In Phuket, you can choose between conventional transport and adventurous ones. If you are staying in the tourist centers like Patong or Kata beach, moving around won’t be a problem. Here, accommodation, beach, shops, restaurants and entertainment activities are within walking distance. However, if you are staying in one of the isolated beaches, you need to consider transportation seriously. There are many options like taxi, tuk-tuk, minibus, public buses etc. It depends on how much you want to spend on transportation. Most expensive hotels have their own shuttle services for the benefit of their guests.
For short trips, tuk-tuks are very convenient. These are small taxi trucks seen in plenty all over Thailand. However, agree on the fare before the journey. The drivers have a tendency to overcharge tourists. A short trip within the town area should be anywhere from 50 baht to 100 baht. For longer trips, the fare will go up depending on the distance and your
Songthaews are daytime buses that operate services to and from Phuket Town to other destinations. This is a safer and cheaper way to travel. In addition, you get to experience the local culture and can meet local people during the journey. These buses run from Phuket Town to the destination and is back again in Phuket Town by evening. It starts from the bus terminal near food market in Phuket Town. You can see them parked along the one-way road here. All of them display their destination prominently. All you have to do is to spot the right bus and get in. These buses do not have any fixed stops along the way. You can stop them anywhere, if you want to get down or get in. To get in, just wave your hands at the driver as the bus approaches. The fare will be in the range of 15 to 25 baht, depending on the distance of the journey.
Local buses run frequently between destinations during the day hours of 7.00am until 6.00pm. As there are no fixed bus stops in Thailand, if you want to board the bus, you have to flag them down as they approach. You can find buses going to different destinations in the busy roads here. In Phuket Town, most buses are parked along Ranong Road, opposite to Thai Airways office. Just go there, find the bus going to the right destination, and get in. In Patong, the best place to catch a bus is Phra Barmee Road, where you can flag them down. The average fare in these buses is 20 baht. However, if you want to search your kitesurfing school in Phuket in a hurry, this is not the transport for you. They stop all along the way to allow passengers get down or get in. But if you want to see the country and meet local people, there is no better way than this.
Hire cars and Motorbikes
Some hotels and private companies offer cars and motorbikes for hire. If you are planning to explore the island, this is a necessity. Before hiring, make sure that you have valid license to drive and the vehicles insurance papers are proper.
This becomes vital in case of an accident. In case of motorcycles, insurance is typically not included, even if the hire company claims otherwise. You will end up paying the damages and medical bills if accident happens. You should possess a Thai or International license for claiming any insurance.
Patong has lots of adventure to offer biking enthusiasts. The roads are excellent and the exotic landscapes add charm to the trip. The Andaman Sea providing a beautiful background, it will be a trip any biker will enjoy. There are some out-of-the-way places to try out as well. Honda Dream is the favorite bike of locals as well as tourists. However, Patong has bike shops (Rat-U-Thit Road at Patong Beach) that focus on dirt bikes and road cruisers for the adventure-seekers. Before venturing on Thai roads, be warned that the road-users here have no regard for laws and road rules and you may see unforeseen and unsafe behavior on roads. During rainy season, the roads are very slippery due to oil spills and the chances of skidding are very high. Be safe and cautious and enjoy the country.
Phuket Island has motorbike taxis that operate round the clock. You can find the drivers, wearing colored vests in street corners, looking for passengers. The fare depends on the distance, the time of the day and your bargaining ability. It is not a safe means of transport, but fast and convenient.
Cars and jeeps are available for hire and it is one of the best and hassle-free ways to get around Phuket Island. Before hiring the vehicle, check the insurance papers to make sure that they are in order. In case of accident, the responsibility of damages is with the driver.