Phuket Travel Guide Contents
Places To Go | Things To Do | Hotels & Resorts | Tours | Weather & When To Go | Getting There & Around | See & Do | Where To Stay | Day Trips & Excursions | Typical Costs | Money Saving Tips | Safety Tips | Recommended Resources | Transport | Travel Blog
Welcome to Thailand Travel Hub’s complete guide to Phuket, Thailand’s world-famous tropical paradise which attracts millions of tourists every year, and for good reason. Located on Thailand’s west coast in the Andaman sea, this incredible destination offers something for everyone, whether you want to relax on a secluded white sand beach, shop till you drop in a modern mall or Thai night market, or even indulge in the infamously hedonistic nightlife of Patong. With fantastic weather, delicious food, stunning beaches and friendly locals, a trip to Phuket is an experience not to be forgotten.
Discover the best hotels and resorts, the best beaches, the best activities and the best places to shop and eat on the island, along with our essential travel tips and advice, travel resources and booking information, all here in one place. Phuket has a vast array of accommodation options, with everything from the most basic hostel dorms to five-star ultra-luxury spa resorts, here you can find all the key information which you need to ensure that you choose the place that’s best suited to you. Wherever you choose to stay, Phuket is a great choice and you can look forward to an amazing holiday experience surrounded by lush tropical vegetation and crystal clear azure waters.
Phuket Travel Guide Map
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Weather & When to Go to Phuket
Like the rest of Thailand, Phuket has three seasons; "cool", "hot", and "wet" (the monsoon season). But don't be deceived, the cool season is actually still hot, so a better description would be "hot", "very hot", and "monsoon". The best time to visit is undoubtedly between November and April when you will find that the conditions are optimal for enjoying the beaches and engaging in water-sports or boating activities, with a good amount of sun and minimal rain.
The cool season is November to February when you can expect average daily temperatures of 25°C. This is followed by the hot season from March to May, when you can expect temperatures of around 30°C, and the rest of the year, June-October is the monsoon season when you can expect temperatures of around 28°C. During the monsoon season, the rain can be torrential, heavy enough to make driving very hazardous, and it can stop and start very quickly. Despite this, visiting during the rainy season can still be fun as you will find fewer tourists and should be able to secure a better deal for your accommodation – but just make sure any plans you have are flexible to allow for the downpours.
How To Get To Phuket
Phuket is connected via two road bridges to the mainland in the Phang Nga Provence, although there are also speedboat transfers from Ko Hae, Ko Phi Phi and Krabi. If you’re traveling from Bangkok to Phuket, there are several transport options from flights leaving Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi Airports, VIP buses from the southern bus terminal or Khao San Road, or a combination of train and bus from Bangkok's Hualampong train station.
Getting to Phuket by Plane – Flying is the easiest way to get to Phuket, with most travelers stopping at Bangkok before arriving at Phuket International Airport, although there are also many charter flights which fly direct from some international airports (especially in the high season). Budget flights from Bangkok start at around 700 baht ($23) each way but can cost considerably more if you book them last minute. Flights take around 1 hour and 15 minutes. A good tip is to fly from the older, domestic airport called Don Mueang (DMK) as the fares will almost certainly be lower.
Getting to Phuket by Bus – Buses depart from both of Bangkok's bus terminals and arrive in Phuket around 13 hours later, costing you 600-1000 baht ($20-$33) per person. There are also numerous private tour buses which can be booked at hotels and travel agents in the capital which may be more comfortable but don't count on it. If you travel by bus never leave your valuables in any stowed luggage, things can and do sometimes go missing.
Getting to Phuket by Train – It is possible to go as far as Surat Thani by train, and then continue your journey to Phuket by bus, but this will take a long time and cost more than a budget air ticket so is not a great choice, but if you want to travel last minute and haven’t booked flights it could be an option. Trains depart Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station and arrive at Surat Thani 9-12 hours later at a cost of around 500 to 1500 baht ($16.50-$49) each way.
