets-taxi-fares-service-revolution-23278/
Apr 2016 - Grab Taxi Review - https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-
k9472697-Grabcar_taxi-Phuket.html
The latest I can find on Uber is that as of Nov 2015, they are no longer operating in Phuket,
but may reopen sometime in 2016. Please let me know if you have any current information.
Wheelchair Transfer and Tours - http://www.phuketaccesstravel.com/wheelchair-
accessible-transport/
Bus From Airport to Phuket Town - This bus stops at Tesco Lotus, Big C, Central Dept
Store etc. on its way to Phuket Town. It does not go to Patong. Map & timetable, etc:
http://www.airportbusphuket.com/index.html
Bus and Minivan From Airport to Patong/Karon/Kata Includes pricing and information
on the obligatory hard-sell stop - http://www.desiyatri.com/2015/09/direct-bus-and-mini-
van-from-phuket.html
Bus From Phuket Town Bus Station To Other Parts Of Thailand Timetable/Fares etc.
http://www.phukettourism.org/other/bus_time_phuket.htm
http://www.phuket.com/info/bus-schedule.htm#
Boat/Ferry From Phuket To Krabi/Phi Phi/Ao Nang/Lanta/Railay/etc Timetable/Fares.
http://www.phuketferry.com/ferry-schedule.html
http://www.phiphi-ferry.com/
Boat/Ferry Transfers Koh Samui/Koh Phangan/Koh Tao/Surat Thani Airport/
Chumphon/Donsak/Hua Hin etc - http://www.ferrysamui.com/ferry-
schedule.html?gclid=CO2m4dWX4MsCFUiUvQodkaMPIw
http://www.ferrysamui.com/phuket.html
Boat Transfer Chalong to Ko Racha Yai See:
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g1224325-i15335-k9263072-
Boat_transfer_Chalong_to_Ko_Racha_Yai-Ko_Racha_Yai_Phuket.html
Transfers to Khao Lak - If you are going north to Khao Lak (about 75 minutes) or beyond,
Boss at Cheaper than Hotel Taxis in Khao Lak comes very highly recommended and
may be contacted at cheaperkhaolak1@gmail.com or cheaper_khaolak@ymail.com Seat
belts - (baby seat available upon request). Prices Phuket Airport to Khao Lak from
1000 baht per car: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k7828671-
Khao_Lak_Taxi_Rates_September_2014-Khao_Lak_Phang_Nga_Province.html
Other Khao Lak transfer options: http://phuketindex.com/youngestcarservice/#photo ... or
http://andamansnorkeldiscovery.com/khao-lak-transfers/ or http://charoenkit.com/
Flying Onto Ko Samui Or Other Local Airports? For accommodation close to Phuket
Airport, check: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g293920-
c137034/Phuket:Thailand:Phuket.Airport.Accommodation.html
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/HotelsNear-g293920-qHKT-Phuket.html
http://www.sleepinginairports.net/asia/phuket.htm
Tuk-Tuks Latest News - http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phuket-taxi-tuk-tuk-drivers-told-
legal-august-face-arrest-20000-baht-fine-20694/
Some are nice guys some are notorious little thieves. The going rate in 2009 was 100bht
within Karon, 200bht Karon to Kata, and 300bht Karon to Patong. Its
all a rip-off, as theyd rather sit on their lazy butts and get one fare
@ 200 than ten fares @ 100. Note: The Tuk-Tuk fare is for all of
you (normally 4 to 6 people) ... not each.
Be sure to negotiate the fare (before getting in) and agree that the fare
is for the whole group, not per person. They are usually perfectly
safe, but will band together to stop fares being reduced (otherwise known as the Tuk-Tuk
Mafia). If going shopping or out to dinner, its usually cheaper to negotiate a return fare (and
the driver will wait two or three hours for you). Be aware that Tuk-Tuks are noisy, often full
of fumes, uncomfortable, and are not air conditioned. Note: You can probably now add
100bht or more to all of those prices shown above Jeff
Note: Make sure you have sufficient small notes to pay them the exact negotiated fare they
will usually claim they have no change . Dont tip them they are charging around 5
times what their counterparts in other areas of Thailand charge. If you do tip them you are
demonstrating you are willing to pay more and encouraging them to continue charging their
outrageous rates.
If youre satisfied with a particular driver, ask for his mobile number and get a quote for a
day or half-day tour (this can work out very cheap if 4 or 6 of you go together). To get you to
pay more, they may tell you they should only carry 4 people Rubbish Ive seen 9 in one!
Warning - Be careful when travelling in Tuk-Tuks there is no safety door at the back.
http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Aussie-tourist-airlifted-Bangkok-fall-Phuket-
tuktuk/16372#
New Yellow-Top Tuk Tuk Service In Phuket Town Licensed to operate only within
the confines of Phuket Town at a fixed fare of 30 baht per person. People having problems
with drivers are advised to call the 1584 universal complaints number or go to a police
station. http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phuket-city-yellow-top-tuk-tuk-drivers-fined-straying-
patong-22947/ Note: All vehicles offering this service are red tuk-tuks with a yellow roof.
