If you come to Thailand and have the remotest opportunity to extend your stay, then be prepared.
Thailand visas are for 30 days if you haven't applied for a longer period with your local Thai Embassy before you left home. The maximum time you can stay in Thailand is 90 days without leaving the country and re-entering.
If you wait until you get to the airport to pay for an excess stay, expect to pay 500 baht per person per day up to a maximum of 20,000 baht (fine was increased recently). If you visit the Thailand Immigration Department you pay 1,900 baht per application whether it's for one day or one month, so if you're only a few days over, just pay at the airport. Bear in mind though, it does take quite a bit of time to process, so be early for your flight. Personally I would recommend going to the Immigration Department and getting the extension to save time.
A notice at the Immigration Office states:
If you wish to stay in Thailand after your visa has expired, contact the nearest immigration unit in person. Do not believe anyone who claims they can assist you to get immigration stamps without actual travel in and out of the kingdom. Such acts are illegal and you are liable to face prosecution under Immigration Law.
The office is located on Phuket Road in Phuket Town. Please take note that they close from 12.00 - 1.00pm for lunch and you need to get there by 4.00pm in the afternoon to allow time for processing. They will not process you if you are going to keep them from closing the doors at 4.30pm.
Telephone: 076 221905 Fax: 076 212708
Further information: http://www.mfa.go.th/web/12.php
Passport photos and photocopying are available very cheaply at the rear of the Immigration Office.
Jak Ga Jaan
Well, I'd never heard of these on any of my previous stays in Phuket, but one day after being buried in the sand at Mai Khao Beach (long story - next tip), a few locals came along with a net which was strained over some sticks. They would push it into the sand with each wave along the beach and then retrieve some small creatures from it.
Once I was "exhumed", I went to join them, along with our masseuses. They were catching creatures which they call Sea Grasshoppers, Sea Cicadas or Jak Ga Jaan. They look like a cross between a crab and a prawn and bury themselves into the sand after each wave.
We all had a great deal of fun trying to catch them with our hands and ended up with a creepy looking bagful of them. They are considered something of a delicacy as they are time-consuming to catch and not too many of them.
They are put into ice to put them "to sleep", then have the main body shell removed before they are coated in flour and deep fried. I did try them and have to say as off-putting as they looked, they really were delicious!
Phi Phi island
We paid 1600 baht each for 4 for a full day island hopping tour. The price includes hotel transfer, lunch, ferry service, unlimited refreshments onboard, snorkelling equipment and of course gorgeous beaches to frolick at. Compare this with the hotel reservation at 2800 baht and you will cry if you didn't shop around first.
Form as big a group as you can and bargain for your money's worth. Singapore is worried that we are losing out on the tourism pie. In Singapore, just a 2 way ferry for the same 45 minutes to nearby Indonesia's Bintan island resort cost about 1250 baht before taxes. No wonder Phuket attract millions of tourists every year.
There are two Ocean plaza in Patong .The first one is located in Bangla rd and the second one on beach rd Inside someone can find brand names, handicrafts, boutiques ,shoe stores, souvenirs, pharmacy and many more .The prices are fixed but you can always ask for a discount
I have revisited the Ratri Jazztaurant and this is the updated review.
The Ratri Jazztaurant is definitely one of the best places to enjoy an evening on the whole island. The views over Kata are impressive, as is the design and decor of the place. The live jazz really tops it all off. The band is fantastic.
Great for a romantic evening or for fun with friends, I'm sure that once you've visited, you'll return.
The food is more expensive than average, but is still reasonably priced and varies between quite good and very good. Service has improved, but still needs work.
My advice is not to sit near the toilets when dining downstairs, as you will get a slight waft from the toilets each time they're flushed. We usually eat upstairs, unless we're ordering a substantial meal. Dressy casual