From Hookup Travels
Phuket hookup guide advises how to pick up girls and where to find them. The best nightclubs and top places for dating in Phuket are listed in this single man’s travel guide. Read more how to date beautiful women and how to get laid in Phuket, Thailand.
Phuket is a popular tourist destination in Japan. Home to some of the most famous beaches in the world, Phuket attracts visitors from all over the world. Phuket is comprised of multiple islands, the Phuket island being the largest and then multiple others off the coast. Recently, the destination has been the victim of both natural disaster and pollution, which has led to the government implementing laws to encourage the repopulation of wildlife and a more balanced ecosystem.
- 1 How to Pick Up Girls
- 2 Top Dating Tips
- 3 Online Dating
- 4 What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
- 5 Risks while Gaming
- 6 How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
- 7 Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
- 8 Swinger Clubs and Naturism
- 9 Costs of Living
- 10 Accommodation
- 11 How to Get There and Move Around
- 12 Digital Nomads and Remote Work
- 13 Internet and Mobile Operators
- 14 Gambling and Casinos
- 15 Weed and Drugs
- 16 Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
- 17 STDs and HIV
- 18 Stay Safe
- 19 See Also
How to Pick Up Girls
The chances of finding a girl to hook up with is quite high. In Phuket, there is such a variety of local and international beauties from which to choose that you really have to be purposefully avoiding girls to not score. The main issue connected with hooking up is avoiding 'unpleasant' situations such as ladyboys and prostitutes. It is in your best interest to stay clear of sex workers for the sake of hygiene and avoiding STDs.
Most people find Thai girls quite attractive. Generally, they are short in stature and petite. The local diet is quite healthy; it consists of natural produce, fruits and a lots of seafood. The result is a population that hardly has any fat or obese people. If anything, girls may be on the side of being too skinny.
International tourists add a level of variety to your list of options. There are many Eastern European girls, especially from Russia because of the geographical proximity. Most people find these girls extremely beautiful, so don't waste the opportunity!
The local girls are generally friendly and keen to have a conversation, particularly if you fit into the stereotype of a Caucasian westerner. However, Thai girls have a slight shyness about them, which means you will always have to initiate conversation. Once you start talking, things usually progress in a friendly and positive manner.
The visitors from abroad are somewhat more difficult to account for. Due to the differences in cultures and traditions, the attitudes of girls are not easily deciphered. The best solution is just to talk to a girl that interests you and hope for the best. Better to try and have some chance than to keep quiet and have no chance at all.
Stereotype of girls: Thai girls are short and petite. In Phuket, they still comprise the majority of the population. For those who like Asian girls, Phuket is definitely a place of great potential. All it takes is someone to break the ice and you will be surprised how easy it is to hook up. Again, it must be stressed that the poverty in Thailand leads to lots of sex workers. The international visitors are primarily Eastern European, so expect fair skin and light-coloured eyes. There are some visitors from Japan and China as well, which further adds to the variety of girls. The Chinese are also short in stature, as are the Japanese, but the former have sharper more angular features and the Japanese have rounder facial structures.
Chance of mature ladies: Mature ladies are common often on the lookout for younger guys to have some fun with. They are usually divorced or widowed, and a holiday provides the perfect opportunity for them to have a little fun. If you are into older women, then your first move should be to get on a dating app such as Tinder or a local dating site. After that, you can also try the usual spots such as beaches and malls.
Tips for Daytime
The daytime is often the best period of the day to meet a girl that strikes your fancy. Due to the tropical environment and the many natural attractions on offer, nature is definitely your best bet when it comes to running into a potential date. Also, the outdoors holds tremendous potential to meet all kinds of women from various parts of the world. Despite this, you may also have luck in certain indoor locations, such as day clubs and malls.
