Living the Dream: A Guide to Family Life in Phuket
Are you and your family considering a move to Phuket? It can be overwhelming to determine if Phuket is suitable for families, especially when you bear the responsibility for the well-being of your loved ones. However, as a parent with over a decade of experience living in Phuket as an expatriate with my Thai spouse and daughter, I am well-versed in the ins and outs of family life in Phuket. I would be happy to share with you all the essential information you need to make an informed decision. This includes an evaluation of Phuket as a family-friendly destination, recommendations on the best areas for families to reside, an overview of international schools in Phuket, and a highlight of the amenities and recreational activities available on the island.
To simplify your search, please find the information you need below:
WHICH PART IS THE BEST FOR FAMILIES?
While Phuket is often thought of as a party destination, it’s actually a welcoming and secure place to live, especially for families with children. The local culture values family and the large expat community is equally friendly. With many family-friendly areas to choose from, deciding where to settle in Phuket is a significant decision that requires careful consideration. Overall, Phuket is an ideal location for those looking for a family-friendly lifestyle. Ultimately, the best area to live in Phuket with your family depends on your personal preferences and lifestyle.
Take the time to explore each area and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision. With its wide range of family-friendly options, you’re sure to find the perfect place to call home in Phuket.
WHERE DO EXPATS FAMILIES LIVE IN PHUKET?
Chalong is a great option for families looking for a variety of activities and amenities. The area is home to several famous landmarks, including the Big Buddha, Wat Chalong, and Chalong Pier. There are many gated communities and other housing options to choose from. Chalong also boasts a range of international schools that cater to different age groups, as well as numerous shopping options. With so many activities available, there is something for everyone in Chalong.
Rawai is an excellent choice for families who want to enjoy a vibrant expat community, providing many chances for socializing and networking. Promthep Cape is a famous local landmark and the beach offers long-tail boat trips. While Rawai has a few international schools that mainly cater to younger children, it provides an ideal environment for families seeking a peaceful, laid-back lifestyle.
Located in the heart of Phuket, Kathu is a peaceful area situated between Patong and Phuket Town. The area offers a variety of international schools and is away from the tourist hotspots, making it an ideal location for families seeking a quieter lifestyle. The Ban Wat Reservoir and Kathu Waterfalls are some of the notable landmarks in the area.
4. LAGUNA & CHERNG TALEY
Cherngtalay, a rapidly developing area in Phuket, features gorgeous beaches and the popular Boat Avenue and Laguna shopping and dining district. While the nearest international school may require some travel, the area has a thriving and welcoming expat community. For a quieter and more upscale option, consider Laguna, a gated community with luxury villas and apartments, as well as beautiful beaches and world-class facilities, such as golf courses, spas, and international restaurants. Laguna also offers a variety of international schools, making it perfect for families with children.
Kamala is a great option for families who want to live in a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere. It has a beautiful beach and is well-known for its stunning sunsets. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes, as well as a local market for fresh produce. Kamala also has several international schools to choose from, making it an ideal location for families with school-age children.
WHAT TYPE OF VISA WILL FAMILIES NEED TO LIVE IN PHUKET?
The type of visa you will require depends on your purpose of staying in Thailand. If you plan to work, your employer should handle obtaining your work permit and visa. If you’re here as a guardian for your child, you can obtain a Guardian Non-O visa that allows one adult per child to stay in the country, which must be renewed annually.
Your child will need a student visa if they plan to study in Thailand, which covers them until the age of 18 and needs to be renewed each year. For more information on visas, you can check out the blog “Tips For Living in Thailand“.
Although the visa process in Thailand is straightforward, it can be overwhelming if you haven’t gone through it before. If you need more information or assistance, feel free to reach out to us.
ARE THERE ANY INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS IN PHUKET?
Phuket is home to 14 International Schools, primarily located in the eastern part of the island. These schools offer a range of curriculums, including the British Cambridge, the International Baccalaureate, and the Finnish programs.
They cater to students as young as 1 year old in nursery, preschool, and Kindergarten, all the way up to 18 years old at the secondary level. The education and teaching standards at these schools are of a high caliber and have been serving the substantial expatriate community in Phuket for many years.
Whatever your needs are, there’s a great choice of schools on Phuket. If you are looking for an international school for your child or children, then you might want to check out this blog about the international schools in Phuket.
WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE THERE IN PHUKET?
Phuket is the ultimate family destination, with a variety of activities that your kids can enjoy all year round. Whether it’s after-school or weekends, the island offers endless options to choose from. For adventure-seeking kids, there are horseback riding, surfing classes, and dance lessons. The island also has many football clubs, tennis courts, and gyms for those who love outdoor sports, and there are many opportunities for exploring the great outdoors through hiking or zip-lining.
If your kids love water activities, Phuket’s beaches offer swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, and stand-up paddleboarding, and there are also plenty of water parks with slides and other attractions that will keep them entertained for hours. For a more educational experience, the island has many museums, galleries, and workshops where kids can learn new skills like cooking or traditional Thai crafts.
During the weekends, families can enjoy quality time together by spending the day on the beach or taking a drive to explore all the different places to see and things to do around Phuket. With so many options to choose from, your kids will never get bored, making it a great place to raise a family.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST WHAT IS THE FAMILY EXPAT COMMUNITY LIKE IN PHUKET?
Relocating to a foreign land can bring about feelings of uncertainty, especially for those with children. The existence of a lively expatriate community in an area can provide a sense of comfort for some.
Phuket is home to several neighborhoods where expat communities have developed over time, assimilating into the local community by participating in events and activities, and often supporting local charities through fundraising efforts. There are numerous forums and groups available to assist in your transition and answer any questions you may have about your new home.
Below are some links that can help you connect with other expatriates residing in Phuket:
We hope this information has provided you with a better understanding of what Phuket has to offer. When you arrive, you will encounter many individuals who initially planned to stay for just a week but ended up staying longer, such is the charm of the place.
Although it may not appeal to everyone, with its stunning beaches, breathtaking views, lush natural surroundings, top-notch restaurants, relaxed pace of life, and welcoming locals, Phuket has a lot to offer. However, not every destination can cater to everyone’s preferences.