Booking your hotel in advance is always cheaper than on arrival. There are so many hotels in Phuket there is no lack of choice. Most important is to chose your location, if you want all everything available at anytime, go to Patong but get ready for some crowd. If you like it quiet and romantic: Mai Khao Beach. Something in between good for family? Kata, Karon or Kamala. Note that beaches quiet during high season often appear deserted in low.
Taxi Meters often “forget” to turn on their meter and therefore will try to overcharge you on arrival or offer a higher ‘agreed’ rate. Keep an eye on that meter and insist. Also, always assume that taxi meters, even in Bangkok NEVER have small change. This can lead to serious tips!
Never Exchange money at the hotel, as you’ll find the exchange rate is a lot better at the Exchange booths. Make sure you count your money and ask for the receipt.
Pick-pockets usually go for the night-time revelers who have had a few too many. Take particular care when approached by seemingly friendly folk late at night. Katoeys or “lady-boys” have a particularly bad reputation for this.
Scams are less common these days but beware of anyone who, unsolicited, offers you a chance to buy cheap gems, jewelery or gold as these are the popular scam items.
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