Rainforests, mountains, and some of Thailand’s most sought-after beaches, this is Phuket. The largest Thai island, here’s where you’ll get to party at Patong, gawp and shop in Phuket town, jump on a motorbike to see waterfalls, and enjoy a ton of tasty food.

Though there are relatively low levels of crime, there are scams and robberies to watch out for that make this perhaps not the paradise you had always dreamed it to be. Combine that with some dangerous aspects of mother nature (namely, the sea) and there are a few things to worry about on your trip to Phuket.

To help you dodge the dodginess and skip the sketchiness, we’ve come up with an epic insider’s guide to staying safe in Phuket. In it, you’ll find a ton of tips for staying safe with everything from what not to do when you’re in search of food, to how you should be tackling road safety. Whatever it is, we’re here to help you travel smart and have a good time!

Unlock Our GREATEST Travel Secrets!

Sign up for our newsletter and get the best travel tips delivered right to your inbox.

    How Safe is Phuket? (Our take)

    safety phuket
    Welcome to our Phuket Travel Guide!

    The Broke Backpacker is supported by you. Clicking through our links may earn us a small affiliate commission, and that's what allows us to keep producing free content 🙂 Learn more.

    You already know Phuket. It is THE Thailand backpacker destination. Beaches and history and a ton of fun, Phuket is where it’s at for good times in Thailand. We don’t blame you for wanting to travel to this place. It’s easy to get to and to get around.

    Thankfully most of the time anyway, Phuket is pretty safe. As with many tourist destinations, however, there are some things you should be looking out for.

    From money-grabbing jetski scams and the dangers of driving around on a motorbike, all the way to natural stuff like riptides, there are definitely things that can put you into danger in Phuket.

    It’s all about using your common sense and taking basic safety precautions; understand when something is a bit sketchy and you’ll do well here.

    There is no such thing as a perfect safety guide, and this article is no different. The question of “Is Phuket Safe?” will ALWAYS have a different answer depending on the parties involved. But this article is written for savvy travellers from the perspective of savvy travellers.

    The information present in this safety guide was accurate at the time of writing, however, the world is a changeable place, now more than ever. Between the pandemic, ever-worsening cultural division, and a click-hungry media, it can be hard to maintain what is truth and what is sensationalism.

    Here, you will find safety knowledge and advice for travelling Phuket. It won’t be down to the wire cutting edge info on the most current events, but it is layered in the expertise of veteran travellers. If you use our guide, do your own research, and practise common sense, you will have a safe trip to Phuket.

    If you see any outdated information in this guide, we would really appreciate it if you could reach out in the comments below. We strive to provide the most relevant travel information on the web and always appreciate input from our readers (nicely, please!). Otherwise, thanks for your ear and stay safe!

    It’s a wild world out there. But it’s pretty damn special too. 🙂

    Is Phuket Safe to Visit Right Now?

    Phuket, Thailand

    Phuket is safe to visit right now.

    A whole ton of tourists visit Thailand safely every year, and the government would like to keep it that way. By 2032 they’re aiming for more than 100 million tourists a year with around 40% in Phuket alone.

    Needless to say, Phuket is super popular and clearly pretty safe to visit Phuket as well.

    That said, crimes do exist. Drugs are on the rise and dozens of people are arrested each day for drug-related offences. Avoiding these statistics is relatively simple, however: stay away from drugs. Easy.

    Since the tsunami hit on Boxing Day in 2004, Phuket has recovered dramatically. Undersea earthquakes aren’t the sort of thing that is easily predictable, so whilst this may happen again, it also may not.

    Another thing when it comes to the sea is jellyfish. Specifically, box jellyfish. These come complete with 10-foot long tentacles. From 1999 to 2015, 6 tourists have died from these horrifically toxic jellyfish. Numbers of these increase during the monsoon season (from May to October) so it’s best to keep your eyes peeled.

    Also during the monsoon season, there are large waves and strong currents that affect the waters around the island of Phuket. This is a real danger.

    Currently, Thailand is under military control, and there’s a new king. You need to be careful with what you say about anything political going on in the country. One wrong word could have you arrested, fined or even deported, even if it’s online. But again, this is very easily avoided.

    So with everything in mind, Phuket is definitely a pretty safe place to visit. Your main worries will be pickpocketing and getting too much sun!

    Want to save money on your trip?

    supporting image for Booking.com deals promo

    We got you. For reals.

