Live in Phuket

live in Phuket

Live In Phuket!

Looking for help with moving to Phuket? Then this guide is for you! I also just finished a new guide on Living in Chiang Mai, which you can read here.

Each years, thousand choose to relocate to Phuket Thailand. Are you considering moving somewhere warm, safe, and filled with high quality, low cost food that’s fit for even the pickiest gastronome?

Maybe you want to live in Phuket. If you’ve been here before, you’ll know that the island is absolutely paradise, especially if you live in the less touristy parts. We used to live in Chalong, close to Naiharn and Rawai. We currently live in Phuket Town, and have also lived in Kathu. It’s home to both Thais and expats alike, with an array of dining options to choose from. It is also easy for those needing to do a visa run, as the popular Andaman Club is a somewhat short and beautiful drive.

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Live in Phuket

Our Story

My husband and I first visited Phuket on our honeymoon in 2006. We fell in love with it then but had no intention on ever living here. After our daughter was born, we wanted to raise her outside of the US and considered moving near France ( where I grew up). My husband decided on Korea, where we lived for 1 year. After his contract was finished, we came to Phuket for a month before moving to Italy, where we planned on being based. But Phuket had touched all of us, and after a job opened up, Billy decided we should give Phuket a go. We risked a lot moving yet again, but have enjoyed our 2 years here and have no regrets. We published a photobook of our journey, The World As A Classroom, as encouragement to fellow homeschoolers, travelers, and expats.

Cost of Living in Phuket

To rent a house, it can cost between 8000 baht for an unfurnished townhouse to 20000 baht for a furnished 3 bedroom. If you speak Thai or have time to drive around areas like Thalang, you can find cheaper pricing that is sometimes only advertised word of mouth. Our townhouse is about 15000 baht and came semi furnished, along with an oven ( very rare in Phuket) and 4 A/C. Townhouses can be great if you are looking to start your own company here, as you can have the bottom floor be your office or business and live in the top floors.

Car rental is pricy compared to other parts of Thailand. It can cost between 12,000 to 18,000 baht per month for a fully insured vehicle. Foreigners are able to purchase vehicles here but you need to pay a downpayment; our neighbor put down 300K baht on his car and pays 9K a month. Most Thais and foreigners rent scooters or use public transportation throughout the island. Bike rentals can be exceptionally cheap and are available in all parts of the island.

Finding a Home

Our first two years in Phuket were in Chalong. We went through Welta from House in Phuket. Her services are free and she was incredibly helpful and supportive of our decisions.

However, to get the best price and in the neighborhood that’s right for you, I recommend you actually come to Phuket and find a home once you’ve arrived. Walk around and look for signs that say for rent and ask locals if they know of any available. We found our townhouse in Phuket Town that way, and it was in a perfect location.

House in Phuket

9/101 Chalong Park View, Moo9 Chaofa Road, Chalong Muang Phuket 83130, Thailand. Tel./Fax 076 282441

Progressive Phuket

Ask for Thomas

+66 0 76 284 311 – 511 – 611

Mobile:+66 0 80 521 0757

Kata Beach, Option Plaza, 83100 Phuket Thailand
Patong Beach, Jungceylon, 83150 Phuket Thailand

Schools/Education

Living in Phuket is wonderful for families who work online or who homeschool/unschool as well. For families who have been employed by a local company and are looking for schools for their children, here are some options to investigate:

Buds Phuket Nursery and Preschool

5/3 Chao Fa Road, Moo 1, T. Chalong (Near Lumpooon Secondhand Store.)

Tel: +66 (0) 76-282232 or +66 (0) 87-2785511
email: fo@buds-phuket.com

British International School

59 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Rd., Koh Kaew (the road leading to the school is diagonally opposite Royal Phuket Marina)
+66 (0)76-238711-20

HeadStart International School Phuket

41/6 Moo 5, Vichitsongkram Rd., T. Vichit, A. Muang Phuket 83000 (diagonally opposite Makro Self Service.)
+66 (0)76-612876

QSI International School of Phuket

Near Tesco Lotus junction in Phuket Town (the entrance to QSI is next to Wat Samkong on the Bypass Road.)
+66 (0) 76-354077

phuket@qsi.org

Rawai Progressive International School

14/1 M.5 Rawai, Viset Rd., Muang, Phuket

+66 (0)76-289200, +66 (0)76-288281

Shipping

 

Big Move Phuket

Telephone : (076) 263-987, (076) 263-988, (076) 263-989

Phuket Transport

58/24 Moo 6, Thepkrasattri Rd.,Rassada, Muang, Phuket 83000
66 (0) 76 238824 – 26 Fax: 66 (0) 76 238927 Mobile phone: 084-8433492 (English), 085-9212191

Visas

You can easily enter Thailand on a tourist visa on arrival, which is for 30 days. See this site for more info.

