Most of our guests come at Training paradise to lose weight, get fitter, de-stress, get new eating habits; well to sum up, kick start with a new healthy lifestyle.
However, while visiting Phuket it would also be a shame not to try the delicious Thai food, meet the locals and discover the island and its surrounding.
We are often asked what should not be missed in Phuket and we always have the same answer: at Training Paradise you will get to experience some of the best “must see” of Phuket!
But, just like in any country, there are few customs everyone should respect and a few things you should not do while in Phuket or in Thailand in general.
If it’s not your first time in Thailand, you probably already know and respect those rules: well done! If you don’t, maybe you should think about it.
Things Not to Do in Phuket
Animals – DO NOT ride elephants, go to the zoo, dolphin show, any kind of Tiger Kingdom or take pictures with protected animals.
Animals in all those “shows” are living in bad conditions, heavily drugged to stay calm “for the picture” and badly abused.
Wild elephants generally won’t let humans ride on top of them. So in order to tame a wild elephant, it is tortured as a baby to completely break its spirit.
The process is called Phajaan, or “the crush”.
It involves ripping baby elephants away from their mothers and confining them in a very small space, like a cage or hole in the ground where they’re unable to move.
The baby elephants are then beaten into submission while starved and deprived of sleep for many days.
Please be smart and don’t support this industry! Don’t go to any of those shows, do an elephant trekking or take a picture with an iguana or a Slow Loris.
Respect the religion and the Royal family – Take off your shoes, cover your legs and shoulders when visiting a temple, don’t touch a monk or take any Buddha image out of the country.
Thai people are very respectful towards the Royal family and Buddhism. When you visit a religious place you have to wear appropriate clothes: please wear at least a T-shirt with sleeves, skirts or short pants that reach knee level, and remove hats or caps. Oh, and of course, remove your shoes!
Don’t buy any religious items representing Buddha to bring back home with you. If found in your luggage at the airport, unless registered, your Buddha statue or image will be confiscated.
It’s better not talk about the Royal family, especially with Thai people. Don’t forget that the lèse-majesté law has been on the statute books since 1908 in Thailand and that the punishment is three to fifteen years of imprisonment.
What to do instead?
Of course there are plenty of activities you can do in Phuket to fully enjoy your time in the land of smile.
You can go watch a Muay Thai fight, visit some amazing temples like the Wat Chalong or the Big Buddha temple, go sea kayaking at Ya Nui beach, or wander in a local market.
As for the animals there are lots of ways to support their cause and participate in their well-being.
The Phuket Elephant Sanctuary is an ethical final home for retired working elephants, set on 30 acres of lush tropical jungle where you can observe how elephants rehabilitate into forest life after decades of abuse.
If you want to cuddle dogs and cats and support local charities who are doing an amazing job with the stray animals on the island, you can visit the Soi Dog shelter or help our friend Simone at Rawai Animal Lovers following her on her daily feeding session at the Wat Sawang Arom where she feeds more than 100 cats and a dozen of dogs.
If you are planning of extending your stay after your time at Training Paradise and you have some questions or are not sure about what you can or cannot do while in Phuket, just ask us! We’ve been living here since 2013 and we can of course help you and give you some tips to enjoy your time in Thailand and experience the best of the country.
Serge and Kathleen