Phuket Travel Tips & Advices
Phuket is for sure an amazing destination to visit and to have some fun! But how do you make sure to get the most out of your holiday in Phuket? Read our article to ensure staying healthy during your time on the island, getting around easily, and getting the best deals possible for your vacation.
Tips & Advices on Securing Cheap Phuket Accommodation
1. Plan and Book Hotels Early
Accommodation in Phuket can get expensive, especially during peak travel seasons. If you want to avoid hyped up prices, be sure to play and book well ahead of time. Its simple, the earlier you book, the cheaper the rates are. Hotels want to encourage you to book early so that they can take less risk of now being able to fill their rooms in time for the stay date. So how early is considered early? I would say, aim to book your hotel 2-3 months in advance. This could potentially save you approximately 35% of the room rate. There are people out there who say that you should do the opposite and book at the last minute. The logic is that at the last minute, hotels that could not fill their rooms would offer ridiculous discounts in order to desperately fill their rooms in time. I would agree that this strategy might work if you are looking for the cheapest rate regardless of quality. However, it would not work so well for high quality and high popularity hotels. That is because these hotels usually sell well enough that they do not have to dump their prices at the last minute. In addition, responsible hotels would not engage in this type of last minute strategy as it would train customers to book wait until the last minute to book their rooms. This is definitely a huge risk for hotels in the long run. So if you want cheap high quality hotels, book at least 2-3 months early. Check out Thavorn Palm Beach Resort’s Early Bird deals, offering great savings for those booking ahead!
2. Book directly with the hotel website (Get the true best rate guarantee- Potentially save up to 20%)
You may think that booking via expedia, booking.com, or agoda guarantees you the best rates. Wrong! Online travel agents (OTA’s) often claims best rate guarantee and consumers blindly believe that. The truth is, it is quite impossible for OTA’s to regulate what hotels are offering to their customers on their websites. Imaging selling hundreds of thousands of hotels, how are you going to guarantee that all those hotels are faithfully respecting your best rate guarantee? Its impossible! But guess who is able to REALLY guarantee the best rate? Well, you’ve guessed it! It’s the hotels themselves! After all hotels OWN their own product and determine how much they want to charge for it. OTA’s on the other hand, take the product and price set by the hotels and sells them and earns a commission in return. This commission is usually approximately 20%. This means that if you go to the hotels themselves and show them that OTA’s are currently selling their hotel at around $100, the hotel could still offer you the same room for $85 and still make more money than if they allow you to book that same room on an OTA (considering OTA’s earn 20% commission). Furthermore, many hotels nowadays offer many other exclusive benefits to customers who book directly through the hotels’ official websites. These benefits range from free minibar, food credits or even free room upgrades! You can see our list of available promotions on our official website here! So what are you waiting for? Book direct and get cheap hotel rates in Phuket now!
3. Book Value Package Deals
You know you are not going to be staying at the hotel all day anyways. So why book bed and breakfast only rates? That makes no sense! Do yourself a favor and book the hotel-packaged rates. These packages may include tours, excursions, dinners, spa treatments, etc. In order to make packages affordable and high in value, hotels often have to discount their room rates by approximately 40-50%. Tour packages booked through hotels are also often of a higher quality and safety. No hotel want to risk its reputation by working with sub-par tour operators. You can check out our list of available packages here.
4. Avoid Peak Travel Season
Peak periods in Phuket are brutal. Hotel rates triple and quadruple yet quality remains the same. Peak periods in Phuket are between 20th Dec to 10th Jan. The funny thing is that before 20th Dec and after 10th Jan, prices are approximately twice lower. This is an unspoken rule that hotels in Phuket seem to abide by for any reason. Therefore, do you wallet a favor, avoid peak periods at all cost!
So, when would we recommend you to travel to Phuket? Phuket has high and low seasons. Many people will tell you to book during the low season because rates are cheaper. However, what they do not tell you is that not all months in the low season are created equal! Many of these low season months are plagued by constant rain and thunderstorms. Yes, you may be able to get hotel rooms for cheap but who wants to come to sunshine island and be soaked in constant rain?
We recommend travelling to Phuket during October. So why October? October is the last month of the low season where there is less rain and skies are much clearer. Yet, the rates are still as low as if you were to book your stay in May (the month with worst weather). So come to Phuket in October if you want the best of both worlds (cheap hotel rates and great weather). You will not regret it!