We used Siam Legal to help us get our visa, and we have to do a visa run every 3 months to get it renewed. Siam and other companies can help you with getting:

  • MARRIAGE VISA – If you are married to a Thai, you can apply for a Thai Marriage Visa. This visa will allow you to stay in Thailand for an initial of 3 months and can be extended to 1 year.
  • RETIREMENT VISA – If you are 50 years old or above and have the financial ability to retire, you can apply for a Thai Retirement Visa.
  • BUSINESS VISA – Applying for a job or opening a business will require a Thai Business Visa and this can be best applied for before coming to Thailand.
  • 1-YEAR THAI VISA – If you don’t fit the above categories, you can apply for a 1-year multiple entry visa that will allow you to stay in Thailand and travel in and outside of the country all year.

Obtaining Work

If you are looking to find work in Thailand, wait until you arrive. It is better if you can go into the job in person and not contact them from your home country. Many ESL teaching jobs have people contact the schools before they arrive in Phuket, only to stand up the school later or never come. The more serious you are, the more serious the employers are about hiring you.

The easiest way to find a job here is to look through the local English newspapers under the job section, Phuket Gazette and Phuket News.

You will need a work permit if you are going to work in Phuket, unless your company sponsors your visa. Click here for more info.

Starting your own business

If you are looking to live in Phuket and start your own business, this is a great option. The cost of setting up a business in Thailand is not nearly as expensive as in Western countries. People come here and open up everything from real estate companies, bars, scuba diving shops, schools, and restaurants.

Retiring To Phuket

The majority of foreigners I know or see here in Phuket have retired or are semi retired. It is a popular option for those looking for warmer climates than say Europe, and healthcare in Phuket is excellent and affordable.

I expound upon Frank’s story of retiring here in my post retiring to Phuket, for those looking to investigate if the island is right for them.

Teaching English in Phuket

Teaching English in Phuket is generally not as lucrative as doing it in say Korea or Japan. With some research and contacting schools here once you arrive, you can way which are best for you. Phuket Gazette and Phuket Times have schools regularly looking for teachers. Many prefer if you have either a BA and/or a TEFL certification.

Salaries for ESL teachers range from 26K baht per month and up, depending on where you work. Most schools do not however provide teachers with the adequate visa, so expect to do visa runs ( unless you get lucky like we did).

Brainy House is the school my husband worked at before he started his business. The owners are wonderful! Why not get in touch with them if you are considering teaching here?

Visa Runs

Chances are that if you move to Thailand you will need to do a visa run to renew/extend your visa. There is an entire industry built on ‘visa runs’ from shuttle vans ( that drive like maniacs, I might add) to all inclusive flights/vacations/visa renewals to Penang and other nearby destinations. The most popular place for Phuketians to do visa runs is to Ranong. It’s about a 4 hour drive from here ( straight shot along a nice main road). Our family has been to Ranong dozens of times and we have always driven ourselves, we’ve never taken a bus. The Andaman club is the best place for families as it is less chaotic then the main Ranong/Myanmar area and it has a private pier.

You can find excellent roadmaps in English and Thai at every gas station or 7/11. Visa run companies are all throughout the island and many offer budget prices.

Dining In Phuket

One can eat very cheaply here, between 30 and 60 baht per meal. We regularly go to the food court in Central Festival and eat Indian, Chinese, and Thai delicacies, for around this price. But if you have the budget, you can find Western restaurants all throughout the island providing German, Mexican, Italian, French and a plethora of other cuisines. There is also great coffee in Phuket too, if you know where to find it!

Thai food is much more affordable as opposed to ‘farang’ food. Prices also depend on what part of the island you are dining in; they generally don’t reflect quality as I’ve had some terrible meals at expensive restaurants. Davinci Restaurant is one of our favorite Italian joints when we visit my Mom ( she stays in Chalong when she vacations here), and Aqua is another favorite if you are looking for high end Western meals.

