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How do I get from the airport to my hotel?

The main airport servicing the island is Phuket International Airport. If you have not booked a private transfer through us there are plenty of options to get from the airport to your hotel including taxis, the airport bus, shuttle bus, mini-vans and car rentals.

What types of transportation can I find at the airport?

Taxis are available at the airport, a well posted taxi stand is located just outside the airport, take a right outside of the main entrance doors, the taxis are bright red and yellow. The airport has two forms of taxis, metered taxis (charge by the meter) or airport limousines (which use a fixed price system). There is a 100 baht ($3) airport fee applied to any journey leaving the airport as well as 50 baht ($1.50) AOT (Airports of Thailand) fee, so the 24 mile journey from the airport to Patong beach can cost around 700 baht (about $20).

The Phuket Airport bus service is a fixed service and known to be very reliable. The bus leaves daily from 6:30am - 8:45pm and leaves every 60 - 90 minutes for Phuket town from bus terminal 1, which is left outside the main doors in the arrivals building. The fare is about 100 baht ($3) and the journey takes over an hour. Buses and vans are available with an orange `Airport Bus` logo on them. The main bus terminal is in Phuket town where you can find connecting buses to all the beach destinations. Timetables and prices are posted. For more information you can call, tel. +66(0)864706675.

A shuttle bus has been introduced which links the airport with Patong Beach with no need to change in Phuket town. The service runs daily from 8:15am - 8:45pm and a single ticket will cost about 15 baht (0.45c) the bus runs every 45 minutes and the journey from the airport to Patong takes approximately 90 minutes.

Mini-bus services (shared taxis) are available for door to door service and are a good value running you about 100 - 180 baht per seat ($3 - $5) you will reach your destination much faster than by bus. The mini-bus leaves as soon as it is full and another one is not available until the next plan comes in so be sure to get there quickly if this is the form of transportation you are choosing to get to your hotel.

How do I get around the city using public transportation?

Public transportation on the island is very limited making taxis and tuk tuks one of the only practical forms for getting around town.

The most common form of transport whilst on the island are Tuk Tuks which are modified mini trucks painted bright red or yellow and can be found outside most major attractions and resorts. A short trip can cost approximately 100 baht ($3). These are only recommended for short distances due to their size as they can be uncomfortable.

A taxi is more comfortable, safer, and often times cheaper than tuk tuks although they can be hard to find. You can order a taxi by phone from your hotel that normally has a list of local taxi companies. The taxis are red and yellow and have a `taxi meter’ sign on top of the vehicle. 50 baht is normally the pickup charge and for the first mile then around 7 baht per 0.62 miles after that.

GrabTaxi (like Uber) is a form of taxi that you book through a mobile app, select your pick up point and destination and get an estimate on the price of your journey. This is the only service of its type that operates in Phuket.

One of the cheapest ways to get around town is by bus, Phuket Town bus terminal 1 is located off Phang Nga Road which features minibuses and links you to major destinations around Thailand. Phuket bus terminal 2 Thepkastri Road features larger buses and also links to major destination. The local bus station is located on Ranong Road in the Old Town which is famous for its markets and links you to all the beaches and is normally operated by pink songthaews. Service on buses is not air conditioned and can be very limited with service ending daily at 6pm.

Is Phuket a walking city?

Although Phuket town is not huge it is a little too big to be covered on foot. However there are several areas you can walk around and explore on foot including the historical streets in town; many of the beach resorts are small enough to walk around and most hotels are located close to the beach, shopping areas, and restaurants.

Is a motorbike a safe way to get around the island?

A motorbike rental is a popular way to get around the island, it is easy and convenient for sightseeing. The bikes are basically a scooter (Honda Click A 125cc is the most popular type used) that is simple to operate, and as an added bonus there are often ample parking spaces available. Prices run around 200 Baht per day (under $6) or approximately 2,000 baht (under $60) for a week.

Always be sure to find a reputable rental company, inspect your scooter before renting it and find out what kind of insurance is offered or needed to protect you and the bike. The roads can be dangerous particularly to tourists so drive slowly and carefully.

Motorbike taxis are also available virtually all hours of the day and night, groups of motorcyclists can be found on the street they wear bright numbered vests and offer a cheap way to get anywhere in town.

Is a boat a good way to see Phuket?

Another popular way to see the island and do some island hopping is by boat. There are ferry services available from Phuket to Phi Phi Island (made famous by the movie `The Beach`) or Phang Nga with the famous James Bond Island. Speedboats are also available to and from Ko Racha, boats and yachts can be chartered all year from Phuket at Chalong Bay, Rawai Beach and the Boot Lagoon or Royal Phuket Marina. Long tail boats are also a great way to see the waters and surrounding areas.

