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Phuket newlyweds: Perhaps as happy as it gets on the holiday island

Phuket, Unhappiest Province in Thailand

Monday, March 21, 2011
PHUKET residents are the least happy people in all Thailand, a survey has revealed. Even those living in Thailand's three troubled southern provinces, where bombs and shootings are a daily occurrence, are happier.

And a trip across the bridge from Phuket to neighboring Phang Nga might help: Thais living there are enjoying the third happiest province, compared to Phuket at position 77 and last.

Phuket registered just 5.64 on a scale of 10 compared to the happiest province, Supanburi, which measured 7.83.

What's more, the survey was no quick whip-around among tuk-tuk drivers or street sweepers.

The Academic Network for Community Happiness Observation and Research, based at Bangkok's Assumption University, talked to 42,538 people nationwide through February and March before releasing the results.

Respondents were asked to rate their province for happiness on a scale of 1-10. Most of the respondents were young - 69.9 percent were undergraduates, while 30.8 percent were businesspeople.

Could there be a connection between Phuket's position as the top when it it comes to the minimum wage, which is based on the cost of living, and its lowly position when it comes to happiness?

Or perhaps having to smile for a high percentage of overseas tourists makes life really, really hard?

The research was not drawing that conclusion. But certainly, income and making ends meet were a factor in individual's happiness.

The top provinces for happiness were Supanburi (7.83), Uttaradit (7.66), Phang Nga (7.56), Sukhothai (7.50)and Petchaburi (7.44). The bottom five in descending order: Samut Sangkran (6.45), Krabi (6.41), Saraburi (6.40), Songkhla (6.32) . . . and Phuket (5.64).

Surprisingly, somewhere in the middle on the happiness scale were the deeply troubled southern provinces of Yala, Pattani and Narathiwat.

Anchor researchers said that concerns about crime were greatest in Narathiwat and almost as intense in Rayong. And Bangkok? Bangkok rated 69th.
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Comments

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No big surprise. Greed creates unhappiness, as any good Buddhist should know.

Posted by Tourist by Profession on March 21, 2011 16:55

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I can only speak for myself but I've always met the nicest Thai people in small, far away villages. Ban Nook as Thais would say.

My impression is that people on Phuket are short-tempered, aggressive and very intolerant compared to the rest of Thailand. Greedy and selfish beyond belief.

Most Thais I've spoken with who have moved to Phuket from elsewhere say the same.

I would be happier just about anywhere else in Thailand but unfortunately my current situation does not allow me to move at liberty.

When that changes, I'll be gone for good.

Posted by Chris on March 21, 2011 17:55

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Phuket was once the province of dreams for a lot of Thais. But after coming here, they learned it better. Too much traffic, too dangerous - be it accidents or robberies or youth gangs - if only perceived or not, the feeling is real.

Too dirty, too noisy, too many sh***y tourists, too many greedy police, too expansive, only hot and fast in everything, good for business but not for living a life.

Even for me the best time ever was our four month stay in Phang Nga last year.

Posted by Lena on March 21, 2011 17:56

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I have been a Phuket resident for the last 7 years and have seen the downhill slide increase recently. My Thai friends from all over the country refuse to visit here any longer and each response is the same. The Thai people here have lost their values and "are not real Thai people". The greed and aggressive behavior makes me sick and defeats the whole purpose of living here. Sad.....

Posted by Kris Hronowski on March 21, 2011 21:12

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I have to agree with all the above. I have heard other Thais say that Phuket people are "jai dam". I think a lot has to do with greed and envy.

But I am still amazed how selfish some Thais are in Phuket town. But once you get outside the town, in a bit of space, it is far more relaxed.

Same as Lena (post above), I stayed in Phang Nga for a time last year and also way up north. It was like a different country - relaxed and friendly.

Posted by Mike Boyd on March 21, 2011 22:08

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Oh....PHUKET residents are the least happy people in all Thailand. Where should i stay.

Posted by Oi on March 22, 2011 13:42

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Maybe I live in a bubble of happiness. Been here 11 years. Still love living here, and I know a lot of happy people. Is Phuket Wan now ThaiVisa # 2 ?

Posted by Jamie on March 24, 2011 22:45

Editor Comment:

Phuketwan is a news and information site staffed and run by journalists, Jamie. Perhaps the problem is that unhappy people don't know how to find happiness?


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