Living in Phuket With Families

Are you and your family relocating to Phuket? It can be challenging to decide whether or not Phuket is a good place for families. A lot of questions come to mind, particularly if you are the one who is responsible for the entire family’s future prosperity. Having said that, as a father of one daughter and living in Phuket for over 10 years, I can tell you of our experience in living here in Phuket as expats (with a Thai wife) with kids. I’ll be covering all the must know information to help you and your family decide whether or not Phuket is the right place for you. Everything from whether or not Phuket is a good place for families. Which part of Phuket is best for families to live in. A summary on what the international schools in Phuket are like. As well as the conveniences and activities available here on the island.

Why Is Phuket a Good Place for Families? Is It Safe?

Phuket has a bit of a reputation as being a party island, and this may be true for a few very specific places, however, for day to day living Phuket is a safe and welcoming place to live, especially for those with children as Thai people hold strong family values, there’s also a large expat contingent on the island who are equally friendly. All in all, Phuket is a very family friendly place to live and work.

Which Part of Phuket Is Best for Families to Live In?

Chalong – There are a few dominant landmarks that preside over Chalong, Big Buddha, Wat Chalong and Chalong Pier. There are several gated communities in this district or ‘tambon’ as well as plenty of other housing options. There are several international schools here for varying ages, plenty of shopping facilities as well as after school activities.

1. Rawaii

This area has a large expat community with plenty of scope to meet like minded people and for children to make friends. There’s a beach which is mainly used for long-tail excursions and Promthep Cape is the major local landmark. There are a couple of international schools, mainly for younger children.

2. Kathu

Conveniently central on the island, with Patong 6km to the west and Phuket town 9km to the east, Kathu has a good selection of International schools. It’s quite quiet due to not being on the coast and away from the more touristic areas, local landmarks include Ban Wat Reservoir and Kathu Waterfalls.

3. Laguna / Choeng thale

An up and coming area on Phuket, Cherngtalay has some great beaches and Boat Avenue, Laguna which offers great shopping and dining choices. You’ll have to travel a little to get to an international school, however, the closest ones are really not that far away. There’s a big expat community who are always happy to welcome newcomers.

Are There Any International Schools in Phuket?

Phuket has 14 International Schools, all of which are more to the east of the island, they range from the British Cambridge through the IB and also the Finnish curriculums. The age range goes from as low as one at nursery, preschool and Kindergarten, all the way up to eighteen at secondary level. The levels of education and teaching standards are very high and they have served the large expat communities here 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 Are The Health & Wellness Facilities Like In Phuket?

There’s a vast array of choices when it comes to Health and Wellness Facilities in Phuket, from a simple Thai massage, to spas, to luxury retreats, there’s everything you could imagine here. Whether you’re looking for something traditional to something high tech, you’ll find it somewhere on the island, there are indoor gyms, outdoor fitness areas, yoga studios, as well as sports physio practitioners, traditional massage therapists as well as more holistic therapies such as reiki and energy healing.

What Type Of Visa Will Families Need To Live In Phuket?

This very much depends on whether you plan to work here or not, you’ll need a different visa for each scenario. If you’re here working, your employer should arrange your visa and work permit, if not, one adult per child is permitted to stay in the country with what’s called a “Guardian Non-O” visa and is renewed annually.

Your child will also need a visa which they are entitled to if they are in education here in Thailand, it’s called a student visa and it covers them up until the age of 18 and will need to be renewed annually. Whether or not you are looking for more information about the visa process for your child, you might find this blog useful “Tips For Living In Thailand”.

The visa process in Thailand is fairly simple but can be a bit daunting if you’ve not been through the process before. If you’re unsure of anything there’s more information here or if you just need to chat to someone about it, don’t hesitate to drop us a line and we’ll be glad to help.

What Conveniences & Activities Are There In Phuket?

Phuket really does have the best of both worlds, it’s got all the modern conveniences you would want for day to day living with the joy of being on a beautiful tropical island. There are modern international schools as mentioned previously, a good road system, an international airport, modern medical facilities as well as great leisure activities like waterparks, ziplines and ATV safaris. Pretty much any watersport can be found here but other sports are equally well catered for such as soccer, basketball, golf and there’s even an ice rink.

There’s a great selection of shopping options from the Central Flourista mall to walking street markets, international supermarkets to local fresh produce markets. There are cinemas, bowling alleys, horse riding, and elephant sanctuaries. There really is something for everyone.

And Last But Not Least What Is The Family Expat Community Like In Phuket?

Moving to a new country can be a daunting prospect, especially if you have children. Knowing that there is already a thriving expat community in an area will be a great relief to some. Here in Phuket, there are areas where expat communities have grown up over the years and integrated into the wider community, being involved in organising activities and events, and quite often being involved in fundraising and support for local charities. There are loads of forums and groups to help you settle in and answer any questions you may have about your new location.

Here’s a few links where you can connect with other expats living in Phuket:

We hope this has given you a bit of a better idea of what to expect from Phuket. When you get here, you’ll meet so many people who came for a week and just stayed, it’s that kind of a place. It’s not for everyone, of course. Not everyone will like the beautiful beaches, incredible views, incredible nature, great restaurants, laid-back lifestyle and friendly people. But hey, you can’t please everyone.

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