Phuket, known as the Pearl of Andaman, is a popular tourist destination with its famous beaches and extensive mountain range. This, along with the relatively lower cost of living, also makes it a popular retirement destination. Phuket has a large and established expatriate community, making it more comfortable for foreigners to adjust to the local culture.
Numbeo estimates that the cost of living of a single person in Phuket excluding rent is 480 € per month. This is 46.83% lower than in New York. Monthly rent may range from 450 € to 700 € per month, depending on the location and type of housing. Expats may choose among apartments, houses or villas, with villas gaining more popularity to date.
The famous beaches are located on the West Coast of Phuket while the local communities, including Phuket Town, is located on the East Coast. Most expats choose to live on the East Coast to avoid the busy activities in the tourist areas.
Phuket Town is the capital of Phuket province and is one of the most popular choices for retirement. This town is not very popular among tourists, but this is a good place to experience Thai culture. Several shopping malls, museums, weekend market and restaurants are situated in this town. Cost of living is relatively cheaper here compared to the more popular tourist destinations.
Kathu is the smallest district in Phuket and is located at the center of the island. This is also a popular choice among expats as the place is away from tourist destinations, and prices are more affordable in this area. The fresh markets are popular here, as well as recreational activity venues, especially golfing.
Chalong area is a favorable residential choice for those who are interested in water activities. It is not a popular spot for swimming, but is popular for yacht mooring, boat racing and snorkeling. This area also serves as a departure point to the many surrounding islands. The place has many visitors, but this is still a relatively relaxed area which makes it very appealing to expats. This is a nice balance for those who want to live near the sea and also avoid the hustle and bustle of the tourist spots that come with the beaches.
Patong, Kata and Karon Beach
These beaches are among the most popular beaches in Phuket. This is the best spot for those who want to live with the best ocean view and experience. However, these beaches are also very popular with tourists. This is not a popular choice among expats who prefer a quieter and more relaxed day-to-day life, compared to the loud and busy activities expected of the tourist spots, as well as the higher cost of living that comes with the location. Although this is relatively more expensive to other areas in Phuket, the cost of living is still lower than most Western countries.