    Safest Places in Phuket

    When choosing where you’ll be staying in Phuket, a bit of research and caution is essential. You don’t want to end up in a sketchy area and ruin your trip. To help you out, we’ve listed the safest areas to visit in Phuket below.


    This small village provides visitors with all the convenience of busy towns like Patong but without hustle, bustle, and chaos. Enjoy a quiet and relaxing atmosphere with an abundance of wellness centres, hotels, and delightful restaurants.

    Since Kamala is so laid-back, it’s also one of the safest places in Phuket. The peaceful atmosphere attracts plenty of expats and quite a few families as well. 

    The beach in Kamala is also particularly attractive to families with young children. Less frenetic than beaches in neighbouring Kata and Patong, Kamala Beach is made of powdery white sand perfect for sunbathing, playing, and building sandcastles. The turquoise waters at the north end of the beach are nice and calm, making the conditions perfect for swimmers and splashers of all ages.

    Phuket Town

    Phuket Town is the capital of Phuket province and the largest city on the island. Made up of narrow streets, Phuket Town is where you’ll find great restaurants, unique shops, and one-of-a-kind attractions. Enjoy a real local atmosphere and charming attractions in this urban environment. 

    It’s nowhere near as busy as places like Patong, which also makes it pretty safe to visit. One thing you do need to watch out for here though is pickpocketing thieves. They’re especially active around the big attractions. But these crimes can easily be avoided by leaving your valuables at home and keeping an eye on your belongings.

    Phuket Town is also ideal for travellers interested in history and culture. Home to Old Phuket Town, this city is where you’ll find a myriad of colourful heritage sites. From temples and shrines to museums and markets, visit Phuket Town for an authentic slice of Thai life.


    Kata Beach is one of the trendiest places to stay in Phuket. Located on the island’s west coast, this village is perfect for travellers looking for a great mix of relaxed atmosphere, exciting nightlife, and a variety of great attractions. It’s less hectic and chaotic than Patong, but it offers just as many partying options. 

    More than just cool, Kata is also ideal for couples. Kata is home to a golden sand beach, world-class spas and wellness centres, and a number of top-notch restaurants. Gone are the days Phuket was just a backpacker hang out as Phuket has rebuilt its tourism to cater to more luxurious guests too.

    Places to avoid in Phuket

    Most places in Phuket are pretty safe. There aren’t any no-go areas or places you should fully avoid, but there are a few spots where you need to take a bit of extra caution. We’ve listed those ones below:

    • Patong – It’s not a place to avoid, but we wouldn’t necessarily recommend staying there. You’ll find rowdy crowds, drunk people, scammers and prostitutes here. It’s generally a rougher area that might not be a no-go area, but it definitely won’t offer you much more than partying. 
    • Ko Rang Yai island – again, this is another place that you don’t need to avoid. But it is known for an incredible amount of sand flies and mosquitos. Dengue fever is present in Phuket and you REALLY don’t want that, trust us… 
    • Any beach – we’re not saying avoid the beach, but we would definitely be very cautious. Riptides, currents, jellyfish, etc, all of that can cause some serious safety issues. Use your common sense and be careful! If possible, let someone know when you’re going for a swim.

    It’s important to know that Phuket is a safe place, but a bit of caution and research before you start your travels will go a long way. If you want to increase your safety during your stay, read on for our insider travel tips. Stick to those and you won’t have a single issue in Phuket.

    Phuket Travel Insurance

    ALWAYS sort out your backpacker insurance before your trip. There’s plenty to choose from in that department, but a good place to start is Safety Wing.

    They offer month-to-month payments, no lock-in contracts, and require absolutely no itineraries: that’s the exact kind of insurance long-term travellers and digital nomads need.

    SafetyWing is cheap, easy, and admin-free: just sign up lickety-split so you can get back to it!

    Click the button below to learn more about SafetyWing’s setup or read our insider review for the full tasty scoop.

    20 Top Safety Tips for Traveling to Phuket

    Top Safety Tips for Traveling to Phuket

    Phuket is a place to party, have fun, relax, and see some sights. The crime rate may be relatively low, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you should be looking out for here. So to help you travel like a seasoned pro, we’ve come up with some top safety tips for travelling to Phuket.