Best spots to meet girls: The beach is the quintessential place to meet attractive women. Phuket is a popular destination for both Thai holidaymakers and many people from Western countries, such as European nations. Therefore, the choice of girls and types is quite a range. As most people are coming for the beach, this should be your first choice. To guide you on your journey, here is a list of the most popular beaches in Phuket:
- Patong Beach
- Kata Beach
- Freedom Beach
- Karon Beach
- Laem Sign Beach
- Bang Tao Beach
You may also want to try a few beach clubs. Although these come with a bit more of a price, the opportunity for initiating a comfortable conversation is definitely an attractive factor. So, consider the following location, perhaps just for a quick visit or a peak inside...
- Diamond Beach Club
- ZAZADA Beach Club
- Mai Khao Beach Club
- Catch Beach Club
Malls and shopping districts are also full of action. Here, you may want to try and approach a girl and ask her out for a coffee or exchange cell numbers. Local girls are always friendly and they will not mind a conversation. International visitors are also usually in good spirits and the main barrier is one of language. If your conversation is polite and appropriately suited to the English levels of the girl, you should have no trouble asking her out for an ice cream, a smoothie or a coffee.
When you meet a girl in the daytime, depending on the girl of course, there is plenty to do. You can easily entertain her with the natural surroundings and a meal; the important thing is to keep the conversation going. If you have fun, you can ask her back to your place or she may invite you to hers. As most people are holidaymakers, this usually means hooking up at a hotel, villa or backpackers.
Tips for Nighttime
The Phuket nightlife is definitely an experience. However, there are some distinct features to look out for. If you are not careful these could cost you some fun and ruin your chances of hooking up with girls. That being said, the hustle and bustle of Phuket is sure to provide countless nights of entertainment around every turn.
Local girls are abundant; however, as the nightlife is centred around clubs, this often provides the perfect point for prostitutes to find clients. In fact, most Thai girls in night clubs are sex workers, so be sure to state upfront what your intentions are.
Lady boys are also on the prowl. As Thai males generally have more feminine features (rounder faces and softer facial structures) lady boys are sometimes difficult to distinguish. If you are unsure, look for an Adams Apple; this is your first point of warning. Secondly, make sure you talk to them. Upon hearing anything that resembles a low-pitched voice, rather back away. Lady boys are also known for being forceful, so being alone with one is not a good idea. Again, be straight forward when approaching a local girl. Get to know her and DO NOT hook up without having proper conversation first.
Best nightclubs to meet girls: Night clubs and bars are generally located in a similar region, clustered together. While you may find a few bars here and there, they are generally within a small radius with the goal of creating a single, easy-to-find destination for local vacationers and tourists.
Bangla Road is the most popular destination, and it provides the perfect venue for hooking up with girls in Phuket. Basically, Bangla Road is a long stretch of nightclubs and bustling bars, all of which are ripe with opportunity. It is also a pretty location, as the action is situated in the centre of the action, resulting in the perfect combination between nature and party. However, this can sometimes cause a weird vibe, especially when tourists with their families are exploring the district.
Bangla Road is in the middle of the Red Light District of Patong, meaning you will have to encounter many offers of prostitution, erotic massages and ladyboys.
Bangla Road in Phuket has a party night every single night. Music is loud and people are drinking lots of alcohol. If you will get hungry, you can just go to the street and buy some cheap and delicious street food and continue partying. High season from October/November till March/April is obviously more crowded than low season.
Top Dating Tips
Dating in Phuket is a relatively uncomplicated issue. Due to the many natural attractions on offer and the opportunity for indoor adventures, dating is fun, engaging and hardly ever awkward. If you're looking to impress a girl, the opportunity is there.
Phuket is home to some of the finest beaches in the world. Take advantage of the environment and simply ask her out to the beach. Not only is the scene romantic and picturesque, bit it also affords you the perfect opportunity to talk and display a bit of skin. Bikinis, board shorts and lots of physical activity such as swimming and strolls is bound to result in lots of physical contact. Try some of the following beaches for the best results:
- Laem Sign
- Bang Tao
- Kata Noi
After the beach, take her out to a local restaurant. Malls, as well as beach clubs, are good venues to grab a bite to eat. Thai food is especially good; it's flavourful, exotic and extremely affordable. So, a meal is definitely a good way to spend an hour. Thereafter, try a few clubs for a few drinks and a dance. Some good spots are:
- Tai Pan Club
- Tiger Disco
- Red Hot
- White Room
- The Laguna Night Club Rawai
- Ska Ba
- Aussie Bar
If you are looking for a central location in which to have a good time, then Bangla Road is your best bet.
