How To Get Around In Phuket – Transport Explained

by Mama Loves Phuket

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.
Songthaew bus in Phuket

Taxis and Ride Shares in Phuket

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.

Presently, these are the 11 rideshare appa authorised by the Land Transport in Phuket;

Private Car Hire in Phuket

With the lack of public transport systems, you’ll find a heavy reliance on 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 Phuket’s 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

It’s 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, and yes, you will see then stacking at least 1 or 2 kids on their motorbike with them.

If you’re interested in hiring a motorbike in Phuket, we explain more here.

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© Mama Loves Phuket 2024

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