    1. Contact tourist police by calling 1155 – if you get into trouble. This force is made up of Thai and foreign national officers.
    2. Careful how you carry your bag around – opportunist thieves on motorbikes have been known to snatch them. Wear a money belt.
    3. Get your beach safety down – know that the sea can be dangerous. Red flags mean ‘don’t swim’. Riptides aren’t fun.
    4. Be cautious around – Kamala, Karon, Lamsingh, and Patong Beaches can all be pretty dangerous in terms of currents.
    5. Watch out for the tides – getting stranded isn’t good. The difference between high and low tides is a lot and it happens quickly.
    6. Don’t swim under the influence – it seems like a good idea, but it’s not, especially at night.
    7. Beware of flash flooding during monsoon season – around caves, lakes, waterfalls. Landslides can also happen.
    8. Riding a motorbike? Wear a helmet – it’s legal and it’s much safer.
    9. If you’ve never ridden a motorbike, now is not the time – the roads can be super dangerous – thousands of people die each year on Phuket’s roads.
    10. Don’t rent a jetski – especially in Patong. Jetskis are “officially” banned and the rental of them is controlled by what is known as the ‘jetski mafia’. Don’t support them.
    11. Read reviews of boat companies – some aren’t all that legit. And if you arrive and it seems sketchy, don’t get on it.
    12. Be vigilant around certain areas after dark – Karon Viewpoint, for example, can attract some dodgy people at night.
    13. Don’t walk around looking like an unsuspecting tourist – you might get treated like one, and you may be robbed. Not everyone in Thailand is nice!
    14. Careful what you share online – photos of people engaging in “inappropriate behaviour” can (and do) result in fines.
    15. Don’t insult Thai royalty/government – it’s basically illegal.
    16. Stay away from drugs – a good way to get mixed up with bad people. Also very harsh penalties for possession (1 year in prison) and “trafficking” (crossing borders with drugs), including the death penalty.
    17. Keep calm – what might be normal at home, going out, getting drunk, fighting, is not normal here. Don’t get into arguments.
    18. Travel responsibly & be respectful of culture – e.g. when visiting temples, dress appropriately.
    19. Learn some Thai – a simple set of greetings and phrases will go a long way.
    20. Get a sim card – the benefits of having a smartphone with data are huge.

    Being smart with how you act and what you get up to is the best way to go. Be respectful, don’t get aggressive, keep your opinions about the Thai royals to yourself and you’ll have a blast.

    Is Phuket safe to travel alone?

    Is Phuket safe to travel alone

    We’re all about solo travel. It’s a great idea and there’s probably no better way to gain some awesome experience of the world, see the world, and learn a thing or two about yourself.

    Phuket attracts all sorts of travellers: including people on their own. You should have no trouble visiting here as a solo traveller. It’s a fun place with loads to do – yes, even if you’re by yourself. Here are some solo travel tips for Phuket to keep you safe and sound.

    • Book yourself into a good hostel. There is a lot to a good social hostel in Phuket, and most of it you’re going to learn from reading reviews.
    • Make sure you know how to get back if you’re staying somewhere a little more remote. You could pretty easily put yourself into danger if you end up walking for miles by yourself. Get a taxi, go with other people, but it’s just not clever to do it by yourself.
    • Make sure you keep an eye on your bags. When you’re by yourself, it’s just you!
    • Make friends. Even if they’re just going to be your hostel buddies for a few days, it’s good to get chatting to people. It’s a good way to share tips about and what to see and where to go in Phuket. Plus you might get to be travel buddies moving on from Phuket! Having someone, or a few people, to go out with always beats arriving at a beach bar by yourself, too.
    • Even though Phuket is a bit of a party central, it’s never a smart move to get completely wasted. Getting dead drunk just means making stupid decisions, not being aware of your surroundings, getting lost, being more susceptible to crime.
    • Know that alcohol in Thailand is often stronger than in your home country. For real, alcohol poisoning has been known to happen, so definitely know your limits and go easy on those buckets.
    • Ask the people at your hotel or your hostel for any local advice they might have. Chances are they are going to be able to point you to some fun (and safe, don’t forget!) places to go.
    • Try not to turn up in Phuket with too much luggage. Trust us: travelling with a load of bags is just not a good way to go. Not only is it super uncomfortable, but it’s also just more likely that you are going to be a target for theft.
    • Tell people if you’re going out by yourself, hiking, on a day trip, whatever. It’s always better that people know where you are and what you’re doing.
    • Keep in touch with people back home. Going on a solo travel trip to Phuket doesn’t mean you have to ghost your friends and family.
    • Don’t keep all your valuables in one place. Spread them out across your bag. Don’t keep all your money in your wallet. Use a money belt. And maybe you should even consider getting yourself an emergency credit card just in case you lose all your earthly belongings.