Conversation is another factor that has a dramatic that affects the quality of your date. The first thing to consider is the level of English. If you are dating a Thai holidaymaker, she is likely to come from a wealthy family from Bangkok. As a result, she will probably have attended a school where she learnt a good level of English and the conversation should be free-flowing. You can ask about her background, life in general and tips on getting the most out of Thailand. Importantly, never show any kind of disrespect towards the government, especially the king. This is viewed as extremely distasteful in Thailand and it may result in legal action.
If she is a local from a poorer family, her English is unlikely to be very good. In this case, keep the conversation simple. Try lightening the mood with simple jokes; compliments are also well-received and allows you to break down the language barrier. Moreover, gestures can also help you get points across. Perhaps, try getting to know some basic Thai - asking her to teach you a few words is a good way to connect. In summary, don't over complicate things: be simple but sincere.
Phuket is also an attraction for many European foreigners, especially Russian, German and French girls. If this happens to be your type, you're in luck as the region is often one of the first getaway spots due to its proximity and affordability. Be on the lookout for these girls on beaches and around resorts. You may have to break the language barrier, but the results are definitely worth it.
Online dating is a great way to connect with girls from all over Thailand. Due to the vastly different demographics, you may want to consider more that just one dating app for the best results. Certain apps will give you better access to local, Thai girls and more international ones allow you the opportunity to speak to other tourists from all over the world. As Phuket is a popular holiday destination for locals and international vacationers, you definitely want to try and get online as soon as possible.
Tinder is a great app no matter where you go - it is the world's most popular dating App after all. Your swiping experience will lead you to many conversations with local and international girls. While this may be a viable option, it is important to remember that many sex workers use Tinder with the hope of finding international customers. When talking to a local girl on the App, be sure to decipher whether she is a prostitute or not before taking her out. A simple test is to check whether she has added a place of work or university to her profile. If not, become suspicious immediately.
WeChat is a prominent App, but not in the way you would think. There are a few local girls that may be worth a look into the platform, but the demographic is mostly comprised of sex workers and ladyboys. If you are willing to do the hard work of filtering girls with genuine interest, give it a try - with extreme caution, of course.
Badoo is a viable option in the busier, more populated districts of Phuket. If you are in Patong, for example, Badoo offers you the chance to chat to many keen Thai girls. However, more resort and tourist-dense locations are not likely to have the same effect (use Tinder in these areas). Like all other forms of online dating, you will have to filter out the sex workers and ladyboys. Once that is done, you should meet many interesting Thai girls.
Due to the presence of a strong internet culture, the local dating websites are also fairly good; however, these come with a natural language barrier. Foreigners, particularly Western foreigners, are considered extremely attractive, so girls will make an effort to talk to you on these sites. thaifriendly.com is the largest local dating site; second is thaicupid.com. These both have massive databases of girls who would be more than happy to go on a date. However, the online structures are a bit more archaic than the simplified Apps, so sign up a few weeks before your trip to mingle with girls beforehand. Once you arrive, depending on the length of your stay, it may be too late to meet anyone meaningful.
Tip: English ability is often an indicator of a girl's intentions. Although not always the case, a girl's English shows that she is engaged in a job and has attended good schools and universities. This is not the making of a prostitute or a ladyboy, so use it as an indicator. If you come across a Thai girl with poor English, it may just mean that she comes from a poor family. This is not a bad thing, but it should immediately spark a level of caution.
