By PlaneThere are more than 50 daily flights from Bangkok’s two airports to Phuket, making last-minute bookings easy and giving travelers a choice of flight times. Thai Airways (www.thaiair.com; tel. 02545-3691) flies ten times daily from Suvarnabhumi International Airport (trip time: 1 hr. 20 min.) for around 1,200B. Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com; tel. 02270-6699) connects Phuket with Ko Samui four to five times daily for around 2,000. Air Asia (www.airasia.com; tel. 02515-9999) and Bangkok Airways make the two-hour journey from Chaing Mai to the island for 1,100B.
Almost all Southeast Aisa’s budget airlines fly to Phuket from Bangkok and beyond, including Air Asia and Nok Air (www.nokair.com; tel. 1318). From Bangkok, most budget carriers operate from Don Mueang International Airport for around 800B. Connecting with Singapore is Silk Air (www.silkair.com; tel. 07630-4020). Budget carriers Tiger Airways (www.tigerairways.com; tel. 80060-15637) and Qantas subsidiary Jetstar (www.jetstar.com; tel. 02267-5125) also have regular connections from Phuket to Singapore; Jetstar flies directly to Australia. As a testament to the island’s popularity, it’s now possible to fly direct to Phuket from Dubai, Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, Kuala Lumpur, and more. If Phuket is your last stop before flying home, these routes can save you a few hours catching a connecting flight back to Bangkok.
Getting from the Airport to Town -- The modern Phuket International Airport (www.phuketairportonline.com; tel. 07632-7230-7) is in the north of the island, about a 45-minute drive from Patong Beach in off-peak hours, or an hour in rush hour (8–9am and 4–7pm). There are ATMs, money-changing facilities, car-rental agents (see “Getting Around,” below), fast-food joints, and a post office at the airport. For a fee, most resorts will pick you up at the airport; check if this is included in your booking.
Just outside the terminal to the right is a meter taxi stand. With the 100B airport tax imposed your ride will likely cost 600B to 800B. There is a ready supply of taxis upon exiting the terminal. Limos (aka well-kept sedans) and minivans are available at the airport for fixed rates depending on destination.
Travel Tip: Because metered taxis are so rare, consider getting the phone number of the meter taxi driver from the airport—especially if they didn’t pump the breaks so much you got nauseous. Another reliable option is downloading the Grab app (www.grab.com/th; available in the Google Play and iTunes App Store). Grab drivers are required to use a meter, and they’re much cheaper than Phuket’s unregulated taxis.
By BusBus travel isn’t that much more economical than flying (see above). Still if you’re long on time and short on cash, there are three air-conditioned VIP buses leave daily from Bangkok’s Southern Bus Terminal (tel. 02422-4444), costing 998B, and taking 12 hours. Numerous regular air-conditioned buses go each day and cost around 600B. Standard buses make frequent connections to Surat Thani and nearby towns on the mainland (to Surat is 5 hr. and about 160B).
Minivans to and from Surat Thani, Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, and other southern cities leave on regular schedules throughout the day. In each city, minivan operators work with the hotels and arrange free pickup, so it is best to book through your hotel front desk or a travel agent. Tickets to destinations in the south, to such places as Surat Thani, go for between 200B and 500B.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.