How to get around Phuket?
Phuket Taxis, Tuk Tuks or Buses? What is the best way to get around Phuket? Finding the right transportation can be a worry as Phuket doesn’t have a good public transport system, but it is very easy to go around because Tuk-Tuks are everywhere and can take you anywhere, day or night. It can just get costly! Blue buses can take you from selected beaches to Phuket Town. The Smart Bus takes you from beach to beach. Taxi meters and Grab taxis are also available. Renting a van with a driver for the day is also a great way to explore the island.
So unless you are on a very tight budget or want to travel great distances, you will never have to worry about getting around in Phuket.
Here we describe the many ways to explore Phuket. It should be comprehensive enough to make you feel better about your upcoming holidays in Phuket!
1. Tuk Tuks in Phuket
The Tuk Tuk of Phuket is very different from Bangkok’s iconic blue Tuk Tuks. Here, they are four wheels Daihatsu, with access from the back. They can be red or yellow, but the colour doesn’t mean anything. Those Tuk Tuks, mostly those in Patong Beach, can come with blasting sound systems and lights that can be as colourful as a nightclub. Young travellers seem to love these as you often can see them singing and laughing on the way to their destinations. Price is a little high, and theoretically, there is an official rate displayed on boards near main beaches.
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2. Grab Taxi
Grab Taxi is an excellent alternative to Tuk Tuks if you prefer a more conventional way to get around the island. It’s less colourful than a tuk-tuk, but the seats are a lot more comfortable, you get air-con, and you know how much the price is before you go, so you won’t need to bargain. (There is no more UBER in Thailand). Note that Grab is not allowed to pick you up from Phuket Airport. You will have to use one of the many other ways to get from Phuket airport to your hotel.
3. Car Rentals
Renting a car is another way to explore Phuket and beyond. It’s much safer than a bike and can accommodate up to 4 people and some luggage. Always rent from a reputable international company: you can easily book online before arrival and at reasonable prices. They are not more expensive than local companies and come with proper primary insurance and a name you already know. You should consider full coverage insurance; driving in Phuket is slightly different from most countries, and even a scratch can be a headache and a waste of precious holiday time.
Remember to book your car as soon as you know your travelling dates, especially during the high season. This way, you will have a better choice of vehicles. We tried all the international car rental companies and found them relatively similar prices and services. It’s more a question of luck if the counter is busy on the day you arrive.
Renting a car or a van with a driver for a day (or a half-day) is a surprisingly cheap and convenient way to discover the island without stress and take advantage of the local knowledge of an English-speaking local driver. They can customize the day following your requests and suggest the best possible itineraries. They also know the best places to try local food!
The price for a half-day is around 1,600 baht and 1,800 baht for a full day (obviously the best investment)
Renting a motorbike is a convenient option because it is widely available, cheap and gives you full freedom. Contrary to a car, a motorbike is relatively effortless to park anywhere (except on Bangla Road at night!)
Driving here is challenging and requires skills and attention. But renting a motorbike (they say motorbike or just ‘bike’ here, not motorcycle) is not for everyone. Accidents are frequent, and most rented bikes have inadequate insurance coverage. Please get an international driving license and travel insurance for our peace of mind if you plan to rent one.
The Phuket Smart Bus goes from beach to beach, from Phuket Airport to Rawai Beach. It’s more time-consuming than taxis or Tuk Tuks as it goes from a defined bus stop to bus stop, but it is incredibly cheap and comes with air-con. You buy a ‘Rabbit Card’ as you board the bus, then refill it at some shops around the island. It is an easy and convenient addition to Phuket transportation options.
7. The Blue Bus
The Phuket Blue Bus (known as Song Taew) is the oldest and best-known local bus to get from Phuket Town to destinations around Phuket. Those will only take you from Phuket town to a beach or a small set of beaches, but not between beaches. That blue bus leaves roughly every 30 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm, and a ride costs 30 to 50 baht.
8. CABB VIP Taxis
CABB Taxis is a choice of VIP Taxis now ready to take you around in Phuket, offering one-way service and a charter trip. Each taxi can accommodate up to 5 passengers.
- A one-way service, pay the fare as shown on the meter. Book the car at least 1 hour in advance.
- Hourly charter service that suits your need. (Book the vehicle at least 24 hours in advance)
– 3-hour service at 1,500 baht
– 6-hour service at 2,700 baht
– 10-hour service at 3,500 baht
Reserve your trip or buy a package with CABB Call Centre Phuket at Tel. 080 052 6273 or Line @CABB, or Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cabbofficial/
9. Motorbike Taxis
Motorbike Taxis are fast, fun and relatively cheap but not available everywhere around the island. Probably in Patong, Kata, Karon and Phuket Town. You can bargain the asked price a little. You can easily spot a Motorbike Taxi by its colourful jacket with a number printed on it. They probably will honk at you anyway as they are pretty good at reading lost travellers’ body language.
There are many ways to get from Phuket airport to your hotel, from the cheap (but slow) Phuket Smart Bus to the more luxurious airport limousine. People often choose a compromise between both options by travelling in a mini-van or a taxi-meter. We describe all the options in detail on this page.
11. Airport Bus
The Airport Bus Phuket has been quietly around for years, but not many travellers ride it as it doesn’t go to any beach. It only goes from Phuket Airport to the old Phuket Town bus terminal. The ride costs 100 baht only and lasts 1h30 as the bus stops at eight stations along the way.
If you travel on a budget and decide to go to Phuket, Krabi or even Samui, the bus is your best option. You will find them at Phuket Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket Town.
Another persistent question is about going from Phuket to the famous Phi Phi island and even to Krabi and Koh Lanta. See the Ferry Time Tables and Prices here.