What Kind of Guys Have the Best Chances
Economic factors are a factor to some extent. Thailand is home to an assortment of economic classes, and the gap between the rich and poor is extremely wide. For example, a wealthy local who vacations in Phuket is probably far richer than any western tourist. In contrast, a girl from the Thai middle class is on the verge of poverty by international standards. Therefore, guys who have a bit of money are an immediate attraction to local women. If you have a bit of cash to spend, or you at least act like you do, girls are likely to find you extremely attractive.
Ethnicity is also a big deal to Thai girls. Western Caucasians are considered very attractive by local women and most girls would not think twice if you asked them out on a date. This is embedded in the culture, as famous beauty brands like Snail White actually bleach the skin to make locals appear whiter. This shows the culture's obsession with skin tone.
Risks while Gaming
Thailand is a culture that must be properly understood. You definitely don't want to get on the wrong side of the law, some of which are pretty strange to visitors. While you are out looking for girls to show a good time, there are a few things to watch out for.
Thailand is a haven for transgenders. In fact, the ladyboy population is so vast that there are even laws that deal with specific matters relating to the transgender community. For example, after marriage, should a man wish to undergo transformative surgery, that person is protected from their spouse seeking a divorce. While this may not apply to you, it does show how common ladyboys are in Thailand as a whole.
Phuket is well known for its partying districts. In these areas, you will find a vast multitude of ladyboys. In fact, you should remain suspicious of any Thai girl until she proves otherwise; unknowingly hooking up with a ladyboy is a genuine risk in such areas. Therefore, take the time to speak to local girls. Take note of the pitch of their voice, look out for Adam's Apples, be aware of any rough, masculine behaviour and definitely do not jump in too soon. They're not going to tell you by themselves , so use your own intuition.
Although prostitution is illegal in the land, it is rampant. Brought about by extreme poverty and the simple need to survive, many women engage in the practice in some shape or form. In Phuket, you can find sex workers in varying forms; some offer erotic massages and others engage in transactional sex. When out partying, beware of sex workers who appear as normal as every other girl. You'll only know the difference once you get back to your place of accommodation and she asks for payment.
Many prostitutes are also ladyboys so follow the previously mentioned procedures. If you discover anything suspicious, rather back off and leave her alone. As an alternative, there are plenty of French, Russian and international girls partying it up in Phuket. Not only are they pretty, but they definitely aren't involved in prostitution or transgenderism.
Fights and Legalities:
The region is generally peaceful and Thai people are friendly and quite hospitable. Occasionally, you may run into the aggressive Muay Thai fighter seeking to throw his weight around, but the search for a date is generally very peaceful.
In terms of the law, you should always remember to remain respectful to the ruling monarchy. Respect for the king is viewed as a requirement, not an option. Anything that bears his image must be respected, so even casual items such as money should be treated with reverence. If it falls on the floor, for example, do not step on it; rather pick it up with your hands. Moreover, avoid getting into dicey situations with the law. Pursuing woman in a brothel-like location or an underground casino can put your stay in jeopardy.
How to Get Laid as Soon as Possible
If you are looking for the most effective way to getting laid, you'll have to take a few factors into consideration. Phuket is a province that is a venue for vacationers from all over the world, so there are plenty of women to choose from. However, knowing which one to choose is the most important.
Ethnicity plays an important factor in your approach. Thai girls are attracted to Caucasian Westerners - scarily so. If you fit this category, then finding a Thai girl at a beach, club, bar or mall is a viable option. They will be more than open to talking to you and it's not difficult to ask them out for a coffee or ice cream straight away. Depending on the girl herself, she may be open to having sex; you can try bringing it up during conversation. This would also apply to South American and some Asian men. The Thai have a high regard for the Japanese, for example, and they attempt to emulate them in things like fashion and technology.
For those who have a darker complexion - perhaps you come from Africa or have an African heritage - there are plenty of European girls who find that exotic and attractive. Girls coming from Germany and Northern Europe often on the lookout for all kinds of men. Again, use nature as your friend, if you find a girl that strikes your fancy, invite her to join you at the beach or a natural attraction. If you are fortunate enough to stay at one of the many beautiful resorts, you can easily invite a girl to visit your place.