    Your safety and security are pretty much going to rest entirely on your shoulders. So make sure you keep yourself safe and watch out for your surroundings, both in terms of dodgy people and the natural environment. Phuket is a well-trodden destination, but still, it definitely pays to travel smart here.

    Is Phuket safe for solo female travellers?

    Is Phuket safe for solo female travellers

    Generally, Phuket is a pretty safe place for solo female travellers. There is a whole load of things you can do by yourself, beaches to explore and yep, there’s that exciting nightlife.

    Whilst it is pretty safe there are still some safety tips you should be following when you’re in Phuket by yourself.

    • Watch your drink when you’re on a night out. Drink spiking, unfortunately, does happen in Phuket – like most places in the world – so it’s important to not let your drink out of your sight.
    • Walking down unlit streets and dark alleyways is a definite no-no. You wouldn’t do this in your home country, so apply the same logic to Phuket.
    • Don’t go to the beach alone at night time. This is a good way to really put yourself into some serious danger. Go with other people or, to be on the safe side, keep beach antics a daytime flex.
    • Motorbike thieves sometimes target women – especially at night time, and especially around Patong, Kata, and Karon. Make sure your bag is tight to your body, or don’t take one out at all.
    • Know the dress code. Phuket is known as a beach destination so people are going to tolerate beach get-up – but only on the beach.  Make sure you carry something, like a sarong or big scarf or dress, so you can easily cover up if needed, if you go to a temple, for example.
    • Stay away from monks. There are strict rules for monks that means sitting next to them, touching them, even giving something to them, is forbidden if you are a woman.
    • When it comes to accommodation, read reviews and choose the right one for you. Even if you are on a tight budget, choosing somewhere that might be a little pricier but more your thing could mean the difference between an ok and an awesome time.
    • Get to know other travellers. Staying in a female-only dorm is a great way to get chatting to other females doing what you’re doing and is a decent way to get some tips, too. There are plenty of friendly people out there to hang out with.
    • Get involved in different activities to meet more people. You can attend a cooking class, a tour, any sort of group activity. Just make sure you read reviews first and that you’re not booking yourself on some two-bit tour on some rickety old boat (for example).
    • It isn’t common to get harassed on the streets in Thailand. If it does happen, you should walk away confidently and ignore the comment. These incidents can be reported to the tourist police.
    • Remove yourself from uncomfortable situations. Being honest, sometimes other travellers can be more of an issue than the local lads themselves.
    • Don’t hesitate to tell white lies, if necessary. If someone’s asking too many personal questions, don’t bother answering properly. What stranger needs to know where you’re staying, where you’re going, where you’re from, or if you’ve got a boyfriend?

    Thailand, and by extension Phuket, is actually a pretty safe place for a solo female traveller. This country and this area basically lack that same macho society that, in some areas of the world, can make it pretty annoying to be travelling as a female – solo or not solo.

    More on Safety in Phuket

    We’ve covered the main safety concerns already, but there are a few more things to know. Read on for more detailed information on how to have a safe trip to Phuket.

    Is Phuket safe to travel for families?

    You may think of Phuket as a place for independent travel and partying, but look past that and this place is an amazing place for a family holiday. Yes, there’s heaps of brilliant stuff to do in Phuket for all types of travelers.

    There are some stunning beaches, cool stuff to do, unique experiences and what’s more it’s great value for money.

    Phuket can be a super family-friendly destination. There’s a lot of family accommodation, tasty food and even some history thrown in. There’s a seedy side – notably in Patong – but that’s easily avoided.

    Is Phuket safe to travel for families

    Of course, being a tropical destination, there are a few things to keep in mind when you’re travelling with kids in tow. The sun and the humid heat can be a concern for parents. Sunscreen and making sure your little ones aren’t out in the sun too much are easy ways to prevent burning. Sun hats help, too.

    Covering up against mosquitoes is a must too. Dengue fever is present in Phuket, so making sure you all cover up, burning coils and using insect repellent is definitely the way to go.

    The best time to travel is in the (relatively) cooler months of the dry season – November to February. This is also the high season when loads of people go to Thailand as a whole, so accommodation will be more pricey at these times.

