Dear Pointus readers,

We are now here in Phuket after many weeks / months of patient investigation to understand all aspects of the Phuket Sandbox and weigh out the risks and opportunities to it !

Find our articles over here 👈

As you can see on these few pictures & videos, no need to tell you that the whole ride is worth it. But I would like to give my honest feedback and a few tips on the overall process and experience for those of you who are contemplating it :

1.     In my POV, the whole Phuket Sandbox opportunity is for anyone who is willing to take a small amount of risk in order to take advantage of a giant opportunity. Anyone used to travelling, capable of playing it smart, able to looking after themselves, …

2.     Budget-wise, Phuket Sandbox is an all-time opportunity. Get me : if you’re the backpacker type, I don’t think now is a great time. But if you have a “regular” budget, let’s say 150$ a day for 2 people, you can have an outstanding value-for-money trip : stay in some luxury hotels you wouldn’t normally have access to, enjoy really great food, have a massage every day, evenings drinks with the sunset,… 

3.     On average, I would say hotels are about 3 times cheaper than their usual prices. Most of this is of course because there is much more offer than demand right now ; hotels, restaurants and spas have to compete for fewer much fewer tourists.

4.     COE shouldn’t deter you. In fact, if you’re organized enough, it’s a smooth process. Just follow the exact details which are given to you.

5.     Flights : my experience with Etihad from Paris was fantastic. Don’t book Turkish or any company without extensive history of flying to Phuket, or you might get cancelled a few days ahead. Bear in mind that the risk of being sat next to someone you do not know, and who tests positive while in Phuket, is probably the biggest risk there is to your freedom here. Therefore, I would suggest flying business class if you can afford it. It will minimize to a great extent that risk. We managed to find deals as low as 1200€ both ways. So again, just be smart !

6.     Hotels & SHABA : do not trust what everybody here is saying on the obligation to pre-pay your hotels bookings, which of course would be a financial exposure. Hotels have gotten accustomed to the whole SHABA+ process and, from my experience,  you will automatically receive your SHABA QR code even on not-prepaid, cancellable reservations made on most booking platforms. If not, just negotiate. If it doesn’t work, pick any of the well-rated hotels.

7.     There are absolutely no Covid-related restrictions to limit your daily enjoyment, except wearing the mask most of the time. I have found than inside the walls of your hotel/resort, staff will be rather chilled about not wearing it all the time.

In conclusion I would say that paradoxically, Phuket Sandbox is precisely a great opportunity for people who wouldn’t normally like Phuket. Those who are more looking for the quiet, authentic, wellness-centered Thailand ; probably what Phuket was some decades ago. If you’re only looking for bars, clubs and/or prostitutes, followed by a trip to Mcdonalds, please don’t come and stay where you are ;).

Also I will say that right now there are literally no good alternatives to living this paradisiac south-east Asian life.

Well this is already long enough, but there is so much more tips I would like to give 😉
Don’t hesitate to ask in the comments including on aspects not mentioned on this message.