The fishing salas are empty; the Phuket Fishing Park lake is all but deserted....we have it all to ourselves. Lucky for us but the local businesses are getting a serious hit from the European tourists' poor exchange rates.
The Phuket beaches are busy with winter holiday makers as is the very popular tourist hotspot of Patong but this year the effect of the various ailing European currencies against the Baht is definitely having an effect on what people are doing. Last year we were dismayed to be getting 50 Baht to the £1 but this year we are down even further to 43 Baht to the £1. When I first came to Thailand in 2004, we were getting 73 Baht to the £1 so the percentage exchange rate drop is massive. (However...in 1908 there was just 9 baht to the £1!!!)
It is still possible to have a cheap holiday in Thailand though because flights are actually cheaper now than in 2004 and you can fly direct from UK to Phuket. Staying at my house (plug, plug) is still the same price as when I started this project in 2008 and making payment in the UK avoids exchange rates and means there is no effect on your actual accommodation costs at £200 per week per room.
Going fishing, diving or attending the nightime shows is now expensive. It is, for example, £90 for a 3 dive day aboard a PADI boat; it is £60 for a night at the the theatre (with dinner) and it is £50 for a day at the lake using the lake tackle.
Fortunately for us we have our own fishing tackle to use as provided by sponsors Grauvell and Weymouth Angling and, as a regular visitor, I am abe to get us a small reduction...so our day works out at about £38 each.
Fishing it is not a cheap activity for us poor Brits but it is a very worthwhile and action packed day's fishing and well worth the money.