Phuket is a world renowned island that can be accessed by stopping over Bangkok and getting on a plane, train, or bus. People stopping by Bangkok may spend a while in the capital city and stay at some of the popular hotels like the Peninsula Bangkok, Banyan Tree Bangkok, or Mandarin Oriental. While Bangkok has majority of the country’s wonders and sights, it doesn’t have the pristine attraction that only Phuket has. If this popular island is your next destination from Bangkok, follow these tips.
Find a suitable means of transportation to Phuket.
That depends on the time left for you. If you urgently need to get to the popular island, you can go by plane. Thai AirAsia and Thai Airways International offer flights from Suvarnabhumi Airport to the island. You can book tickets online, or you could go to a travel agency, especially if you are looking for cheaper prices and package deals. Trains and buses offer land transportation from Bangkok to Phuket, and this is ideal for those who have more time to spare. You also get to see the countryside if you travel by bus or train.
Another means of travel is by car. Rent-a-car services are available at Suvarnabhumi and in central Bangkok. The ride along Highway 4 to the beach paradise is about ten hours. But, you can only rent a car if you have a Thai or international driving license. If not, you have no choice but to go for the other options already mentioned.
Book your hotel beforehand.
It’s inconvenient to spend the whole day finding a hotel on the island. Find one before getting there. Some of the popular choices are Banyan Tree Phuket, Safari Beach Hotel, Karon Sea Sands Resort, and Sugar Palm Resort.
Respect the people and their traditions and way of life.
Thailand has its own customs, which many locals still observe. Foreigners should respect these customs and be sensitive when making remarks about the country. Generally, you will meet people who are friendly.
Dress appropriately when you are in Thailand. If you are at beach resorts in Phuket, it’s OK to wear your bikinis, but avoid showing too much skin when you are walking into and around any Buddhist temple. Do not wear sleeveless tops and shorts, and remove your shoes when entering any Buddhist temple.
The Thai people have high regard for monks. It is unethical for a woman to touch a monk or give anything to him. Images of Buddha are also sacred and should not be touched.
Tourists can also walk into mosques, provided no religious ceremony is going on. Proper clothing should be worn when entering mosques. Revealing outfits for women are strictly prohibited in mosques. Shoes should, again, be taken off before entering. Women should don a scarf on their heads, while men should wear hats.
Being nice to people puts you in a good place. Locals like nice foreigners, and you will likely get help and favors if you are nice to locals. There may be instances of trouble when you feel like being aggressive, but keep your cool. Keeping calm is important, especially when dealing with Thai police and authorities.
Beware of thieves.
Although the number of petty crime rates in Phuket is relatively low, random cases of thievery happen. Pickpockets usually target tourists, as they know little about the place and are quite gullible. Be on guard when seemingly friendly Thais approach you late at night. Men should also watch out for lady boys (transvestites) who are notorious for hoodwinking people and stealing their cash, jewelry or other valuables.