20 Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Phuket

Phuket has always been imagined as an island with long pristine beaches under perfect blue skies that’s like paradise on Earth. While it’s indeed looks heavenly viewed  from your luxury villa, there’s that reality we all have to embrace.

Think twice before buying anything
Most products offered by street hawkers may seem cheap but is actually five times more than original price of said product in malls or other places.

Know your travel tours company
First-timers should read people’s reviews of company tours. Or book a private tour or go on adventure on your own.

Island safaris are not as you think
Elephant trekking may seem like a great adventure but elephants and trainers do have their own good days and bad days. Photos are protected by so called company policy but are really just an excuse to charge more money from tourists.

Lower your expectations of Patong, Phuket
The place is one of the most expensive places because of the high-value tourists’ currency. People go here for the nightlife and erotic activities. If you wanted to experience culture, visit Chiangmai and Bangkok.

Phuket, Thailand. Photo credit: www.mydestination.com

Phuket, Thailand. Photo credit: www.mydestination.com


Be careful when you use your credit card

If you are using your credit cards, they convert the amount into your home currency straight away, at the hotel’s prevailing exchange rate(which can be 10% higher than bank’s rate) and on top of that, will charge you another 3% service charge.  Ask and confirm the price beforehand, in public vehicles and transportation, restaurants and even accommodations just to be sure.

Moulin Rouge Gentlemen’s Club
The prices here are sky high, beers costs 250 to 350 baht a bottle, ladies drinks at 380 baht per glass and they expect you to give a 100 baht tip minimum. Private shows costs 2,000 baht.

Premier Property and Leisure scam
Watch out and avoid marketing promotions, people with scratch cards that always gives a ‘prize’ in exchange for a 60 minute promotion for a tour company. This is a variant of “Timeshare” wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Jet Ski damage scam
Jet ski owners to ask you to pay for certain damages to the jet ski when you return it either that you have made or that were previously there. Check over your jet ski before taking it out and note any damages to it.

ATM withdrawals come with a 150bt fee
It is not entirely sure if these is the case with all ATMs but just be aware of it and make the largest withdrawals you possibly can. But a $5 fee to quickly and easily access your money while overseas is not too bad.

Migraines
If you’ve never travelled long distance in a plane before and you are prone to migraines, just beware that you may encounter a rather horrible one. Get migraine meds from your doctor. I am told it may have something to do with the cabin pressure in the plane.

Some spas have dishonest masseuse
Hope you get an honest masseuse or do not fall asleep during the massage. Or have a massage at open massage centers.

Sex while having a Thai massage
You practically spend most of time refusing her offers and for sure you do not get out relaxed. When the girl asks you to get naked, tell her you want to keep your underwear on and try to make it clear that you only want a Thai massage.

Touts at Phuket City bus stand
Touts offering to organize a tour of the old city and shopping areas for virtually nothing wants to earn commissions by taking you shopping that you can do yourself.

Taxi Rip Off
Beware of the “Friendly” Taxi booth at the hotels. Find Taxis and transportation outside the hotels. On short rides, try to get taxis with Taxo-meter. A 10min trip costs about 70 Baht whilst the tuk-tuks ask for minimum of 200Baht.

Travel agents at the Bus Station-Phuket Town
Don’t use them. They wanted 800B each to go to Chumphon (Bus costs 390B each). Keep walking and you will see the ticket counters for the bus station.

Seafood restaurants

The price of seafood restaurants here is very steep. The same amount you pay here could feed 2 families of 10 in Bangkok or Hatyai. Check the menus before you even sit down.

Security
Do not leave your valuables anywhere they are accessible even while you are in the apartment/suite. The staff could take some of your valuables even with you in the same room.

Booking
Avoid booking by internet or from tourist desks, instead talk to most travel desks and compare prices and packages.

Boat trips
Check weather report before booking, most travel tours by boat are non-refundable.

James Bond Island
James Bond Island is just a rock and a tourist attraction. Too many people come here — notably the Chinese tourists — and prices are high but not as beautiful as many think.