    Prams and pushchairs aren’t a great idea, so you might want to carry smaller children in a sling.

    Another thing: Thailand is a developing country. Things like washing hands, and being careful on the busy streets, are a must.

    Overall, Phuket is a safe place to take your family. There’s loads of cool stuff to do.

    Is it safe to drive in Phuket?

    If you want to hit the road on two (or four) wheels in Phuket it definitely will open up the island for you. You’ll get to see things that are off the beaten track. However, it’s not always safe. In fact, driving in Thailand, in general, is pretty risky.

    A lot of people do rent their own wheels in Phuket though, often motorbikes. These are cheaper to rent than cars.

    There are a high number of road accidents both in Thailand and Phuket. Being aware of this fact before you head out will give you some understanding as to the danger you’re going to put yourself in.

    Is it safe to drive in Phuket

    If you decide to rent a bike, you should always wear a helmet. Plus it’s illegal not to – you may well get pulled over if you’re not wearing one and fined.

    You’ve got to be careful when hiring a vehicle in Phuket. People have been and do get scammed with motorbike rentals. Make sure you take pictures, or a video, beforehand so you can prove the state the bike was in before you hired it, just in case they try to get money out of you for a scratch, dent or ding you weren’t to blame for.

    When driving in Phuket expect…

    • Overtaking from all directions (even on corners)
    • Speeding
    • Jumping red lights
    • Driving on the wrong side of the road
    • Dogs, cats, wildlife in the road
    • flashing lights mean ‘get out of the way’ and not ‘go ahead’

    So you will have to keep your eyes peeled for hazards – they are plentiful.

    If you’re stuck behind a vehicle and they flash their indicators to the left, it’s ok to overtake. If they flash to the right, it’s not safe to overtake. If unsure, don’t overtake at all.

    Basically, it is statistically speaking not safe to drive in Phuket, but a lot of people do and have a pretty good time doing so. If you’re going to drive, it helps to have driving experience and you must at all times be aware of the dangers and to wear a helmet.

    Riding a motorbike in Phuket

    Riding around Phuket on two wheels has to be the most popular option of transport for tourists, as well as locals. You’re fast, you’re efficient, and if there’s traffic, you can squeeze through the tiniest gaps.

    Thailand is one of the most dangerous places to drive a motorbike and Phuket is no exception. Especially for inexperienced drivers, the busy and hectic roads can be overwhelming.

    When driving, always keep your eyes open. You don’t just have to think for yourself, you have to think for everyone around you. Locals, especially kids (yes, they drive too), can be reckless.

    Renting a motorbike can be a bit tricky since there are quite a few places that might scam you. Whenever you get your hands on a bike, check the brakes, check the mirrors and take photos of the bike, so the rental can’t accuse you of scratches and dents.

    Is Uber safe in Phuket?

    Since 8th April 2018, Uber has shut down its services in Thailand. In its place is Grab.

    This is like Uber but for taxis. It works pretty much the same way. Order in-app, put your destination in-app, pay in-app. You won’t have to worry about being overcharged because it’s all in the app. Grab is safe in Phuket.

    Are taxis safe in Phuket?

    Taxis are generally pretty safe in Phuket and there’s a fair few to choose from.

    You’ll be able to spot them a mile off. They’re painted bright yellow and red or green and say ‘TAXI’ on the roof, so it’s easy to know.

    Keep an eye out for a red light in the windscreen; this means it’s empty and up for hire. You can hail them down on the street; alternatively, head to a busy road, beach, shopping centre, where you’ll find a taxi rank.

    are taxis safe in thailand
    Photo: Ilya Plekhanov (WikiCommons)

    If you’re staying at a small hostel or guesthouse, you may have to help the driver out with directions – these aren’t London cabbies, after all.

    If you find a driver you like, make a note of his number. You can then order them specifically.

    On the other hand, if you get your hotel to order you a taxi, be aware they will probably order you a non-metered taxi which charges flat rates and work out more expensive than the meter taxis. In these instances, you may be able to haggle with the driver to get the price down. These, however, are better if you want to hire a car for the day to do a tour around the island, for example.

    The airport taxis have a non-negotiable fixed price, but there are metered taxis around the front anyway.

    Taxis in Phuket are safe. You won’t really have to worry about any hassle or scams. They’re much better than, say, Bangkok taxis – but then again, there aren’t as many of them here, either.

    Is public transportation in Phuket safe?

