A Very Affordable Beach Lifestyle in Phuket, Thailand

Nothing quite prepares you for the beauty of Phuket, especially when approaching the region by air…the sparkling, turquoise waters and jungle-topped mountains, the rocky outcrops and white-sand beaches. The country’s largest island is paradise for many expats.

Dubbed the “Pearl of the Andaman,” the island’s surrounding waters are warm and clear and there’s an ever-present breeze. During the dry season daytime temperatures average in the 70s F.

Phuket offers an easygoing lifestyle, or a club-hopping, center-of-the-action one, depending on your preference. For instance, you can go for a swim and a relaxing lunch on quiet Naithon Beach or you can join the buzz in the bar-lined Patong area, where music throbs and cabaret shows continue into the night. And with Thailand’s second-busiest international airport, you can easily catch a flight to a range of destinations, without transiting through Bangkok.

But the biggest draw for many expats is the comfortable, convenient lifestyle. In Phuket you can enjoy some of the best seafood in the south of the country and dine at a range of gourmet restaurants, from sushi to Italian to Indian. You’ll find grocery stores stocking imported foods, fashion and furniture boutiques, and golf courses galore. Expat clubs welcome newcomers and offer everything from cycling to sailing, and access to top-notch medical care is a reality here, at a fraction of the cost of back home.

It is this quality of life that drew Paul and Mary Farrell to the region. Originally from Canada, the couple vacationed frequently in Thailand over the years, and retired in 2010 to live full-time in Phuket. “After living in the cold of Canada for most of my life, it is nice to be living in a warm climate… I enjoy walking on the beach and sunset dinners,” says Paul. The couple dines out often, which Paul says is “very reasonably priced and delicious.”

Phuket’s expats live in a variety of towns and villages. Whatever your budget, there’s something for everyone. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom villa with a pool, just a five minute walk to Kamala Beach, rents for $647 a month. Sacrifice beach views and you can rent a three bedroom, two-bathroom home with 1,500 square feet for as little as $485 a month to the island’s north, near Nai Yang Beach.

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