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Home Furnishings:

About 5 years ago - in early 2000, there was very limited supply of home furnishings catering to the the tastes of foreign home buyers. Luckily, with recent boom in the housing market we have seen a growing number of furniture suppliers from ready made knock down Ikea style furniture to quality made-to-order furniture.

Most (quality) property developers will not offer loose furniture as part of the purchase price but will supply most built-in furniture such as wardrobes, shelving, kitchens and bed bases. However as interior design is very much about individualism and personal taste, the loose furnishing such as your lounge, dining setting, outdoor pieces and curtains - for example become the responsibility of the property owner, unless you are joining a rental or managed income program.

If you need to buy furniture it's easy to scot around Phuket Town for suitable home furnishings. The ready made knock-down furniture, for easy installation can be found along the By-Pass road just south of the Tesco Lotus leading to Central Festival. Places such as Home Pro and Koncept Furniture in the Tesco Lotus and the Index Shopping Mall - have a varied selection of modern ready made furniture at reasonable prices together with home appliances.

Should you be more discerning and selective about what goes into your home, as most of us tend to be - several quality establishments south of Central Festival can be found along Chaofa Road West. Two quality establishments worth the mention who specialize in custom made, include Island Furniture and Phuket Intercraft. If you're really picky, then perhaps a trip to Bangkok or Chiang Mai will do you good - and as your shopping is done in Thailand there will be no customs or duties to pay (locally made only).

Importing Household Effects:

Both Thai and non-Thai residents changing residence into Thailand are eligible to bring used/secondhand household effects into Thailand, in reasonable quantities, free of taxes and duties. It is also required that the imported used/ secondhand household effects have been owned, possessed, and used in the country where the importers resided before returning to Thailand to resume residence.

In case where the household effects are electrical appliances e.g. radios, televisions, refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, air conditioners, etc., only ONE unit each of such items is eligible for tax and duty free allowance. However, if it is the family change of residence, TWO units each of the items will be allowed to bring in tax and duty free. Any excess unit shall be subject to regular taxes and duties, and Customs will place the items that have the lowest rate of duty under tax and duty exemption.

It is important that the used/secondhand household effects must be imported not earlier than one month before or not later than six months after the arrival of the importers. Under exceptional circumstances, Customs may extend the time limits for the importers.

Documentation

  • An Import Declaration Form (Customs Form No99/1);
  • A passport;
  • Nonresidents are required to submit the following documents:
    1. The letter issued by the Immigration Department confirming that an annual temporary stay is granted;
    2. A one-year (or more) work permit issued by the Department of Labor;
    3. The letter from a relevant government agency confirming that a non-immigrant visa from the Immigration Department is granted and that working period in Thailand is not less than 1 year, for those entering Thailand as an expert, specialist, or under government contracts;
  • Thai Residents are required to submit an evidence of changing residence e.g. a transcript, reshuffle of positions, termination of employment contract, etc.;
  • A Bill of Lading or air waybill;
  • A Foreign Transaction Form if the CIF value exceeding 500,000 Baht;
  • An invoice (if any);
  • A Delivery Order;
  • A packing list or sale documents (if any);
  • A permit in case of restricted goods;
  • An application for taxes and duty free allowance; and
  • Other documents e.g. a letter of authorization (if any).

Domestic Help:

Having a maid in your home is a very common part of everyday living in Phuket. Services include general domestic chores, like cleaning, cooking, laundry and taking care of the kids. It is not common for maids hired locally to live-in, and working hours are usually between 8:30 - 17:30 six days a week.

Salaries vary between Bt. 6,500 to Bt. 8,500 per month depending on the level of experience and age. Finding a maid is easy - finding a good reliable maid can be a challenge. Start by ask your neighbors for recommendations or post notices in hotels, and other public places for your domestic staff.

Don't expect your maid to speak English. Don't expect that they will understand your instructions first time round. Don't take anything for granted - such as your laundry/ironing requirements, locking up the house and particularly taking care of and playing with the kids.

In many if not most instances your interpretation of getting something done may not be the way it is interpreted. So make sure you ask whether it is understood what needs to be done. Finally be sensible and don't allow for temptation and leave money and valuables in a secure place out of sight - common practice anywhere in the world.

