July 2, 2024

Embracing the Best of Both Worlds: Family-Friendly Life in Phuket as an Expat

Embracing the Best of Both Worlds: Family-Friendly Life in Phuket as an Expat

After spending many years living and working across Southeast Asia, including time in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, I chose to settle with my wife and two young children in Phuket in December 2023. Historically a holiday destination and place for retirees, a post COVID landscape has seen Phuket evolve into an Island where more traditional 9 till 5 employees working for global companies can call home.

In this blog, we'll explore some of the unique experiences of family living in Phuket and commuting to work in Bangkok, enjoying the best of both worlds.

International Schools in Phuket

Phuket is not just a tropical paradise for travellers – it's also an ideal, safe and very secure destination for families. With top-end international schools teaching both British and American curriculums, parents can rest assured knowing their children will receive a quality education in a multicultural environment. The island offers a range of schools with varying fee structures. The most popular schools for Western families are British International School and UWC, which are at the higher end of the budget, and HeadStart and KIS, which offer a similar school experience with more affordable fees. All international schools provide convenient bus services, so no matter where you live on the island, your kids can attend any of the schools. There are ample schooling options to suit most budgets, and most are cheaper than their Bangkok counterparts.

Where do Expats live in Phuket?

From beachfront villas to cozy suburban neighbourhoods, Phuket offers a variety of living options to suit every family's lifestyle. For the cost of a 2-bedroom condo in certain areas of Bangkok, you can live in a 3 or 4-bedroom villa with a private pool in some areas of Phuket – ideal for families with young children.

For families, Phuket offers several areas that prioritise safety, tranquillity, and access to family-friendly amenities. Laguna stands out as an upscale and secure area, featuring integrated resorts, golf courses, spas, and family-oriented events. Its strong expat community and proximity to international schools make it an ideal choice for families seeking a high-quality lifestyle. Chalong is another family-friendly area, conveniently located near international schools, sports facilities, and hospitals, offering a residential and quiet environment suitable for raising children. Cherng Talay, close to Bang Tao Beach and the Laguna area, provides a peaceful setting with a strong expat community, making it perfect for family beach outings and community sports activities. Kathu, centrally located, is great for commuting to various parts of Phuket and offers a residential feel with local markets and amenities, ideal for families who appreciate a sense of local life. Lastly, Kamala Beach, with its calm and relaxed atmosphere, quieter beach, and upscale resorts, provides a family-friendly environment where families can enjoy beach activities and dine at family-oriented restaurants while being close to attractions like Phuket FantaSea.

Family-friendly activities in Phuket

Phuket is a playground for families, with countless activities to enjoy together. From beach days and water sports to jungle adventures and cultural excursions, there's never a dull moment in Phuket. Explore surrounding islands and beaches, go on day trips to national parks and stunning viewpoints, or simply enjoy quality time with your loved ones in nature's embrace. The greenery and fresh air make it a much more desirable place to raise children compared to the polluted skies of Bangkok.

Our family has already picked up an evening mid-week tradition of visiting Bang Tao beach after school to complete the kids' homework in front of the ocean before enjoying a dip in the sea and dinner at one of the many beachside restaurants.

The extensive road network around the north of the island and across the causeway into the mainland provides a perfect backdrop for unrivalled road cycling – ideal for taking an early morning spin with some extreme climbs, something not possible in Bangkok. Combined with the ocean and countless sporting venues such as Thanyapura, it’s no wonder that Phuket is home to some of the world’s top triathletes.

Commuting between Bangkok and Phuket

Believe it or not, commuting between Phuket and Bangkok is easier than you think. With domestic flights departing like buses, I have established a weekly routine of leaving our home in Phuket at 6:30 am, flying at 7:30 am, and arriving in our Sathorn located office in Bangkok by 9:30 am. This allows me to spend quality time with my family from Friday to Tuesday while maintaining a successful career and visiting clients in the city during the week – a perfect work-life balance. The move has also allowed me to expand my close professional network and grow the Melbourne Capital Group brand further across Thailand into Phuket.

Is Phuket suitable for Expats with young families?

Phuket boasts a thriving expat community, offering a supportive network of like-minded individuals and families. Whether you're looking for social events, sports clubs, networking opportunities, or simply a sense of community, Phuket has it all. The beach and venues such as Blue Tree offer the perfect environment for families to meet up in a relaxed and informal setting. It’s very common for us to visit other families' villas for BBQs in the evening – something that throws up logistical issues and is far more complicated to arrange in Bangkok.

Food options in Phuket

One of the joys of living in Phuket is the culinary scene, which offers a tantalizing array of international and local cuisine. From beachside seafood restaurants to street food markets and fine dining establishments, there's something to satisfy every palate in Phuket. Several night markets operate on different nights around the island, with one of the most popular for families happening on Friday evenings at Boat Avenue in Laguna in the north of the Island.

Is Phuket a better option than Bangkok?

The cost of living for a family in Phuket is comparable to, if not cheaper than, living in Bangkok. While Bangkok offers the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan city, Phuket provides a more relaxed, safe, and spacious environment without the high price tag. Housing in Phuket is often more affordable, with options ranging from beachfront villas to suburban homes at prices lower than Bangkok's city centre condos. Additionally, daily expenses such as groceries, dining out, and entertainment can be less expensive in Phuket. The island also boasts a variety of high-quality international schools with competitive tuition fees, making it an ideal and cost-effective choice for families seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Living in Phuket with a family and working in Bangkok is not just a lifestyle choice – it's a journey of adventure, growth, and family bonding. By embracing the best of both worlds, you'll create unforgettable memories, promote professional success, and enjoy a fulfilling life that balances work and family seamlessly.