Is Phuket a dangerous city, is there anything I should be aware of?

Although Phuket is a safe place to visit a few basic rules should be followed to stay safe: do not carry around large amounts of money or wear expensive jewelry, do not wander into non-touristy areas (especially at night time) stick to the main roads, watch out for cars and motorcycles as they rarely give way to pedestrians, and keep your drinks with you at all times in pubs or clubs. Katoeys (lady boys) are notorious for pick pocketing. Lastly, watch out for scams, always use common sense. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Is there police present in Phuket?

The Phuket Tourist Police are great and readily available in case of an emergency or to speak to if you have questions about safety or how to get around. They can be contacted locally by dialing 1155 and have a good basic understanding of English.

Is the water in Phuket safe to drink?

Tap water is generally not drinkable; always drink water from a sealed water bottle. Take care in restaurants and bars as some places state the ice and water is safe and made from purified water but sometimes this is not true. Do not drink the water when brushing your teeth it is best to use bottled water for this and rinsing your mouth.

What are the best beaches in Phuket?

Phuket features some of the most beautiful beaches in the world with more than a dozen beaches dotted along the islands west coast offering stunning views, soft white sand and clear blue warm waters. You can visit the popular Patong, Kata or Karon beaches or find a more remote stretch of sand in the north like Mai Khao Beach. The beach areas tend to have restaurants nearby or food stalls where you can pick up lunch.

What are some popular areas for shopping?

The island of Phuket has a wide variety of shopping areas making it a shopaholic`s paradise! Patong is the largest area known for shopping with some of the largest malls and markets in the city. You can find items varying from jewelry, antiques, clothing, handicrafts and much more. Phuket is a great source for cultured pearls, ornaments and dried seafood. There are two giant shopping malls the Central Festival is located at the northwest edge of Phuket Town and Jungceylon is near Bangla Road in Patong. Other popular shopping areas can be found on Ratsada, Phang-nga, Montri and the beach areas.

What is the currency? Can I pay/tip in US dollars?

The currency used in Phuket is the Thai Baht, currency exchange desks can be found at the airport in the arrivals area, although the exchange rate given at the airport is usually not the best. There are currency exchange outlets located all over the island, you will find the majority in tourist areas and Phuket town. ATM`s can be found in most shopping areas and 7 Eleven stores and banks are available Mon - Fri from 8:30am - 3:30pm.

For more detailed information, consult our guide to tipping in Thailand by clicking here Thailand

What is the food like?

The island is renowned for its fresh and delicious seafood and is a great place to enjoy excellent Thai and international food including Japanese, Indian, Italian and Middle Eastern cuisines. There are a wide variety of places and tastes to suit everyone; the island features open air restaurants, food street stalls, Thai huts at the beach, floating restaurants along the coast and fast food outlets. Phuket cuisine and local food (Baba Peranakan food) is a combination of many cultural food habits including Malay, Thai or Chinese most food tastes sweet but can also be spicy.

What is the nightlife like?

Phuket is a well-known party hotspot, featuring go-go bars, ladyboy cabarets, discos, clubs, live bands and international DJ`s making it a world famous party destination. One of the main places to be is Bangla Road in Patong, the epicenter of all the action with loud music, neon lights, the biggest clubs and some of the best entertainment. Also, Rat-U-Thit Road and Beach road feature a lively night scene with live music.

I don`t speak Thai will there be many people who speak English?

The language spoken in Phuket is Thai although basic English is spoken in the tourist areas. We suggest you get a good English-Thai guidebook and familiarize yourself with common phrases such as hello, goodbye, excuse me and numbers 1-10.

What should I do if I need medical assistance or need to go to the hospital?

A number of hospitals are available in case you need medical assistance; Phuket International Hospital and Bangkok Hospital are the two main locations with premier service and translation services available. Mission Hospital Phuket, Patong Hospital and Bangkok International Clinic are other major medical facilities on the island.

Bangkok Hospital Phuket tel. 1719, 076354062.

Mission Hospital tel. 07623722026, Emergency tel. 076237227.

Patong-Kathu Hospital tel. 076342633-4, Emergency tel. 0 7634 0444.

Phuket International Hospital tel. 076249400.

Thalang Hospital tel. 076311111.

Vachira Phuket Hospital tel. 1669, 076361234.