TTH Recommendation: There are many methods of transport you can take to get to Phuket and surrounding area, including Taxis, Minivans, Buses, Ferries and Flights. All can be booked in advanced and conveniently online. We highly recommend 12Go Asia, they have an easy-to-use booking system and helpful staff if you have any questions or queries with your bookings.
Getting Around Phuket
Once you've arrived on the island, there are many ways to get around. Phuket has a decent number of tuk-tuks, which look a little different to the tuk-tuks in the capital, the ones here are a little bigger and painted red. Be warned, though, for many years now, visitors and locals alike have complained about the prices which they charge, and it has been suggested that the drivers collude to keep the prices high – try to avoid using them where possible.
Taxi - Metered, air-conditioned taxis are a much better bet, however, they can be difficult to find and the driver may, as usual for Thailand, refuse to use the meter. If he does so, refuse the taxi and look for another as you will invariably end up paying at least double what the meter would have charged. There are public buses on the island which are good value, however, the network is radial with Phuket Town at the center meaning to go from one beach to another would require two buses and take longer than you would imagine.
Songthaew - Songthaews are the best compromise for most travelers, being cheap, convenient and safe. They are a little smaller than the ones you would see in Bangkok or Chiang Mai, but they work on the same principle. Songthaew's run from Ranong Road in Phuket Town and on to Phuket's most popular destinations such as Chalong, Kamala, Kata, Karon, Makham Bay, Nai Harn, Nai Yang, Patong, Rawai, Surin and Thalang. Songthaew's do not have any bus stops, to get on just flag one down, then to get off, just ring the bell, your fare will be 15-40 baht ($0.49-$1.30) depending on distance. Fares start from 15 baht and a typical journey to Phuket Town from one of the main beach towns will cost around 30 baht. Songthaew's always return to their origin at Ranong Road in Phuket Town, so unfortunately you can't get a Songthaew from beach to beach. Songthaew's run from 7am to 6pm.
Motorbike - By far the most convenient way to get around is to hire a motorcycle. For 300 baht ($10) a day, you can go as far as you want and explore the island at your leisure. 60 baht ($2) will get you a full tank of gas, which will seem to last forever. A few key points though; only get a bike if you have a motorcycle license and are a confident rider as some of the roads can be treacherous. Always wear a helmet and never drink and drive, even if others appear to be doing it.
Airport Bus - An Airport Bus runs from Phuket International Airport to Phuket Town Bus Terminal, which leaves every hour starting at 7.30am to 9.30pm from outside the arrivals hall in the domestic terminal. You will need to look out for the orange bus, the fare is 100 baht. When you exit the arrivals hall just turn left to reach the pickup point. If you are going to Thalang, Kamala Beach, Surin Beach, Bang Tao Beach, Por Bay you can get off at Horoines Monument for a connecting bus. If your going to Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach or Rassada Pier you will need to get a connecting bus at the Phuket Bus Terminal.
Where To Stay In Phuket
Patong is the biggest and most developed part of the island, and for many people, it will be the best place to stay. It has a huge choice of accommodation, hundreds upon hundreds of restaurants, bars, pubs and by far the best nightlife options. It is also home to some of the island's best shopping, including the JungCeylon mall and many night-markets and small shops. Patong is fairly large, and a bit too big to be able to comfortably cover on foot, so hiring a motorcycle would be advised. The downside is that it is packed with tourists, especially on the beach, and can be quite noisy at night time.
Karon is a little more relaxed than Patong and noticeably smaller, but still has a lot of choice and variety with many restaurants and bars, and the nightlife is more subdued. The beach is not so packed and cleaner as a result, making Karon a great compromise for most travelers with the nightlife options of Patong still only 15-20 minutes away. It is a better choice for families as some of the Patong entertainment options are not quite family-friendly (with lady-boys and young girls walking around in bikinis in the evenings).