The area in and around Phuket Town (not Patong) is also serviced by the pink baht bus
for a map of routes see: http://phukettravelandtours.com/baht-bus.shtml
Public Bus Service There are Songtaews (blue public buses) that run from most major
beaches to Phuket Town. There is no bus that runs between beaches,
except from Rawai to Nai Harn, Kata to Karon and Surin to Kamala (and
these only because they share the same route). For example: to get from
Patong to Karon (about 7 klm) you must catch the bus from Patong to
Phuket Town on the other side of the island, then another bus from
Phuket Town back to Karon (they only run every 30 mins, so the total
return trip could take up to two hours). But, its a good way to see a bit of the island if youre
not booking a tour. Apart from the terminus and turnarounds, there are no bus stops, just
wave them down and tell the driver (or sound the buzzer) when you want to get off. Pay the
driver as you get off. http://www.phuket.com/phuket-magazine/phuket-local-bus.htm#\
Public Bus Routes - http://phukettravelandtours.com/baht-bus.shtml
Pricing from various beaches to Phuket Town:
Chalong: Every 30 minutes from 8am to 5.30pm 30 baht
Kata/Karon: Every 30 minutes from 7.30am to 6.pm 30 baht
Kamala/Surin/Bang Tao: Every 30 minutes from 7am to 5pm 40-50 baht
Patong: Every 30 minutes from 8am to 6pm 30 baht
Rawai/Nai Harn: Every 30 minutes from 7am to 5.30pm 35 baht
New Passenger Van Service Between Phuket Town And Patong Beach Runs every hour
between 6am and 7pm. http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/676768/phuket-patong-
passenger-van-service-starts
Car Rental There are a number of recommended car rental companies - Small cars (Honda
City, Toyota Yaris, etc with Auto & A/C), usually rent for between 1000 and 1200bht per day
for a 7 day hire (including insurance but with an excess/deductable ranging from 4,000 to
10,000bht). Make sure you inspect the car carefully, photograph and agree on any damage
or scratches before you drive the car. They may tell you its not necessary, but unless you
have an International Driving Permit (obtainable from your local Auto Club, etc), you may
not be fully covered by your travel insurance policy and may be fined by local police.
Be warned: The soft top so-called jeeps that are available from some companies will
probably be very old (10 years or more), very dilapidated and very under-powered.
The following car hire firms are reported as being reputable: Most will have your car waiting
at the airport, or will deliver to your hotel:
http://thailand.diamondcarrental.co.uk/country.php - used & recommended by me, or
http://www.braun-rentacar.com/index.htm#SELECTION - used & recommended by me, or
http://www2.atlaschoice.com - used & recommended by me, or
http://www.andamancarrent.com/car.htm or http://ww.rhinocarhire.com
Note: On most trips to Phuket, Ive rented through Diamond Car Rental (see above). On
each occasion theyve sourced a late model car for me usually from Sixt Car Rentals (who
have their own counter in the airport plus 24hr nationwide roadside assistance with a
replacement car if needed). Ive received great service from them and theyve always
been cheaper than the opposition. To obtain and lock-in the cheapest rate, make sure you pre-
book online through Diamond.
International Driving Permits - Many people believe that under international law an IDP is
not required (providing that your home driving licence is in English and has a photograph).
But, a local police chief is on record as saying an International Drivers Licence is required
(did he mean a normal Drivers Licence from an International country?? or did he mean an
International Driving Permit ??). If you choose to obtain an IDP they are available from
your local motoring association (AA, RAC, NRMA, etc) before you leave home.
http://www.phuketgazette.net/issuesanswers/details.asp?id=1412
http://bangkok.angloinfo.com/information/transport/driving-licences/
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Travel-g293915-
c133830/Thailand:Driving.License.Requirements.html
Scam Warning Fake IDPs: Do not buy an IDP online unless through your local
motoring association AA, RAC, NRMA, etc.
Driving In Phuket More info at: http://www.knowphuket.com/driving.htm
Driving in Thailand Some interesting information from an experienced traveller:
http://www.bangkok-daytrips.com/tips-for-driving-in-thailand/
A light-hearted guide to driving in Thailand -Some of its funny, some unfortunately is
true: http://www.crossy.co.uk/bkk/drive/drive.htm
Drink Driving As well as a fine and/or jail, it will invalidate your travel/health insurance.
A quote from Patong Police Traffic Chief, Ekkarat Plaidoung: In Thailand, the standard
Blood Alcohol Concentration limit is set at 0.05 per cent, which means you are legal if there
is no more than 50 mg/dl of blood, which can be tested through both blood or breathalizer
test. In normal circumstances, 50 mg/dl means about two glasses of beer, so in general, you
should try not to go above this. http://www.thephuketnews.com/questions-answers-thailand-
alcohol-blood-level-driving-legal-limit-48873.php Be careful. Chang is rated up to 6.4% :-)
Motor-cycle/scooter hire: The second biggest killer of tourists in Phuket dont do it.
If you decide to do it, you need experience and you must have a full motor-cycle licence at
home. Some claim you must also have an International Drivers Permit (endorsed for a motor-
cycle). In spite of what the hirer tells you, you will be breaking the law, and your private
health or accident insurance may be invalidated if you are unlicensed or your licence is not
endorsed for a motor-cycle.