Hiring part-time domestic help for either 2 or 3 days a week is also very common. Daily rates are usually between Bt. 200 - Bt. 300

Obviously, with bigger the families you might consider to have a maid (part-time) for all your domestic chores and a nanny for taking care of the kids - such as cooking, playing with the children and picking them up from school.

If you hire a maid and pay them monthly, it is assumed they are salaried employees and under the labour laws you are obliged to provide 3 months notice after the probationary period is over - usually the first month. You might consider the weekly option to start with.

Electrical Utilities:

Metered electricity is charged on a unit rate which varies according to use. For most household the biggest consumer of electricity is air conditioners and depending on your use an average house hold running air cons at night only can expect a bill of between 4,000 - 7,000 per month. All electricity bills are subject to value added tax levied at 7 %. Bills can be paid at your local Post Net Office or 7 Eleven stores providing you pay within the stated time frame.

The electricity is 220 volts but due to the nature of the supply the voltage does fluctuate quite substantially during any given day. You are advised to run UPS power supplies for your computer equipment to ensure their optimal service.

It is not unusual for the electricity to fail during a storm and blackouts although not as regular as they used to be still happen from time to time.

Home Insurance:

Home insurance is a must for most of us who have invested in property. Phuket has a good choice of insurance companies including: AIG / AVIVA / QBE / AXA and NZI - to name a few. Policy premiums are about .125 % of the insured value. Don't forget to deduct the cost of the land in calculating your desired premium as the value should only covers the replacement of buildings. Also, bear in mind that for high value properties an insurance assessor will want to probably pay a visit to the site to ensure the premium is justified.

Home contends insurance is also a good addition and some of the companies above will include this as part of the package. Home contents insurance is about .5 % of the contents insured amount and usually covers things like burglary / fire / theft and water damage - NOT flood damage.

Fixed line telephone:

There are two fixed line providers in Phuket. They are the TOT and TT&T one being a public entity and the other being a private concession granted by the government (respectively). Which service you use or choose - very much depends on the service provider's coverage and the availability (of lines) in the area. Today it usually takes about 1 week to get a telephone line installed into your home whereas a few years ago it could take from 1 month to 6 months.

Documents needed to apply for a phone line are the house registered documents of the property owner or in the case of a foreigner a passport and a work permit or company registration documents.

Local call are charged at 3 baht per call and there is a phone line rental and service charge of about Bt. 100 per month. Bills can be paid at your local Post Net Office or 7 Eleven stores providing you pay within the stated time frame.

Working hours:

Thailand is 7 hours ahead of GMT.

As a rule of thumb, the majority of business are open 5 and a half days a week. Working hours are 9am to 5:30 pm weekdays, and if open on Saturday between 9am to 12 noon (office admin) and 9am - 5:30pm Travel & Tour Agencies and Airline offices .

Most large retail stores (Tesco / Big C / Central Festival / Index Living Mall) are open 7 days a week between 10:30 - 21:00 pm. Expect that your local stores ( 7 Eleven / Big One/ Family Mart) to open from 7:30 am to 10:30pm, daily with some opening 24 hours.

Gasoline stations are open between 7:30 am to 19:30 pm with the bigger stations on Thepkasaattri Road opening until midnight.

Property Sales at Developers Projects are usually open 7 days a week (operating a roster system) and if not work 6 days and close either the Mondays or Tuesdays.

Shopping:

Food and Grocery Stores (Hypermarkets / Satellite Branches:)

Phuket City:

    • Tesco-Lotus - By-pass Road, Phuket City
    • Big C - By-pass Road, Phuket City
    • Super Cheap - Thepkasattri Road , Phuket City
    • Siam Makro Cash and Carry Megastore - Vichit , Phuket City (opposite Central Festival - not Bypass Road entrance)

Department stores:

Phuket City:

Patong Beach:

Furniture Outlets:

Greater Phuket:

    • Index Living Mall - Bypass Road, Phuket City (Inexpensive IKEA Style)
    • Home Pro (in Tesco-Lotus) - By pass Road, Phuket City (Home Handy Man and Middle to High End Furnishings)
    • Home Pro Chalong Circle - Chao Fa Road, West Chalong (Home Handy Man and Middle to High End Furnishings)
    • Island Furniture - Chao Fa Nok Road, between Phuket City and Chalong (Custom & Ready Made)
    • SB Design Square  24 Chalermprakeat (Bypass) Road  (Opp Big C), Wichit, Muang
    • Intercraft Furniture - Chao Fa Nok Rd, between Phuket City and Chalong (Custom and Ready Made)
    • Winner - Bypass Road, Phuket City (inexpensive lower end IKEA Style)

Boutiques and General Stores: (antiques, art, handicrafts, etc)

Open Air Markets and Bazaars:

    • Historical district, Phuket City (Dibuk, Thalang, Phang Nga, Rassada, Yaowarat roads)
    • Ranong Rd market, Phuket City
    • Chatuchak Phuket, Phang Nga Rd, Phuket City (weekends only)
    • Taina Rd, Kata Patak Rd (near the circle), Karon
    • Paradise Complex, Rat-U-Thit Rd, Patong
    • Bangla Rd, Patong Thaweewong (beach) Rd, Patong

Education:

As Phuket has grown more cosmopolitan, education has kept pace. Below is a list of schools, now operating on the island:

  • British International School: an English-curriculum school (formerly Dulwich College) with ties to the International IB program. Boarding is available for pupils over 9 years old. (Kindergarten to Grade Twelve)
  • Phuket International Academy (PIA) comprises three centres: the Day School , the Sports and Leisure Club and the Mind Centre, offering students, parents and those from the wider Phuket communities, a state of the art, sustainable facility which focuses on education, sports, arts and wellness.
  • QSI International School of Phuket (Nursery to Grade 12). A private international school which follows an American curriculum.
  • Kajonkietsuksa School - Kajonkietsuksa School was the first school in Phuket that set up an English Programme using the Thai curriculum.

There is also an International Montessori School located in the Rawai Area for pre-school children: montessori@far-away.net

Banks:

Bangkok Bank:
Head Office Phuket
22 Phang Nga Road
Muang 83000
Tel: +6676 211292 - 5
Fax +6676 216774

Currency exchange booths are usually open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Useful Branch:

(In Thalang - for Layan Peninsula)
189 Thep Kasatri Road
Thalang
83110
Tel: +66776 311689
Fax:+ 6676 311726
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3.30pm.

Also Central Festival & Tesco Lotus:
open as late as 7 - 8pm

Thai Farmers Bank:
Head Office Phuket
14 Phang Nga Road
Muang 83000
Tel +6676 219903
Fax+6676 211558

Currency exchange booths are usually open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week

Useful Branch

(In Patong Beach)
133/1-4 Rat-U-Thit Road
Patong Beach
83150
Tel: +6676 340447 - 449
Fax:+6676 340198
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3.30pm.

Also in Central Festival:
open as late as 7 - 8pm

Siam Commercial Bank:
Head Office Phuket
66 Rasada Road
Muang 83000
Tel +6676 212257
Fax+6676 212255

Currency exchange booths are usually open 12 hours a day, 7 days a week

Useful Branch:

(Outside Laguna Phuket)
167/9 Srisoonthorn Road
Cherngtalay
83110
Tel: +6676 324501 - 3
Fax:+6676 324506
Monday to Friday 8.30am to 3.30pm.

Also in Central Festival & Big C
open as late as 7 - 8pm


Law Firms:

McEvily & Collins :
Plaza Del Mar Suite 114
114 Pasak–Koktanod Road,
Phuket 83110

Tel: +6676 318-276 / 7
eMail : phuket@legalthai.com

Limcharoen Hughes & Glanville:
4/1 Prabaramee Road,
Patong, Kathu
Phuket, 83150

Tel +6676 342 - 882 / 4
eMail : phuket@limcharoen.com

Phuket International Law
18/5 Thepkrasattri Road
Sapam, Muang,
Phuket, 83000

Tel +6676 238 - 863 / 4
eMail : tony@phuketinternationallaw.com


Hotel Accommodation:

For our clients looking for a hotel to stay in when traveling to Phuket to view properties for sale - we recommend the following web site:

Holiday Rental Accommodation:

For our clients looking for a villa / house or an apartment to stay in when traveling to Phuket - we recommend the following web site:

Phuket Villa Rentals
 
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