Kamala is smaller and quieter than Karon and can be covered on foot fairly easily. It is more relaxing and has a laid-back village feel to it, the northern end is the quietest, with most amenities being found on the Beach Road at the southern end. Kamala has a fantastic beach, which is quieter and cleaner than either at Karon or Patong, with noticeably fewer tourists. Kamala is only 15 minutes north of Patong, so if you want a more chilled holiday but still want to be within easy reach of extensive shopping and nightlife options, Kamala could be the place for you.
Kata consists of two beaches, Kata Yai (big Kata) and Kata Noi (small Kata), both of which are beautiful with clean, clear waters and white sands. Kata has many accommodation options and plenty of restaurants, bars and shopping options and all the amenities you could need during your holiday. There are also some lively nightlife spots, but nothing as in your face as Patong, which when combined with the great beaches makes this a popular choice for families. Kata could neither be described as quiet nor busy, but a happy compromise with some great value hotels.
Surin is a more upmarket destination with luxury, private resorts, with prices to match. A popular getaway for celebrities, the town itself has little to offer, with most amenities being provided inside the resorts themselves. There are a few high-end restaurants and cocktail bars attached to some of the resorts which are open to the public, where you can try some exquisite food from international chefs. Surin beach is very quiet but stunningly clean and beautiful, a welcome change if you want some peace and quiet.
Phuket Town is very different to other destinations on the island, and although it doesn't have a nice beach, there is still plenty to see and do. It is a fully functioning Thai town and looks like many provincial towns around the country, and as such, you can see monks walking the streets in the early morning and Thai people going about their business during the day. Cheap accommodation is abundant, and the town is peppered with great restaurants, bars and attractions with plenty to see and do in the evenings. Great for backpackers on a budget.
TTH Recommendation: There are lot's of fantastic accommodation options available in Phuket, from budget hostels, guest houses, beach bungalows, hotels and high end resorts. It's always best to book online before you go, we recommend Agoda.com and Booking.com. Both companies offer excellent customer service and good cancellation policies just in case you change your mind or your travel arrangement change. You can also check out all the customer reviews and experiences before you make your booking!
Best Things to See & What to Do in Phuket
Discover Phuket's Beautiful Beaches
Phuket is home to some spectacular beaches with perfect white sands and crystal clear warm waters, but Patong beach, in particular, can get quite crowded and busy during the high season. But don't worry as Phuket has more than 30 beaches, with some very secluded and serene places if that is more your speed. Different beaches will have a different feel, with different types of sand, scenery, varying numbers of tourists and different local amenities, so take the time to find out which one you’d prefer.
Some beaches will, unfortunately, be thronged with tourists in addition to hawkers hassling you every five minutes to buy sunglasses, fresh coconuts, or to get a massage, whilst on the other hand, it is also possible to find secluded, quiet beaches with less than a dozen people on them. Some of the more up-market resorts even have private beaches, so that may be something to consider if your budget can stretch to it. But in short, Phuket is famous for its beaches and whichever one you choose you will be sure to enjoy yourself.
There are some truly stunning beaches in Phuket. In Kata for example there’s the gorgeous Kata Noi, which retains a slightly rustic ambience with far less crowds than its lively neighbour Kata Beach, while in Surin, you’ll find the curvaceous Laem Singh Beach – which is surrounded by thick rickets of forest and the most beautiful aquamarine waters.
Scenic Nai Thon Beach is one of our favourites though. A part of the Sirinat National Park – meaning that in terms of development, it’s been almost entirely left alone.
Kamala Beach is another pretty beach that has retained some of its original charm and has a lovely fishing village attached to it with a few restaurants and bars. Stick to the north side of the beach if you want to avoid the crowds.
The more popular beaches include Freedom Beach in Patong, Karon Beach and the once secret Banana Beach – which despite efforts to keep it cloaked in mystery is now a constant on the tourist trail.
Diving & Snorkeling Around Phuket
The surrounding waters of Phuket offer some the best diving sites in the world, such as the world renowned Similan Islands, Surin Islands, Richelieu Rock and Koh Tachai to the North and dive sites such as the King Cruiser Wreck, Anemone Reef, Racha Yai, Racha Noi and Phi Phi Islands to the south. Checkout our article on the best dive sites in Phuket to find out more.
