• Phuket Tours, activities and travel guide by Gotophuket.com

Special Advice & Shopping Tips

Special Advice & Shopping Tips

To enjoy your time in Phuket even more, here is some special advice, shopping tips and information on how to obtain a VAT refund when departing the country

Special Advice

  • Beware of unauthorized people who offer their services as guides.
  • observe all normal precautions regarding personal safety and the safety of your belongings.
  • Walking alone on quiet streets or deserted areas is not recommended.
  • Be sure that all your valuables, money, jewellery and airline tickets are properly protected from loss.
  • While walking in the city, put food wrappers or anything you wish to discard into a waste bin.
  • Penalties for drug possession are very severe in Thailand.
  • Never buy any products made from wile animals including reptiles like snakes or monitor lizards, or turtle shells and ivory.
  • Avoid local restaurants serving wild animal delicacies, as killing wildlife for food is illegal in Thailand.
  • Expect a 10% service charge added to the bill at most larger hotels and restaurants.
  • Taxi drivers do not expect a tip, but the gesture is always appreciated.
  • A tip of 20 - 50 Baht is acceptable for hotel porters.
  • Visitors needing assistance should contact the Tourist Police Centre or call:
    Tel: 1155 Website: www.thailandtouristpolice.com

VAT Refunds

Visitors entering the Kingdom on a tourist visa are entitled to a refund 7% VAT on goods purchased at registered retails outlets. To obtain this, tourists must do the following:

  • Spend at least 2,000 Baht per store per day but a minimum of at least 5,000 Baht.
  • Complete a P.P 10 form that the store staff will give you.
  • The goods must be taken out of Thailand within 60 days of purchase.
  • The good must have been purchased from stores displaying the “VAT Refund for Tourists” sign.
  • At the airport, present the VAT forms and receipts at the VAT Refund Desk on the 4th Floor of the Departures Hall (BKK) - do this before check in. N.B. Jewellery, watches and gold purchase over 10,000 Baht must be inspected.
  • After going through Immigration, go to the VAT Refund Counter and present the forms for the refund.

Shopping Tips

Phuket is a shopper’s paradise with bargains galore, so here are some tips for visitors.

  • Fixed prices are the norm in department stores, but at most other places bargaining is to be expected.
  • Usually you can obtain a final price of between 10-25% lower than the asking price. Much depends on your skill and the shopkeeper’s mood, but remember that Thais appreciate a sense of humour.
  • Providing you have the time, it is best to shop around at different place selling the kind of items you want before making a final decision.

Shopping Customs

Customs regulations allow visitors to bring in the following items duty-free:

  • A reasonable amount of personal effects including clothing and toiletries not exceeding 10,000 Baht a value.
  • A total of 200 cigarettes or 250 grams of cigars or smoking tobacco.
  • One litre each of wine or spirits.

N.B. Narcotics and pornography are strictly prohibited and offenders face severe penalties.