Phuket is a tropical Island with over 40 beaches. The best online guide to find these is from the excellent Phuket101 website.
Some of the beaches are reachable by bus and most by motorbike. Use the smart-phone app Grab taxi if you don’t want to drive yourself.
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. The new smartphone app Grab Taxi makes it easy to find a meter taxi or a taxi with a fixed price. If flag down a taxi or motorbike on the road 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. 5 hours can be 1000-1500 THB. Tuk-tuk’s are required to have a price list but few have it.
Grab Taxi (smartphone app)
The newest transport alternative in Phuket. Install the Grab Taxi app on your smartphone. It will work in Phuket and Bangkok and some other cities. Payment is to the driver in the car and not by the app but the app will give an estimate.
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. 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! No need to look for safety belts – there are non.
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 stations are at other locations. Yes two ot them. The old and the new.
Destinations include Patong, Chalong, Kamala, Kata, Karon, Makham Bay, Nai Harn, Nai Yang, Rawai, Surin and Thalang. Buses leave approximately every 30 mins. Drivers tend to wait until they have enough passengers to make the trip worthwhile. Fares start at 25 baht. Local buses run from 6am to 6pm, seven days a week
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 a new route from Airport to Patong but reports is that it’s not on a reliable schedule. Ask at the airport for information if you want to try.
There is no schedule no 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 International 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.