Phuket Holiday Information
Phuket – Some facts you really should know
- Phuket is the largest island in Thailand, approx 50km north to south and 20km east to west,
- Phuket is home to over 300,000 people, the majority of whom are Buddhist, but there are also a significant number of Muslims, approximately 30%.
- Phuket International Airport is located in the north of the island and is just 45 minutes by road to Phukets most popular area Patong Beach. [see Map of Phuket]
- Visit Travelonline.com for more Phuket travel information.
Access to Money
Phuket's International Airport
Tuk Tuks (Informal Taxis)
Visas & Departure Tax
There is a vast supply of ATM’s (automatic teller machines) available throughout Phuket accepting most major cards from the major international networks such as Cirrus. Check the symbol on the back of your ATM card against the symbols on the ATM machine. However transactions fees can be considerably high and it is wise to check with your bank prior to departure. Maximum withdrawal amount per day is usually 20,000 baht.
Rates of exchange at banks and authorised money exchanges are generally more competitive than those offered at hotels and retailers. Money can be easily changed at currency exchange counters on retail strips such as Patong, Kata and Phuket City. Always ask in advance how much Baht you will receive for $x and count it back carefully. Some money changers are very quick and slightly alter their first offer in their favour if you are not being attentive.
Phuket International Airport is a 40 minute drive from Patong, Kata and Phuket City tourist areas. Taxi’s can be caught from the far side of the car park, a 5 minute walk outside the terminal. Be wary of the more expensive limousine service on offer inside the arrival hall.
Check what your currency is worth in Baht.
Major credit cards are accepted in most retailers and restaurants. (Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Diners)
Most Phuket resorts offer wireless broadband internet access.
Alternatively there are plenty of Internet Cafés available in the main tourist areas of Phuket.
Secondary: Chinese, Malay, Lao and English
You can rent a car or motorbike in Phuket with a foreign driver’s license, under the conditions that your license is valid and written in English. Drivers will be permitted to use their foreign driver’s license to a maximum of 60 days. In Phuket they drive on the left hand side of the road i.e. like the UK. As a rough guide small cars 5 to 10 years old (Toyota Yaris or Honda Jazz) can be hired from 1300 Thai Baht to 1600 Thai Baht per day. Motorbikes can be rented from 150 Thai Baht to 350 Thai Baht per day, with the Honda Dream 125cc being Phuket’s most popular choice.
Many taxi’s in Phuket do not use their meters preferring to charge a set rate, however this is often more expensive than metered taxis. Taxi’s should charge by distance travelled not how many people in vehicle, always negotiate payment with driver before choosing a taxi. As a guide the rate for a ride from one point in Patong to another is generally 20 Baht and from Patong to Phuket City is around 150 Baht.
Please use 0011 + country code + area code + local number
Thailand Country Dialing Code +66
Phuket’s Area Code: 76
Phuket has cheap transport by international standards.
Click here to check the Australian Governments official travel advice relating to Thailand.
Tuk tuks’ are generally a 3 wheeled open aired version of a taxi however in Phuket is more common to see small 4 wheeled little trucks instead. ‘Tuk tuks’ will often be sitting outside major hotels and shops waiting to lure tourists. Be wary as drivers very rarely use their meters and often charge much higher rates. Drivers may detour and take you to particulars shops on the way to your destination as they earn commission on your purchases. Before you take a seat in the Tuk tuk, you can request that you go directly to your destination.
VAT known as Value Added Tax is applied at 7% to the manufacturer price of goods before they are sold in Thailand. If you plan on doing some shopping during your stay, it can be a good idea to do a bulk of your shopping at stores displaying the ‘VAT Refund for Tourists’ sign. Goods must be at least 5000 Thai Baht including VAT and be purchased from each supplier from at least 2000 Thai Baht per day. The VAT refund will only apply to goods taken out of Thailand with the traveller within 60 days from date of purchase.
You will need to collect a receipt and get your VAT Refund Application for Tourists form filled out at time of purchase. Moreover upon departure you will need to keep your purchases with you separate from your main luggage as your items and receipts will be checked and VAT refund form stamped, if you continue through baggage check in first you will lose your right to the refund. Please check this information before departure, as taxation rules are subject to change.
Australian travellers with a current Australian passport with at least 6 months validity can travel in Thailand for up to 30 days without obtaining a visa. Australian travellers entering Thailand overland from one of Thailand’s bordering countries may stay in Thailand for up to 15 days without obtaining a visa. A visa is required for longer stays or for travellers intending to work or travel for purposes other than tourism in Thailand. Visas are to be obtained through your nearest Embassy or Consulate of Thailand prior to departure. Information regarding visas change frequently; please ensure you have contacted your closest Embassy or Consulate of Thailand to confirm that you have the most up to date information.
In most cases departure taxes are now included with your flight cost to Thailand. Check with your travel agent at time of booking. If you choose to alter your flight plans whilst travelling, for example decide to leave the Bangkok airport to see Bangkok due to long stopover time you will be required to pay approximately 700 Thai Baht departure tax to leave the airport. Please note that variations can occur with little or no notice.