Be Warned: There is normally no accident or theft insurance on motor-cycles/scooters and
any loss or damage could be your full responsibility. If you cant pay, you could be held in
jail until you can arrange payment. You must wear a helmet. Remember, in an accident you
may automatically be assumed to be at fault.
If you must rent a motor-cycle/scooter, the following come highly recommended and whilst
they require a 3000 baht deposit, they do not require you to leave your passport.
http://motorbikerentalphuket.com/
Ive also seen a good report on: http://motorbikehireinphuket.com/ They require a copy of
your passport, 1000 baht deposit, and deliver to many parts of the island (but not to the
airport or bus station).
To rent a scooter/bike close to the airport, try: http://phuketcarrent.com/manual.php
Another one near the airport: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-
k9726204-Bike_Hire_from_the_Phuket_Airport-Phuket.html
An interesting motorcycle article by an ex-pat who lives in Chiang Mai (I dont condone
some of his suggestions). http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/scooters-in-thailand/
A report on the problems faced by an Aussie who crashed a rented motorcycle:
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/injured-aussie-flies-home-phuket-ducati-crash-passport-
wrangle-20631/
Another tourist motorcycle accident - $6000 a day medical expenses:
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/tourist-crashes-motorcycle-phuket-taken-coma-bangkok-6000-
day-22794/
Organised Motor-Cycle Tours - http://www.souththailandmotorbikes.com/day-tour/
Reviews at: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g297934-d6017478-Reviews-
South_Thailand_Motorbikes_Day_Tours-Rawai_Phuket_Town_Phuket.html
Riding a Motor Cycle In Thailand - http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/motorcycle-
in-thailand/ Includes a great video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZlSYaDgsgE
Warning: A total of 280 people were killed on the roads of Phuket during 2014.
A disproportionate number of tourists and expat residents die in motorcycle crashes.
http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phukets-road-toll-280-last-year-officials-reveals-
breakthrough-safety-meeting-22955/
Private Car Tours: If you want to see the island and tourist sites, etc, I suggest a private car
tour. We did the trip below in June 2009 and it ran from 9am until approx 3.45pm. The total
cost was 1200 baht (probably 1500 to 1800b now) and we tipped the driver 200 baht. I
suggest you shop around, some drivers quoted me up to 2000 baht (with one T/A
recommended driver wanting to spread the same itinerary over 2 days @ 1500 baht per day).
Our car tour was one of the highlights of our holiday. I suggest you do it early in your stay as
it gives you a good grounding on the location and layout of various attractions. You then
have time to go back to special places and explore on your own with more confidence.
Suggested day tour itinerary. Pickup from Hotel - maybe 9am
Drive-by/photo op at Karon & Kata Beaches
Kata viewpoint
Kok Chang photo op - feed elephants with bananas and/or 1/2 hour elephant ride?
Nai Harn beach
Promthep Cape viewpoint (shopping stalls with good prices) and toilets
(1/2 hour or hour ATV ride if youre into that sort of thing ??)
Rawai Beach (seafood stalls, shell stalls and souvenirs)
Friendship beach (short stop for soft drink, coffee or a beer?)
The Big Buddha
Wat Chalong (Temple & shopping stalls with good prices)
Lunch at Rang Hill Tunk-Ka Restaurant (good cheap food and great views) - check photos
and write-up here: http://www.phuket.com/magazine/tungka-cafe.htm)
Phuket Town - Optional walk-around depending on time.
Siray Island (sea gypsy village then feed monkeys from a remote viewing platform)
Tesco Shopping Centre (if supplies are required but not on a Sunday its bedlam)
Return via Patong (maybe a short stop to look around, then return to Hotel (approx' 4pm)
The following company: http://www.beephukettours.com/#!our-tours/cjg9 conducts all types
of tours: Speedboat, Cycling, Elephant Trekking, Whitewater Rafting, Scuba Diving, ATV
Riding, Kayaking, Cooking, Monkey Cave, etc. I havent used them, but theyre highly
recommended on T/A: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g297930-
d8759011-Reviews-Being_Tours_and_Travel-Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html
Half Day Introductory Coach Tour: I havent been on this tour but have seen some good
reviews for it. It would suit someone with limited time and/or those who want to keep costs
down When I checked it was only around AU$12 each for a 4 hour tour (including hotel
pickup and drop off): http://www.viator.com/tours/Phuket/Phuket-Introduction-City-
Sightseeing-Tour/d349-3685HKT05
Scenic Viewpoints and Lookouts: http://www.intophuket.com/top-5-phuket-viewpoints/
Boat Tours: A must do ! We did the Koh Phanak and Hongs
Tour and spent a day with Captain Mark of Phuket Sail Tours
(PST) - an Aussie, on his small yacht that carries a maximum
of 10 (some of the cheaper tours carry up to 100 people).
Highly personalised and highly recommended. You get picked
up at your hotel at around 7.45am and returned to your hotel at
around 6.00pm. Lunch is prepared on board (or on the beach)
from fresh seafood they purchase from one of the longtail
fishing boats. The cost for the day was 3000bht each (we left a 200bht tip for the crew).
Others may have cheaper tours, but you get what you pay for and safety and over-
crowding can be a big issue with the cheaper tours! Mark wont go out if its unsafe!