Phuket hosts some of the best diving experiences and marine life in the world, which keeps divers from all over the world coming back time and time again. There are an extraordinary amount of fish species, including angelfish, lionfish, scorpionfish and trumpetfish, as well as manta rays, seahorses and of course sharks. Whale shark, reef sharks and leopard sharks are all commonly spotted. You can also expect to experience some amazing coral reefs, shipwrecks, sea caves, pinnacles, shelves and swim-through's.
Whether you are an advanced diver or a complete beginner, Phuket is an excellent place to enjoy a spot of scuba diving. Scuba diving in Thailand is an absolute bargain with single dives available from as little as 1500 baht ($45) or a complete PADI open water dive course from as little as 8500 baht ($280). With the prices being so low here in Thailand, it offers a great opportunity to get your scuba diving certificates completed.
There are numerous dive shops to choose from, so feel free to shop around for the best deal. Phuket is a fantastic place for divers with many excellent dive sites featuring extensive coral formations and an abundance of aquatic wildlife. There is a choice of basic or more advanced dives, with an interesting wreck site to be explored in Racha Yai, make sure to discuss with your dive shop if that is something that you might be interested in. Most of the dive centres offer packages with a 3-dive deal going for around 3500-4000 baht ($115-$132) but note that many charge for extras such as equipment hire and insurance.
Explore Phuket Island & Beyond
Phuket is a huge island and you’ll need to allow several days to explore and visit the top attractions. But don’t forget to allocate a few days to visit the Phi Phi islands and Phang-Nga bay, which are a must if you can spare the time. And then there are the Similan islands, plus many other tiny islands dotted about where you can spend a whole day visiting and doing some swimming or snorkelling, there’s a lot more in the area than just Phuket island itself.
Phang-Nga Bay is an unforgettable experience with dramatic limestone formations seeming to rise out of the sea. It is a fantastic photo opportunity and James Bond fans may remember the scenery from "The Man with the Golden Gun".
The Phi Phi islands are just as spectacular and are worth an entire day of your time. Once touted as the most beautiful islands in the world, they were hit hard by the 2004 tsunami which wiped out practically all of their infrastructure, but it has now been rebuilt and the islands welcome many visitors daily.
Visit Phuket's Stunning Temples
Phuket is home to many Thai temples (29 in fact), known as wats, and also some Chinese shrines (known as Taoist temples). These temples are intricately constructed and incredibly ornate, they are fascinating and relaxing places to visit whilst a trip to some of the more important ones should be on every visitor's agenda. Remember that Thailand is a deeply religious country, with around 95% of the citizens being practising Buddhists, and as such these temples are working places of worship, meaning you will have to be quiet when visiting, take off your shoes, and ensure that shoulders and knees are covered to avoid offending the locals.
Wat Chalong is the biggest and most important temple on the island, it is a beautifully elaborate and colourful temple which features lots of gilding and the traditional multi-layered roof, and inside you will see handmade antique hardwood furniture, Thai porcelain and many large golden Buddha statues. On the walls are depictions of Buddha's life story, you could easily spend an hour at this temple alone, make sure you don't miss it.
Experience The Buzzing Nightlife In Phuket
If you want to find the best nightlife on the island, Patong is the place to go. Whether you fancy listening to some live music, seeing a comedy show, relaxing in a sports bar or going to a cabaret, Patong has got all bases covered. And of course, if you're looking for something a little more raucous, there are nightclubs and a string of go-go bars and lady bars. But don’t panic if you’re not staying in Patong, because all but the quietest locations on the island will have some nightlife, but may well be notably more sedate and family-friendly.
There are numerous bars around the island where you can stop for a cold beer and a game of pool, with many showing sports on large screen TVs. Numerous bars will have flags outside indicating to passers-by what types of food and drink they serve, you’ll see many Scandinavian bars and British-style pubs where you can find a taste of home in the evening if you’ve had enough Thai food or just fancy something a little less exotic.
