How to Catch a Bus from Phuket to Krabi, Samui and Bangkok
If you are exploring Thailand on a small budget, riding a bus from Phuket to Krabi, Samui or even Bangkok makes sense and can see you a lot of money. It’s relatively comfortable and safe; it’s just time-consuming on the long distances such as Bangkok or Pattaya.
Where is Phuket Bus Terminal 2
Phuket Bus Terminal 2 is big but relatively easy to miss at the beginning of Thepkassatri Road (the way to the airport). It is just outside Phuket Town, but the entrance is discreet so use your Google map to spot it. Anyway, you probably will come by Tuk Tuk or Taxi, and everyone in Phuket knows where the Phuket Bus Terminal 2 is. Just make sure you specify which one or you might end up at the local Phuket Bus Terminal in the centre of Phuket Town (The one for the local blue bus).
How It Works
Couldn’t be easier. As soon as you walk inside the Phuket Bus Terminal, girls behind the counters will call you loudly, trying to sell you a ticket before the competing one does! It’s a little unusual but kind of fun since the price of the ride is the same anyway. Each stand sales a set a clear set of destination, and it’s written in English, you won’t have a problem spotting yours. On the day I visited there was no queue at all, but it was just not the rush hour.
The Bus Ride
Once you purchased your ticket, walk to the back of the building and to the covered parking to spot your bus. It’s not that big, and destinations are visible on the bus. The coaches are relatively modern and comfortable, and seats recline just enough to sleep at night on the long rides (not a flat place though). Long ago, I made the Phuket-Bangkok trip, and it did felt quite long since writing or reading on the bus makes me sick. So the best thing to do on a 12 hours night ride is to sleep as much as you can! The coach lives at the end of the day so there won’t be much to see outside your window. The bus makes a few toilet stop on the way, and it’s your chance to stretch your legs or buy a snack.
Here are some prices and duration of most popular trips from Phuket
Phuket – Krabi: 140 Baht – Trip duration: 3 hours
Phuket – Pattaya: 792 Baht – Trip duration: 14 hours
Phuket – Bangkok: 913 Baht – Trip duration: 12 hours
Phuket – Samui: 450 Baht (includes ferry) – Trip duration: 7.30 hours
Good to Know
There are a few small hotels nearby if you prefer to be around, but it didn’t seem necessary. Phuket is a small island, and even during rush hour, you can reach in an hour or so. Inside Phuket Bus Terminal 2 you will find a convenience store and a snack counter, but there are a lot of small local restaurants all around, very easy to find and an excellent place to wait for departure. Many of them seem to specialise in ‘Ka Moo’, a delicious pork leg stew with rice that is very filling and usually safe to eat (you don’t want to eat spicy before a 12 hours bus ride!)
Getting From The Bus Terminal to Your Hotel
If you are coming from Bangkok by bus, no worries, there are always taxis, tuk-tuks (and even bikes) ready to give you a ride for a fair price. See the price list below.