1. Visa Requirements
Thailand offers Visa On Arrival (VOA) for Indians. However, you can also choose to take a visa prior to your travel. We chose Visa On Arrival, and paid 2200 THB per person. Phuket is a small airport and the VOA process took just about half an hour, which was contrasting to the stories of huge VoA queues in Bangkok.
We carried our passports, Visa photos (they have facility at the airport for photos but it's expensive), pen and glue stick separately to facilitate our visa process.
It is recommended to carry 10000THB for 1 person or 20000THB per family to show proof of means to stay in Thailand. They didn't check in Thailand, but in India, our airline asked for the currency conversion slip before issuing out boarding pass.
You can read the detailed requirements for Thailand Visa on Tripoto
We opted for a direct GoFirst flight from Bengaluru to Phuket (HKT). The return flight tickets cost around Rs. 23000 per person when we booked in the second week of September. However, direct flights to Phuket can be a bit costlier as compared to Bangkok. The time of visit can have a huge impact on the cost as flights were costing us around Rs. 31000 per person in October end, and November.
3. Currency Exchange
We took Thai Baht from India itself. We found Orient Exchange offers one of the most competitive rates for Asian currencies. SInce most places accepted cash only, we didn't miss buying any Forex Travel Card.
4. Best Time To Visit
It is usually recommended to visit Phuket between November and April when the sky is clear so that you may enjoy the beaches and outdoor activities.
May to October is monsoon season, and generally not highly recommended. However, we visited in September and found the weather to be balmy with slight intermittent showers. An advantage of visiting in September is that accommodations are very cheap and so are the flight tickets. The tourist rush is also very less, and you can enjoy many places almost to yourself. So we didn't quite feel the infamous tourist rush in Thailand.
Accommodation in Phuket is cheap in monsoon, but it can shoot up to double the rates in peak season. We booked 2 rooms in Ramada Phuket for around Rs. 3500.
It cost us a similar amount for our Phi Phi stay in Phi Phi Banyan Villa. However, the rooms in Phuket were quite spacious while the rooms in Phi Phi were very small. Most budget accommodations in Phi Phi have small rooms, and the number of accomodations is not very high, so book well in advance.
6. Local Sim Card
You can buy a local sim card at the airport itself. The plans from Dtac and AIS are similar and include mobile data which is very useful for Google maps, cab aggregator apps etc. We used Google Maps frequently to find our way to Patong Beach from the hotel. It will cost you 200-300 THB for a week's plan and it is worth the investment.
7. What to Eat
If you love Thai or Asian food, don't miss Pad Thai(flat noodles), and Thai Curry. Indian restaurants are available in abundance, and not at skyrocketing prices either. Amritsr was one of the best Indian restaurants we went to in Phuket for authentic North Indian food. Pizzas, burgers and sandwiches are available in plenty of shops. If you are not planning on spending much on food, you can always get a frozen packet from the nearest seven-eleven store, get it heated and a meal is ready!
Their fresh fruits and shakes/juices must also be experienced. We loved the mango juices around Phi Phi and Phuket.