Due to limited numbers, a tour with Mark must be booked in advance. You can check his
website at: http://www.phuketsailtours.com/itinerary.html ... and some of his testimonials at:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g293920-d661198-r32411689-
Phuket_Sail_Tours-Phuket.html
Why You Should Use A Recommended Tour Operator Read this and decide if you want
to save a few dollars: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k9285098-
Assaulted_on_Phi_Phi_Islands_Tour_by_tour_guide-Phuket.html
Helicopter Sightseeing Expensive But WOW! http://www.skydance.aero/ and
http://www.helithaiandassociates.com/index.htm
Drowning The biggest killer of tourists in Thailand. Patong and Karon beaches usually
have one or two tourist drownings every week in the green season. Dont even think of going
in the water if the red surf warning flags are up. Thai lifeguards (if there are any) are not
Aussie trained. In some cases their function appears to consist of blowing their whistle
and waving at you!
Note: - Four tourists drowned in 4 days on Phuket beaches - July 2013.
Warning: Dont drink and swim - phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/37160
Topless or Nude Sunbathing Thai people are very modest and any form of public nudity is
frowned upon. There are NO legal nude or topless beaches in Thailand.
Hiring Baby Equipment - Full size baby cribs/cots - Portable travel cribs - Playpens -
Strollers/prams - Car seats - Portable play yards - Potty chairs - Bath tub, etc.
http://www.phuketbabyrentals.com/english/
Phil and Teds prams, single or double. A fantastic trolley/buggy for the beach and bumpy
roads. http://kids-on-board.com/philandtedsbuggies.html
Babysitting and Nanny - http://www.thaikidshome.com/ - I havent used them, but there is a
very positive review at: https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g297937-i14318-
k7652275-Brilliant_nanny_service_Phuket_for_baby_3yo-Thalang_District_Phuket.html
Baby Food Pasteurised and Long-Life Milk and Baby Formula etc, are readily available
from supermarkets and 7-11s.
Hiring Beach Chairs, Umbrellas, Recliners, etc Not many around now since new rules
banning them on public beaches were announced in July 2014. Some of these rules have now
been relaxed for specific areas on each beach details below:
Feb 18th 2015 - From the Governor of Phuket "Tourists can bring mats, cloths or cushions
[and place them] outside the 10 per cent zoning area where umbrellas are allowed. I have
stressed with the officers already that we need public relations not law enforcement at this
starting point, as [maintaining a good] tourism image is essential to our province."
http://www.thephuketnews.com/governor-slams-police-for-phuket-beach-order-enforcement-
tactics-51040.php
See more at: thephuketnews.com/sthash.VG5dMr5D.dpuf thanks to phuketrichard1999
Nov 9th 2015 - Sunlovers May Place Umbrellas, Chairs Anywhere on Phuket Beaches, Says
Police Commander - http://phuketwan.com/tourism/sunlovers-place-umbrellas-chairs-
anywhere-phuket-beaches-says-police-commander-23541/
And so, the saga continues
Hiring a Wheelchair - http://www.accessiblethailand.com/city/beach-wheelchair/ or
http://www.accessiblethailand.com/city/mobility-equipment-hire-phuket/ Keep in mind that
many areas in Patong may be hard to negotiate by wheelchair ... either no footpaths, or rough
terrain, and difficulty crossing roads, etc. Contact Tom at info@accessiblethailand.com
Jet-Ski Scams Taken from the Australian Government site at:
https://smartraveller.gov.au/countries/thailand Australian travellers continue to report
harassment and threats of violence by jet-ski operators on tourist beaches, particularly in
Phuket, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Many travellers have reported that, after
returning hired jet-skis, they have been confronted by gangs claiming that the tourist
damaged the jet-ski. There have been reported instances of such gangs threatening violence,
including at knifepoint, if a large sum of money in compensation for the alleged damage is
not paid. Australians hiring jet-skis should check the jet-ski for damage, including
underneath, before riding and take photographs of the jet-ski that may be helpful in the
resolution of disputes.
Australians should also ask jet ski operators to provide evidence of their insurance policy
covering damage to the jet ski before entering into a rental agreement. If you believe that you
have fallen victim to a jet ski scam, you should call the Tourist Police on 1155.
Peanut and other Allergies - Many Thai dishes contain ingredients that some people may be
allergic to. If you have a food allergy, visit http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-
s604/Thailand:Important.Phrases.html where you will find a number of translations for
various allergies (examples below). Cut & paste and print out the relevant translations and
show it to Restaurants and waiters etc. You will find they are most careful and helpful
when/if they are aware of your condition.

etc, etc.
I am allergic to nuts I am allergic to shellfish.
Some more useful food translations:
http://www.thailand4kids.com/webdata/downloads/holdups.pdf
Peanut and Mango Allergies Check here for translation:
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g297914-i10908-k8136127-Peanut_Allergy-
Khao_Lak_Phang_Nga_Province.html
Full discussion here: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293915-i3686-k6601803-
Peanut_allergy-Thailand.html
Restaurants and Bars - Prices etc: No matter where we ate, the food was consistently
good. The prices varied but every single dish we ate was to our satisfaction. We dont
particularly like seafood, so the prices below may be a little less than what you may pay. In
general, most street restaurants (not street stalls) have chicken and pork dishes ranging from
85 to 125 baht, plus another 25 to 50 baht for the same dish with beef or seafood. And yes
you can pay less and you can pay a lot more. I am generalising in accordance with my
personal taste and experience. Street stall food is cheaper (maybe 50 to 100 baht per dish).