Hospitals

Vachira Phuket Hospital, Ministry of Thailand Public Health.
Address: 353 Yaowarat Rd.,Muang Phuket Thailand 83000
Phone: +66 7636-1234

Phuket International Hospital
44 Chalermprakiat Ror 9 Rd
Phuket 83000
Thailand
Tel: +66 76 249-400, +66 76 361 818
Fax: +66 76 210 936
E-mail: info@phuketinternationalhospital.com

Bangkok Hospital Phuket

Address: 2/1 Hongyok Utis Road, Muang District, Phuket, 83000, Thailand.
Phone: +66 (0) 7625 4425
Fax: +66 (0) 7625 4430
Email: info@phukethospital.com
Web page: www.phukethospital.com

Phuket Dental Center
371/95 Yaowarat Rd., Phuket Town, Phuket 83000,Thailand
Tel: 66-76-255336 Email: info@phuketdentalcenter.com

Chiropractor Dr. Cracknell

Wellness House Naturopathic Detox
14/93 Moo 1
Rawai – Phuket

080 530 9555 or 081 677 4555

 

Grocery Stores

Besides the wonderful wet markets ( thai markets) and the ever so popular Naka market, here are our favorites supermarkets or hypermarkets.

Super Cheap

Popular Thai franchise throughout the island.

Villa Supermarket Chalong, in the Home Pro complex

089-991-1199

Central Supermarket, bottom floor

74-75 Moo 5 Vichitsongkram Rd., Amphur Muang,
Talat Yai, Phuket 83000

076-291111
Related Guide: Live in Chiang Mai

 Suggested Reading

A General Guide to Living Abroad

Retiring To Phuket

Thai Food

Phuket Butterfly Park

Vegetarian Festival

 

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25 thoughts on “Live in Phuket

  1. Julia

    We are a holistic family that lives in Jacksonville, Florida and we found your blog on Phuket so informational and a great help. We are wanting to move to Phuket and we will be visiting there in a month or two to see how we like it first. What advice would you give us on moving there. If you had to do it all over again (move to thailand), what would you wish you knew back then that you know now. I look forward to meeting you in Phuket. Thank you for your blog!

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      hello Julia!! Glad to hear you are moving out this way! I think if I knew better, I would have first of all made sure we lived in Phuket Town, which has the most character and less tourists. I would have also rented a townhouse over a house ( there are a plethora of townhouses everywhere, in fact they can’t rent them out, there are so many). My neighbor has a townhouse that they rent ( 3 floors) for 8000 baht a month, and they are really spacious. We wanted a yard so we ended up renting a house when we got here, but now I wish we had a cheaper place.

      Reply
  2. Julia

    Thank you for your quick response. I had a couple of more questions. I have a 2 year old who I chose not to give vaccinations. My main concerns is dengue fever and malaria. I also read that you need vaccinations for tuberculosis and hepatitis. Please let me know your opinion and if this is true. If possible I would like not to vaccinate. Do you have any advice on what precautions we should take for our young one. We would also like to hire a nanny (hopefully only part-time) as we will work full time when there, do you know of any good reputable companies there?

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      We never vaccinated Kaya and there aren’t any vaccines for either malaria or dengue. There is a great chiropractor and natural doctor here that makes his own colloidal silver, which is WONDERFUL for preventing illness and disease. We also order vitamin C powder and other stuff from iherb.com in order to keep our immune systems up; the biggest cause of people getting dengue and malaria are compromised immune systems, so if you guys eat well ( which I’m sure you do) you will be fine. I am not too sure about Mae bans/nannys here but they are popular and I have heard easy to find. You could put an ad in the local paper or on online message boards and someone will make some recommendations. Hope this helps!! 🙂

      Reply
      1. Morgan

        Wow, seriously making me reconsider moving to Phuket – colloidal silver to prevent illness? Compromised immune systems the cause of Dengue and malaria? Vitamin C power to keep the immune system revved? No one vaccinating? Jesus, I hope none of you are teachers.

        Reply
        1. SattvicFamily Post author

          Phuket has colloidal silver! We still buy it here in Chiang Mai. It’s made by I think a Westerner based in Thailand.

          Reply
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  8. Earth Child Adventures

    Thank you so much for such an informative blogpost. My boyfriend and I are moving to Phuket in March. Although I have travelled and lived all over the world, this move seems to be the most daunting, but also the biggest adventure! Your advice is great and I am definitely going to get in touch with Brainy House and see if they have anything to offer. Thanks again, Karen.

