If you’re planning on visiting Thailand, the province of Phuket should definitely be on your list of places to visit. There are plenty of things to do in Phuket that make it a must-see destination. You’ll have a chance to visit its stunning limestone islands with their picturesque beaches, you’ll wander through the cultural Thai night markets and, if you’re lucky, you’ll get to meet some of the local monkeys and elephants in one of its sanctuaries. But any trip to Phuket will require a bit of planning, and it’s important to be aware of some of the ways you can save a bit of money and hassle during your visit.
- If you’re planning on travelling solo
You may feel safer in Patong, or one of the other busier, more touristy hubs of Phuket. In these areas, there are always people around, day or night, and you’re more likely to find English speakers close by. Also, transportation and information is always abundant, so you won’t be in any danger of getting lost.
- Getting around the city
Most locals get around on a Songthaew, a local blue bus that will get you around quickly and cheaply. Also, it hits all the main beaches! If you’re feeling really adventurous (and you have a licence), try travelling like a true local and look into renting a motorcycle. You’ll be able to access some of the smaller roads and explore some of the less obvious spots.
- Changing money on the go
If you’re in fast need of some cash, your best bet is to look for a small, street side currency exchange rather than a big bank. Be careful to browse before you buy – most of these will have a slightly different rate of exchange, so have a look at the sign before you decide which one to use.
- Skip the sit-down meal
As another money-saving tip, try eating at one of the street stalls in Phuket. Street food is not only cheaper, it is more likely to be interesting, authentic Thai cuisine. Plus, eating like a true local is always the best way to get a real feel for any city.
- Learn to haggle like a local
If you want to save money at the markets in Phuket, you’ll need to learn the art of the bargain. It’s important not to be timid at these stalls. Most items are priced above their worth, but with this insider tip, you’ll get some wonderful prices.
- Strike up a conversation
Of course, the best way to learn the insider tips about any place, is to get the information from the source. Don’t be afraid to get chatting to one of the locals – they’ll have the best ideas about places to go that might be off the beaten track, seasonal things to do, and ways to save money as a tourist in Phuket.