Visas: Most nationalities can receive a 30-day visa exemption on arrival at international airports or a 15-day at land borders; a 60-day tourist visa is available through Thai consulates.
Local transportation: Phuket is a large island and you will need some form of transport to get around. Renting a motorcycle (around 200 baht a day) is the easiest way to get around town. Songthaew/tuk tuks or local buses within Phuket are limited to a radial network connecting Phuket Town to the beach towns. Most of the local bus services operate at half-hour intervals and stop at around 18:00. There are no "cross-beach" connections, and eg. travelling from Surin to Patong (15 min by taxi) requires an hour-long detour via Phuket Town.
Songthaew/tuk tuk have no meter, and their drivers are notoriously mercenary, so always agree a price beforehand and do bargain hard. Tuk-Tuks should be avoided whenever possible, and if you do take them, bargain hard - short hops around town shouldn't cost more than 40 baht but tourists usually get quoted around 200 baht.
Motorbike taxi drivers can also be found, wearing bright numbered vests and are usually the cheapest way to go.
Metered taxis are usually hard to find. Many beaches have little shacks with "TAXI" signs, sometimes unofficially supported by a hotel, offering quick transport at high prices.
Where to buy a SIM card: You can pick up your SIM cards from the airport at DTAC or TRUE booths. You can also buy a SIM card from 7 Eleven or at any phone shop.
Popular areas: Patong, Chalong Bay, Kamala, Karon, Kata, Rawai
Popular food: Pad Thai (Thai style Fried Noodles), Som Tum (Spicy Green Papaya Salad), Mango Sticky Rice (Khao Naew), Khao Pad (Fried Rice), Tom Yum Goong (Spicy Shrimp Soup)
Things not to do: Criticize the Thai monarchy. Treat objects depicting the king (like money) with respect. Women should never touch a monk or a monk's belongings; give way to a monk on footpaths and don't sit next to a monk on public transport. Avoid pointing the bottom of your feet at Buddha images in temples by sitting with your feet tucked behind you.
As the largest island in Thailand, Phuket is often mistaken as an island of sleaze and unsavoury tourist activities, no thanks to the infamous sin city of Patong, Phuket's biggest town and busiest beach. Once you venture away from Patong though, you will soon find blissfully laid-back spots in Rawai, Phuket Town, Kata or Karon.
Women digital nomads are unlikely to run into problems in Phuket.
There are a couple of coworking spaces in Phuket, however most digital nomads eventually make their move towards Ko Lanta or Krabi instead, where prices are lower and feels less touristy than Phuket. Women digital nomads will find that Phuket is a relatively safe place for women. Just take the usual precaution with your belongings and dark alleys.
The driest and busiest months on Koh Lanta are between November and April. December, January, and February are peak months with ideal weather. Expect showers in May and June, however, the rain typically lessens in July and August slightly, then returns in September and October (the wettest month).
Coworking Spaces in Phuket
Cafes with wifi
Don't want to work at a coworking space? Check out these cafes with wifi instead.