Health & safety
WARNING: Rip tides at beaches in Phuket Province can be dangerous, particularly during the monsoon season, and drownings are common. Safety and lifeguard resources may not be of the standard many travellers expect. Exercise caution when swimming at any beaches in this area. Never swim alone, make sure you are swimming in a designated safe area, and if a red flag is flying on the beach, do not swim. Asking locals may help you gauge swimming conditions.
Keep an eye out for jet-skis when you’re in the water. Although the Phuket governor declared jet skis illegal in 1997, the ban didn’t seem to be enforced in 2006.
Renting a motorcycle can be a high-risk proposition. Thousands of people are injured or killed every year on Phuket highways. Some have been travellers who weren’t familiar with riding motorcycles and navigating the island’s roads, highways and traffic patterns. If you must rent a motorcycle, make sure you at least know the basics and wear a helmet.
Both hospitals listed are equipped with modern facilities, emergency rooms and outpatient-care clinics.
Bangkok Phuket Hospital (0 7625 4425; Th Yongyok Uthit) Reputedly the favourite with locals.
Phuket International Hospital (0 7624 9400, emergency 7621 0935; Airport Bypass Rd) International doctors rate this hospital as the best on the island.
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