I am well aware that this might seem a bit late to start writing about living in Phuket in general after having lived here through 18 years now and well into the Pandemic. But the blog is new and better late than never as they say.
Let’s start by clarifying that Phuket lifestyle is awesome and I wouldn’t want to be living anywhere else on earth as of this moment – that may still change some day! Phuket is a true bounty paradise in the southern Thai waters of the Andaman Sea. Typically when people refer to tropical bounty Islands, it is a deserted Island with just you and your significant other that comes to mind or some picturesque crap from a travel agents catalogue. But seriously, who would want to live there with no amenities and infrastructure. Others argue that Phuket has very little or even nothing to do with the true Thailand anymore, which I guess is kinda true it a way. But if you prefer to live up in the rice paddies where the cost of life is cheaper, then this amazing country also offers that.
Phuket is certainly still Thailand and will always be the true Thailand as well, but when a country has so much diversity as we do here, people can pick and choose what best suits their personal style and preference. The naysayers that it is to expensive and the tourism has spoiled it all. Prices are more here than in rural Thailand in the middle of nowhere – OBVIOUSLY – and Phuket is the richest province in Thailand, so it kinda is self-explanatory. For me, and since it is MY blog – Phuket is the perfect southern hub to other surrounding tropical islands with crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. We have a very capable international airport and a continuous improving infrastructure to cope with the what the future might bring. The airport is never more than 1 hour away no mater where on the island you are, that opens up doors to the rest of Asia and beyond. We have the best hospitals here, best schools, universities, shopping malls, cinemas, restaurants and bars, roads are good and getting better day by day. Golf holidays here are up there with the best in the world. Recreational activities are in abundance and life is never boring unless you choose it to be or are otherwise compromised.
When your wardrobe only needs to hold flip flops, shorts and maybe a pair of old dusty jeans that you haven’t worn for a year, then life can’t be to bad! The skies are blue, the sun is out and the ocean breeze is in your face!
Admittedly so, Phuket and Thailand as a whole does not come trouble free and there are always snakes in paradise and it requires money to live here – probably more than people might think, as everything seems pretty cheap when they come on holiday to visit. There are constant expenses here that needs to be covered to be an expatriate here. Lawyers, Accounting, Visa’s, Work Permits, 90 Days reporting and so on. In Phuket things are not cheap anymore too, if they ever actually were. I have always claimed that a beer here in a bar cost more than a beer in a bar in Aalborg, Denmark where I grew up. Same goes for dining experiences and food shopping. Cost more than back where I come from. Granted, if you live on local Thai food everyday of the week it costs near to nothing, but I dont even think the Thai people in Phuket do that. They like McDonalds, Cinema trips and excursions as much as we do.
Thailand suffers from corruption and always has, and probably always will – just as most other SE Asian countries or in fact most countries where there is a threat of poverty around the corner. However it is corruption that kinda works in its own respect and it’s kinda needed or nothing would ever get done here. What is frustrating is that every now and then you run into a situation where it will try to take advantage of you and your finances. On the other hand, I don’t think there is a single expat here that moved here and found that to be a surprise. Everybody that has moved here and lives here full time knew this beforehand and knew what they signed up for, perhaps not to the exact extend but certainly had an idea. So deal with it or move to another country.
But here’s the thing, none of it matter! That’s the price I pay and are willing to pay for waking up every morning to a bright and warm day under the sun and taking my dog to the beach for a swim and doze off under the palm leaves – all before work commences.
Life is good!