Travel and accommodation guide for Phuket Thailand Travel and accommodation guide for Phuket Thailand
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Travel Tips

We have been in Phuket for now 10 years and we have a HUGE collection of tips to perfect your vacation in Phuket but unfortunately it takes time to write these up. We will keep posting new tips and the collection will grow. Some of the tips are generic, not specific “Phuket” and some are very “Phuket and Thailand” specific. Phuket is a very easy holiday destination, nice, quite clean and very safe, but a few tips will make this holiday a bit more perfect.

If you have some comments and suggestions, based on your travel experiences in Phuket and Thailand, please send them to us and we will post them on the website. Use my contact form to send us your tips.

Quick links to the tips on this page:

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Making a visa run to the Burmese border to extend your Phuket holiday

Your Phuket holiday is fantastic, you love the place, the food, the people and the nightlife but unfortunately you are running out of time on your visa and would like to stay a bit longer. There are many options tdo extend your visas, some more expensive than other, some take longer than others, but Phuket is well supplied in companies offering all the required services to make your visa extensions a breeze.

We focused this article on making a quick 1 day visa run to the Burmese border. Click here for web resources and all the details you need on how to make a successful visa run from Phuket.

Visa run to Myanmar by sea

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How to save on transportation while in Phuket

Once you arrive in Phuket, either by plane or bus, you will need to travel to your favorite beach and hotel. Phuket is very poor in public transportation, very very poor. There are some public buses, I think these are green color but I am not sure as you rarely see them around, or the local bus which was some kind of pick-up/truck converted into a local shuttle bus but do not expect these to be as frequent as the buses in Bangkok or the ones back home. These small shuttle truck-like buses have routes which usually cover a lot of places per route so be ready to sit waiting for a while, BUT they are very cheap.

Phuket also offers an army of taxis, tuk-tuks and limousines to travel around but at a much bigger fee that the local buses (PS: the limousines are not the over-stretched luxury sedan like in Hollywood). Tuk-tuks are not the 3 wheeled semi bike-cart yellow and blue transportation devices that is near extinct in Bangkok, here in Phuket the tuk-tuks have 4 wheels, look like midget wannabe trucks where you enter from the back and are commonly outfitted with REALLY loud speakers and blue neon lights.

 

They are quite safe unless you fall out from the back, but otherwise you never see these guys in road accidents. Tuk-tuks, metered or not metered taxis and limousines are not cheap to use, I would not recommend these for people who want to explore Phuket, beach-hopping and discover non-tourist areas.

Car and bike rentals in Phuket are everywhere and highly competitive. I would recommend renting a car instead of a bike as the roads of Phuket are not so safe for bikers despite the fact that there are so many on the road here, I guess this is the cause of most accidents. If you are travelling with a family or friends, then the car rental option is the best, safest and the cost quite low. If you are renting then here are some DOs and DONTs to carefully follow:


DOs and DONTs for car renting:

  1. Always ask for the type of car insurance and the coverage. Usually you are well covered but asking for the extra 150-200 Baht plus plus coverage makes a lot of sense. Top end insurance policies in Thailand are called FIRST CLASS, ask for that.
  2. Drive carefully and always expect to have on the left and on the right a bike not caring about road signage, road regulations, your indicators or even your car. Simple rule of thumb while driving in Thailand is to go with the flow and take your time. Everything comes from everywhere here so take it easy; you are on vacation, no rush and take time to look left-right-back-front before taking a turn.
  3. DON’T DRIVE DRUNK, this is very serious here and jail time is usually involved if you get caught.
  4. You need an international driving license to drive in Thailand. Usually you can get this for free in your country.
  5. If you are involved in an accident, that you are wrong or the other party is wrong, KEEP YOUR COOL and follow these steps:
    1. KEEP COOL
    2. Call your car rental company and explain the problem. Let someone around explain your location.
    3. KEEP COOL
    4. Wait for the cops to come and the rental company. If asked a question play dumb and wait for rental company to come. Rule of thumb – let the Thais deal together in Thai and all will be ok.
    5. Be ready to spend a few hours at the cop station until all the matters are dealt with between the rental company, the other party and the cops. Stay out of it.
  6. Keep your passport in the car or in your bag but better have it incase you need it. Thefts of cars or break ins are very rare in Phuket.

