Phuket is one of the most interesting and easy going places in the world which is one of the main reasons it makes it such a popular tourist resort. Phuket is a fascinating island with plenty to see and do, the people are some of the friendliest in the world, the food is excellent and cheap, you have access to massive amounts of ancient and contemporary culture, the shopping is out of this world, and there is vast amounts of natural beauty with its deep jungles, rugged mountains, and warm inviting beaches. Furthermore, as tourism is Phuket’s biggest industry the island and its people are very hospitable to tourists.
Before travelling anywhere it’s always best to learn a little about the where you’re travelling to, there are often certain cultural nuances to be aware of so as not to upset the locals and to ensure a more enjoyable time.
Below are my tips, which you should read and follow to ensure you can enjoy a trouble-free holiday in Phuket.
1. Be patient
Phuket life is often a lot slower than most tourists’ home countries. If you come from somewhere where the lifestyle is fast-paced, try to be a little bit more patient, especially when visiting a restaurant where you may be use to being served in a more prompt manner. Relax and be patient, it’s your holiday!!
2. Try to speak Thai
Be polite and say thank you when appropriate, it’s amazing what difference a little khap khun khup can make to a waiter or street vendor. Even if you just learn to say ‘hello’ the locals will appreciate it.
3. Respect the Buddhist religion.
You don’t have to be a spiritual person to understand the importance of being respectful of the local culture and beliefs. You can show your regard by abiding with rules when you visit a local Buddhist temple. These rules range from the simple removing of footwear inside holy premises to being on your best behavior during religious ceremonies.
4. Learn the rules of bargaining.
If you don’t have a Thai friend to accompany you while shopping, here are some tips on how to bargain for the best deals in Phuket.
A fair price to any item is somewhere below 30 or 20 percent of the original advertised cost. If you cannot speak the local language, you can always right down the price you want on a notepad. Some vendors can speak a little English, so you might be able to haggle with ease. Remain calm and polite during the whole process to avoid any disagreements.
5. If in need of help contact the tourist police
If problems do arise during your stay and you do need help, the best people to get help from are Phuket’s tourist police. They speak fluent English and are the ones responsible with anything tourist-related.