Markets normally sell spring rolls and chicken pieces etc, from 10 baht per piece upwards.
Food Hygiene: Hot freshly cooked street food (served on clean plates) may be more hygienic
than a big hotel buffet that has been sitting barely warm for a number of hours. The safe
storage temperature for food is below 4 degrees C or above 60 degrees C. Some hotel buffets
are not maintained within that safe temperature zone. Look for where the locals eat!
Cheap Drinking: Barring major hotels and large resorts, beer and cocktails are relatively
inexpensive in bars and restaurants, but due to local taxes, wine is very expensive. Chang
beer is cheap and quite palatable. Singha beer is maybe 10% dearer. Look out for bars that
have happy hours usually between 5-7pm with discounts up to 50% off (or sometimes buy
one get one free). Note: Accepting free drinks from anyone in Thailand is just as risky as it
is at home!
Looking to buy wine in Phuket? Check: http://wineconnection.co.th located in Jungceylon
Shopping Center.
Unless asked for payment when served, its usual for a bar to put your tab in a glass in front
of you. They total the tabs and you pay your bill when ready to leave. You may like to check
each tab as its received as some are known to overcharge (or place extra tabs in your glass).
Buy supplies from the 7-11 or supermarket to take back to your hotel (be careful its up to
6.4%). Update May 2016 Chang now 36/37 baht per bottle in 7-11s - Singa/Tiger 38b per
bottle or you can buy a slab of 24 for around 32 baht per can.
Update May 2016: Due to new liquor regulations, many suppliers will now only serve/sell
alcohol between 11am and 2pm and 5pm and 11pm daily. It may pay to shop around at
3pm we were knocked back in 2 stores but served in the third
Spicy Food Thai food usually comes as: Spicy, Medium, or Not Spicy. If you dont want it
hot just say kor mai phed (not spicy please) or just mai ped (with a shake of the head), or
ped nik noy (a little bit spicy). Be warned we like very hot food at home we found their
medium was usually equal to or just a little hotter than what we would class as very hot.
Other Food Dont worry if you dont like spicy food, there are plenty of fast food
outlets, and if you check T/A for food reviews you will find plenty of restaurants specialising
in: Chinese, French, German, Indian, International, Italian, Seafood, Steak, Swiss, Pizza, etc.
Cheap Food - Patong In the basement of Jung Ceylon shopping centre (very close to
Bangla Rd) there is a food court with around 8 or 10 stalls. You buy a cash card at the cashier
counter (I bought a 500 baht card about AU$20) and then go to each stall and pick what
you want - hand them the card and they swipe it. When you finish your food, take the card
back to the cashier and they refund your change. We pigged out from 3 different stalls.
Spring Rolls 80bht Larb Gai 65bht Boiled Rice 20bht Beef Pad Thai 50bht Thai
Omelette 20bht. The food was fantastic and every dish was prepared fresh (they even rolled
the spring rolls in front of us). Note: The Jung Ceylon centre contains 200 shops plus a large
department store, supermarket, restaurants, a night club and entertainment complex (5
cinemas and a bowling alley). For a good cup of coffee or western-style snack try Black
Canyon (they have a chain of about 200 outlets throughout Thailand).
http://www.phuket.com/shopping/jungceylon.htm
http://www.phuket101.net/2010/12/jungceylon-shopping-mall-patong-phuket.html
Note: I visited the food court again in July 2013, 2014 and 2015 and thought it was much
more expensive but still novel and very handy for a quick feed.
Suggestion Do some shopping in Jung Ceylon shopping centre and the Thats Siam
handicrafts centre in the basement, then head into the food court for an early snack/dinner,
then out into Bangla Rd to the famed Aussie Bar for a couple of drinks. Try to get a seat
upstairs at the front overlooking the street (take your camera) and you can spend an enjoyable
hour or so watching the freak show pass by. Good clean entertainment (and clean toilets) ...
and the foods ok. It cost around AU$8 for 2 drinks (a beer and a bacardi & coke).
http://www.aussiebarphuket.com
Cheap car parking is available about 5 minutes from Bangla Rd in the basement of Jung
Ceylon Shopping Centre (keep your shopping receipts to get free or reduced parking fees).
