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Current situation in Phuket

sjnoble

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We got an exchange to Phuket Beach Club in December, but wondering how the flood is affecting the country and resort area.
I know the resort area is not flooded but read that people from the flood areas are evacuating to Phuket or other Southern provinces.
Is it affecting travel? Is it very crowded around the resort area? Are supplies limited?

Also wondering if airfare cost is going up or down because of the current situation in Thailand? We're planning to fly from Asia.

Appreciate if anyone currently in Phuket or just returned could comment.
TIA
 

bazzap

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Hi, I can comment on some of your points as we are staying here at Phuket Beach Club now.
The flooding in other parts of Thailand and most recently in Bangkok, does not appear to be affecting Phuket at all.
The weather here has actually been very good for the last week, with plenty of sun and only a few spells of rain, although we have been told that there was quite a lot of rain back in September.
Bangkok is hopefully now getting past the worst of its flooding problems, which reached a high over the weekend.
I am not aware of any problems with travel to Phuket, certainly Bangkok International airport transfers have been operating normally (the domestic airport has been closed because of the flooding though)
Also, there are no crowding or supply issues I am aware of. In fact, the resort is much quieter now than it was last week and quieter than when we were here at the same time 2 years ago.
You should find it just fine for your visit in December.
Enjoy
 

Asia2000

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If you are only going to dine at the resort and/or restaurants, you will be fine. If you're like us and like to take a big trip to the grocery store and make a meal or two, the stocks are low at the stores.

In particular, water, milk, eggs and vegetables are a bit hard to find. Three things are causing this.

1. Most of the distribution centers are located near Bangkok. Some are flooded and/or the roads going to and from these centers are flooded.

2. Many family members are buying groceries here in Phuket and transporting them to their needy siblings in Bangkok.

3. Locals are stocking up. When supplies are low, people panic and buy a few weeks worth, just in case.

If you are flying into Bangkok and then flying to Phuket, I would not imagine you would have any problems. However, your stay includes a supplemental run to the grocery store, a lot of things may be out of stock.

This is high season at PBC and MKB. The resorts are full and exchanges are difficult. However, I agree with bazz in that the resort seems quiet for being full. Perhaps some no shows.

Hope this helps.
 

Asia2000

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Anantara Timeshares

On a different note, the first small building for the Anantara timeshares is being built. It doesn't appear that anything else (the rest of the resort) has begun construction. Possibly they just want to move the sales offices over to the new building that is probably 50% completed. Currently the Anantara timeshare sales offices are on the second floor of the Turtle Village Shopping Center.
 
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sjnoble

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Thanks for the information

Thank you very much for the information.
I'm still looking forward to visit, just hope we can find reasonable airfare to travel from TPE.
 

bazzap

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We took the Anantara preview presentation to see how their offer compared with Marriott's
Their hotel is certainly targeting high end and has beautiful water gardens.
The villas there are mostly very private with good pool areas, but no proper kitchens.
If the timeshares, many of which will also have private pools, are at least as good they will no doubt attract buyers.
Theirs is also a Points system, which looks quite expensive.
$3 per point, minimum 5000 points, with Founder offers for buying 15000+ points (1 night in low season will typically be ~1000 points)
Bizarrely they made a very "positive" point of it never being more than about 50% full! That might make it easier to get in to, but I am sure I can guess who will be paying for that!!!
By the way, on the shopping front, the new, nearer Tesco and shopping mall in Thalang has been open since October.
 

sjnoble

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Car rental

Thanks for the updates on the situation in Phuket.

Would you recommend renting a car in Phuket?

We'll probably spend most of the time at the resort, maybe visit the town for one day.
Looks like it's not too expensive to get transportation from the airport or to hire a taxi.
We'll be traveling with our two year old, I'm guessing they probably don't have child seats in taxi's? We traveled China last year with our then 1-year old climbing all over the back seat.
 
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Don't drive in Thailand unless you want to shred your nerves and you can forget about child seats in taxis, they don't even have seatbelts in the rear! Taxis are so cheap and tuk-tuk's are even cheaper.
 

fizzysoup

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Rent or Drive

I am not sure the your information is correct, Pompey Family.

Driving in Phuket is as civilised as most other places in Asia, the roads are generally good. If you are used to driving on the left (right hand drive cars), that would be a plus.

Taxis from the hotel for even the shortest of rides begin at Thb500, and just escalate from there. If you wish to visit the new Tesco Lotus at Thalang (30kms away), shop and come bak in the same Taxi - you will have no change out of Thb1,000.

On the other hand you can rent a Toyota car for around Thb900/day, and it will have rear seat-belts!

As for Tuk-Tuks, they have to be the biggest rip-off on the Island. Thb300 minimum fare ever if the journey is only 300 meters, (bear in mind most tourist won't know how far it is to where they want to go). That minimum fare goes much higher the later it is in the evening!

