5 Tips for Surviving Phuket as a Tourist
Phuket is a beautiful island, with gorgeous beaches, a crazy nightlife and everything in between to make for an entertaining trip. For this reason millions of tourists flock there each year, and the locals take full advantage. So what can you do to navigate the madness and avoid getting ripped off? Here are a couple of tips:
1. Get a SIM card
You can get one easily at the airport for less than £10. It comes with minutes, a fair bit of data and a bunch of additional perks. This works out a lot cheaper (and more convenient) than roaming your international phone.
2. Rent a scooter
If you’re staying at a resort and plan on spending most of your trip there then this probably isn’t as relevant for you. But if you’re a solo traveller or a couple and plan to explore the island (flitting from the Old Town to Patong, to Karon and other beaches like I did) you’ll find the taxi costs add up. Taxis were my single biggest expense while I was there – probably because I wouldn’t sit my a** down in one place but that’s not the point. A scooter costs £6-8 to rent per day compared to a taxi, which is at least double that for a single trip from Patong to the Old Town.
3. Negotiate prices – especially for taxis
Linked to the point above, if you take taxis around you’ll definitely find that the price you’re charged greatly depends on how much the driver thinks they extract from you. As a rule I’d probably say never accept the first price. You can almost always know at least 20% off it to get to the more appropriate number. Happy bidding!
4. Prepare to cover up if you’re visiting the Big Buddha
The same applies to any other religious sites. As a sign of respect, dress conservatively if you plan on visiting these sites. You can cover bare shoulders with a scarf or wrap a sarong around your waist if your skirt or shorts are above the knee. At the Big Buddha, they have people going round with large wraps which you can use for free to cover up while you’re there.
5. Keep your wits about you on Bangla Road
There are all sorts of weird and wonderful things to see (and do) on Bangla Road (probably more weird than wonderful lol – I’ll get into it in my next post). This probably is more applicable to the guys, but you will find groups of stunning women around, and may be shocked to find out they are actually “ladyboys”. Hey, to each their own, but all I will say is maybe try to find out what the “situation” is sooner rather than later – unless you’d rather be surprised… 😂
Do you have any other tips for surviving Phuket? Share the wisdom in the comments below…