Phuket is a big island and getting around can be somewhat
difficult and expensive compared with Bangkok. Bus
is the cheapest transport but all local bus lines
starts in Phuket town and can bring you to almost
any beach on Phuket. However there is no way of taking
a bus between the beaches. If you go by taxi or motorbike
taxi be prepared that they will ask for a high price
and you have to bargain. Always agree on the price
in advance. If you are going to visit several places
it might be better to hire a taxi or tuk-tuk for
a day. 8 hours can be 800-1500 THB. Tuk-tuk's are
required to have a price list but few have it. Meter
taxis are almost impossible to find except at the
There is no regular taxi service in Phuket and there
are many unlicensed taxis. Bigger hotels has their
own cars. Agree on the price in advance.
Meter taxis are relatively cheap and hassle free. Fares
start at 50 baht and go upwards in increments of 7 baht
depending on distance and time. Meter taxis don't operate
from Patong because tuk-tuk drivers do not allow it.
Motorbike taxis are available almost anywhere. They do
have a vest with writing in Thai on the back See example
to the right). In rush hour it might be the only way
to get to a destination on time if you are in a hurry.
Fares start at 20 baht. Phuket town to Patong cost usually
150 THB. Helmets are seldom available for passengers.
Check that your driver does not smell from alcohol
and ask him to drive slowly. In thai Cha Cha (slow slow).
Agree on the price in advance.
This little car is called tuk-tuk and is the most common
transportation around Patong. Fare starts at
40-100 Baht for transportation around Patong daytime
but expect to pay much more. The fare for getting to
Patong - Karon beach usually
200 Baht (daytime) and 400 THB Patong to Phuket town.
Strong demands for fixed fares has ben rejected by Tuk
Tuk's organization. Within Phuket town,
more reasonable prices are charged, anywhere from 20
to 100 baht depending on the distance.
Negotiate the fare and watch your head when you jump
on - the car is very small!
The fare must be agreed beforehand depending on the distance.
There are no actual bus stops so you have to flag down
the bus on the road. Ask the locals for the best locations. The
main local bus station is close to the fresh market in
Phuket Town All buses starts from here. Please be aware
that the Domestic bus station is at another location.
Destinations include Patong, Chalong, Kamala, Kata,
Karon, Makham Bay, Nai Harn, Nai Yang, Rawai, Surin and
Thalang. Buses leave approximately every 30mins. Drivers
tend to wait until they have enough passengers to make
the trip worthwhile. Fares start at 15 baht. Local buses
run from 6am to 6pm, seven days a week
To and from the Airport.
Taxi, Meter taxi, shared mini-van and the new Airport
bus are your options.
Patong-Airport costs around 550 by taxi(max 3 passengers
and usually a very small trunk for the luggage), 150
THB by shared min wan, 350 + 100 THB for Meter taxi.
The 100 THB is a fee for the meter taxi to pick up passengers
at the airport. Meter taxi has previously not been allowed
in front of the terminal but from October 2006 it is
said to have a service counter for Meter Taxi.
Airport Bus (How to go between Patong
Beach and the Airport for less than 100 THB)
Airport bus runs daily to and from Phuket International
Airport. A bus leaves at 1 to 1.30 hour intervals. See
timetables, route stops and fares of Airport to City
and City to Airport bus service. Fare from Phuket International
Airport to domestic bus terminal in Phuket town is 52THB.
If you want to go to Patong, get off at Central festival
and walk through the entire shopping mall and take the
local bus to Patong from the other side of the shopping
complex for 20 THB extra to Patong. The Airport bus is
clearly marked with "Airport Bus". For more
information about the Airport bus call TAT office at
076-211036, 076-212213. You might even get the mobile
phone number to the driver of the bus so you can ask
were he is on the route. There is no schedule, web-site
information or marked bus-stop so you have to flag down
the bus along the route.
Avis, Budget and Hertz have counters at Phuket International
Airport and at a few hotels around Phuket.
For sure the most dangerous, but maybe the best way
to get around the Island. Phuket is ideal for cruising
with a motorbike and its easy to stop everywhere. If
you are going to Patong by car it will be difficult
to find a parking. You can rent a Honda dream for 150THB
per day. Crash helmets must be worn by the driver and
you must have a motorbike driving licence. Police check
this daily and at many locations. Also bring your insurance
papers with you in case of an accident. A motorbike
is not covered by Thai insurances and you might end
up paying for the motorbike, 3rd party etc. Please
check your own insurance if it cover a motorbike accident
in advance. Road accidents are the biggest cause of
death to foreign tourists in Thailand. On top of this
Phuket has one of the highest road accident rates in
Thailand, with motorbike accidents being the most common
cause of death on the island. You really need to take
care when taking to the roads in Phuket and remember
there is no such thing as road safety here. You should
drive on the left side of the road but don't expect
others to do the same.
All prices and information on this page are subject
to change. This page was updated in June 2007