Risque Night Life Bangla Rd Patong is closed to traffic at night and
is full of bars, restaurants, go-go girls, ladyboys/katoeys (see photo),
bar girls, ping-pong shows (use your imagination), etc, but is regularly patrolled by police
and is recognised as being quite safe if you behave yourself. If you stop to have your photo
taken with any of the inhabitants (or take close-up photos of them) you may be expected to
pay dont argue, just pay. The going rate is 100 to 200 baht for each person you are
photographed with (5 ladyboys = minimum 500 baht, or 2 of you and 1 ladyboy = 200 baht).
http://www.knowphuket.com/naughtynightlife.htm
http://www.phuket.com/nightlife/bangla.htm
Warning: Dont have your photo taken with any wildlife (monkeys, lizards, birds, etc), its
expensive, probably illegal, and contributes greatly to the demand for (and capture of) baby
animals. Note: In many cases, the parent animal has to be killed to separate it from its baby.
http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket-news/Phuket-tourists-warned-about-illegal-slow-loris-
touts/20435#ad-image-0
No Photos with Gibbons please! https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-
k6013963-GIBBONS_No_photos_in_the_street_please_JBR_part_2-Phuket.html

Tipping Not necessary but a small tip (for good service) is certainly appreciated. Many
will argue over this, but most expat locals advise to give no more than 20 baht in a normal
street restaurant. A local restaurant owner I know (a Kiwi) told me he never tips in any
restaurant that has a service charge on the bill at the most, just leave any loose coins
change The service charge should be shared between the staff . Some restaurants will
suggest tipping American style (15% or 20%) - forget it, most will be charging a service
charge which should cover the tip.
Tip 50 Baht to a masseuse and about 100 Baht for a guide, but only if the service was good.
Its not necessary to tip hotel staff. However, at the end of my stay, I usually leave around
25bht per day for the girl who cleans our hotel room (up to a maximum of 200bht providing
the job has been done well). Personally, I dont tip in advance as I then consider it to be a
bribe. In bars, change normally arrives in 20 baht notes, so maybe leave 20 baht as a tip.
Check all prices carefully before purchasing or consuming (if it says ++ it means plus 10%
service charge, plus 7% government tax). Note: most hotel/resort restaurants charge ++
most street restaurants do not charge ++.
Timeshare & Holiday Club Touts Normally young people fluent in English (sometimes
two of them, on motor cycles). Thell usually pull up in front of you and as you walk past say
hello, how are you or where are you from (they are not being polite, they are trying to
make you comfortable and suck you in. This leads to them giving you a lucky draw
scratchy which can lead to offering you a free holiday, t-shirt, or meal (and taxi-ride)
providing you waste several hours at their timeshare presentation. They are very high
pressure, and if you dont buy, youll probably end up paying for the cab back to your hotel.
When they approach, just say no thanks, Im going home tonight, then keep walking.
Theyre a real pain in the a-se even worse than the tailors! Likewise, if a so-called student
asks you to complete a survey (theyre only after your contact details), just keep walking.
Interested in Timeshare? ... Forget it Its the biggest rip-off in Thailand. Read about it
here: http://www.complaintsboard.com/complaints/club-absolute-c299544.html Note: I
recently encountered Absolute timeshare sales people with a display setup inside Phuket
airport and also at the Big Buddha entrance makes you wonder about Payola.
Timeshare Crackdown - http://phuketwan.com/tourism/phuket-time-share-crackdown-
checks-resorts-touts-blacklist-suggested-22677/
Dont shake hands with anybody on the street. Its usually a ploy to get you to stop and they
may then try and drag you into their shop (whilst refusing to let go of your hand). Dont
respond to greetings of ozi, ozi, ozi or gday mate etc. They are not trying to be your
friend they are trying to sell you something.
Tailors Most have touts at the front of their stores and are very persistent. If you want a
good tailor I can recommend Niphons Rich Collection - check their website at
www.instylefashion.com They make good clothes that fit, and do not haggle. I recently had
one business suit, plus one jacket, plus one sports trousers and two shirts tailor made for
around AU$500 less than a quarter of what I would expect to pay for the same tailor-made
clothes at home - and everything looks and fits great. Order early as I had one initial measure,
two fittings, and a final try-on/pickup. They will pick you up from your hotel if you wish and
on the final night they picked us up from our hotel, drove us to their store for my final try-on
and payment, then delivered the clothes back to our hotel whilst we went straight to dinner.
Weddings Thinking of getting married (or renewing your wedding vows) in Thailand? For
details contact: Katie Wellington (an Aussie!) at www.royalweddingphuket.com
Wedding Celebrant & Master of Ceremonies - http://celebrantphuket.com/
Various Wedding Packages - http://www.phuket-travel-secrets.com/phuket-wedding.html
Resorts with all-inclusive weddings: http://www.phuket-travel-secrets.com/all-inclusive-
weddings.html
Phuket Sunset Weddings - https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g297930-i9925-
k9748423-Renewing_Wedding_Vows_Phuket_Sunset_Weddings-
Patong_Kathu_Phuket.html
Photographer In Phuket Creative photography for events, editorial photo shoots,
weddings, portraits, holiday memories and many more types of photography in Phuket.
http://www.ginasmithphotography.com - Highly recommended on T/A
http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k9050598-
Gina_Smith_Photography_Delighted_with_photos-Phuket.html
https://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k9141025-
Gina_Smith_Photography_exceptional_highly_recommended-Phuket.html
Makeup Hair and Styling services for: Beauty, Weddings, Editorial, Fashion, Photo
Shoots, Styling, TV & Film Productions. http://www.makeupartistphuket.com/services/
Reviews at: http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/ShowTopic-g293920-i5037-k7919181-
Lisa_Allen_Makeup_Artist_review-Phuket.html
Wedding Musician/Band/DJ Highly recommended on T/A - Email:
franciscaldona11@yahoo.com Tel: +66874190247, Facebook: Francis Caldona, Facebook
Page: Francis Guitarist
Bucks and Hen Parties - Pre wedding celebrations, bucks and hens parties, etc.