Indulge In The Amazing Cuisine Of Phuket
Food is incredibly important in Thai culture, and indeed you’ll find plenty of great restaurants on the island to sample some of the country’s famous cuisine. And as food is such great value in Thailand, make sure to treat yourself at least once by visiting one of the island’s best restaurants such as the Siam Supper Club or the Blue Elephant. There are numerous cookery classes on the island too, which are great fun and can reveal the secrets of how to make that delicious Pad Thai or green curry which you can whip up once back at home to impress your friends and family.
But Phuket doesn't just offer Thai food, of course. There is an abundance of cuisines from around the world, with everything from authentic Italian pizza, fish and chips, Chinese food, Indian curries and Turkish kebabs to Korean BBQ, Russian and even Armenian food. Whatever you fancy, you can find it here. Just don't forget to try the street-food; from noodle soups to tacos, Thai desserts, pancakes or waffles, the street-food on Phuket is very cheap and delicious.
Tours, Day Trips & Excursions In Phuket
There are numerous day trips and excursions available in Phuket, and these can be booked quickly and easily from either your hotel or the nearest travel agent. Booking a trip or tour is a great way to enjoy a stress-free day out, and in most cases will cost a lot less than you may have thought. Day trips and activities are a fantastic choice for when you've spent too long lying on the beach and are a fascinating way to experience a bit of the local culture whilst having the chance to meet other like-minded people.
Boat Trips - You can book all kinds of boat trips, either around the island or to other small islands in the vicinity, which can include snorkeling, fishing, beach hopping or just sightseeing. You can book a private boat or one shared with other guests, depending on your budget. Many will include a buffet lunch and complimentary drinks. A popular full-day tour is one that takes in the Phi Phi Islands, the famous Maya Beach and the Coral Island, with prices around 3000-4000 baht ($100-$133).
Phuket Sightseeing Tours - You can also book minibus tours of the island, which will show you the most dramatic and beautiful highlights of Phuket, and stop to enjoy the most spectacular viewpoints for some fantastic photo opportunities. You could even combine your sightseeing tour with half-day trips to the elephant sanctuary, or include the mangrove jungle and hidden beach tour (which involves driving quad bikes), almost all the packages can be tailored to your needs with little added expense.
Thai Cooking Tours - There are also half-day food tours where you will be guided around some of the best spots on the island to try tasty local specialties such as Burmese curries, Hokkien noodles, zesty grilled satays and many other tasty morsels, and you will be shown around some of the local food markets which you may otherwise have missed. There are also many Thai cooking classes which last for 3-4 hours and start at about 1500 baht ($49) per person. Then there is the amazing cocktail workshop at the Chalong Bay Rum Distillery for 1700 baht ($56), an experience not to be missed.
Khao Sok National Park Tours - For those willing to go a little further onto the mainland, there are jungle tours of the incredible Khao Sok National Park, where you can see ancient rainforest, stunning scenery with dramatic limestone cliffs, and an abundance of local wildlife including elephants, tigers, monkeys, deer, tapir, wild boar and hundred of tropical bird species.
TTH Recommendation: You'll find travel agents and tour companies absolutely everywhere in Phuket, whether you are staying in Patong, Karon, Kamala, Kata, Surin or Phuket Town. However if you want to plan ahead, you can conveniently book online with Get Your Guide and Viator. Both companies offer excellent customer service and have excellent customer reviews. Another reason to booking online is you can look at customer reviews and experiences before you make your booking! Get Your Guide and Viator have a good cancellation/refund policy, in case your travel arrangements happen to change.
Prices, Expenses & Typical Costs In Phuket
Accommodation - Phuket is a little more expensive than many other places in Thailand, but despite that, you can still find hostel beds from as little as 130 baht ($4.30) per night in the low season. At the other end of the scale, there are a few resorts where you can drop 152,000 baht ($5000) per night. Good quality, comfortable boutique-style guesthouses are usually in the 1000-2000 baht ($33-$66) range, with family rooms for a family of 4 at around 1500-3000 baht ($49-$100) per night.