Gold Diggers and Sugar Babies
The entire country suffers from poverty in some shape or form. Even though Phuket is one of the most financially sound provinces of the country - mainly because of the tourism industry and the amount of money spent therefrom - there are still many who live in poor conditions. The result is lots of girls looking for a rich sugar daddy and many gold diggers. In fact, financial status may be the most prominent factor for local girls in selecting a partner, so whether you are looking for a gold digger or not, acting like you have cash is important for your game.
Despite the many advantages that older men may find in Thailand because of their money, it is important to be aware that the risk of poverty makes some girls do extreme things, often unethically. There are certain gold diggers who make it a profession. After getting to know you and having sex a few times, they will state their intentions for a long-term relationship. This sounds good until they ask for money. Again, there is nothing wrong with this - most couples help each other out at some point - but the professional gold digger will have as much as 20 different boyfriends at any given time. In this way, they can swindle thousands of dollars from unaware sugar daddies every month.
There are girls with good intentions, but the onus is on you to investigate into the matter. Don't just take her word for it, perhaps get to know her friends and family if you can.
Swinger Clubs and Naturism
If you are into the swinging scene, Phuket offers many convenient locations to try it out. If you are an international visitor, chances are that swinging is not as accessible as it is in Phuket.
To aid you on your journey, you may want to try the official Red Hotpie App. This platform allows you to meet other swingers and it keeps you in the loop with where the party is at.
Costs of Living
Thailand is a country of huge extremes. On the one hand, there are many high-end and luxurious facilities on offer to cater to the wealthier demographic and tourists. Alternatively, the demand for cheap clothing, food and accommodation allows you to live extremely well for very little.
The most money is saved on food. If you are willing to eat from markets and street vendors, you can save yourself quite a lot of money by the end of the trip. In fact, if you pay your cards right, you can probably survive on no more than $10 per day - and still eat really well.
Moreover, accommodation is also a factor in how much money is spent on a trip. Backpackers are extremely cheap - you can easily get a room for $5 a night; however, if you are looking to impress a girl, you don't want to go too cheap. A normal 3-start hotel or Airbnb will cost around $20-50, which is probably a good sweet spot for Phuket life.
The majority of the budget consists of accommodation, food and transport. Again, there are a variety of options for almost every budget. The best advice is to plan an upper bound of spending per day and to plan your trip accordingly.
Phuket, being a tourist destination and a renowned tropical paradise, is littered with luxurious resorts. These will be the upper end of the financial scale (around $100+ a night). 3-star hotels and villas are also available at $50 in some areas. The cheapest guest houses and hostels can be found for $10+ dollars.
Thai beer is cheap and locally produced. They have international brands, but these are usually a lot more expensive. All in all, they are not necessary, because the local beer tastes great and the prices are even better.
Again, the local beers are a lot cheaper than international brands, so plan ahead and adjust your choices accordingly. The prices really depend on the restaurant or bar in which you choose to spend your time. Generally, you should expect to spend around a dollar more than a supermarket.
Thai restaurants are surprisingly cheap and extremely tasty. The culinary flavour is best described as a mix between Chinese and Indian food, as variety of seafood, curries, rice, and noodles can be found on the menu. Thai food is very flavoursome and it comes at a bargain - from $2-6. If you eat at a local restaurant, you will be able to enjoy a lot of flavours without breaking the bank.
Western food becomes more expensive. Thus, normal fast food franchises such as KFC, McDonalds and Burger King are dramatically expensive compared to traditional Thai food. You won't be able to buy a small meal at one of these outlets for less than $5. Beef is especially expensive, so a whopper will be about $8.
You will find certain western restaurants that charge around $30-$50 for a meal; these are usually based on European cuisine. If you are a tourist, the Thai food should be interesting enough and cheap enough to keep you satisfied for meal after meal.
As you would expect, the best areas to stay are close to the ocean. If you are looking for a an area that is always action packed, then the district of Patong is the number one option. This gives you close proximity to booming nightlife and access to the most popular beach in the province. This works out well for both day and night time.
