The do’s and don’ts of Phuket

Published January 21st, 2013

With sand, seafood and magical sunsets, it’s hard not to have a good time on a Phuket holiday. There are however some better ways to experience the Thai Island than others, which is why we have written some do’s and don’ts to help you get the most out of your blissful stay.  

Phuket beaches DO: spend your days doing this


  DO spend your days at the beach: What would a Phuket holiday be without a few days spent relaxing on the beach. Our top picks include Banana Beach, Paradise Beach and Nai Harn Beach. DON’T miss the cultural experience: To write off Phuket as a mere beach destination is to truly miss out. See the 45 meter high statue of Big Buddha, wander around Old Phuket Town and experience the colourful and controversial nightlife along Bangla Road.   DO see Phang Nga Bay: The iconic bay is one of Phuket’s biggest draw cards for a reason. DON’T miss out on a cruise: The best way to see the bay and its breathtaking sheer limestone cliffs is with a cruise. Since it’s the best way to see Phang Nga Bay, it’s also the most popular. Avoid disappointment by booking a tour in advance.   DO show respect: An easy way to show respect in Phuket is with simple manners. Always say thank you. In Thai this translates to Kob Khun Ka if you are female and Kob Khun Kap if you are male. If you’re not confident in speaking Thai, a common way to say thank you in Thai culture is the wai. To perfom the wai you put your palms together with your finger tips pointing up, then raise your hands to your face with fingers covering your nose. This form of gratitude can be used in a range of scenarios including greetings and general signs of respect. DON’T underrate the power of a smile:  When in doubt, smile. Locals respond very positively to a smile. Although smiling all the time in western culture may seem in some instances disrespectful (and a little creepy), smiling in Thailand is seen as a great positive.   DO try your hand at bartering at the Phuket Weekend Market: Located along Chao Fa West Road, the popular open and covered market is a great place to start your Phuket shopping adventure. DON’T get too carried away: Bartering may be a way of life in Phuket but don’t get too carried away. If you try and bargain too low locals may feel disrespected. Avoid causing offence by always bargaining fairly and remember to smile.   DO explore with your tastebuds:  And a fantastic place to eat up a storm is at the Phuket Town Night Market. Some iconic dishes to try include Tom Yam Goong, Pad Thai and green curry chicken which translates to Geng Kheaw Wan Gai. DON’T be turned off by the lines:  Generally speaking, a busy food stall is worth the wait. When looking for where to dine, opt for stalls with the longest lines. Long lines with lots of local diners usually boast the best food in the market.  

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Lauren Burvill

Australian born but London based, I'm a sucker for big cities and small tropical islands. When travelling, I like eating like a local, dressing like a local, but staying in 5 star style. Have a travel story to share? Tweet me @laurenburvill.