Phuket is the largest island in Thailand at some 576 square kilometres, and although looks may be deceiving, it can take a fair bit of time to get from A to B! This is largely due to heavy traffic and windy, single-lane roads as main thoroughfares.
There will be several points on your Phuket trip where you need to use local transportation to get around the island, be it a short hop from the beach to your hotel or a more extensive tour and airport transfers.
Here’s everything you need to know about getting around Phuket.
Public Transport in Phuket
Public transport in Phuket consists of two different types of buses:
- The Phuket Smart Bus – which follows a singular route up and down the length of the island from the airport to Rawai. It costs 100 THB per journey, per passenger over 7 years old. You can learn more about the Phuket Smart bus here.
- Local Blue Buses or Songthaew – they operate on numerous routes from Phuket Town to the various beach towns around Phuket. There’s no timetable; there are no official bus stops and no aircon! Just hail a bus as they come, pay the nominal fee and enjoy the ride! Learn more about Phuket Songthaew here.
For families travelling to Phuket, this is likely to be the most common form of transportation you will catch for short journeys around the island.
- Taxis are available in red and yellow metered taxis, or “green plate” taxis, where your price should be agreed upfront – we explain the difference between the two here.
- Grab is the most popular ride-sharing app (though there are other licenced apps); Grab drivers must still be licenced (green plate) and have their credentials displayed. You will pay similar prices with Grab as you do negotiate with taxis in a stand.
- We explain more about Grab here, and how not to be scammed on your taxi fare prices here.
Private Car Hire in Phuket
With the lack of public transport systems, you’ll find there is a heavy reliance on using private vehicles. You have two options, hire a car and a driver or hire your own car and self-drive. The former is the preferred option for tourists unfamiliar with the Phuket traffic.
This is your best option if you’d like to do a full day of sightseeing around Phuket, as you can arrange an hourly or daily fee.
- Note if you are going on an island tour or similar day trip, it’s most likely your transportation has been included by the tour provider – always on this inclusion before incurring unnecessary additional costs.
If you decide you’d prefer the freedom of having your own car and driving yourself, our guide to Phuket car hire is coming soon.
Motorcycle Rental in Phuket
Not the most practical when you have a family to consider on a short vacation, but for many living here in Phuket, it’s a way of life.
© Mama Loves Phuket 2023