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DOs and DONTs for bike rental:

  1. Bikes are rarely insured so don’t expect to have any coverage in case of an accident. You break you pay and there is little more you can do about it. Also you lose it you bought it so be careful where you park or leave the bike at night.
  2. When you drive, to stay safe, you must go with the flow. Remember road regulations here are a rare thing.
  3. Always wear a helmet because it is the law and because driving without one is simply dumb. Cops will give you a fine when they catch you and in case of an accident, the road will not be forgiving.
  4. Wear proper footing, shorts and a long sleeve shirt because it is so hot in the sun and you will get burned. DO NOT wear a swimsuit while driving on the bike and wear proper clothing. The Thais do not like it when they see tourists without shirts or in swimsuits while driving around, be respectful to their culture.
  5. Drive safely, keep your cool and use your common sense, it is always best to imitate the locals (well to a certain extent).

Where to rent your vehicle?

  1. Everywhere!
  2. Ask the front desk of your hotel
  3. At the arrival lobby and parking lot at the airport.
  4. In Phuket town and all the beaches of Phuket.

How much should you be paying?
The rate may change due to the season and different promotions they will offer. The price also changes depending on the duration of the rent, so do not hesitate to ask for more discount when you rent for longer durations. Here are some links to website where you can see updated rental rates along with details for renting with them.

  • David Car Rent - this company has been around for a long time, good reputation, easy rental, good insurance protection, very flexible and they have a huge inventory of vehicles.

  • Pure Car Rent - family owned company, good prices, good range of vehicles, good maintenance and all vehicles are well insured.

  • Andaman Car Rent - offers a variety of car to fullfil your transportation need during your holiday in Phuket. They provide luxury cars to budget car.

  • Braun Car Rentals - British owned company, offering a wide range of cars at budget rates. Check out their discount rate, from 5% to 10% depending on the rental period. All cars have a first class insurance.

  • Budget Car Rent - no need much introduction, known worldwide, only I think they are a bit more expensive that te above smaller local companies. I think it still needs to be in the list as it is available in Phuket.

  • Hertz Car Rental - again no need introduction. Available in Phuket and you can pre-book before arriving at the airport. Again more expensive that local mum & pop outlets.

 

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Tips to save on your accommodation in Phuket

Are you planning your dream trip to Phuket Thailand? A little planning goes a long way and will help your wallet take you a little farther. Here are some tips to help you save on hotels in Phuket. Keep browsing Phuket-Holiday.com for promotions, discounted rates and special offers. Phuket-Holiday.com works with Agoda.com to offer some of the best hotel deals on the Internet.

  • The earlier you book in advance, the more likely you will be offered discounts, room upgrades, special tour offers and so forth. Also early bookings mean you get first choice in hotel and room selection.

  • Don’t be shy to ask for a little more. No shame in requesting free stuff!

  • If you are travelling with your friends and family, always ask about group rates or family packages. Let them know that you are many and that’s a lot of business for them in 1 shot. Again ask for free stuff, free breakfast, airport pickups, discounts for tours and so on.

  • Carefully check what is included in your room rates. Unpleasant surprises for additional amenities not included in the room rate can be costly and ruin your vacation. Read all the details carefully from the accommodation booking website and get a good grasp of what you are paying for.

  • If you are flexible in your travel plans then you can plan according to the seasons. The peak season in Phuket from November to February is always when hotels cost the most but after February prices are much lower and hotels are generally quite desperate for bookings.

  • Choose the right website to book your vacation, with the possibility of changing our booking dates without penalties and even being able to cancel a booking just in case. Booking through websites is always where you will find the best deals ONLY if you choose the right providers.

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