phuket thailand places to visit
Phuket certainly is a bizarre experience, at best it's a good laugh - arguing with tailors in Patong, streets filled with dodgy taxi drivers, having a drink with bar girls in Soi Bangala.
Then there's the naked Europeans flaunting it on the beach, gnarly jet ski operators, drugged iguana handlers, and possibly the strangest beasts of all - the tourists that flock to Phuket in swarms - beware these intoxicated creatures.
At it's worst, Phuket can turn from a colorful travel experience, to your worst overseas nightmare - a drunken walk down the wrong lane, blowing your top at a taxi driver over a fare, getting scammed on a motorbike rental, or getting caught in a rip in the ocean. Harm can definitely have it's way with you very, very quickly.
Here's what we think you should know to stay safe in Phuket:
For the majority of the time Phuket is a pretty safe place to visit - there can be attacks at night, but the majority of really harmful situations arise out of the heavy handed nature of some of the scams, hot tempers clashing between mafia, ripped off tourists all ignited under the duress of Thailand heat, a few drinks and a deal gone bad.
Several classic Phuket scams have been known to turn violent like these:
- Angry Taxi or Tuk Tuk Drivers getting violent over a fare dispute.
- Mafia controlled jet ski operators or motorcycle hire companies in Patong standing over people for "damage" to the rented equipment.
- Drink Spiking. Very nasty stuff.
- Drowning in Rips - find out how about.
How to Stay Safe in Phuket
A simple guideline to stay safe in Phuket is to remember the old Travel Mantra: "Would I do this at home?" For example would you:
- Walk alone down a back alley after midnight?
- Argue with drunk transvestites?
- Rent equipment such as jet skis or motorbikes from known dodgy operators?
- Swim at a beach where I don't know the currents and lifeguards are off duty?
- Get aggressive with the clientele or bouncer at a Go-Go bar?