After living in Phuket for more than a decade, I know the island quite well, and there are many things that I miss since relocating to Chiang Mai. That being said, I did choose to move away from the island due to some of the negative aspects of living there. Since I began writing in 2010, I have been criticized by my fellow bloggers for writing negative stories about Phuket, focusing on issues such as violent crime and unexplained deaths. I know my fellow bloggers are focused on shamelessly promoting Phuket, and absolutely ignoring any issues that might have a negative impact on tourism, after all, they want to sell tours, trips and hotel bookings.
While 99% of what you read is simply a load of false promotional advertising, that tells half truths in order to entice you to book a hotel, or take a day trip, I am far more concerned about telling it like it is. Despite the fact that I often write about the downside of traveling to Phuket, I can also admit that the island does have a lot to offer, so I have decided to take the time to look at it objectively, and weigh the positives and the negatives of choosing Phuket as your holiday destination.
I am often asked by travelers: "should we go to Phuket"? The answer always starts with: "well what are you looking for"? If you are traveling on a budget, trying to live off 20 bucks per day, then Phuket definitely isn't for you. If you want to party, enjoy the nightlife night in and night out, then there is no better place to go. There is a reason why the number of people visiting Phuket grows substantially year after year. They come to party, to relax on some of the world's most exotic beaches, eat in world class restaurants, maybe even enjoy para-sailing or jet-skis in the afternoon.
Phuket often gets a lot of bad press for being a haven for sex tourism, however it is a big island, and outside of Patong Beach and Bangla Road, you will see very little of this. The beach resorts of Kata, Karon, Nai Harn are all suitable for couples and families that don't want to be bothered by noisy bars full of sex tourists. Overall, most of the negative things that people associate with Phuket tend to happen in Patong, and therefore you can avoid a lot of hassle by staying away from Patong. The problem is, if you are there for the nightlife, you won't be able to stay away from Patong. I have provided a list of pros and cons below, in order to give people the opportunity to make an informed decision about their holiday, to decide if Phuket is right for them.
1 - Nightlife: When it comes to bars, nightclubs and party atmosphere, it is pretty hard to beat Phuket.
2 - Beaches: Aside from the big beach resorts with para-sailing, jet-skis and wall to wall people, there are dozens of smaller, more pristine beaches that are far less crowded.
3 - Food: Nowhere in Thailand will you find the variety and quality of foreign and local cuisine.
4 - Easy access: Many people fly direct from overseas to Phuket International Airport, as apposed to having to take buses or ferries to some of the other islands.
5 - Entertainment: Aside from nightlife, there are many things to do in Phuket, so many activities, tours and shows.
6 - Shopping: Whatever you want to buy, it will surely be available in Phuket. There are several giant shopping centers, and no shortage of street vendors and outdoor markets.
7 - Gateway - Phuket is a gateway to smaller islands like Phi Phi and Koh Lanta.
1 - Cost: Of all the places you could travel to in Southeast Asia, Phuket is one of the most expensive. Hotels, food and entertainment will cost almost twice as much as other popular destinations in Thailand and around Asia.
2 - Transportation: The lack of public transportation is a serious issue in Phuket, taxis are outrageously expensive, and they are controlled by local mafia that has a reputation for violence.
3 - Safety Concerns: Driving a motorbike in Phuket could be one of the most dangerous things you could do, and if that doesn't scare you, then the staggering amount of questionable suicides and unexplained deaths surely will.
4 - Corruption: The local police force are notorious for extorting tourists any chance they get, while this happens all over Asia, it happens more frequently in Phuket.
5 - Crowds: During the high season (Nov - Mar), the beaches are wall to wall with people, and everywhere you go you are fighting crowds of tourists.
7 - Scams: Tourists are constantly getting scammed by con men, jet-ski rental operators and various other scams.
Is Phuket For You?
Deep on January 10, 2015:
I smell cow fecal matter. NDPH gerlnaely takes down young people and I fear that it is another sinister method that our elite friends in the parallel government are ensuring that people are not in a healthy, alert condition to oppose them. Maybe it was brought on by aspartame, monosodium glutamate or a childhood vaccination or maybe it was one of the other thousands of methods they are using to make us intentionally unhealthy. Perhaps we should be happy that we weren't struck with one of their cancer inducing chemical combinations found in cosmetics, GM foods or tap water. A mistake people make is to think that our unelected leaders are not capable of such atrocities, but I ask you to think for yourself and consider why they' would consider us, the bottom-feeders' any different to the peasants of any other country when it comes to their agenda. The truth is that we are talking about psychopathic entities who's eugenical dreams don't include the little fish with the junk genes who they fear will out breed their superior' stock. I ask you only to consider that perhaps NDPH was contrived in the same way as AIDS, the Ebola Virus, Avian Flu, Swine Flu and others were ie in a government laboratory. To the big boys, culling human beings is no different to culling sheep or cattle which is one of the many reasons that they' like to manufacture wars where hundreds of thousands step up to volunteer themselves for unnecessary slaughter. They' know exactly what causes NDPH in the high sciences and as usual they create the illusion that they are baffled by it's sudden existence. Cytokines, Tumor Necrosis factor blah blah..they claim to know it all but then where are all the tests they have promised for years to end this horrible blight on our lives? This will never be cured just like all the other auto-immune diseases that they put out there. It's a joke, really.
Avari on December 29, 2014:
Knocked my socks off with kndeweogl!
Mahmoud on December 29, 2014:
Hi Lindsay and Amy I really hope you reply even thuogh it has been 2 years since you've posted on here I'm so glad to have found this site. My name is Nichole and I am almost 23 years old, I have suffered with NDPH since I was 16. I was a Sophomore in high school, it was near the end of 2006 when I got sick with bronchitis and the flu and coughed and coughed and noticed I had a really terrible headache with it. Once the sickness went away I noticed that the migraine, that pain in my head that had been so foreign to me prior to this, had not gone away, and still has not to this day I had to be home schooled and quit all of my sports I was a part of My friends went on with their lives and forgot about me while I had a constant 24/7 pain that I could not get rid of no matter how hard I tried or how much it killed me, physically and mentally. We began with Chiropractors, decompression machines, adjustments, etc. I traveled hours to probably 20 different Chiropractors that all said that they knew what I had and exactly how to treat it. I've tried natural supplements, over the counter medications, 6 Occipital nerve blocks in the back of my head, massage, diets of no wheat, no gluten, no sugar, vegan only, all with no progress. My family understands the pain and how I can be ok one minute but then pick up something slightly too heavy, walk a little too fast, sit down a little too hard and I will have to be in my room with blankets over my windows and absolutely no sound because the pain is so unbearable. It is so frustrating because I too feel like a burden, like ok you have a headache so what? Why can't you stay out late or get up early or work long shifts or run around and be active? But it is so much more than a headache It's become a way of life and althuogh I think I handle it well I know that deep down I am depressed and deeply saddened by it because anytime I stop to think about it or talk to anyone about it I cry instantly. Lindsay, I too have tried the things you have with no help and at Cleveland Clinic where they did my nerve blocks they told me about the program where you stay there for an amount of time. My option they told me about when staying there was a few weeks, they would put me on all these medications and steroid medications, have physical therapy and counseling as well. They also said the FDA would soon be approving the Botox injections, I'm sorry those did not help you either NDPH has altered my life drastically, I can't work as much, I can't run around and just be free, I can't take a full load of classes at a time Basically I just want to thank you for having this site Amy, it is really more helpful than you know, just knowing that I'm not the only one to suffer from this and that I'm not the only one that has this pain to think about every single second of every day Bless you and bless all your readers, may you all find relief from the pain -Nichole