Transportation - Transportation is noticeably more expensive in Phuket than on the mainland. Motorbike rentals start at 250 baht ($8.23) per day and can save you a fortune if you are a competent rider. Tuk-tuks are expensive, with short trips within the same area at around 200-300 baht ($6.50-$10), and a trip from the airport to Patong or vice-versa can be over 1000 baht ($33), however, prices can usually be negotiated. Metered taxis are a bit cheaper (if they use the meter that is). Songtaews are a great compromise at 25-40 baht ($0.80-$1.33) per person.
Food and Drink - Don't disregard the roadside food vendors, they offer the best value and their food can be just as good if not better than many restaurants. Expect to pay 40 baht ($1.33) for a plate of food or a bowl of noodles, many will provide drinking water free or have sodas for 15 baht ($0.50). In a local-style restaurant, a Thai meal with rice will usually be under 100 baht ($3.33), Western food is more expensive. Expect to pay 150 baht ($4.94) for a full English breakfast, 150-200 baht ($4.94-$6.58) for that familiar fast food meal such as KFC or McDonalds, and with imported food such as Australian steaks, the sky is the limit. Seafood, however, is great value and will almost certainly be much cheaper than in your home country, so make the most of it!
Alcohol is expensive by Thai standards, a 620ml beer will be 65 baht ($2.14) in 7-Eleven and 70-150 baht ($2.30-$4.94) in a bar or restaurant. Cocktails start at 150 baht ($4.94) but can be as much as 600 baht ($20) in upmarket places, and imported wine, being heavily taxed, usually starts around 1000 baht ($33) per bottle. There are locally produced wines at much lower prices, but don't expect too much from them.
Recommended Budgets - Budget backpacker staying in a shared dorm, no alcohol: $25-$30 per day per person. Young traveler in boutique guesthouse with some attractions and nightlife: $70-$80 per day per person. Party animal budget staying at Patong guesthouse or hotel: $120-$140 per day per person. Family of four with guesthouse or resort, attractions, taxi/tuk-tuk transport and restaurant meals: $240-$300 per day per family. Luxury traveler, 5-star hotel, taxis, cocktails and evening entertainment: $320 and up per day per person.
Phuket Money Saving Tips
Avoid expensive taxis - Avoid expensive taxis and tuk-tuks and try to stick to the songtaews wherever possible. It's very easy to fritter away $30 a day on tuk-tuks if you're not careful and on a two-week vacation that can add up. If you're staying in a built-up area such as Patong or Karon, you will find that many places are with 10-15 minutes walk anyway.
Be careful of the hawkers - A lot of the stuff they sell is junk. But if you really want something go and buy it at the night market for half as much! Don't be surprised if that hand-carved item stains all your clothes in your suitcase because it was covered in boot polish, not paint.
Eat street food and at local restaurants - Western-style restaurants charge a premium and usually don't offer anything more than the cheap local restaurants. Try to stick to smaller, basic places and street food stalls and you will save a fortune, you can eat five street food meals for the price of one large McDonalds meal! Look for where the locals are eating, a busy restaurant is always a good sign in Phuket. Most Western food is done badly in Thailand, remember that when ordering.
Don't buy your currency in your home country - You will get 10-15% more by changing it once inside Thailand. Even at the airport in Phuket, you will get a much better rate than back home, but they are very picky about torn or defaced bills, so check them before arriving. SuperRich in Phuket Town often has very good rates.
Don't be scared to offer less - Thais respect a decent haggler! You can haggle with tuk-tuk drivers and at markets, but not in shops or restaurants. Don't come in so low that you insult the vendor, about 50% or a little more is a good place to start proceedings. Many Phuket vendors are aware that prices are cheap for westerners and will try and raise their prices accordingly.
Don’t drop your cigarette butts - If you are a smoker, always ensure that you dispose of your cigarette butt responsibly. Throwing it on the street or even down a drain is not allowed and if spotted you could be charged a 2000 baht ($65) fine. Try to find an ashtray if possible.
