How to get around Phuket, Thailand

If you plan to visit the beautiful and touristic region of Phuket, we advise you on the prices and best methods of transport to move around the island.

Phuket has no major highways and the average speed is 80-90km / hour. There are main streets that are the ones that take you to the different cities along with easily legible signs.

You can also move along the coast although it is easy and intuitive enough to drive around Phuket, both in inland areas and in coastal areas, without getting lost. In case of riding a scooter, the use of a helmet is not mandatory and there is no limit to the number of passengers. It is usual to see up to five people on the same motorcycle and rows of motorcycles at each red light as it is the most used transport on the island.

 

HOW TO GET FROM OR TO THE PHUKET AIRPORT 

To get to the airport, whatever zone you are in, you have the following transportation methods:

Minivan

It is the cheapest option since it is shared with a few passengers who have also hired the service. These can be booked directly at your arrival at the airport or at your departure at the tour offices in your city.
It is not the fastest option since the driver is making stops in each of the hotels of each passenger that are before arriving at yours. If you are not in a hurry and want to save some money, this could be your best option.

Price: Aiport- Patong 180 baths, Airport- Kata/ Karon 200 baths

Unofficial Taxis

These are cars that you can find in the same stops where the tuk tuks are parked. They are certified drivers but not taxi drivers by profession, they will have their identification on the front of the car.
You must previously agree on the price with them since they do not have a taximeter. In this case, we advise you to lower the price up to 100 baths less than what they offer you. They usually tell you that the prices are already established and that they can not lower it more but it is not true, look for one that offers the price you are looking for.

If you need a transfer from your hotel to the airport, you must hire it beforehand. Ask them to give a business card or write down their mobile number to be able to call them from the hotel. The hotel reception will only offer you a normal taxi for about 1,000-1,500 baths. We travelled for about 900 baths directly from the hotel-airport, after bargaining.
Specify previously if the price is with stops or without stops, we were offered 800 baths with a stop to pick someone up during the trip, so you can also lower the price if you go with time and do not mind that do not go so direct.

Price: 800-1.000 baths (depending on the stops and the driver)

Official Taxis 

These are the yellow and red cars that you will find mostly at the airport and it is the most expensive way to move around the island.
They only provide services from or to the airport and they are the ones that have a taximeter, which is a good way to know that they are charging you the right price.

They do not operate in the cities so if you see them, it will be because they have left a passenger from the airport to their accommodation. The trunk of these cars is not very wide, so if you carry a lot of luggage or you are more than three people they will advise you to rent a private mini van.

• Price: 1.200-1.500 baths from/ to the airport

 

HOW TO MOVE AROUND PHUKET ISLAND


Tuk Tuk & Taxis

Tuk tuks and taxis will be parked at stops near the beach and on main streets. They usually have a price table at the stop but this price is usually negotiable.
For short journeys they usually cost about 250 baths, and you can negotiate that they will lower you as much as 200 bath. It costs the same if you decide to get either a Taxi or Tuk Tuk.

We found it somewhat expensive to move in this way if you have to do more than one or two trips per day. Motorbike rental costs almost the same per day.

Price:
♦ 200 baths within the same area
♦ 300 baths move to the nearest beach (for example, from Kata Beach to Karon Beach)
♦ 400-500 baths to Patong from Karon Beach, that is, to the nearest town that was about 8 km away.

Moto Scooter

 

This is undoubtedly our number one option. Phuket is full of motorcycles and is the best and fastest way to move from one place to another with autonomy, without having to depend on taxis or schedules. You will always find parking for motorcycles anywhere or you can park freely in authorized areas. Of course, it is only recommended if you have driven motorbikes previously.

Once you start driving through Thailand you realize that it is not as dangerous as it seems and that, cars and motorcycles follow a line when driving. Yes, beware of bumps, unpaved areas and dogs, cats and other animals that get into the road without warning.

Price:
♦ Rent a motorcycle for 24 hours: between 200-250 baths, you can even get it for 180 baths.

For motorcycle rental you will be asked to leave your original passport as a deposit or a copy of the passport + between 3,000- 6,000 baths deposit. We negotiated with them and managed to leave only an identification (driver’s license) in place of the passport, as it gave us some distrust. Your passport is important to always carry with you as a form of identification in a foreign country.

 

Moto-Taxi

On several occasions, they offered us a moto-taxi to take us where we wanted and also, we saw a girl who was brought to the hotel in moto-taxi service.
Here it is typical to see up to five on a motorcycle, so the taxi service is offered for a couple + the driver.
We have not tried it but we believe it is a cheaper and faster than tuk tuks and taxis, what we can not guarantee is whether it is as safe and legal as the previous ones.

Rental car

This option is discouraged because it is where there are usually scams to take advantage of tourists. They can tell you that the car has suffered damages and make you pay for them, having all your documentation in their hands. We simply discard this entry option but if you decide to do so, let it be in reliable agencies.

Boats

To go to some of the islands, most famous ones are the Phi Phi, you can arrive by boat hired by agency or by your own. The inconvenience of going by your own is that you have less possibilities to move around several islands and visit more in less time.
On the other hand, if you go by agencies you will have the complete tour, that is more expensive than if you book it for free so we leave it to your choice since it will also depend on the time you have.


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Laura

I write for curious and independent travelers that would like to maximise their time and costs, even having a full time job and not "so many holidays". Did you know that we have a consulting services for study, work or volunteer abroad? Find it on the menu!

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