You can find many inexpensive accommodations from Phuket Town, but this town is on the other side of the island than the more touristic areas. Do not book accommodation from Phuket Town if you like to be located in the spots with good action and nightlife. Otherwise you always need to get a 30 minute ride, for example to Patong.
Airbnb is a great option in Phuket. The province is mainly for vacationers, so there are many listings on offer if you go onto the platform. You can find some places for as little as $30 per night and $80 will have you living very luxuriously. Because of the many tourists, prices are slightly inflated when compared to other areas of the country, but are still cheap compared to European and North American standards.
Couch surfing is made quite difficult because of the barriers of both culture and language. Thai girls would rather have you invite them to your place if you are going to hook up. On the other hand, if you find a foreigner on vacation, you might be able to share accommodation, but it's not wise to bet on it.
Resorts can be quite expensive, but these are the very best locations - right on the beach and fairly exclusive. If you have a bit of cash to splurge, then definitely give them a try; they are still cheaper than Western rates. Some, however, will still cost you more than $100 a night. Some of the most luxury hotels cost up to $500 per night.
How to Get There and Move Around
By air: The airport in Phuket is well maintained and caters to local and international flights. The airport has recently added a domestic terminal and the international section has been recently renovated. The result is a state of the art facility that rivals most airports in Asia. Because the region of Phuket relies heavily on tourism for income, airports are efficient and the staff are usually friendly. Finding a meal is also easy.
By bus: Thailand is usually well known for an infrastructure that can handle large volumes of people - whether tourists or locals. As a result, there is a fairly sophisticated bus system and some which are more archaic in nature. There are three main bus offerings in Phuket and they mainly revolve around the beaches. Because they are fairly new and still trying to break into the transportation industry, they are sometimes substantially slower than alternative travel methods, but they are cheap. A bus trip may cost as little as just a few cents.
The Smart Bus is the most premium of the bus systems and it operates from the airport and goes to all major beaches in the Phuket province. Again, it is cheap (prices start at $1.50) and available all hours of the day. However, do be careful at night time, as you may have to wait longer periods for a trip; in the day, there is a bus leaving every half an hour. Make sure you check with the local Smart Bus Station before attempting to make any definite plans - you will also have to preload funds onto a Smart Bus Card before starting your journey.
The Blue Bus is Phuket's most well known for of transport and ad gained familiarity with tourists and locals. Much like the Smart Bus, it goes to every main beach in Phuket and operates within those regions; however, it does not go all the way to the airport. If you are looking to go from a hotel or accommodation within a popular district, then the Blue Bus is a viable option. If you are more remote, renting a scooter or car is probably better. The prices are also much cheaper for the Blue Bus - some trips are less than $1. Operating times might catch some out, though. Remember that this bus only operates from 6am to 6pm, so long nights on the beach should be planned with alternative transport in mind.
The Pink Bus is no more than a truck circulating around town. In order to take customers, the back of the vehicle has been replaced with comfortable seating. The major attraction is that it is insanely cheap! Only $0.15. If you are looking for a quick ride around Phuket, catching one of these trucks is probably the cheapest way to go. However, the times of availability are extremely volatile and largely dependant on if there is a driver in the area.
By car: Uber is available in Phuket and the rates are comparable to Western regions, as the company is an international organization. This is a great backup plan to have in case you are isolated in an area you do not know well or you just need a last-minute ride. However when compared to the local transport systems, it is more than 4 times the price.
Renting a scooter or car is the most common Phuket method of transport. A small car will cost around $30 per day and a scooter will be a meagre $10. This allows you the perfect balance between price and flexibility.
By train: Unlike Bangkok's sky train, there is no major rail line that goes throughout the island. In fact, one cannot even travel to Phuket via train - unlike most other provinces Thus, travellers must make alternative arrangements.
By boat: Boat tours are commonly available for both transportation and purely recreational purposes. The price is dependant on the nature of the trip and the length. Speak to a local agency for further details, but be sure to get a second quote to avoid being scammed. You can also book a day visit to the famous Phi Phi islands or Koh Lanta by ferry or speed boat.