Ask for a discount at your hotel - If you are planning on staying several nights at the same hotel or guesthouse, and you haven’t booked and paid in advance, ask for a discount. More often than not you may be given a token amount such as 100 baht ($3.28) per night deduction, but you will then be asked to pay upfront. Most places will charge a deposit of 1000 baht for the key or key-card, so don’t lose it, and don’t forget to reclaim your deposit upon departure.
ATMs charges are very steep - Try to avoid using your foreign debit card in a Thai ATM as the charges are sky-high. There is a 220 baht ($7.25) charge on foreign card transactions which cannot be avoided, plus your bank back home will add on their foreign withdrawal fee and may also use an unfavorable exchange rate meaning that you could lose $25-$30 per withdrawal. For budget travelers this could easily be a day's budget lost so look at other options before traveling. Some banks offer debit cards with no foreign transaction fee (but you'll still pay the 220 baht each time), plus there are international money cards which can be preloaded with funds. Failing that, you should either bring as much cash with you as you feel comfortable with or make use of travelers cheques.
Beaches are free - If you find yourself short of funds, spend a day on the beach and eat street-food, the beaches are free and 2 street-food meals will cost as little as 80 baht ($2.65).
Look for happy hour deals and food vouchers - Many, if not most bars will have some kind of promotion or happy hour. This can range from 50% off deals to buy two beers get one free, or even a free beer with certain meals. If you’re a fast food fan, all the big chains in Thailand produce money off vouchers and coupons which can be picked up in various shopping malls, or you can download their online app to get free meals and discounts.
Is It Safe to Travel Around Phuket?
Phuket, like most parts of Thailand, is very safe, and certainly much safer than somewhere like London or Paris, for example. However, as it is arguably Thailand's most upmarket destination attracting tourists with money to spare, basic precautions should still be taken to protect yourself from opportunists. Bear in mind that many Thai people in the service industry earn under $10 per day, so be careful about flashing large wads of cash in your wallet, leave any valuable jeweler at home, and place expensive belongings in the hotel safe before venturing out. You are extremely unlikely to be the victim of violent crime, but petty theft and scams still take place.
Be very careful on the roads - Like many places in Thailand, your biggest danger is likely to be the roads and the traffic, especially if you are renting a vehicle. Some of the roads on Phuket can be very steep, winding and poorly maintained and as such, don’t attempt to drive yourself unless you are confident that you can do so safely. Take care when crossing the road, Thai drivers are not the most diligent in the world, and drunk-driving is unfortunately commonplace.
Keep your wits about you - Particularly in Patong at night, visitors should be aware of their surroundings and possessions. If someone tries to say that they know you from your hotel, it will be a scam. If a lady-boy puts her arms around you and kisses you on the cheek, check to see if your wallet, watch and necklace are still there immediately.
What what you drink - Drink-spiking can happen, so don't let your drink out of your sight where possible. Don't trust people who approach you out of the blue, and don't be tempted by offers to go somewhere you aren't comfortable with. If you are visibly intoxicated, you will be more likely to attract the attention of thieves and scammers so take care when enjoying the nightlife.
Stay away from trouble - If you witness an altercation involving a Thai person, under no circumstances should you get involved as you are very likely to end up being assaulted, blamed for something or possibly both. The best advice is to get as far away from the situation as you can.
Don’t feed the dogs - You will encounter many stray dogs on the island, most of which are perfectly safe and will ignore you if you ignore them. Try to steer clear of the dogs and certainly don't feed them as this will quickly attract more. At night time, keep your distance from groups of dogs as in numbers than can become more aggressive, particularly if you walk close to them whilst they are eating.
Watch out for creepy-crawlies - Other wildlife will include numerous lizards (both inside and outside), spiders, scorpions, snakes, mosquitoes, hornets and the dreaded giant centipede, which the Thais call “da-karb”. Most are harmless unless provoked. If you find something nasty in your bedroom, ask a Thai for assistance, they will know immediately whether it is dangerous or not.