What Should I Know When Planning a Trip to Phuket?

A tropical paradise is waiting for you here in Phuket, complete with lush landscapes, beautiful beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant cultural experiences. But to make the most of everything on offer, you have to plan and prepare! 

This blog is designed to help anyone answer the question, “What should I know when planning a trip to Phuket?” It’s the ideal companion piece to our previous blog How to Plan the Perfect Trip to Phuket. Be sure to check it out when you have finished here for even more local tips, insights, and advice.

At Phuket Elephant Nature Reserve, we provide ethical elephant activities in Phuket, so you can be sure that we’re experts in local life here in Thailand’s island gem. Let us help you have a holiday that is not only enjoyable but also respectful of the local culture.

Let’s get started on our tips for what you need to know when planning a trip to Phuket. If any questions come to mind as you read, please contact us for the answers you need.

What is the Weather Like in Phuket?

Given Phuket’s location, our island has a tropical climate. This means it’s hot all year round! Average temperatures across the year range from 25°C to 34°C. The months of April and May are the hottest time of the year, while January is the coldest.

But don’t be mistaken — the January weather is practically perfect. Average daytime temperatures are 30.2°C, and this only drops to 25.6°C at night. The full high season runs from November to February. During this time, the cooler weather and minimal rain attract visitors from all over the world.

Conversely, the low season is between May and October. This period sees more rainfall than other times of year, but with fewer tourists around, it’s ideal for budget-conscious travellers.

Our Visitor’s Guide to Phuket has even more information about the climate you can expect and plenty more valuable information for travellers.

Check Up-to-Date Passport and Visa Requirements for Thailand

Ensure your travel documents are in order before embarking on your Phuket adventure. Most nationalities enjoy visa-free entry for stays up to 30 days, but it’s always wise to check current requirements with the Thai embassy or consulate in your home country.  If your country doesn’t qualify for visa-free entry, it may be on the visa-on-arrival list. 

For travel plans that don’t fall into the categories above, you will likely need to apply for a Thailand tourist visa.

A valid passport with at least six months of validity beyond your intended departure is a must.

People in Phuket Speak Thai and English

While Thailand’s official language is Thai, you’ll find that English is widely spoken in tourist areas. But remember, it’s handy to learn a few basic Thai phrases to enhance your interactions with locals. 

At Phuket Elephant Nature Reserve, our team is fluent in English and our tour guides are multi-lingual, ensuring seamless communication and a deeper understanding of the importance of elephant conservation efforts.

Familiarise Yourself with Local Customs and Etiquette

Immersing yourself in Phuket’s rich cultural tapestry is highly rewarding, but it’s important to do so by respecting local customs. As a predominantly Buddhist country, it’s customary to show reverence to images of Buddha and when visiting Phuket’s must-see temples

Dress modestly when visiting these sacred sites, covering your shoulders and knees. You should also remove your shoes before entering a temple or someone’s home.

While Phuket enjoys a vibrant nightlife, convenience stores can only sell alcohol between 11 am and 2 pm, and 5 pm to midnight. However, this does not apply to restaurants and bars. Both sell alcohol 24 hours a day, except on royal and religious holidays.

Don’t Fret About Managing Your Money in Phuket

Thailand’s official currency is the Thai Baht (THB) and ATMs are widely available in tourist areas. Credit and debit cards are accepted in most establishments, but it’s advisable to carry cash for small vendors and local markets. 

Tipping is appreciated but not mandatory; rounding up your bill or adding 10% for excellent service is a common practice.

For money-saving recommendations, check out our picks for the best cheap things to do in Phuket.

Staying Connected in Phuket is Easy

Mobile phones work seamlessly in Phuket, and obtaining a local SIM card is a straightforward process, providing you with affordable data and call options. You can pick up a SIM at the airport or at convenience stores throughout Phuket. To register your number, you will need to show your passport.

The internet is widely available, allowing you to stay in touch with loved ones and share your favourite moments on social media. 

Note that the voltage is 220V at 50Hz, so check your electronic devices’ compatibility before plugging them in. Electrical outlets in Thailand typically accommodate Type A (two vertical pins), C and F (two round pins), and B (two vertical pins with an earth pin).

The Food in Phuket is Varied and Delicious!

Phuket boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering a blend of local and international delights, so prepare to tantalize your taste buds! Indulge in authentic Thai dishes, from flavorful street food to exquisite seafood at beachfront restaurants. Then treat yourself to cuisines from all over the world perfected by talented chefs.

Don’t miss the chance to explore the best night markets in Phuket, a unique blend of mouthwatering meals, shopping, and live entertainment.

We take food seriously here at PENR, which is why we opened our very own Ban Chang Restaurant Phuket. We’re proud to have established it as one of Phuket’s best Thai restaurants.

Phuket Night Markets

Keeping Safe in Phuket

Phuket is widely regarded as a safe destination for travellers. However, like any place, it’s essential to stay vigilant. Crime statistics are relatively low, but taking common-sense precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and avoiding poorly lit areas at night, ensures a worry-free experience.

Book Your Phuket Elephant Activities with PENR

We hope you’ve found these things you need to know when planning a trip to Phuket inspiring and informative! Now it’s time to turn your attention to the experiences that will make your trip truly unforgettable.

Browse our range of ethical elephant activities in Phuket and support our ongoing conservation efforts. Everything we do centres around the health and wellbeing of our rescued elephants — and our efforts to rescued even more!

Do you have any pre-booking questions for us? Simply get in touch with our friendly team!

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