This are the DO’s and DONT’s you want to know before travelling to Thailand:
Perfect your haggling skills
Phuket is renowned for its many markets that grace the bustling streets of Phuket and beyond from dusk ‘til dawn. With many great deals just waiting to be snapped up, first priority is perfecting your haggling skills. By doing so you can buy everything for at least half the asking price! For some, haggling can be a bit daunting, so the best advice I can give is simply to smile, be friendly, and have fun with it! If you’re not sure what to say, start by offering half of the asking price, and negotiate with the sales person from there. However, keep in mind this is only customary at market stalls, not established stores. Most of all, remember to always come across pleasant.
Exploring Phuket by foot is an excellent way to discover the hidden beauties of this stunning island. From romantic strolls along the beach, to full-blown hikes around Phuket’s tropical national parks, walking from time to time is inevitable. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is one of Phuket’s last remaining forests that haven’t been altered by humans, with countless protected species of plants and animals finding their home in this tropical paradise. The perfect place to put your fitness to the test. What’s more, the park has a number of trails with the added offer of guided tours, taking you all the way to the stunning natural Ton Sai waterfall. Khao Phra Thaeo National Park is located just 20 minutes by car from Karma Royal Boat Lagoon.
Practice your boat legs
Phuket boasts some of the world’s most beautiful islands discovered world wide. The likes of Phi Phi, the Similan Islands, Coral Island and Koh Bon are some of the most revered in the area, and very popular amongst tourists. With varying distances between each island and the mainland of Phuket, you’re looking at trips of up to an hour. Trust us when we say, you really don’t want to skip out on this part of Phuket! For an effortless island-hopping experience, let Karma Royal Boat Lagoon book a few day trips for you.
Get your vaccinations
Travelling to another country usually requires that you get at least one vaccination, whether it be the United States, Australia, Thailand and beyond. This is because our body hasn’t yet built an immunity against local viruses. Check with your local GP to clarify any concerns or questions regarding vaccinations. Another great tip is packing some sort of hand sanitation. This will prevent the spread of germs and significantly reduce your chance of getting sick. After all, you don’t want to spend your holiday tucked up in bed!
Tip: Make sure you do this at least 4 -6 weeks before leaving for Thailand, so the vaccinations have enough time to become fully effective.
Disregard Thailand’s local customs:
Phuket is a beautiful Island with some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, but in order to blend seamlessly amongst the people that inhabit this harmonious place, it is very important to understand the local customs. This not only offers respect to the residents, but it also ensures you’ll be treated with the upmost respect from them in return. To make it a little easier, we’ve included the basic customs that you’ll want to know when travelling through Thailand.
– The ‘Wai’ is the traditional greeting in Thailand, that you will almost inevitably encounter immediately, and more than once. This is essential in Thai culture to show your gratitude for another person, to express thanks, or to say ‘hello’ and ‘goodbye’. To do so, simply press your palms together at chest level and bow your head slightly.
– Do not speak ill of the royal family. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy, with the royal family being regarded very highly around the country. You’ll quickly realise this when visiting, as the King’s image is posted here, there and everywhere. To show your respect, always stand when the King’s anthem is being played, and refrain from making remarks about the royal family. In fact, speaking poorly of the royal family is punishable by imprisonment. So basically, just don’t do it.
– Buddhism teachings say the head is the most valued part of the human body, with the feet representing that of the opposite, a symbol for human suffering. Its for this reason that locals don’t touch the head of others, nor do they point their feet at people or religious symbols.
Travel without an international license:
Tuk-Tuks and taxis are among the most popular forms of transport throughout Phuket, with services on every corner, literally. However, for those that want to guide themselves around this beautiful island, with the leisure to stop wherever you please, hiring a motorbike or moped is a fantastic way to do so. But there are a few key things to remember before donning the leather jacket, including getting your international license.
Many reviews will tell you that simply having a valid license from your own country is enough, and in some cases this is true, however, it’s really not worth taking the risk if it means forking over your hard-earned spending money to a policeman. What’s more, be very careful on the road and be sure to get insurance. Thai streets can get a little crazy from time to time, so its important to be completely confident on the road before hiring a motorbike. Avoid riding in wet weather and always, ALWAYS wear a helmet. If you’re not sure where to hire a moped from, or you need help organising transport, contact Karma Royal Boat Lagoon, and we’ll be happy to assist.
Rates will differ depending on where you hire your motorbike or moped from, however to give you a ballpark figure, we paid about 500 Thai Baht per day, which is around USD $15.
Phuket is famous for its comparatively cheap prices; from food to clothing, services and transport. But unfortunately, decent sunscreen is not one of those things. For a tube of sunscreen (that actually protects you from the sun), you’re looking at about USD $22, which for most of us, is simply astronomical. Due to the particularly hot Thai sun, it’s strongly recommended to pre-purchasing a few bottles or tubes before heading off to Phuket. Keep in mind that different airlines will have varying allowances when it comes to carrying liquids, so make sure you check before packing!