Phuket Life and Visitor Travel Tips
The local Tourism Authority of Thailand, better known as simply 'TAT', is located in the centre of Phuket City. There are also various additional travel agencies both within the city and around the island.
Whilst the TAT office is always helpful and features a series of guide books and free magazines, they are unable to recommend specific hotels or restaurants. Particularly useful are the bus routes and approximate fares to the island's main beaches.
Tourism and Tourist Information
Useful contact details are listed below. If you need further information regarding the island, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) within Phuket City itself is always a good place to start your enquiries.
Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT)
Address: 73 - 75 Phuket Road, Phuket City, Phuket, 83000, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 076 21 1036
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 16:00
Phuket Tourist Police
Address: 100 / 31 - 32 Chalermphakeat R9 Road, Phuket City, 83000, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 076 25 4693
Emergency tel: 1155 (24 hours)
In the unlikely event that you should you need to contact the tourist police during you stay in Phuket, they can be reached by telephone.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 09:00 to 18:00, Saturday - 09:00 to midnight
Phuket Immigration Office
Address: 482 Phuket Road, Phuket City, 83000, Thailand, TH
Tel: +66 076 221 905
Fax: +66 076 212 108
The local immigration offices can be found on the southern side of Phuket City and also at Patong Beach.
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:30
Main Post Office
Address: Th Montri, Phuket City, Thailand, TH
Open hours: Monday to Friday - 08:30 to 16:30, Saturday - 09:00 to 12:00
Language and Dialect
One of Thailand's most popular tourist destinations, many people in Phuket understand English to some degree. However, if you can learn a few basic Thai phrases, it will undoubtedly be well received with locals. Some simple Thai phrases are shown here.
How are you?
- sabai dee reu?
- khàp khun
Where is the train station?
- sathanee rot-fai yoo tenee?
- arai ná?
What did you say?
- khun phuut waa arai
Please would you repeat that again
- chauy phuut iik thii
Please may I have the bill
- gep taang
Could you make this a little cheaper
lot noi dai mai
I do not know
- mai roo
Sorry, I do not understand
- khaw thot chan mai khao jai
The local currency in Thailand is the baht and therefore adopted throughout the island of Phuket. Thailand's current decimal system dates back to 1902, when bank notes were first used. The most notable cluster of banks within Phuket City itself can be found along Th Rasada, where you will be able to exchange currency and use their ATMs.
Following the recent passing of a smoke-free law in 2002, you are now no longer permitted to smoke in air-conditioned buildings and most public spaces throughout Thailand. Phuket is no exception to this rule.
General Dos and Don'ts
The following tips are worth bearing in mind when you visit Thailand and will make your stay all the more enjoyable.
- Affection - Thais find intimacy, such as kissing and cuddling, quite offensive. This is particularly so with older members of the local community, although the younger generation is more tolerant
- Alcohol - you are able to purchase alcohol freely in Thailand, although not between 14:00 and 17:00, or during public holidays
- Buddha Images - images of the iconic Buddha are always regarded as quite sacred, meaning that in many cases you will be unable to even take a photograph. To be safe, always check first before you get your camera out
- Drugs - drug laws in Thailand are famous for being harsh and can include literally years of imprisonment, or even death. Always be sure to pack your own luggage
- Greetings - Thai, do not actually shake hands. Instead, they choose to bow slightly, lowering their head whilst holding their hands together as if they were praying. This greeting is known as 'wai'
- Jewellery - tourists often purchase jewellery in Thailand, only to find later that it was sold at a rather inflated price. Therefore it is safest to avoid buying jewellery unless you really know what you are getting for your money
- Littering - under no circumstances should you ever drop litter in the street. Fines are often enforced for this behaviour and can be rather hefty
- Religious Beliefs - you should always dress appropriately if you plan to visit temples (wats), covering both your legs and arms. Sarongs are considered appropriate attire
- Shouting - do not shout, even when you are quite frustrated. Thais often do not know how to react to this behaviour and may laugh in an attempt to diffuse an awkward situation