Phuket, Krabi, the Andaman Sea ... and Villas

Photo above: Phang Nga, the edge of mainland Thailand, as viewed from Phuket. (Sorry, it was a rainy day when I took this photo.)

Phuket is foremost a tourist destination, but is also a favorite tropical island for a winter or holiday home, retirement, or rental for a year or so. Many people make Phuket their home. You can park your boat there. The roads and infrastructure are very good, a large expat community is well established, there are lots and lots of foreign restaurants, a spattering of liberal nightlife here and there, and the golf and scuba diving are exceptionally good. Phuket is a clean and modern place. It was hit by the tsunami in December 2004, but you would never know it from a visit today except that the beachfronts are all new and modern. The quick recovery was spectacular. Phuket is a very clean, beautiful, and peaceful place.

Krabi is the mainland area adjacent to Phuket, and is one of the most beautiful places landscape wise. Many expats have settled down in Krabi, but they are spread out much thinner.

Compared with Bangkok, Phuket does not have a comparable business community, diversity, or set of social events. Phuket has one mall, the Central Festival Mall near Phuket Town, but it doesn't compare well in popularity, size, diversity of shops, special places, or artistic decor compared with many malls in Bangkok. There are no skyscrapers in Phuket, but there are lots of hillsides, albeit laws against homes very high on them.

Compared with Pattaya, Phuket is more beautiful and the community is nicer in many ways, but Pattaya is only a couple of hours drive from Bangkok whereas Phuket is an hour and a half by aircraft (plus the usual airport related time wastage).

Phuket is currently served by various airlines, including Air Asia which currently has multiple flights to/from Bangkok for about 2000 baht ($50) one-way which are a little over an hour long. The flights advertise for 999 baht but they don't tell you about other fees including "fuel surcharge" so the whole trip eventually comes out to nearly 2000 baht each way, plus your ground transport costs on both ends. That's fairly cheap, and altogether only a few hours (including early check-in requirements and airport security) so that actually it could be seen as comparing to Pattaya if you don't prefer to drive your own car.

Compared to Samui, Phuket has better roads, better infrastructure, and better choice of places to live, but Samui is a lot less expensive and may offer better investment leverage at this time. Samui is in the Gulf of Thailand where tsunamis are unheard of.

The tsunami in Phuket was the first in recorded history, so that in terms of sheer statistics it appears unlikely that another such event will happen in our lifetimes. Phuket faces the Andaman Sea and Indian Ocean.

This page is still under development, so I don't have a lot more to report here.

We have surveyed Phuket, particularly the luxury villas projects on hillsides. We have a lot of photos, and also know some good architects.

Photo above: Thai contemporary villa community on Phuket.

The largest percentage of luxury villas are along the Andaman Sea north of Patong. I also like Kamala Beach up that way, which is a small and quiet beach.

Photo above: Sunset at Kamala Beach.

The airport is on the north end of Phuket. Phuket city is on the east end facing the mainland and is almost centrally located. Phuket is 50 km long north-south and 21 km wide east-west. Development is light in the north part of the island, with most development in the central to southern parts.

When I stay in Phuket, sometimes I stay at the Yorkshire Inn, a hotel with free WiFi wireless internet in Patong, owned and operated by a former PGA professional golfer. Patong is the largest beachside tourist community in Phuket, and approximately centrally located on the west coast.

If you have children, then you should also see the section on schools.

This website has a separate page on our Personal Home "Guide" Service.

To view some specific properties, please visit

For anything else, you can email the Thailand Guru here

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