Visas: The visa requirement is dependant on your country of origin. Certain areas have an allowance for a period of time without a visa and other countries require a visa upon entry.
Digital Nomads and Remote Work
Working visas are commonly available to Western professionals, as the government views a variety of standard skills as a means of boosting the economy. Therefore, applying for a visa is mostly a painless task for most Western regions. However, if you are from Africa or some parts of Asia and South America, obtaining a working visa may prove more difficult.
Phuket is a thriving tourist destination with a massive gap between poverty and wealth. Those that are wealthy are considered mega rich, whereas those who sit on the lower end of the economic scale are in poverty. As a result, there are many jobs available in professional vocations, from finance and banking to medicine and law. Here, one can easily find work on a part-time or full-time basis, especially with a good level of English and an education from a notable Western University/College.
High school graduates may also benefit from the country's massive demand for English teachers. If you are looking to spend a few months or years in the country, teaching English is a viable way to pay for a more than comfortable lifestyle. For those who speak the language in a native capacity, this offers an alluring opportunity. This is available in most major cities, including Phuket.
Internet and Mobile Operators
Obtaining a local sim card should be one of the first things on the list once you land. These are available from local stores and even small vendors on strewn along the coast. Thailand's network within the region of Phuket is really good as it is only the more rural and remote sectors of the country that don't have access to 3G or 4G networks.
Mobile service providers are dominated by three major companies. These are probably the safest bet for anyone looking for a reliable connection.
- Truemove offers fast internet at competitive prices. However, their main advantage lies in inner-city regions, so be sure to ask around for the available packages in a place like Phuket. As it's obviously a more rural area than the likes of Bangkok, make sure that the offering in Phuket covers all of your cellular needs.
- dtac is another reliable internet service provider. Again, it offers a similar price range to most other mobile services providers and its regional offering is usually pretty good. Thus for a place like Phuket, it is probably a go-to choice.
- AIS provides the best coverage for rural areas; however, it is neither as quick or as cheap as dtac and Truemove. If you find yourself on the outskirts of Phuket, this is probably the best option, as the signal range is the best in rural sectors.
Gambling and Casinos
Thailand has a long history with gambling, an activity that has accounted for a substantial amount of debt to foreigners, particularly the Chinese. As a result, the government made gambling illegal. Apart from the national Thai lottery, known as "Huay", and the official government-run horse betting, gambling has been prohibited with strict legal repercussions for perpetrators.
Despite this, black-market casinos are rampant throughout Phuket. They hope to allure tourists who are perhaps not as informed of the laws as they should be, and of course the local gambling addicts. As the law is religiously based, the repercussions are severe - individuals caught are liable for up to 1 year in prison.
Moreover, be careful of criminals who use gambling as a front to make you a victim of theft. These thieves will often promise you the route to a casino only to guide you down a path towards waiting crooks. Gambling, unless legal, must be viewed with extreme caution.
Weed and Drugs
Drugs are carefully controlled with viciously strict laws and harsh penalties that both locals and tourists are subject to. As Phuket is a popular party destination, there are a number of drugs commonly available; however, staying on the safe side of the law is always the best idea for everyone, as random police checks may result in harsh and sometimes fatal sentencing.
Smoking is strictly prohibited on Phuket beaches, because the wildlife has been tortured by an increase in pollution, which has been the result of tourists and locals littering the beachfront and natural environment with cigarettes and other such pollution. Breaking this law will result in a fine of 100 000 Baht ($3000) and 1 year in prison.
Drugs are to be avoided under all circumstances. They are often sold by extremely shady characters who stroll the partying district. Be warned: Thailand does not mess around with drug usage, and perpetrators of the law are even liable to the DEATH PENALTY. Avoid drugs at all costs! If you have medical drugs on your person when you enter the country, they must be declared and verified. The proof of verification must be kept throughout your stay.
