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Getting around on Phuket

Phuket Transport | Getting around on Phuket Island

Getting around Phuket Island, Thailand does not have to be challenging. Road signs are displayed with pictures so that even motorists who do not speak the language can adhere to the rules of the road. If you choose to rent a car or a jeep, there are plenty of places on the Island to rent a vehicle.

Phuket car rental

Even private owners will rent vehicles to you for a price. Renting a jeep or car is generally inexpensive in Phuket Island, Thailand. You will need to have an International Driver's License, however, which is not difficult to get. To obtain this document, you need to visit your driver's license facility in your home country.

If you decide to rent a vehicle, make sure that you purchase insurance as you will be liable for any damages to the car or jeep upon return. Insurance against damage is usually available at an extra cost. Many drivers in Phuket Island, Thailand do not have insurance and tend to flee the scene of accidents that they cause, so even if you are a very safe driver, get insurance.

For those who dislike the idea of renting a vehicle and purchasing insurance, there are many different options.

Phuket Bus Station

A Songthaew is a bus which is basically a converted truck that has a roof and benches in the beach. There is Songkaew bus service to all parts of the Island that runs during the day between Phuket Town Bus Station and the Phuket beaches. It is only about twenty minutes between these two places and the fare is very inexpensive. If you are staying in Phuket Town and wish to go to the beach during the day, the bus is the perfect way to go. Buses run generally every half hour during the day.

Tuk Tuks in Phuket

Small red vans, or the notorious Tuk Tuks can be seen all over the island. They are privately owned and individuals who operate these vans are not always the easiest people to get on with. Rates can be as 200THB for just going around the block. The Tuk Tuks are not metered. If you are aware of the rates in the beginning, you can negotiate with the driver at the end of the trip. The trick with negotiation is to smile and be patient, for Thai people the haggle is an art form requiring time and is done with a sense of humour.

In addition to attempted extortion for taxi rides, many of the Tuk Tuk drivers will offer to act as tour guides and take you to special places for an extra fee. This is advised against. If you are planning on taking taxis or Tuk Tuks all over the island, be aware of the standard fees. A trip from one point of Patong to another is about 20 Bhat but many Tuk Tuk drivers wont let you get into the back before you pay 100. This is very common after dark. If you are going from Patong to Phuket Town, it will be about 150 Bhat. Take a look at the map and Google the distances for yourself. This should give you a good idea of what you have to pay.

Phuket hotel free transport

In addition to buses and taxis or Tuk Tuks, many resorts have shuttle services to and from the beaches. If you are staying at a resort away from the beach, ask the concierge to arrange for travel service for you. Chances are that he or she will know which Tuk Tuk drivers that can be trusted.

Transfer from Phuket Airport back to the hotel can be complimentary so check this. This is quite common for luxury Phuket hotels.

Getting around Phuket Island, Thailand can be a bit challenging, but fun. Many Westerners, especially Americans, do not like to barter and tend to pay whatever is asked. Learn to barter and you'll have a lot more fun and save a lot more money during your holiday.


Last Updated: 10 Feb 2012


Phuket Transfer Map