From tuk-tuks to private long-tail boat hire, getting around Phuket is generally pretty easy to do. The majority of roads in Phuket are well-maintained and are in good working condition if you plan on transporting yourself around the island via private car or motorbike. Plus, there are always plenty of other convenient modes of transport easily accessible in almost every location around the island. So, what are your options to get around Phuket like a local? Check out the best transportation methods in Phuket below:
Tuk-Tuks – A fun local experience
Travelling in a traditional Thai Tuk-tuk is an experience you should try out in Phuket. It’s pretty fun! Tuk-tuks can also be found along every street in Phuket, making them one of the most convenient forms of transport on the island.
For short distances, travelling by tuk-tuk is a great option. But their relatively small size and outdoor seating can make them uncomfortable for any journey longer than about 30 minutes. Tuk tuks in Phuket also used to be fairly cheap, but in the main tourist areas of Patong, even short distances up the beachfront can cost a few hundred Baht (or several US dollars).
Villa Finder’s Tip: Because tuk-tuks do not operate using a meter, you should always make sure you state your destination correctly and agree on the price in advance.
Motorbike Taxis – Great for short distances
Motorbike taxis are great methods of transportation in Phuket when travelling short distances. Available at pretty much all hours of the day and night, motorbike taxis can be found on almost every street corner in Phuket. Look out for the designated motorbike taxi stands, which is generally just a group of motorcycle taxi drivers in red or green vests all hanging out together in the street. Or head towards a local convenience store, where you are almost guaranteed to catch a motorbike taxi driver waiting for someone like you to walk past and require their services.
Villa Finder’s Tip: Again, because motorbike taxis don’t operate using a metered system, make sure you establish the price and correct destination before starting your journey with your driver.
Like in many other Southeast Asian countries, the Grab Taxi is a popular method for transportation around Phuket island. Prices of Grab Taxis are also generally less expensive than most local metered Phuket taxi services or tuk-tuks. The convenience of being able to simply order a Grab taxi directly from your phone, to pick you up at your exact location, is truly where Grab Taxi excels over other forms of transport in Phuket.
Villa Finder’s Tip: Interestingly, Grab also has daily hire service which allows you to hire a driver for 8 hours. Check it out!
Private Motorbike or Car Rental
While Phuket roads are notoriously bad for accidents, having the ability to freely roam around Phuket and go places is true satisfaction. If you want to hire a car or motorbike, there are countless places in Phuket where you can hire a suitable car or motorbike for the entire duration of your stay in Phuket.
Villa Finder’s Tip: Be warned, Phuket roads are dangerous. Local authorities are now heavily enforcing road rules and regulations around Phuket. So make sure you have enough driving experience and hold the appropriate licence.
Local Public Buses (Song Taews)
Travelling on one of these local public transport buses is a truly unique experience in itself! These open-air seat buses are painted bright blue for easy recognition. They run regularly between 7.00am and 6.00pm every single day. Most of the Song Taews in popular tourist locations around Phuket such as Phuket Old Town and Surin will also have the destination written in English on the outside of the buses.
Even though it runs on a fairly unregulated time schedule and only costs a measly 15-20 Baht (.40 – .50c in USD), Song Taews are surprisingly reliable in getting you where you need to go on time.
Villa Finder’s Tip: There are no designated bus stops along the local bus routes, which means you can literally stop them anywhere along the way.