http://thailandbucksandhens.com/phuket-bucksstags/
http://phuketbucksparties.com/
http://phuketstag.com/
http://phuketbachelors.com/thailand-bucks-and-hens/
Thinking of Retiring in Thailand? Check: http://australia.siam-legal.com/Thailand-
Retirement- -for-Australian-Citizens.php?gclid=COanscT_rMECFZeTvQoddh4Avw ... and
http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/optinwelcomegate and their Concierge Service at:
http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/thailand-concierge-service/
Thinking of Investing or Buying Property in Thailand? Check:
http://www.thailandretirementhelpers.com/thai-property-investment-scams/
Thinking of Volunteering In Thailand? - Its not as easy as you may think. Generally, you
cant just rock up and help out for a week or two and you normally require a Non-
Immigrant O Volunteer visa and a work permit.
In order to volunteer in Thailand you need to obtain an O visa and the charity you are
volunteering with needs to obtain a work permit for you. If you do not wish to make this full
time commitment you can still support charities like Phuket Has Been Good To Us a
number of ways: you can join in at PHBGTUs after school programme, Coconut Club,
where the children enjoy arts & crafts, sports and guitar workshops; run a fundraising event
in your community or with your friends; donate school supplies; if you run a business you
can donate a voucher for the fundraising events we organize. The Phuket Has Been Good
To Us foundation does NOT charge you to volunteer with us, we provide visa, work permit,
accommodation and use of a moped if you can commit to a minimum of 5 months.
For details on how to apply for the relevant visa see: http://www.thaiembassy.se/visa/types-
of-visa51 (this information is from the Thai Consulate in Sweden, but details should be
similar for other countries check with your local consulate). To see how the process works
for one organisation check: http://www.phukethasbeengoodtous.org/?page=Volunteer
Note: There are severe penalties for working/volunteering without the necessary visa/permits:
http://www.thaiworkpermit.com/working-illegally-in-thailand.html
The following organisations may have different legal requirements: I suggest you contact
them direct: http://soidog.org/en/volunteer/ and http://www.gibbonproject.org/volunteer/
Places & things I dont visit or do: (its your choice, make your own decisions)
The Phuket Zoo Reported to be scruffy and has a history of mistreating animals
http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/fgs_1979
The Butterfly Farm or Museum Some like it, others think its decaying and miserable.
Rafting Many enjoy it but others report coming close to drowning
ATV tours Most people enjoy it some claim the operators attempted to charge them for
pre-existing damage to the vehicles. If you must go, photograph any damage before you ride.
Monkeys picking coconuts Mistreated animals. Sometimes beaten to make them perform.
Jet-Skiing Scammers
For further detailed information on Phuket, visit:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowForum-g293920-i5037-Phuket.html
http://jamie-monk.blogspot.com/ A wealth of information through the eyes of an ex-pat
http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/Asia/Thailand/Southern_Thailand/Phuket-
1444813/TravelGuide-Phuket.html
http://www.cathyandgarystravelpages.com/
http://bobandjanette.com/tips_phuket.html
http://www.knowphuket.com/practical.htm
http://phuketvogue.com/
http://www.phuket.com/info/phuket-airport.htm
http://www.phuket-travel-secrets.com/phuket-beaches.html - Info on Phuket beaches.
http://wikitravel.org/en/Thailand - A virtual encyclopaedia of information on Thailand.
I thankfully acknowledge that some of the information in my cheat sheet has been
borrowed from the links above purely as a quick reference for you. I encourage you to visit
the above sites as they contain a wealth of useful information (far beyond the scope of my
pages).
My Comments: To me, Phuket is a magic place. Its not a Singapore or Hong Kong, but its
a lot like they were 20 or 30 years back. Its got all the comforts and amenities you could
want, but is still a bit on the primitive side. Sure the drains may stink in some streets, but
cross the road if it bothers you (they normally only have drains on one side ) and it has
one thing the rest of Asia doesnt have Thai people. The majority of them are gentle,
caring people and there are many stories of honesty and lost wallets/goods, etc being returned
... even reports of cab drivers saying dont worry when the passenger was a small amount
short of the full fare (try that in Sydney or Melbourne).
Scammers Yes you get them everywhere, but most Thais will go out of their way to
help you for nothing but good karma. If they dont respond or help, its often because they
dont speak good English.
My Philosophy - Bargaining is fun, but dont sweat the small stuff. Nobody likes to be
ripped-off, but keep it all in perspective. As a couple you probably pay up to AU$2000 for
your airfares, and around the same amount for accommodation and meals, so why bother
trying to screw some poor local for 50 cents or a dollar when it wont really make that much
difference to you or your all-up holiday costs ... and it may make their life just a little easier!
Smile Thailand is known as The Land Of Smiles Thais like friendly people who
smile at and with them they respond badly to displays of aggression and arguments they
see it as a weakness and losing face.
Dont ever threaten them they may gang up (particularly Lady Boys Bar Girls and
Tuk-Tuk drivers). However, they are usually funny people When I asked in a shop if
they had a shirt to fit me the reply was No elephant shirts here Note: They were being
funny, not purposely offensive (I only wear XL but thats Aussie XL not Thai XL).