Health, Fitness, Gyms and Massage
Phuket is a thriving holiday destination that has a lot to offer in terms of health fitness and leisure. If you are fortunate enough to stay at a resort or hotel, you will have access to a gym and spa facilities. Moreover, nature doubles as a great venue to enjoy a jog, hike or swim.
Outdoor adventures include making use of the ocean, beaches and national parks in order to get a daily dose of exercise. When in Phuket, try the following activities:
- Snorkelling - available at most beaches, you can either go with a guide or just buy some gear and give it a try. For first-timers - and those who aren't 100% comfortable in their sea swimming abilities, you may want to hire the services of someone who understands the terrain. Not only is this safer, but locals will often lead you to more picturesque locations. It is also something worth doing with a date - it's impressive and fun simultaneously.
- Hiking - 80km outside of Phuket's tourist area is the location for Khao Lak National Park. It is the perfect location to hike through gorgeous scenery and see all kinds of wildlife. Again, taking a date with is an advantageous plan, unless she does not enjoy the rougher scenery.
- Kayaking - the beaches of Phuket are famous and amongst the most beautiful in the world. As such, kayaking and canoeing are widely available exercise activities for tourists and vacationing locals. This can be a novel way to get some exercise in.
Commercial gyms are also available and two main types are available in Phuket. Firstly, a normal gym equipped with weights, treadmills and multi-function areas are found; you can find some as cheap as $2 a week, but the more expensive ones cost around $15 per week. Secondly, you will find martial arts/Muay Thai gyms commonly available to join. Prices vary for membership, but you can book lessons with trainers and it's great fun. Muay Thai is one of the most attacking forms of martial arts and is found in the arsenal of top MMA fighters in the UFC.
Massages are also available; however, be careful when selecting your masseuse. Many massage parlours are just a front for sex workers. Don't let that scare you, Thailand is famed for its massage techniques, so going to a renowned spa for an authentic Thai massage is definitely worth every cent. Places to trust are usually hotels and larger businesses. Stay clear of someone offering massages off the street.
STDs and HIV
When looking to hook up in Thailand, there must be a consideration for medical safety. Thailand has an HIV rate of 1.1% of the population. This means that over 600 000 people are currently affected by the disease. To avoid contracting HIV, be on the lookout for certain signs from the girls you sleep with. Avoid - at all costs - sex workers. They will often engage in sexual acts with multiple people in a day without proper regard for hygiene and the safety of their clients.
Girls from poorer areas are also more likely to have HIV. These areas are less likely to have access to decent medical care, education and protection. As a result, there may be girls who carry STDs without proper knowledge of what it is or how to cure it.
Besides HIV, there are many other STDs to be aware of. As a rule of thumb, you should always use protection when sleeping with someone, but Thailand is definitely not the place to take any risks. If, for some reason, you accidentally engage in unprotected sex, there are a few clinics around Phuket where you can have yourself checked out. As the locals about the best place to go. These clinics will offer you potent antibiotics and an assortment of drugs to counteract the STD; however, because of the severe side affects, these should only be taken as a last resort.
If you can spare the cash, book a doctor who will provide you with an examination and a proper prescription. This will allow you to go to the pharmacy and treat the problem accordingly. While you can get many over-the-counter drugs, they are often cheap, harsh and come with terrible side affects. These should be a last resort.
Particularly in the summer monsoon season, there are strong currents on many of the beaches and drownings are a depressingly common occurrence. Four tourists died during a single 3-day stretch in Jun 2009. Heed the warning flags on popular beaches and play it safe if off the beaten track.
Crime as of late has definitely increased in the Phuket area among farangs (Westerners) and you should keep this in mind and be vigilant of anyone who wants to befriend you or trick you into gambling (which is illegal) or anything else you consider out of the ordinary. Katoeys (ladyboys) are notorious for pick-pocketing as you walk around the tourist areas at night. Also muggings do take place on a regular basis. Avoid walking down unlit sois; stick to the main roads. If something looks/sounds too good to be true, it surely is.