    You will have just a small choice of public transport when you’re in Phuket, which is mainly buses.

    There’s a network of buses that connect the towns and beaches of the island and they work just like buses do in most cities in the world. They can take time if there’s traffic but they’re also very cheap, have aircon, and aren’t that crowded. It seems everyone else gets around on motorbikes.

    There are also local songthaews. These are the open-sided converted trucks with benches in them and make for a more of a rustic experience. They’re actually pretty safe to use – they won’t go too fast, they’ll be breezy (no need for aircon), and they go to most big destinations.

    Is public transportation in Phuket safe
    Photo: VasenkaPhotography (Flickr)

    The good ol’ tuk-tuk is still being used around Phuket. They’re often quite pricey and the drivers can often be out for a scam.

    Then there’s sea travel. There is a whole lot of different boats that connect Phuket with mainland destinations, other places on the island, as well as smaller islands, too.

    There have been some sinkings in recent years – especially when the boats have been overloaded and poorly maintained. We highly recommend researching the company you use and that life jackets are available. Also, check the weather before you head out – strongly advised during monsoon season.

    Most of the public transport in Phuket is safe. Just watch out for those boats.

    Is the food in Phuket safe?

    The food is part of life in Thailand and Phuket is no exception. It just would not be a trip to Phuket without trying out the delicious dishes on offer. From Thai staples like phad thai and phad kra pao to Chinese food, it’s awesome.

    Is the food in Phuket safe

    There’s fresh seafood on offer, some old school eateries in Phuket’s old town to duck into, bars to snack at, street food stalls where you can grab a bite and beer, but it definitely pays to be smart with where and how you eat, so here are some tips for eating safely in Phuket.

    • If you get street food, make sure you see the vendor actually cooking the food. You basically don’t want anything that’s been sat around all day. Good food in Thailand is served hot and fresh, not from a tub of pre-made whatever.
    • When it comes to seafood, make sure it’s fresh. If it smells or tastes weird, stop eating! Getting ill from seafood is not only awful, but it can also actually be pretty dangerous, too.
    • The bigger the menu, the more likely the place you’re eating isn’t going to be all that. Good street food stalls have a few, sometimes just a couple, of dishes. So if you’re standing outside a restaurant and you’re leafing through a menu that’s ten pages long, it’s probably not the best.
    • If the establishment looks a bit dirty for your liking, move on. It’s not worth having an upset stomach just for a little bit of ‘authenticity’.
    • Opt for places busy with locals. If there are a lot of Thai people eating in one place, chances are the food is going to be pretty good as well. Queuing at food stalls for a tasty, safe snack beats going somewhere with no queue that may give your stomach some trouble.
    • Avoid tourist traps. Phuket is full of them, especially around Patong. Who wants a rubbish burger anyway? Anything with a tout outside trying to get you in is more interested in money than serving up safety dishes – and food hygiene.
    • Know that Thai food can be mega spicy. If you’re not ok with that, or if you’ve got a sensitive stomach, opting for less spicy dishes or just saying mai ped prik (no chillies) will probably be the better option for you.
    • Learn a bit of Thai. We’re not saying learn the whole alphabet, but if you get to grips with at least how a few dishes look when they’re written in Thai, you’ll be able to order off a menu at a local establishment. Learning things like pò kài dao (with a fried egg on top) will open up your eating experience.
    • Be careful of the fruit, vegetables and salad – things that haven’t been cooked. You can’t guarantee they’ve been washed properly, so as a general rule of thumb, avoid fresh things like this and only buy fruit you can wash and peel yourself.
    • Wash your hands! Washing your dirty mitts before you eat is one way to avoid coming down with something of gastronomic proportions…

    Basically, Thai food is amazing and Phuket is an amazing place for food.

    It just pays to be smart when you’re eating – and it’s all about common sense. Cleanliness, how busy a place is, what your own stomach is like with new flavours… Take everything into account.

    Can you drink the water in Phuket?

    Phuket’s water, like in the rest of Thailand, is not potable. Not even the locals drink it.

    Bottled water is readily available, or if your accommodation has a water filter, use a refillable bottle to be more eco-friendly. We’ve compiled a list of best travel water bottles to help you decide which one to get.

    Is Phuket safe to live?

    Phuket is a pretty safe place to live. It’s an increasingly popular place to live, with its cheap living, low levels of violent crime, beaches, and warm weather.

