Wouldn't it be nice to live in paradise? To spend the rest of your life near white sandy beaches, calm turquoise seas, sunny rainforests, and more? Well, if you move to Phuket, that's basically what you'll get. It's no secret that this world-famous Thai island is the very definition of paradise for a lot of people. Going on a trip to Phuket is already a dream come true for so many travelers out there, what more if you actually relocate here? But first thing's first, there's a lot you'll need to do before you can start enjoying your new life here.
Despite its popularity, Phuket isn't that populous a place. As of 2021, it has a population of around 437,963 residents. This is far from the whopping 10.7 million who live in Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand. With such a difference in populations, it's safe to say that Phuket remains more of a tourist destination than a major city despite its massive popularity. As you might expect, it tends to get pretty hot here. The average temperature in Phuket can actually go as high as 28.5°C (83°F) during its hottest month, which is March. On the other hand, the average temperature can also go as low as 27°C (81°F), particularly during its coldest month, which is January.
Although Phuket may seem like a tropical island, it's still a bustling city nonetheless. All you have to do is to see its public transport
to realize this. Just like in Bangkok and other busy cities in Thailand, Phuket offers a ton of options for how you can get around here. There are standard buses, taxis, and rental vehicles, for instance, which are easier to access via transportation apps
. They are also the more traditional Thai modes of public transportation, such as the Songthaew and the tuk-tuk. Do note, however, that you have to be careful when going on tuk-tuks as many drivers tend to scam passengers here.
Where to Live
A huge misconception about Phuket is that it's not as developed a city as, say, the likes of Bangkok and other Asian capitals. This is simply not true. As already mentioned, Phuket is actually a bustling city made up of different neighborhoods and districts
. And they're pretty diverse too. How you live in Phuket will depend on which place you choose to be your new home here. Now, if you're more into the city life and all the conveniences it offers, settling down in Phuket Town is your best bet. But if you prefer to live by the sea, you'll likely enjoy living in the Surin, Rawai, and Patong districts better.
Once you've chosen where you're going to stay in Phuket, the next thing you'll have to worry about is your budget. Or more specifically, your daily, weekly, and monthly expenses. The good thing about Phuket is that the living costs here
are pretty mid-range. Good examples are the common rental fees on the island. You can rent a luxury home
here for a minimum of ฿7,000.00 to a maximum of ฿50,000.00 a month. On the offset, these figures may seem pretty expensive, but when to take into account that the average monthly salary in Thailand ranges around ฿24,500.00 to ฿433,000.00, they no longer seem that high!
Of course, when you relocate to Phuket, this means you have to work here too. You'll need to find a job here>
in order to keep up with all your expenses. For now, with a 2.25% unemployment rate according to Thailand's job market
, it's safe to say that you'll likely find it all that difficult to land employment here. Even more so if you plan to open a business that will coincide with Phuket's tourism. Do note, however, that despite how busy the island can be, Phuket is far from Bangkok. The Thai capital still presents more job opportunities, especially to expats, than Phuket.
Relocating to Phuket with your entire family? And your kids are still pretty young? That's no problem at all. If you're worried about how your children can continue their studies on the island, you're in luck! Phuket actually has a handful of exceptional international schools
that specifically cater to expat students. In fact, the likes of the International School of Phuket
and Montessori House Phuket International School
won't just provide quality education for your kids, but will even help them get into the finest universities in the world. So you really don't need to worry about your little ones' studies when you move to Phuket!
What about healthcare? It's already well-known that Thai healthcare
is among the best in the world. It's one of the main reasons why the country is regarded as a top medical tourist destination
. But what about in Phuket specifically? Can you get the high-caliber healthcare that Thailand is known for on this island? The answer is yes, you can! Phuket has its own fair share of noteworthy hospitals & clinics
that will take care of any and all illnesses, ailments, and health conditions. There's Bangkok Hospital Phuket
, for instance, which is known for its world-class heart center. While Dibuk Hospital
has proven itself to be a fine emergency care hospital.
There's always a good and a bad side to every place around the world. For Phuket, there's already a lot on the good side by on its bad side, the main issue is that the city's crime rates
are pretty high. Phuket's general crime rate is only mid-range at 46.32%, but the fact that its rate of increasing crimes is at a high 63.66% is a cause for concern. On the bright side, Phuket's safety rates are quite notable too. It's 81.52% during the day and 58.56% at night. Considering the general crime rate here, these look pretty good!
Relocating to Phuket means you'll have to pay taxes in Thailand too. And if you have a single idea of what Thailand's tax system
is all about, you'll have a difficult time settling down here. For now, you ought to know that even before you become a legal resident of Phuket, you might already be a tax resident of Thailand, hence, you're already required to pay taxes here. A tax resident of Thailand is one that spends and works at least 180 days (approximately six months) in the country. Now, when you pay your income tax here, know that your income tax rate will depend on how much you earn annually.
The moment you get to Phuket, you need to open a local bank account
here. This is the only way to ensure that you'll be able to handle your finances well on the island. In the same vein, you have to join a local mobile network
too. How else will you be able to stay in contact with others without one? This is your best bet to remain connected with people, both in Phuket and outside of Thailand. Furthermore, although Phuket's international community is growing, it's still better to speak and understand Thai here. You'd do well to learn it in any of the language schools
on the island!
Relocating to Phuket is a dream come true for a lot of people out there, but make no mistake! Actually moving and starting a new life here isn't as easy as you think. This guide will help you along the way but it's up to you to put in all the effort!