To a Thai, admitting a mistake or a lack of knowledge is to lose face. They will often make a
joke instead (or point you in a random direction rather than admit they dont know the way),
and yes may sometimes mean yes I hear you, not yes, I understand or agree with you.
I always rent a car and have never seen road-rage in Thailand but, Thais think differently.
If you blast someone with your horn for cutting you off, he may get upset not for blasting
him, but for making him lose face. Just smile and continue on
If you do drive, remember that you will often be passed by motorcycles sometimes on
both sides at once and sometimes going in both directions at the same time often
without lights at night. Dont ever take your eyes off the road !
If you complain to a Thai in a loud voice, or argue with (or in front of) them, they will often
smile they are not laughing at you its more likely they are embarrassed by your
behaviour and unsure how to respond.
Remember If you raise your voice or lose your temper, you have lost the argument (along
with any support others may have given you).
Maps (many maps will enlarge if you click the bottom right corner).
Karon & Kata Beach http://phukhao.com/download/maps/Karon-Kata-map-1.gif
Karon & Kata Beach http://thaiwaysmagazine.com/phuket_map/phuket_map_kata.html
Kata & Kata Noi Beach http://patongbeachmaps.com/images/katamap900.jpg
Kok Chang Elephant Trekking http://www.kokchangsafari.com/location.html
Chalong Bay & Rawai Beach http://phukhao.com/download/maps/Chalong-Rawai-map-1.gif
Patong http://phuket.sawadee.com/patongmap_large.html
Patong http://thaiwaysmagazine.com/phuket_map/phuket_map_patong.html
Patong (Bangla Rd/Jungceylon/Otop etc) http://www.pocket-map.net/patong_beach_map.htm
Bangla Rd http://www.knowphuket.com/map_Bangla_Road.htm and:
Phuket Island http://phukhao.com/download/maps/Phuket-map-5.gif
Phuket Town http://phukhao.com/download/maps/Phuket-town-map-4.gif
Phuket Airport & Surrounds phuketindex.com/images/map/00457-map.gif
Phuket Beaches http://static.asiawebdirect.com/m/phuket/portals/phuket-maps-
com/homepage/allParagraphs/06/txthtmlText_files/file/phuket_island.gif
Khao Lak (North of Phuket) General Map
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Khao%20Lak%20General%20map%202015.png
Khao Lak North - Khuk Khak, Pak Weeb, Pakarang and Bangsak Hotels
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Khao%20Lak%20Nord%20%20Hotels%20April%202016.htm
Khao Lak Central
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Khao%20Lak%20Zentrum%20April%202016%20Hotel%20und
%20Rest.jpg
Khao Lak - Bang Niang
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Bang%20Niang%20map%20April%202016.jpg
Khao Lak South
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Khao%20Lak%20Sued%20April%202016%20Hotels.jpg
Khao Lak/Takua Pa - Bike/Tour Map http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/radund%20rollertouren.htm
Khao Lak - 7 different maps of the entire KL area http://www.t-globe.com/khao-lak-map
Phang Nga Province
http://www.t3x.de/khaolak/Phang%20Nga%20Provinz%20road%20map.jpg
Khao Lak Area General Information - http://www.t3x.de/adventure/mainpage.htm
My Accommodation Recommendations I usually choose to stay away from the rat-race
of Central Patong (but its good for a fun night out). So far Ive stayed at Kamala, Karon,
Kata, Rawai, Nai Thon, Tri-Trang, South Patong, and at 9 different hotels in Khao Lak on the
mainland (about 75 minutes north of Phuket airport) ... and all were great. My current
favourite location is Khao Lak. For more information read my personal reviews at:
http://www.tripadvisor.com/members-reviews/jjumpstart (yes, thats jjumpstart with 2 js
my fingers stuttered! ).
I have also compiled a 21 page Activities Sheet for Kids & Adults (entertainment, places
to go, places for kids to eat, etc). Email me at jeffray@tpg.com.au if you would like a copy.
My number one TIP Dont go home complaining DO YOUR RESEARCH read
the FAQs and Just Back Reports (JBRs) on T/A and if unsure, ask any questions
BEFORE YOU GO! Enjoy

The Formal Bit!


Errors/Omissions/Corrections etc I encourage you to email me with any corrections,
broken links, comments or personal contributions you may have. jeffray@tpg.com.au
Contributors Some of the information and photos contained herein have been copied from
the public domain and from contributions to various forums (Trip Advisor, etc). If you lay
original claim to any of the information reproduced here, please advise me your reference of
the relevant information and Ill be happy to quote you or your website etc, as the source.
Copyright Readers/users, please feel free to print out any of the information contained
herein (for your personal use only). If you choose to pass information on to anyone else,
please forward them the entire sheet with the notice attached. (The easiest way is to
email them with the complete Word file attached). They can then cut/paste/print the bits
that interest them. This will afford due recognition to original contributors Thanks Jeff.
Note - This sheet is updated as new information or corrections come to hand (usually every
month or two). Feel free to email me for an updated version when you are due to visit.
Updated: 10th August May 2016 Jeff Raymond 2009-2016 jeffray@tpg.com.au