Phuket Food Safety Tips & Advices
If you come to Thailand, you surely must try the famous Thai street food! However, as many may not be used to the local food here, it is best to follow some precautions to avoid getting sick and ruining your holiday in Phuket.
1. Watch the Vendors Prepare the Dishes Before Ordering
It is generally safe to eat street food in Thailand. Generally, Thai street food in food markets and walking streets will be cooked in front of you or somewhere visible for you to see. Thus, it is best advised to take a little time to stand back and take a look at the ingredients and how the vendors are preparing the food to ensure hygiene and cleanliness!
2. Bring a Food Allergy Card
Food allergies are not so common among Thais compared to westerners. If you have a food allergy, it is crucial to emphasize to restaurants or food vendors here. It is recommended to prepare a food allergy card that you can show to the restaurants prior to your ariival in Phuket. Make sure to include short and easy to understand phrases such as “No Seafood”, include pictures, and possible translations in Thai!
3. Do Not Drink Tap Water
While the local health authorities say tab water in Phuket Town and Patong is safe to drink, in all other areas water treatment systems are either non-existent or not scrutinized. Drinking contaminated water could result in diarrhea or other diseases. Most hotels provide in-room bottled water. Another alternative is to purchase bottled water from supermarkets and convenient stores located all around Phuket.
Transportation Advices in Phuket
Phuket as an island is well-connected with good infrastructure and roads. It is recommended to rent a car for your best travel flexibility. Nowadays, you just need Google Maps (which is accurate in Phuket) to navigate around Phuket. If you do not feel like driving yourself, there is also the option of hiring a van and driver for each day, the price will definitely be higher than driving around yourself but at least you can relax while the driver takes you around!
What about public transportation in Phuket?
The Phuket main public transportation is the one of Phuket’s unique, it is the wooden bus which local calls “Song-Taew” or in an ancient called “Po-Thong”. The bus provides many routes around Phuket with the same destination center in Phuket Town. To go to/from each famous beaches Patong, Kata, Karon, Rawai or Nai Yang Beach is easy or even to go to the Airport.
Etiquette Tips for Travelling in Thailand
1. DO smile and show appreciation Thai people are known to be friendly and helpful. If you notice a Thai stranger smiling at you, they are not making fun of you so remember to smile back! Showing appreciating by saying “KhobKhun” (Thank you) can also go a long way.
2. DON’T disrespect the monarchy People in Thailand highly respect the royal family. Do not make fun or ridicule the royals as Thais will find this highly offensive and you may get arrested.
3. DON’T display too much PDA Some of the older Thai people are still generally very conservative and too much public display of affection can make them uncomfortable. Holding hands and hugging are typically fine but full on kissing in public may be unacceptable to some.
4. DON’T sunbath topless It may be tempting to take off your top to best maximize your tan on Phuket’s sunny beaches. However, it is against the law to sunbath topless in Thailand.
Learn Some Basic Thai Phrases
Many people in Phuket can communicate in English. However, it doesn’t hurt to learn some basic Thai phrases for your trip to Phuket. Thais generally appreciate when foreigners try to communicate with them in Thai.
Basic Thai Phrases for Greetings
– Hello = Sawaddee (khrub/ka)
– Pleased to meet you = Yin dee tee dai roo jak
– Good Morning (Morning greeting) = Sawaddee
– Good – Afternoon(Afternoon greeting) = Sawaddee Ton Bai
– Good Night = Ra Tree Sa wad or Fhan Dee
– Good Bye = La gorn
– How are you? = Sa bai dee mai (khrub/ka)
– Reply to How are you? = Sa baai dee (khrub/ka)
Basic Thai Phrases for General
– Yes = Chai (khrub/ka)
– No = Mai (khrub/ka)
– Thank you = Khop khun (khrub/ka)
– Thank you so much = Khop khun mak (khrub/ka)
– Sorry / Excuse me = Khor Thoad (khrub/ka)
– Never mind = Mai Pen Rai
– I don’t want it = Mai Aow
– Stop = Yhut
– I like.. = Chan chop..
Basic Thai Phrases for Food, Restaurant
– Eat = Kin
– Restaurant = Raan aa- harn
– I would like to order food = Sang Ar- haan
– Delicious / Yummy = Aroy
– Not Spicy = Mai phet
– Hungry = Hew
Basic Thai Phrases for Shopping
– How much? = Ra ka tao rai ?
– Any discount? = Lot ra ka hai noi?
– Cheap = Thuk
– That’s expensive! = Paeng mak.