For some, now really is the time to make some big life decisions. Whether it is the ever-changing political situation in some countries, or change spurred by job changes, or simply time to move on, Phuket is the island of choice for many who are eyeing up a complete relocation for the family.
But what makes Phuket such a great place to live in? We have asked several expats and local Thai residents who have lived here for years to explain why they love Phuket so much. We have narrowed it down to 6 main reasons, but there are plenty more.
Simon, who has two children under 10 years of age relocated from Hong Kong two years ago says. “For those with children, Phuket has many attractive schools and for most budgets. The two top schools, British International and UWC Thailand are the pricier and both offer exceptional education and opportunities seldom found elsewhere. This coupled with access to lots of outdoor activities, Phuket really is a great for our kids and enables us to allow them to play outside, understand different cultures, learn more languages as well as gaining a great education. There are now many more international standard schools that offer brilliant learning too, schools to look out for are HeadStart, Kajonkiet and QSI.”
Napalai, is a long-term resident of Phuket who was born in Bangkok and relocated over a decade ago to work in a hotel. She says, “For many years now we have had international sporting events such as Ironman 75, Triathlon and marathons. Now in Phuket we have a large community of cyclists, runners, hikers and swimmers who all love to train together and compete in the races.” She continues, “Phuket also has excellent sports facilities, Thanyapura is an Olympic standard facility with a running track, pools and a team of professionals to help you focus on your fitness whether you are professional or beginner, and now we have lots of other gyms opening up as well as studios offering yoga, Pilates, air barre and lots more! Of course, our sport, Muay Thai is very popular and an excellent way to get really fit.”
A member of our team, Natalie has just rediscovered the natural side of Phuket. “There are so many lovely nature trails to explore in Phuket, if you need to learn where they are the best way to do this is to join the weekly Hash House Harrier run and walk, they take you through some of the best jungle tracks and are perfect for all fitness levels. You can also see amazing birdlife and butterflies on Phuket’s golf courses if the jungle is a little too intrepid, Laguna Phuket golf Course is a great place for twitching and sometimes you can see some large birds of prey as well as colourful birds like the Kingfisher.”
Ian is a resident who loves to dine out, he says, “There really is something for everyone in Phuket. Local Thai restaurants are dotted around everywhere and make dining out so easy. Beachfront restaurants and beach clubs are perfect for sunsets and lunchtime. Try newly opened ‘Lazy Coconut” on Bang Tao Beach for relaxed days on the beach, and for a little sophistication there are great steakhouses such as ‘Wagyu Steakhouse’ in Surin. In the south you can find great healthy cafes such as ‘We Café’, ‘Rustic & Blue’ and go over to Phuket Old Town to eat traditional Southern food, try RAYA restaurant for their crab curry, and sample some of the smaller cafes for steaming plates of deliciousness!”
Mike and his wife May spend every weekend on the beach. He tells us why. “Going to the beach reminds us why we moved here in the first place. We moved from Singapore (a city-island) and we wanted to live on a tropical island, and even when you live in paradise, everyday life gets in the way. Work, family, chores, whatever you have to do in the week is fine, but we really think it is important to take time to walk and hang out on the beach on our days off. We love walking the dogs in the morning and we hit the beach without fail at sunset time for a coconut and some dinner. Our favourite beaches are Surin, Kamala and Nai Harn.”
Francois retired in Phuket from Hong Kong 15 years ago and changed his lifestyle drastically. “I was a heavy drinker and ate a lot of rich food due to my job in banking. I was 120kgs when I arrived and now, I am a constant 80kgs. I started walking the dogs and noticed my overall health got better with the activity and being in nature every morning. Breathing fresh air is something you learn not to take for granted when you have lived in China, Phuket feels so clean in comparison.” He goes on, “Once I started to breathe again, I started hot yoga. If you had told me this a few years ago I would have said that you were mad, but I really got into it and I still do it five times a week. This propelled me to change my diet, I drink a lot of fresh coconut water, drink smoothies and eat vibrant salads. I still enjoy indulgence, but Phuket has given me a balance of all the things that I love. Phuket also has excellent medical facilities too, so any holistic approach can be complemented with the security of knowing that medical care is on hand here.”
Whatever your reason for moving to Phuket, there are many more good attractions on our island that makes living here a true pleasure. There is a friendly community that are welcoming and there are plenty of other pastimes to pursue that we have not mentioned here including charitable volunteering, yachting, adventure sports, learning new skills such as Thai language, cooking and much, much more!