July 2, 2024

Embracing the Best of Both Worlds: Family-Friendly Life in Phuket as an Expat

Embracing the Best of Both Worlds: Family-Friendly Life in Phuket as an Expat

After spending many years living and working across Southeast Asia, including time in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok, I chose to settle with my wife and two young children in Phuket in December 2023. Historically a holiday destination and place for retirees, a post COVID landscape has seen Phuket evolve into an Island where more traditional 9 till 5 employees working for global companies can call home.

In this blog, we'll explore some of the unique experiences of family living in Phuket and commuting to work in Bangkok, enjoying the best of both worlds.

International Schools in Phuket

Phuket is not just a tropical paradise for travellers – it's also an ideal, safe and very secure destination for families. With top-end international schools teaching both British and American curriculums, parents can rest assured knowing their children will receive a quality education in a multicultural environment. The island offers a range of schools with varying fee structures. The most popular schools for Western families are British International School and UWC, which are at the higher end of the budget, and HeadStart and KIS, which offer a similar school experience with more affordable fees. All international schools provide convenient bus services, so no matter where you live on the island, your kids can attend any of the schools. There are ample schooling options to suit most budgets, and most are cheaper than their Bangkok counterparts.

Where do Expats live in Phuket?

From beachfront villas to cozy suburban neighbourhoods, Phuket offers a variety of living options to suit every family's lifestyle. For the cost of a 2-bedroom condo in certain areas of Bangkok, you can live in a 3 or 4-bedroom villa with a private pool in some areas of Phuket – ideal for families with young children.

For families, Phuket offers several areas that prioritise safety, tranquillity, and access to family-friendly amenities. Laguna stands out as an upscale and secure area, featuring integrated resorts, golf courses, spas, and family-oriented events. Its strong expat community and proximity to international schools make it an ideal choice for families seeking a high-quality lifestyle. Chalong is another family-friendly area, conveniently located near international schools, sports facilities, and hospitals, offering a residential and quiet environment suitable for raising children. Cherng Talay, close to Bang Tao Beach and the Laguna area, provides a peaceful setting with a strong expat community, making it perfect for family beach outings and community sports activities. Kathu, centrally located, is great for commuting to various parts of Phuket and offers a residential feel with local markets and amenities, ideal for families who appreciate a sense of local life. Lastly, Kamala Beach, with its calm and relaxed atmosphere, quieter beach, and upscale resorts, provides a family-friendly environment where families can enjoy beach activities and dine at family-oriented restaurants while being close to attractions like Phuket FantaSea.

Family-friendly activities in Phuket

Phuket is a playground for families, with countless activities to enjoy together. From beach days and water sports to jungle adventures and cultural excursions, there's never a dull moment in Phuket. Explore surrounding islands and beaches, go on day trips to national parks and stunning viewpoints, or simply enjoy quality time with your loved ones in nature's embrace. The greenery and fresh air make it a much more desirable place to raise children compared to the polluted skies of Bangkok.

Our family has already picked up an evening mid-week tradition of visiting Bang Tao beach after school to complete the kids' homework in front of the ocean before enjoying a dip in the sea and dinner at one of the many beachside restaurants.

The extensive road network around the north of the island and across the causeway into the mainland provides a perfect backdrop for unrivalled road cycling – ideal for taking an early morning spin with some extreme climbs, something not possible in Bangkok. Combined with the ocean and countless sporting venues such as Thanyapura, it’s no wonder that Phuket is home to some of the world’s top triathletes.

Commuting between Bangkok and Phuket

Believe it or not, commuting between Phuket and Bangkok is easier than you think. With domestic flights departing like buses, I have established a weekly routine of leaving our home in Phuket at 6:30 am, flying at 7:30 am, and arriving in our Sathorn located office in Bangkok by 9:30 am. This allows me to spend quality time with my family from Friday to Tuesday while maintaining a successful career and visiting clients in the city during the week – a perfect work-life balance. The move has also allowed me to expand my close professional network and grow the Melbourne Capital Group brand further across Thailand into Phuket.

Is Phuket suitable for Expats with young families?

Phuket boasts a thriving expat community, offering a supportive network of like-minded individuals and families. Whether you're looking for social events, sports clubs, networking opportunities, or simply a sense of community, Phuket has it all. The beach and venues such as Blue Tree offer the perfect environment for families to meet up in a relaxed and informal setting. It’s very common for us to visit other families' villas for BBQs in the evening – something that throws up logistical issues and is far more complicated to arrange in Bangkok.

Food options in Phuket

One of the joys of living in Phuket is the culinary scene, which offers a tantalizing array of international and local cuisine. From beachside seafood restaurants to street food markets and fine dining establishments, there's something to satisfy every palate in Phuket. Several night markets operate on different nights around the island, with one of the most popular for families happening on Friday evenings at Boat Avenue in Laguna in the north of the Island.

Is Phuket a better option than Bangkok?

The cost of living for a family in Phuket is comparable to, if not cheaper than, living in Bangkok. While Bangkok offers the hustle and bustle of a major metropolitan city, Phuket provides a more relaxed, safe, and spacious environment without the high price tag. Housing in Phuket is often more affordable, with options ranging from beachfront villas to suburban homes at prices lower than Bangkok's city centre condos. Additionally, daily expenses such as groceries, dining out, and entertainment can be less expensive in Phuket. The island also boasts a variety of high-quality international schools with competitive tuition fees, making it an ideal and cost-effective choice for families seeking a balanced lifestyle.

Living in Phuket with a family and working in Bangkok is not just a lifestyle choice – it's a journey of adventure, growth, and family bonding. By embracing the best of both worlds, you'll create unforgettable memories, promote professional success, and enjoy a fulfilling life that balances work and family seamlessly.

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