Moving to Phuket - schools & rentals

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Moving to Phuket - schools & rentals


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Old 11th November 2008, 01:16 AM
 
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Default Moving to Phuket - schools & rentals

Hi everyone,

We're moving to Phuket and wondering if anyone has any advice on the British International School. Would love some first hand experience and to know basically if it's a good school or not. Also wondering if anyone has any advice on nice family oriented areas to live in (preferably close to the beach). Finally, does anyone have any advice on car ownership - is it just as easy and more economical to catch cabs everywhere? Is it expensive to own a car in Thailand? We have a baby so I thought we might need to look inot buying a car so we can ensure he's in a car seat.

thanks!


Last edited by darwinite1; 11th November 2008 at 01:21 AM. Reason: forgot to add something
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Old 11th November 2008, 03:46 AM
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The British International School (BIS), unfortunately, is right in the middle and east of the island, so not very close to any of the beach communities. I'll not comment on the quality of the school as I know only second hand stuff.

The transportation system on Phuket is quite poor - you WILL need your own transportation.

Buying a new car is a reasonable deal here - nothing special. Used cars, for some reason, tend to be expensive - they don't depreciate much. People will tell you to buy your car in Bangkok and save a lot of money - but for me that wasn't true - I was living in Bangkok and shopping there for a car for six months before I found what I wanted for a roughly equal price - on the island.

Running costs are low as the annual vehicle tax is quite low compared to many Western countries and even compared to Korea and Japan. Insurance is about half of what I would pay in my home country and repairs, even at the dealers (the best place to get service here) are dirt cheap. I have a newish Toyota - about B2000 for the 10,000km service sometimes a bit more. I had the brakes all around redone and rebuilt on my older Mazda pickup - they worked ALL day on it, AND also replaced the outside left and right mirrors - all for B1600! I asked them to double check, I thought maybe they had forgotten something . . .

There are about nine major beaches along the west coast of the island - you'll need to say where you will work before people can recommend any area. The island is roughly the size of Singapore and you don't want to have to drive from one end to the other to get to work. Some of the beach areas are too far away from BIS for an easy daily commute.

I get the feeling you have never been to Phuket before? (the question about taxis reveals that) While I LOVE the island and intend to live the rest of my life here, I wouldn't recommend that you move your family anywhere in the world without first visiting the place. Or I am hoping at least that you have some experience in Thailand - that would help you understand what living here is/can be like.

Phuket is/can be a truly delightful place to be if you purposely avoid the whining expats who complain constantly. Avoid them just as you would in any other country.
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Last edited by Zark; 11th November 2008 at 03:55 AM.
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Old 11th November 2008, 04:03 AM
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Hi there

One of my close friends had her daughter (on your age) at BCIS and they were very satisfied with the school and educational program.

Regarding the good housing alternatives near the beach, I can give you first hand advice and assistance. I am working for a relocation company doing both removals and house hunting in the major cities in Thailand.

Would appreciate if you could drop me an email on "stein (at) united-relo . com" with more details regarding your requirements (villa/apartment, budget) and I would then be able suggest more exact alternatives for you. There are many big expat areas in Phuket as well as many beach areas. I presume you would prefer to stay away from the main tourist areas??


I would definately recommend you to rent/buy a car as there is no real taxi service like in Bangkok down there. Taxis in Phuket is mainly these small cars where you have to sit in the back and normally they charge tourist prices..... Get yourself a car no matter what!! Make sure you have an international driving lisence to avoid troubble with the police etc.

Please drop me an email on the above address and I will provide more exact information accordingly.

Stein

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Old 11th November 2008, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinKR View Post
Make sure you have an international driving lisence to avoid troubble with the police etc.
Be sure you get a THAI driver's license. Your international license (IDL) is only valid for about 90 days - after which your insurance company COULD (they don't always but they CAN if they want) invalidate your coverage, just when you need it the most.

Yeah yeah, there are many expats here who don't bother to get the REQUIRED local driver's license - but they are the ones who yell the loudest when it becomes a problem for them.

Sorry, just my opinion. It's not that hard to get the local license. If you bring your VALID and CURRENT home-country license and a valid and current IDL - you need only take a couple perception tests and you are set for the one-year license. At the end of one year, you trade it in for a five-year license - no tests at all for the five year.

If you are going to live overseas and be a responsible person - do it right.
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Last edited by Zark; 11th November 2008 at 04:58 AM.
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Old 11th November 2008, 06:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zark View Post
Be sure you get a THAI driver's license. Your international license (IDL) is only valid for about 90 days - after which your insurance company COULD (they don't always but they CAN if they want) invalidate your coverage, just when you need it the most.

Yeah yeah, there are many expats here who don't bother to get the REQUIRED local driver's license - but they are the ones who yell the loudest when it becomes a problem for them.

Sorry, just my opinion. It's not that hard to get the local license. If you bring your VALID and CURRENT home-country license and a valid and current IDL - you need only take a couple perception tests and you are set for the one-year license. At the end of one year, you trade it in for a five-year license - no tests at all for the five year.

If you are going to live overseas and be a responsible person - do it right.
Hi there Zark;

Yes, you're right. It should be a local license.

It is infact very easy to get it if you have a valid one from your home country. I remember I did it some time ago, and it took me less than one hour and cost something like 2-300 Baht.

Definately worth to do so in order to avoid any situation in case something should happen.

Stein

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Old 25th November 2008, 11:40 PM
 
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Default Reply from movers company in Phuket

Yes, British Shool (BIS) previously Dulwich Int'l, many kids of farang learn here, it's okay.


Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinite1 View Post
Hi everyone,

We're moving to Phuket and wondering if anyone has any advice on the British International School. Would love some first hand experience and to know basically if it's a good school or not. Also wondering if anyone has any advice on nice family oriented areas to live in (preferably close to the beach). Finally, does anyone have any advice on car ownership - is it just as easy and more economical to catch cabs everywhere? Is it expensive to own a car in Thailand? We have a baby so I thought we might need to look inot buying a car so we can ensure he's in a car seat.

thanks!


Last edited by singto; 26th November 2008 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 26th November 2008, 03:05 AM
 
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Unfortunately, most corporate moves are moves to meet the company's needs, not the employees, so visits to see if you'll like it are usually not possible. Usually the job is described and discussed, and you take it or leave it. And in some companies, you don't have much choice. The general rule is that you get to turn down one internal opportunity per career.

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Old 1st December 2008, 11:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zark View Post
The British International School (BIS), unfortunately, is right in the middle and east of the island, so not very close to any of the beach communities. I'll not comment on the quality of the school as I know only second hand stuff.

The transportation system on Phuket is quite poor - you WILL need your own transportation.

Buying a new car is a reasonable deal here - nothing special. Used cars, for some reason, tend to be expensive - they don't depreciate much. People will tell you to buy your car in Bangkok and save a lot of money - but for me that wasn't true - I was living in Bangkok and shopping there for a car for six months before I found what I wanted for a roughly equal price - on the island.

Running costs are low as the annual vehicle tax is quite low compared to many Western countries and even compared to Korea and Japan. Insurance is about half of what I would pay in my home country and repairs, even at the dealers (the best place to get service here) are dirt cheap. I have a newish Toyota - about B2000 for the 10,000km service sometimes a bit more. I had the brakes all around redone and rebuilt on my older Mazda pickup - they worked ALL day on it, AND also replaced the outside left and right mirrors - all for B1600! I asked them to double check, I thought maybe they had forgotten something . . .

There are about nine major beaches along the west coast of the island - you'll need to say where you will work before people can recommend any area. The island is roughly the size of Singapore and you don't want to have to drive from one end to the other to get to work. Some of the beach areas are too far away from BIS for an easy daily commute.

I get the feeling you have never been to Phuket before? (the question about taxis reveals that) While I LOVE the island and intend to live the rest of my life here, I wouldn't recommend that you move your family anywhere in the world without first visiting the place. Or I am hoping at least that you have some experience in Thailand - that would help you understand what living here is/can be like.

Phuket is/can be a truly delightful place to be if you purposely avoid the whining expats who complain constantly. Avoid them just as you would in any other country.
Hi Zark,

Sorry for the delay in responding.

Thanks for all your info - it's greatly appreciated. Although I've only visited there, I do have experience with moving to reasonably inhospitable places and know that no matter how bad it may seem, you can get through it - having said that, I don't see Phuket as 'inhospitable', so I'm making an assumption that although there may be some drawbacks or difficulties, it will be nothing that won't be overcome with time and some patience I hope that makes sense. In the end (as we're planning to stay for some time) I have no doubt that we will grow to love our new lives there and I think it will be a really wonderful experience for us all, especially the children.

Thanks for the info on the car situation. We've heard more about this through friends and now know that we'll have to purchase when we get there. It's good to know that they're reasonably inexpensive to buy and run.

I appreciate your comments about expats and do hope I don't turn into the type you're referring to However, as my husband will be working away from home for significant periods of time, I like the idea of living in an area with other expats for obvious reason and for the kids. I've heard that Rawai is a nice place to live - any thoughts? Do you think it would be too far for our daughter to commute each day to BIS? As I won't be working, it doesn't matter where we live, just as long as it's a nice community - any ideas would be wecomed.

I'll look forward to hearing more from you if you get time Zark.

cheers!

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Old 1st December 2008, 11:03 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinKR View Post
Hi there

One of my close friends had her daughter (on your age) at BCIS and they were very satisfied with the school and educational program.

Regarding the good housing alternatives near the beach, I can give you first hand advice and assistance. I am working for a relocation company doing both removals and house hunting in the major cities in Thailand.

Would appreciate if you could drop me an email on "stein (at) united-relo . com" with more details regarding your requirements (villa/apartment, budget) and I would then be able suggest more exact alternatives for you. There are many big expat areas in Phuket as well as many beach areas. I presume you would prefer to stay away from the main tourist areas??


I would definately recommend you to rent/buy a car as there is no real taxi service like in Bangkok down there. Taxis in Phuket is mainly these small cars where you have to sit in the back and normally they charge tourist prices..... Get yourself a car no matter what!! Make sure you have an international driving lisence to avoid troubble with the police etc.

Please drop me an email on the above address and I will provide more exact information accordingly.

Stein
Hi Stein,

Thanks for the useful info and for your email. I will certainly get in touch. You're correct in that we'd prefer not to be in the middle of the tourist areas, but would prefer a nice family area near the beach somewhere.

I'm please to hear that your friends are happy with the school there.

Thanks again for the info and I'll be in touch via email.

cheers!

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Old 1st December 2008, 11:10 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zark View Post
Be sure you get a THAI driver's license. Your international license (IDL) is only valid for about 90 days - after which your insurance company COULD (they don't always but they CAN if they want) invalidate your coverage, just when you need it the most.

Yeah yeah, there are many expats here who don't bother to get the REQUIRED local driver's license - but they are the ones who yell the loudest when it becomes a problem for them.

Sorry, just my opinion. It's not that hard to get the local license. If you bring your VALID and CURRENT home-country license and a valid and current IDL - you need only take a couple perception tests and you are set for the one-year license. At the end of one year, you trade it in for a five-year license - no tests at all for the five year.

If you are going to live overseas and be a responsible person - do it right.
Hi Zark,

Thanks again for the valuable info. I agree about the licence issue.

cheers!

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