    It’s pretty diverse, too: Thai as well as Chinese, Malay and Western expats mingle together on this island.

    There are some ups and downs of living on this island. Road safety is one of them – rural roads can be particularly dangerous at night time. The public transport isn’t the best either, so if you don’t have your own wheels, expect to be using taxis quite a lot.

    phuket safe to live
    You’ll definitely have a relaxing lifestyle in Phuket!

    Even though you’re not a tourist, you will quite often be paying tourist prices for things. That’s just one of the drawbacks of being a farang (foreigner) in Thailand. Everything from taxis to museum admissions will be pricier for any farang – resident or not.

    Phuket town is a good place to base yourself on the island. There’s a ton of amenities, cool cafes, a local youth scene, the beautiful shop houses of the Chinese-influenced old town, good food, etc.

    It’s important to do your research on exactly where you’re going to live. Get in touch with expat communities, make friends with locals, go to events and don’t isolate yourself. Phuket is a safe place to live, but to make it an awesome place to live you’re going to have to get out there!

    To get a taste of local living here, check some of the beautiful Phuket homestays in the area when you visit.

    The Future of the SIM Card is HERE!
    mockup of a person holding a smartphone in white background with Holafly logo

    A new country, a new contract, a new piece of plastic – booooring. Instead, buy an eSIM!

    An eSIM works just like an app: you buy it, you download it, and BOOM! You’re connected the minute you land. It’s that easy.

    Is your phone eSIM ready? Read about how e-Sims work or click below to see one of the top eSIM providers on the market and ditch the plastic.

    Grab an eSIM!

    Is it safe to rent an Airbnb in Phuket?

    Renting an Airbnb in Phuket is a great idea. And it’s perfectly safe, as long as you read the reviews. Staying at an Airbnb during your trip will also open up new possibilities and options to experience the country. The local hosts are known to take great care of their guests and give the absolute best recommendations of what to do and what to see. Local knowledge always goes a long way, so be sure to reach out to your hosts if you’re unsure about how to fill up your Phuket itinerary!

    On top of that, you’ll stay safe with the reliable Airbnb booking system. Both hosts and guests can rate each other which creates a very respectful and trustworthy interaction.

    Is Phuket LGBTQ+ friendly? 

    We are more than happy to say Phuket is one of Thailand’s most gay-friendly regions. In fact, it’s one of the most famous LGBTQ+ travel destinations in the world, alongside Medellin and Mykonos. 

    Phuket has an extremely tolerant society where gay, lesbian and transsexual lifestyles are largely accepted. Yes, there will always be one or the other idiot with a rude comment, but overall, it’s a super welcoming and friendly palace. 

    For all the party enthusiasts, there is a pretty big gay scene in Phuket as well. LGBTQ+ nightclubs and ladyboy shows are common and most can be found in Patong. There are also gay saunas, cabarets, bars and even gay accommodations. You see, Phuket is a paradise for the LGBTQ+ community.

    FAQ about Staying Safe in Phuket

    Here are some quick answers to common questions about safety in Phuket.

    So, is Phuket Safe?

    Yes, Phuket is a safe place to visit. Especially if you follow our safety tips and keep your wits about you.

    Like a lot of places in the world, Phuket is only seen as a dodgy place because of its reputation. If you’ve heard that it’s all seedy sex shows and sketchy scammers trying to win money out of you, then you’ve been talking to the wrong people. Whilst yes, this does exist in places like Patong, it isn’t the case for most of the island. Most of the time, in fact, you’ll be surprised at what a normal sort of place this is.

    Of course, you should take that with a pinch of salt, it’s not always great. Not everyone is friendly and honest and some people will be overloading the boats on their excursions. Some drivers will be driving like lunatics and you may be scammed.

    In all honesty, the best way to get into trouble in Phuket, as with the rest of Thailand, is to put yourself into a dodgy situation, to begin with.

    Not wearing a helmet, riding a motorbike without much experience, ignoring red flags, swimming when you’re drunk, trying to buy drugs, insulting the new Thai king, getting into an argument, being too trusting of some other bad-intentioned backpacker… These are all things that go against common sense. That’s what it’s all about.

    Disclaimer: Safety conditions change all over the world on a daily basis. We do our best to advise but this info may already be out of date. Do your own research. Enjoy your travels!

    Made it this far?
    You get 15% OFF to book a place to stay!
    Offer valid exclusively for Broke Backpackers 😉