    Reply
  9. Vinyard Family

    Hi Guys
    It sounds like you are enjoying the life in Phuket. My wife and I are wanting to get away from the rat run here in the UK. I’m currently a Health and Safety Consultant. My wife works for the ambulance service as a 111 call operator. We have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and a house dog (cockapoo) No sheading or dog hair problems. We are both divers. . My wife ‘Fiona’ has booked her Teaching English as a Second Language course. I’m moving forward with my diving qualifications to the point where I can complete instructor level internship once relocated over there. I know a bit younger couple who are doing this in September. For us, the idea is to use equity from selling the house to pay off all commitments and move with enough money to get us by for 6-8 months (even with no income at all). I might be able to maintain a small amount of western income for awhile. But our goal is to live and work in Phuket. I’ll work part time as a dive instructor (full time maybe). Fiona will teach english as a second language. I think the international schools are quite expensive £10,000 per year, but maybe there are other options. I know there has been some changes in regards to controlling some of the tourist scams and people working without permits. I’m assuming this means its going to be better for the people working legally. This this might be more on the Dive Centre side of things. I’m 55 years old, but probably look 45. My wife is 45. I’m hoping this can be a new life for us. I have talked to some other people (not living in Thailand) who have looked into this, as dive instructors, and says it’s a bad idea. My wife and I are well traveled. Fiona is British and moved to the US for 10 years. I’m from the US. We then both moved to the UK 12 years ago. We are adventurous. Like I said, we both dive and are glider pilots. I also hold a private pilots license, however not current. We want a better life for our daughter, and for us.

    So you’ve already explained a lot. Based on the additional information I’ve provided, can you tell me a bit more, good and bad.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    Reply
  10. Thomas Day

    First of all it is very kind of you to offer like you have….I have no problem in paying for any special advice or help you can give me!

    I used Siam Legal and have my retirement visa already along with all of my vaccinations…

    My US Social Security is $2,200 after tax which I expect will go up some more once I stop working in January 2016.

    So the main question is that enough money to live comfortably…I am not a drinker but rather (an older) jock.
    I want to definitely go to take private language lessons so I thought I would initially live in Patong near the school for approximately 90 days and then look for a one year lease after I have a better feel for where I decide to hang my hat!

    I am definitely open to any advice.

    Best regards,

    Tom

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      Sorry I didn’t see your comment sooner Thomas! Yes it absolutely is enough to live off of in Phuket, if you shop at Thai markets and live like the Thais. We lived on about that much when we were there.

      Reply
  11. Angeli Yuson

    This was very informative!

    My husband and I are doing a trip around the world for one year, and first stop is Thailand. Although we won’t be here for very long, our future is indefinite and we can definitely settle in another country which is not our own.

    Thanks for the tips. I look forward to going to Thailand!

    Reply
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  14. Evanlee Leyva

    OMG I love your blog and its answered SO many questions I have! My husband and I are moving to Phuket in November! We’re so excited! 🙂 I’m sure you gets so many emails of questions but we have a couple questions that would be awesome if you had a second to answer 😉 so how did you guys do your visas? Everything that we read says we should get a tourist visa but if you do that you have to have proof of a returning flight. So how did you guys do that??

    Also, do you know if there’s an eye doctor in Phuket that you can get contacts though?

    And lastly, we are REALLY wanting to send a few days a week volunteering in an orphanage. Are there a few near Phuket Town that we could volunteer at?

    You’re amazing and thanks again so much for your blog! I look forward to speaking with you more! 🙂

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      Evanlee,

      Fantastic to hear you are moving to Thailand! We’ve never been asked about a return flight in the 5 or so years we’ve lived here, and we’ve had tourists visas all the time that we get renewed abroad. We have also had a work visa ( when my husband taught in Phuket) and I just finished my student visa and am now currently on a tourist visa again. The visa on arrival can be renewed at your local immigration ( which is in Phuket Town) for an additional month, or you can get a three month visa at your local Thai embassy or consulate abroad.

      I don’t know of an orphanage to recommend but I’m sure you will get a recommendation for one once you arrive. 🙂

      Reply
  15. Ryan Benitez

    Thank you so much for taking the time to write this blog! My wife and I will be moving to Phuket in October!
    I will have a place booked right when we get there but was planning on just finding housing. Seems like this is your recommendation. However was curious if most places will do month-to-month? Also was concerned that the places that do will be booked since we’re getting there going into the high season.
    Lastly, are there any beaches where you regularly see Kitesurfers. I would like to live close to a beach which is not as crowded for kiting..
    Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Andrew bissex

    Hi
    I am so glad to find you
    I am living in Sydney and seriously considering retiring to Phuket
    I would like to know what facilities are available for golf and tennis and croquet also is there a good country club
    Lastly I plan to do a research trip in May
    I would love to buy you dinner so I can ask lots of questions
    My email is andrewbissex44@gmail.com
    Cheers
    Andrew

    Reply
    1. SattvicFamily Post author

      Andrew, so happy this post was helpful and that you’re planning on doing a research trip. We haven’t lived in Phuket for about 2 years ( we’re now in Chiang Mai) but if you ever come up North we’d love to meet up! Not sure of a golf course in Phuket but I’m sure there is one, with all of the people who play golf and that vacation or retire there. I know some people go to the sports area in Saphinhin, in Phuket Town, to use the swimming pool or tennis court.

      Reply

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