Live In Phuket!
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.
Be sure to Subscribe to our blog and connect with us on Facebook and Twitter for additional travel blogging and lifestyle design tips, and let us know if you have any questions about living in Phuket!
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
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
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
British International School
59 Moo 2, Thepkrasattri Rd., Koh Kaew (the road leading to the school is diagonally opposite Royal Phuket Marina)
HeadStart International School Phuket
41/6 Moo 5, Vichitsongkram Rd., T. Vichit, A. Muang Phuket 83000 (diagonally opposite Makro Self Service.)
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
Rawai Progressive International School
14/1 M.5 Rawai, Viset Rd., Muang, Phuket
+66 (0)76-289200, +66 (0)76-288281
Big Move Phuket
|Telephone :||(076) 263-987, (076) 263-988, (076) 263-989|
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
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.
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?
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.
Vachira Phuket Hospital, Ministry of Thailand Public Health.
Address: 353 Yaowarat Rd.,Muang Phuket Thailand 83000
Phone: +66 7636-1234
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
|Address:||2/1 Hongyok Utis Road, Muang District, Phuket, 83000, Thailand.|
|Phone:||+66 (0) 7625 4425|
|Fax:||+66 (0) 7625 4430|
Phuket Dental Center
371/95 Yaowarat Rd., Phuket Town, Phuket 83000,Thailand
Tel: 66-76-255336 Email: email@example.com
Chiropractor Dr. Cracknell
Wellness House Naturopathic Detox
14/93 Moo 1
Rawai – Phuket
080 530 9555 or 081 677 4555
Besides the wonderful wet markets ( thai markets) and the ever so popular Naka market, here are our favorites supermarkets or hypermarkets.
Popular Thai franchise throughout the island.
Villa Supermarket Chalong, in the Home Pro complex
Central Supermarket, bottom floor
74-75 Moo 5 Vichitsongkram Rd., Amphur Muang,
Talat Yai, Phuket 83000