Don't drive in Thailand unless you want to shred your nerves and you can forget about child seats in taxis, they don't even have seatbelts in the rear! Taxis are so cheap and tuk-tuk's are even cheaper.
 

bazzap

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Other transport choices

You could also consider taking the hotel shuttle, which we did today to Central Festival shopping centre (on the outskirts of Phuket Town) for 250 Baht per person one way.
This is also available to Phuket Town for 250 Baht or Patong for 350 Baht.
And if you want to indulge, which we did expecting to be hot and tired after the flight here, you could take the hotel limousine from the airport for 1200 Baht total (not per person)
This is a very comfortable and relaxing way to arrive with the driver providing bottled water and cold flannels - a great start to our holiday.
 

MALC9990

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Don't drive in Thailand unless you want to shred your nerves and you can forget about child seats in taxis, they don't even have seatbelts in the rear! Taxis are so cheap and tuk-tuk's are even cheaper.

I fully agree with FIZZY - I always pick up a car from AVIS at the Airport got thr full stay - they are the only one inside the terminal and the car is waiting for you in the car park just outside the terminal. You will be escorted to your car and the AVIS chap will help you load the bags into the car.

Driving in Phuket is not difficult and not dangerous providing you obey some basic rules:-

Do not Speed.
Be courteous to all other drivers
Be Alert
Giveway when it makes sense - like almost always.
Watch out for the mopeds and small motocycles on the nearside coming at you.

Having a hire car at the Marriott is essential and gets you out of the resort to see the island and to shop and to get off the island as well.

We are currently at Marbella Beach Club and driving here is far more exciting than in Phuket !!!
 

sjnoble

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What to do in Phuket?

Since we plan on staying at the resort most of the time, I think we'll just ride in taxi's.
Are there many places worth driving to around Phuket?
What activities would you recommend for us with a 2 year old kid and a 70 year old senior?

I read about phi phi island or James Bond Island, is it worth going on a day tour? Will we pay a lot more if booking through the resort?

Thanks again, it's been busy and we just don't have time to plan much... just looking forward to resting and enjoying the beach.
sjnoble
 
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I am not sure the your information is correct, Pompey Family.

I can assure you it is. The taxi that I travelled in from Bangkok airport last year did not have seatbelts in the rear. Taxi owners (and other car owners) have a habit of adapting their seats, quite often covering them in plastic or re-upholstering them and removing the belts or covering them in the process. This remained true in the taxi's I travelled in throughout Bangkok.

The taxi I was in from the airport slammed straight into a pile of plastic milk crates that were lying in the middle of the motorway having fallen from a truck. The driver didn't see them because he was too busy trying to convince me to give him a £20 note to stick on his ceiling and wasn't paying attention. Fortunately the road was relatively quiet at that time and we avoided a major collision. His car was smashed up and so were my nerves.

Travelling around the city was equally as hair raising. Driving in Asia is not what I consider 'civilised', certainly not comparable to the US or northern Europe. It's a selfish, gung ho attitude that leaves you wondering how you manage to survive!
 

Jwerking

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I fully agree with FIZZY - I always pick up a car from AVIS at the Airport got thr full stay - they are the only one inside the terminal and the car is waiting for you in the car park just outside the terminal. You will be escorted to your car and the AVIS chap will help you load the bags into the car.

Driving in Phuket is not difficult and not dangerous providing you obey some basic rules:-

Do not Speed.
Be courteous to all other drivers
Be Alert
Giveway when it makes sense - like almost always.
Watch out for the mopeds and small motocycles on the nearside coming at you.

Having a hire car at the Marriott is essential and gets you out of the resort to see the island and to shop and to get off the island as well.

We are currently at Marbella Beach Club and driving here is far more exciting than in Phuket !!!

Of course, Brits are use to driving cars on the left hand side with the steering wheel on the right. For us Yanks, that is a very hard adjustment to make. Are the cars automatic or Manual transmission - oh my gosh, cannot even imagine how to shift gears with the left hand! Especially since we have not owned a car with a manual transmission for the last 30 yrs - so even getting use to just driving a manual again is in itself a challenge!

Driving in Marbella is indeed exciting - way too much much traffic and NO acceleration ramps. Also, lots of hills to try to navigate when you are rusty with a standard transmission - so we left our rental car parked for most of the time when we were there a few yrs ago. Driving created way too much stress!
 

CarolF

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Driving in Asia is not what I consider 'civilised', certainly not comparable to the US or northern Europe. It's a selfish, gung ho attitude that leaves you wondering how you manage to survive!

It is just different, the driving style has evolved to reflect the terrain, road conditions and culture. The Thai people are polite, fun loving, generous and very tolerant of the farangs who strut around like they own the place. IMO the only way to learn the unwritten road rules is to spend many hours in/on the back of a vehicle observing how it all works. Comparing Asian to Western driving rules is like comparing apples to oranges.

Driving in Phuket is not difficult and not dangerous providing you obey some basic rules:-

Do not Speed.
Be courteous to all other drivers
Be Alert
Giveway when it makes sense - like almost always.
Watch out for the mopeds and small motocycles on the nearside coming at you.

I agree, following western rules identifies you as a tourist, they can then cope with your driving and keep you safe. Learning some Thai courtesy would be greatly appreciated also, common courtesy differs remarkably between cultures.
 
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