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11 Questions People Always Ask about Phuket (and a couple of stupid ones)

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Frequently Asked Questions about Phuket

We’ve been running a blog and a popular Facebook page for eight years, so we inevitably have to answer tons of questions. We do the best we can to answer them. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about Phuket. Please be aware that answers vary a lot from person to person and each situation is different, but the answers below should cover the basics.

1. How much money should I bring?

Currency Exchange in Thailand

One of the most frequently asked questions and probably the strangest one since everyone’s lifestyle is different. So here is my recommendation: don’t bring more money than necessary if you have an ATM or Credit Card card. There are more ATMs in Phuket than there are flies on a horse and the exchange rate isn’t bad, so why carry too much cash. Also, a lot of shops and restaurants now accept credit cards without extra charge.

2. What is the exchange rate and where should I exchange?

Phuket Exchange Rates

The exchange rate in the street is better than in your home country and often better than in the ‘official’ exchange rate booth. There are many illegal booths on the main roads of each town. Usually, stalls display rates on a piece of paper. If you want to test if it is legal or not, try to take a photo with your mobile and see her/his upset reaction. (You would save a couple of baht at those, but some travellers seem to care).

What is the exchange rate at the moment? The answer to this question is straightforward: to get an estimate of the current exchange rate, open the SuperRich Thailand Website. The exchange rate is very close to what you can get in Phuket right now, so you can monitor it before travelling. We also added a currency converter on the side menu to help you ➡. Read more

4. How much is the taxi from the airport?

There are at least five ways to go from the airport to your hotel, from the most expensive to the cheapest:

Hotel Transfers:
Always the most costly way, sometimes up to twice the price of an Airport Limousine. Only use it if you arrive late or if you enjoy having someone waiting for you with your name on a signboard.

Airport Limousine:
Those are the grey Toyota Camry you see waiting outside the airport. It’s not much more expensive than a Taxi-Meter, and you are (usually) treated much better than in a Taxi-Meter. The car is often new, and cleaner plus your driver can often speak a bit of English. The counter is inside the arrival hall, and someone usually helps you with your luggage. And it feels a bit more special.

Taxi Meter:
A bit cheaper but remember there is a 100 Baht airport tax in addition to the price indicated on the meter.

Shared Van:
The shared minivan is the cheapest, but you can’t be in a rush since you have to wait until the minibus is full and hope you are the first one to be dropped, not the last! If you flew for 12 hours, that would add to your trip!

Local Bus:
The local bus only goes to Phuket town where you would have to take a taxi or another local bus to reach your hotel. It could end up as long as your flight, so maybe not be worth the saving.

The Smart Bus
The smart bus is a new modern air-con bus that goes from the airport all the way to Rawai Beach and stops at every beach on the west coast. Cost is only 50 to 170 baht for the longest distance. read more

5. Do I need a driving license to rent a bike?

Driving a bike in Phuket

You need a driving license to rent a bike, BUT the reality is a lot different

1. When you want to rent a bike, any shops will accept your home driving license.
2. If you have police control but only can show your home driving license, you will have to pay a 500 baht fine, usually payable on the spot, which saves time. Probably 90% of people driving a bike in Phuket use their home car driving license (an educated guess).
3. The real problem occurs in the case of an accident. Only an international driving license would be valid to have your insurance working. So think twice and do the right thing > Don’t ruin your holiday: get an international driving licence and reputable travel insurance! Read more

6. What plug types are used in Thailand?

Electric Plugs in Thailand

Thailand uses 220V AC electricity. Power outlets most commonly feature two-prong round or flat sockets. Most hotels use international plugs and adapters are cheap and easy to buy at convenience stores. (and Phuket has more convenience stores than there are flies on the back of a horse)

7. What happens if I overstay?

Phuket Immigration

Just for a couple of days, you might have a small fine at the airport. The official fee is 500 baht per additional day for the next 40 days, then 1,000 baht per day beyond that (last time we checked). But don’t worry, you will not be banned from coming back to Thailand as someone once asked us. If you overstay more than a couple of days you may face serious problems so keep an eye on the expiry date!

8. What’s the weather like in Phuket?

If I had the exact answer to this question, I would be rich by now. You need to understand that Thailand has two seasons: high and low, but the world has turned crazy and the usual pattern has become unpredictable.

YES, the best time to come is from January to April.
NO, it doesn’t rain every day during the low season!

