Phuket Island Public Transportation
Phuket Transport | Getting around on Phuket
Navigating Phuket Island is not too difficult; there are a few different modes of public transportation as well as motorbike and car rentals. Although the locals are very hospitable, pedestrians often have difficulty walking the streets of Phuket Island as they are congested and accidents are commonplace. If you want to get around Phuket Island by public transportation you have the Bus or Tuk-Tuk (taxi) to choose from, or you can rent a car or motorcycle.
A good form of public transportation on Phuket Island is the bus. The Songkaew bus on Phuket Island is the cheapest way to get around although it is the slowest. These songkew Bus services runs in the daytime to most parts of the island on a loop to Phuket Beaches and back to Phuket City. This form of public transportation is usually safe and the colourful busses have wooden bodies and two rows of wooden benched that run down each side. Bus fare for a 30 minute trip is a very reasonable 25 Baht. Vacationers traveling in groups can also rent a bus for the day and even daily rates are pretty reasonable if spilt between a few people. If slow and crowded public transportation is not for you, there are other options.
Phuket tuk tuks
The public transportation Tuk-Tuks (taxies) on Phuket Island will usually get you where you want to go although Tuk-Tuk drivers are notorious for taking advantage of tourists by charging exorbitant un-metered fares and taking them to places that pay drivers a commission to deliver tourists there. Tuk-Tuk drivers are not a good source of advice and receive many complaints about sub par driving, intoxication, and over charging tourists. There are still plenty of honest Tuk-Tuk drivers on Phuket Island and this form of public transportation is much safer if you flag down a Tuk-Tuk that is driving around looking for customers rather than use one who is waiting right outside of buildings as tourists exit. Tuk-Tuks should charge by the distance travelled not by the number of passengers and rates are always subject to change depending on how well you bargain.
Phuket taxis are metored and can be found at the Phuket airport and various other key location in Phuket. These are most efficient way to get around. A good taxi ride from Central Mall in Phuket town to Patong Beach for about 250THB.
If you would rather drive yourself around then take public transportation, you can rent a car for around 700 Baht or a motorcycle for 100-500 Baht depending on the size of the bike. You will need a valid international driver's license or a state license from your home country. Be sure to get insurance as driving conditions on Phuket Island are usually less than favourable for foreigners. You can rent cars form international companies like Avis and Hertz as well as from local companies. If you want to get a 4WD vehicle to take on the beach, you can easily rent one from a local for around 900 Baht for the day. And don't forget, no matter where you get your car from gas is on you. Phuket Island is the perfect place to ride a motorcycle with its warm climate. Helmets are technically required but not enforced in many places except Patong in the evenings. Public transportation by motorcycle is also available in many places and motorcycle driver will take you for short trips around the city. Please read the amusing Phuket driving Rules. The sobering detail there might make you reconsider taking up the motor bike option.
Last Updated: 10 Feb 2012