4 Tips and Tricks to Know When Visiting Phuket During the Rainy Season

July 8, 2019
Kalima Resort

Rain or shine, Phuket never ceases to mesmerize people. While the beaches are its highlight attraction, there are other sites to see on this beautiful island. If it’s your first time paying a visit, chances are that you are overwhelmed with all the things around you, from the language barrier with the locals to changing your bills into loose money to pay exact amounts. The fact that you chose to travel to Phuket during a rainy month such as July can also add to the hassle. Fortunately, there’s no reason why the rain should rain on your parade. By being aware of tips and tricks to get around during your stay, you can make your trip more fun, memorable, and worth your money!


1. Look out for the red flags fluttering along the coast


The month of July is in the midst of monsoon season here in Phuket, and swimming in the rough seas is a serious matter that can break your bones or cost you your life. Thus, expect some places to cordon swimmers off, particularly the beaches that face westward and those with large rocks. Local beach authorities often place red flags along certain stretches of the beach and the ocean to indicate that NO SWIMMING IS ALLOWED. Follow these flags to avoid drowning, no matter how calm the seas look. The locals know that there is more danger than what meets the eye.


Rocky areas, in particular, are prone to rip currents, and as its name suggests, these can pose severe dangers to your life. If you see yellow flags in between areas with red flags, you need to look out for a lifeguard nearby before you as much as dip your foot into the water.


2. Wear sunscreen even if it’s a rainy season


Although Phuket may experience as often as 23 rainy days this July, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to wear sunscreen. Phuket is still in a tropical country, and when the rains don’t come, the sun will surely be as intense as it is during summer. Be sure to rub on a bit of sunscreen before you go out to take a dip or stroll to avoid sunburn.


3. There are places you can and cannot bargain


You might have heard that bargaining is a common practice in Thailand, but that depends on the kind of business you’re dealing with. Of course, expect that you can’t bargain with hotels, bike rentals, shopping malls, and convenience stores. You can only do that when you’re in Phuket’s flea markets, which are usually found in open spaces within the island’s urban areas. You can try to bargain with local fishers for their produce, but they typically only oblige to bargains if you buy from them in bulk. Phuket’s merchants are crafty, so don’t expect to have as much as 20% off from the things you purchase.


4. Tipping etiquette in Phuket


Most restaurants in Phuket already include a 10% service charge in their bill, so you don’t have to feel bad if you don’t give a tip. Tips also aren’t compulsory in streetside restaurants. If you want to express appreciation for the service and food in these streetside restaurants, a smile and thank you will suffice. Your tour guide and your hotel’s bellboy are the ones who are likely to expect a tip, and you can give them 50 baht if you’re happy with their service. One indicator that you are giving too much is that the staff you’re giving the tip to would decline your offer. Thais have a sense of shame as do other oriental cultures, and they may feel that they don’t deserve the money. If they turn down your tip, simply say thank you.