It’s quite lovely most of the time; a bit of rain here and there BUT the sea is often rough and not that beautiful blue we love. Now what you need to know it’s that there are a few bad weeks where it rains non-stop. These only happen during the low season, and they are unpredictable, and there is nothing we can do about them. Those are the ones you want to avoid, but don’t ask us when they occur! (we know you will ask anyway). In recent years it even rains during the high season. Read more

9. Which beach is best?

Tri Trang Beach

That’s another question with a different answer for each person. Tell me who you are, and I’ll tell you which beach is best for you 🙂 (just kidding… well, sort of). We’ll write a full page about it.

  • If you want to party and everything is nearby, but you don’t mind the beach and the street being busy, then Patong beach is for you.
  • If you are a couple or a family and you want a compromise between an active and a not too busy beautiful beach? Pick Kata beach.
  • Do you want it beautiful and quiet but not too far from the action and you don’t mind walking? Karon Beach.
  • Quiet and family-friendly with a bit of old Phuket feeling? Kamala Beach.
  • A self-contained luxury resort? Bang Tao beach.
  • The ultimate romantic escape with a beach just for you and your loved one? Mai Khao Beach.
  • Do you miss how Phuket use to look like 20 years ago, and you want a wild beach with local food vendors and fisherman selling their catch in the morning? Nai Yang beach.

See how readers voted for Phuket beaches here

10. How do I go to Phi Phi Island?

Ferry to Phi Phi Island


  • To Phi Phi > Only by ferry or speedboat
  • To Krabi > By boat, speedboat, car or bus. Driving to Krabi by bike is feasible but it’s far, and your butt sure will hurt 😉
  • To Phang Nga > You can go by rented car or book a tour. Driving to Phang Nga by bike is also feasible, but it’s a long ride

How to get to those places:

  • To catch a ferry you can go to Rasada pier and 1) purchase your ticket directly 2) Book with an agent or 3) Ask your hotel to help, it’s very common
  • To ride a bus to Krabi you need to go to the Bus Terminal on Thepkasatri road and purchase a ticket. The trip usually lasts 4 hours and costs around 200 Baht.
  • Car rental is the best; you get to drive through amazing landscapes. Rent from an international company is preferable, no bad surprises in case of an accident. Many of these car rentals are available at the airport.

11. How do I go from beach to beach?

Phuket Smart Bus
Phuket Smart Bus

If you don’t have a bike or a car, there are two options. The cheapest one is the new Phuket Smart Bus, and the fast one is the good old Tuk Tuk or Grab Taxi. Prices for Tuk Tuks are not fixed and are known to be too high, but thinking about it’s not that high and they are always nearby to take you anywhere. Grab, and taxi meters are available but not often insight. Always remember to agree on the price before boarding your tuk-tuk and enjoy the ride! Read more

A price range for Tuk Tuk based on readers experience:

  • Around Patong: 200 baht, can go up to 300 at night
  • Patong to Kata and Karon: 300 to 400 Baht
  • Kata Beach to Nai Harn: 600 Baht
  • Patong to Phuket town: 800 Baht
  • Patong to Kamala: 300 Baht

Now, the silly questions:

Q. How do I Pronounce Phuket? F….. it?
A. Hrmm, well, if you don’t know, you should read this 😀

Q. Can I get a nice hotel right on the beach at Christmas time, close to everything? Oh, and it has to be cheap!
A. No

Q. How do I know that my new girlfriend is really a girl?
A. Read this

We’ll add more as we receive them 🙂

FAQs about Phuket

Q. What are the most popular beaches in Phuket?

a. Patong Beach, Kata, Karon and Bangtao are the most popular beaches to book a hotel in Phuket. Nai Harn and Surin are beautiful beaches to spend the day.

Q. Which island is the best near Phuket?

a. Phi Phi island is the most visited, then Coral Island and Racha Island.

Q. What is Phuket most famous for?

a. Phuket is mostly famous for its beautiful beaches and blue water, scenic landscape, excellent seafood and worry-free nightlife.

Q. How far is Phuket from Bangkok?

a. Phuket is 674 km (418 miles) from Bangkok, 1 hour 25 minutes flight via Phuket International Airport.

Q. Is Phuket a safe island?

a. Phuket is a safe island if you follow the basic common-sense safety rules; you should never have to worry. However, you must be extra careful when swimming in low season and driving.

Q. What is there to do around Phuket?

a. Chalong Temple, the Old Town and the Giant Sitting Buddha are among the main things to see in Phuket.

Willy Thuan
Born in France a long long time ago, I started to travel the world early and never stopped until I settled in Thailand in 1994. Then for the past 27 years, my passion for photography and my natural curiosity has taken me to every corner of Thailand, jumping frequently between Bangkok and Phuket and basically everywhere I could go. I run and manage large international online travel guides.