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Getting Around Phuket - All You Need to Know and Things You Should Consider

October 30, 2018
Tags: .  Phuket ,  Transportation


Travelling Around Phuket: How You Can Make Your Stay More Enjoyable

Before booking a resort hotel or apartment in Phuket, you should consider what you want to get from your holiday. Are you the type who wants to get out and explore all areas of the island? Or are you more the type who simply wants to lie on the beach, get a massage and eat exotic and delicious foods?

These questions are important to ask yourself, because your answer may matter in how you want to rely on transportation during your stay on the island. The fact is, unless you want to hire a car or motorbike to drive yourself around the island, relying on public transport in Phuket can be problematic, limit your travel abilities or be exceedingly expensive.

Where your hotel or apartment is located can dictate how convenient and inexpensive it is for you to get around the island. A resort located near a major town offers many more transportation options than a resort in a remote location on the island.

Adventurers Should Definitely Hire a Car or Motorbike in Phuket

If you are someone who is intent on exploring every inch of this island paradise, then hiring a car or motorbike should definitely be number one on your list of priorities. Adventurous types will be frustrated by the lack of public transportation to all areas of the island. While it’s slowly getting better, it’s a long way from being efficient and widespread.

Luckily, rental cars and motorbikes are plentiful and can be hired relatively cheaply, depending on the model, size and length. You should come equipped with a valid driver’s licence from your home country, an international driver’s permit and an accident or travel insurance policy to protect you in case of an accident.

You can hire cars and motorbikes by the day, week or month with discounts on the daily rate for longer periods. You’ll quickly find that it can be much cheaper to hire a car than to rely on the often exorbitant prices charged by Phuket taxis.


By booking a resort near a town with vehicle hire vendors, you’ll also have the option of simply picking and choosing the days you want to hire a vehicle and days you want to spend lying around the pool at your resort.


Relying on Public Transportation in Phuket  

If lying around the pool for most of your holiday is more your style, then relying on public transportation for the few times you want to get out and about may suit your needs.

At the least expensive end of the public transportation options in Phuket is the Songthaew. These consist of elongated, open-air, bright blue buses that slowly travel between the resort towns and the main metropolis of Phuket Town.

If you are in no hurry to get where you’re going and just want to enjoy the scenery, this is the vehicle for you. You can flag them down at any point along their route and simply signal when you want to get off. They run between 7 AM and 6 PM, so you’ll want to plan your journey to be back before the last one of the day. The cost from Phuket Town to Patong, Kamala, Kata and Surin is just 15-20 Baht.

Getting around in a resort town, like Patong or Kamala, costs a bit more. At the low end of the local transport scale is the motorbike taxi. Their cost ranges from around 20-60 Baht as long as your ride is within around 5 minutes.

Next up the scale is the Tuk-tuk. You really don’t want to take these any farther than a few minutes ride. This is because they are small, hot and uncomfortable to ride in and get very expensive the farther you go. They generally start at 100 Baht and climb from there. Be prepared to bargain with a tuk-tuk driver.

The most expensive is the meter taxi or limousine taxi. These drivers will generally quote you a price depending on your destination and it can really add up if you’re relying on them for your daily transportation needs. You’d be better off simply renting a car.

Getting To and From Phuket Airport

In getting to and from the airport you’re also limited in choices unless you’re staying near one of the major towns. If not, your only option in public transportation is an airport limousine or a less expensive meter taxi.

Airport limousines will charge you anywhere from 50 to over 1,000 Baht depending on your destination. Meter taxis charge you 7 Baht per kilometre with 50 Baht for the first two kilometres and a 100 baht airport surcharge.

If you’re staying near a major town, you have the option of taking a much cheaper bus or minivan. Buses cost 90-100 baht and airport minivans at most will cost you 200 baht.

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