Now my heart is crying!
What has happened to the good, old, beautiful and wonderful Phuket I discovered on my very first trip to Thailand in 1997?
OK….I know things changes in Thailand with the flourishing tourism in mind. But please correct me if I am wrong:
The tourists mainly come to Thailand because of the beauty of the nature and the beaches, right? And because of the friendly and helpful Thai people and the good and cheap food no? And of course because Thailand in general is a cheap country!
So why do they ruin Phuket like this?
Because that’s what they’re doing…!
Well then…who are “they”? Who am I talking about?
I am talking about the Governor and the Thai Government in general.
Those people who allow the overcrowded roads and traffic jams, those people who allow the overpopulation and those people who allow the never ending construction at green areas that will soon disappear from Phuket.
Everybody know very well that Phuket and its infrastructure is NOT geared for a growth like this. But instead of construction and repair the roads before allowing new projects, they decide to allow the projects and then start constructing and repairing the roads when it is NECESSARY ….but then it’s too late!
When I first visited Phuket in 1997 it was a sleepy small town with a wonderful beach and only a few hotels. Bangla Road was a small soi with wooden houses that was used for the shops and bars.
Later when I relocated to Phuket for good for working in 2003 I of course got surprised by the changes that had happened to the island.
The whole Phuket Charm was almost gone….
I had to settle in Chalong to find some of that old Phuket Charm.
Patong, Kata and Karon was already somewhat ruined back in 2003.
It was also on that time they started renovating the roads in Phuket.
And they’re still renovating!
I lived 4 years in Phuket and every single day I felt like living on a construction site in the middle of Bangkok!
Construction everywhere you went …dirt and noise everywhere….and the traffic and the pollution were terrible!
At last I had ENOUGH…and I decided to relocate to Sichon, where I live now with my wife and son.
This was the best decision I’ve ever made in my life….I was simply so terrible tired on Phuket!
Now I am back in Sichon after a short 3 days vacation in Phuket.
And my heart is still crying!
It was actually my intention to stay with my wife and son at Phuket for 1 week, as I was still convinced that Phuket was a nice place to relax and enjoy some of the shopping possibilities that we lack here in Sichon.
But after only 2 nights at our hotel both I and my wife were ready to leave Phuket for good! We had booked a hotel in Phuket Town to stay away from the overcrowded tourist areas. But I somehow forgot the terrible traffic that has been even worse since I left Phuket 2 years earlier. We visited some friends in Patong one day. It was a trip lasting 1 hour….each way….even it was only a stretch of 15 kilometers from Phuket Town. So we spent 2 hours in a weird traffic jam just to visit friends for 1 hour. That’s crazy, no? We couldn’t stand it…!!
We left Phuket 2 years ago and settled in Sichon.
Since then they are still not finished renovating and building the new roads! They’re still working at it at this very moment! And they still construct new hotels, villas and shopping centers….all over the island. Today you can’t see where Phuket Town is ending and where Chalong begins….it is just one big town now….same as Kata and Karon….and soon Karon and Patong.
Soon there will be no green areas where you can build a small house. It will all look like Singapore and Hong Kong!
But even new and wider roads will not help Phuket in the future….right now at the vey moment it will of course ease the traffic …but the growth of the island happens too quickly, so in a few years time Phuket will be back to its normal traffic jams…..
I can see only one solution to the problems in Phuket:
A total stop of constructing hotels, resorts and private villages so no more people will settle in Phuket and add to the overcrowding!
I really don’t understand why tourists keep coming to Phuket!
I have heard from many people visiting Phuket. When they leave, they say: “Phuket….NEVER AGAIN!!!”
And what about the kind and helpful Thai people at Phuket?
Well…they are still here…but they don’t speak English!
Those Thais who speak English they are also kind and helpful...but just as far as they can earn money...they regard you as a walking wallet!
Phuket has now converted into a huge money factory. Everything is about money here. And I am not just talking about the bar girls. I am talking about every single business and Thai person working on the island! Only money counts!
Everything is more expensive in Phuket than in the rest of Thailand. And I mean EVERYTHING!
The normal Thai price for a plate with rice and chicken in curry is 45 bath at a food stall in Phuket. This is around 100% more expensive than a similar plate in Bangkok….or Sichon.
A beer at a Sichon restaurant costs 35 baht….compared to the prices in Phuket ranging from 65 to 90 baht.
A taxi to the airport in Phuket will cost you some 2,000 baht….compared to the same 45 kilometer stretch from Sichon to our local airport at a cost of only 800 baht.
If you want to take a taxi from Patong beach road to Rat U Thit Road, which is the parallel road to the beach road and hardly a stretch of 1 kilometer then the price is 200 baht. The same stretch would in Pattaya cost you 10 baht with a baht bus. So in this connection Phuket is 2,000% more expensive than Pattaya!!!
Did anyone say mafia?
Well…you’re right…the mafia runs all the tuk tuk and taxis in Phuket!
First time visitors to Thailand often chose to visit Phuket because they have a friend who says the island is a nice place. But after their visit many of them never return to Phuket!!!
I think one of the reasons that so many tourists visit here is that the island is very famous around the globe, especially due to the many tour companies in Europe and USA that offers reasonable charter tours to Phuket showing wonderful brochures and tend to persuade their customers to chose Phuket, but of course the agents never tell the FULL story about Phuket…they don’t tell about all the bad things! Else they would never be able to sell so many hotel rooms in Phuket!!!
Those tourists who like Phuket must be because of the exiting night life, that is comparable of Pattaya and Bangkok. Or maybe they like to huge shopping centers where they can shop till they drop, without sweating like an elephant in a sauna?
I mean, if the tourists come for the beaches then they will soon realize that the beaches are overcrowded and polluted ….and with beach vendors strolling around disturbing every minute. Not to mention the pollution and noise from the traffic and the shops and bars in the rear of the beaches…!!!
I must say, I don’t understand that any tourist will ever visit Phuket…at least not more than 1 time! I ask myself often…WHY???
What do you think?
My heart is still crying over Phuket!
And I am happy as ever because I’ve made Sichon my home in Thailand!
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