Phuket is one of the busiest tourist destinations in all of Thailand. Situates in the south west of Thailand, Phuket receives hundreds of thousands of tourists annually. It is perhaps surprising then that the public transport system in Phuket is somewhat under developed and confusing. Below we highlight the most important information about each mode of public and private transportation in Phuket.
Buses in Phuket
Buses in Phuket are more commonly known as Songtao or Baht buses. These buses look like large colourful station wagons and can be seen on most main roads around the Island. All buses start and end their routes at the central bus terminal which is located in Phuket Town opposite the market on Ranong rd. Buses leave the central terminal approximately twice an hour from 7am until 6pm. The advantage of using these buses is that they are cheap costing only 30 baht per ticket. They also have good connections between Phuket Town and all of the major beaches in Phuket where the vast majority of tourists stay. The disadvantage, however, is that there are no bus routes that run between beaches making it entirely unpractical to use a bus in such circumstances.
Tuk Tuks in Phuket
Tuk Tuks in Phuket are unmistakable because of their bright red colour and small box shape. Tuk Tuks are the transport of choice if there are a few people wanting o get from one beach to another or simply a short 5 minute journey a few streets away. Such fares should only cost between 20-40 Baht which is cheap; however, prices are hiked dramatically during night time. This is because Tuk Tuks are the only method of transport available for groups of people and the Tuk Tuk drivers operate a price fixing syndicate to make sure they get as much money out of the customers as possible.
Motorcycle Taxis in Phuket
These are the transport means of choice if you need to go somewhere not too far away, you are by yourself and you’re not afraid of riding on the back of a motorcycle. Motorcycle taxi drivers can be spotted by their red vests and fares are generally quite cheap on short journeys. Every area in Phuket has a place where the local motorcycle taxi drivers hang around waiting to pick up customers.
Car Rental in Phuket
If you’re in Phuket and have the means to afford it, renting a car may be a good option. Prices start at around 1000 baht for a small 4 door saloon and go up to 2000 for a four wheel drive jeep. Just beware that driving in Phuket is an acquired skill as people often overtake on blind corners and the roads are usually steep, narrow and winding.
Motorcycle rental in Phuket
Many people on holiday in Phuket prefer to rent a moped because it’s cheap and provides you with the freedom to go anywhere you want. A 125cc moped can be rented for 200 Baht per day while something like a 600cc chopper or even 900cc racing bike will set you back between 600-900 baht. Make sure you wear a helmet and the insurance on your bike is up to date otherwise you’ll be stopped by the police and fined 500 Baht.