Chances are good you love Phuket if you live here. One truth about life in Phuket that we all must reckon with is the climate. The good thing about the climate is it’s tropical so it’s always warm and humid, the bad thing is that it’s always warm and humid. This kind of weather combined with the rainforest environment of Phuket (what little bit is left) cultivates certain challenges to everyday living which many westerners may have little experience dealing with. We’ll explore a few of these unique facets of life in Phuket and possible life hacks to make daily living a bit smoother.
Since Phuket is a fairly narrow strip of land rising up out of warm tropical waters, the ambient humidity is almost always high. For those who keep the air conditioning cranking all of the time, this helps reduce or eliminate issues caused by indoor humidity as air conditioners pull water from the air. However, many people are well-adapted, embrace the climate, and don’t want to run the air con constantly – plus it uses huge amounts of electricity so isn’t too eco-friendly or wallet-friendly.
Clothing Rack Open | Cr: Ikea
One problem with indoor humidity is air flow. Things get musty, mildewy, and moldy quickly in stagnant air. Keeping your clothes in dresser drawers or an enclosed closet will quickly leave them with a funky mildew smell. Using open hanging racks and wire baskets helps eliminate this problem. You can find these types of storage solutions at many furniture stores and Ikea especially has many modular options. Ones made from metal are preferable as they are stronger than plastic and you avoid potential termite problems of wood.
In the bathroom, you’re adding more water to already humid air and mold grows quickly. Having a small vent fan can help greatly. Some are even sold with a small solar panel to power it. It can also help with odors from the drain as houses here are often built without plumbing vents.
Before Phuket developed to its current status of a mass tourism destination, it was covered in tropical rainforest. While those days are mostly gone, there still exist pockets of forest and all of the wonderful plants and animals that call them (and your garden) home. The problem is some of those creatures want to make their home inside of yours.
Powdered sulfur | Cr. stopanimal.com
One trick that Thai people commonly employ is to sprinkle powdered sulfur around your house at the base of the walls, which is thought to repel snakes and insects. While it can keep away some insects, studies have shown it’s not effective against snakes. The best way to keep snakes away is to remove their food source, i.e. rodents, frogs, etc. One method that has shown to be effective at keeping both rodents and snakes away is a cat. Put a bell on its collar so it doesn’t indiscriminately kill every bird.
How do we keep the most universally despised critter, cockroaches, out of our homes? It’s a similar approach to snakes, don’t leave food out. That means having a well sealed garbage can, cleaning up thoroughly after cooking, and even making sure the sink drain and sponge are kept clean. They often get in through the drains so keeping those sealed up, especially at night, is helpful.
White stick of chalk | Cr. montah.com
While not hated as passionately as roaches, ants are extremely tenacious and aren’t afraid to invade during daylight hours like roaches. You can find an insecticide that comes in the form of a white stick of chalk. After drawing a line along the base of the walls around your house, ants will not cross that line. You’ll have to redraw it every once in a while, but it is surprisingly effective.