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By Plane

Thai Airways (tel. 02545-3690 domestic reservations in Bangkok; www.thaiair.com) flies daily from both Bangkok's Don Muang Airport and Suvarnabhumi International Airport (trip time: 1 hr. 20 min.). Thai Airways' office in Phuket is at 78 Ranong Rd. (tel. 07636-0444).

Bangkok Airways (tel. 02270-6699 in Bangkok, or 07724-5600 on Ko Samui; www.bangkokair.com) connects Phuket with Ko Samui at least two times daily. The Bangkok Airways office in Phuket is at 158/2-3 Yaowarat Rd., Phuket Town (tel. 07622-5033, or 07620-5401 at Phuket Airport).

Budget airlines flying here include Air Asia (tel. 02515-9999; www.airasia.com) and Nok Air (tel. 1318; www.nokair.com). Connecting with Singapore is Silk Air (tel. 07630-4020 in Phuket; www.silkair.com). Budget carriers Tiger Airways (tel. 02649-9688; www.tigerairways.com) and Qantas subsidiary Jetstar (tel. 02267-5125; www.jetstar.com) also have regular connections from Phuket to Singapore; Jetstar flies directly to Australia, too.

Destination Air (tel. 07632-8637-39; www.destinationair.com) is a charter air service based at 22/9 Airport Rd., Maikhao, Amphur Taolang, Phuket 83110, running small, amphibious light aircraft between island resorts such as Krabi (trip time: 12 min.), Ko Lanta (trip time: 28 min.) and Ko Phi Phi (trip time: 16 min.). Rates are not cheap, with the cheapest costing around 5,000B, but it might be worth it if time is tight.

Getting from the Airport to Town

The modern Phuket International Airport (tel. 07632-7230-7; www.phuketairportonline.com) 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 banks, money-changing facilities, car-rental agents, and a post office at the airport. The Phuket Tourist Business Association booth there can help you make hotel arrangements if you need accommodations.

For a fee, many resorts will pick you up at the airport; check if this is included in your booking. An airport bus runs (approximately hourly until 6:30pm) to Phuket Town bus terminal and costs 85B, while a minibus service charges 100B to Phuket Town, 150B to Patong Beach, or 180B to Kata Beach. Just outside the terminal to the right is a meter taxi stand. You'll need to check the estimated price with the driver -- based on how far you are going, plan on spending 600B to 800B. There is a ready supply at the right on exiting the terminal. To book a meter taxi, call tel. 07637-9571.

The airport limousine counter (tel. 07620-4128) offers many options for getting to your hotel from the airport. A prepaid car from the airport can also be arranged at the limousine counter; you'll pay between 600B to Phuket Town and 750B to Kata Beach.

By Bus

Three supercooled air-conditioned VIP buses leave daily from Bangkok's Southern Bus Terminal (tel. 02793-8111) and cost from 1,000B. These buses feature fewer seats, more room, Arctic temperatures, a usually deafening all-night action movie, hostesses, and snacks. Numerous regular air-conditioned buses go each day and cost around 540B. Standard buses make frequent connections to Surat Thani and nearby towns on the mainland (to Surat is 5 hr. and about 160B).

The intercity bus terminal is at the City Park Complex on Phang Nga Road (tel. 07621-1480), east of Phuket Town, just opposite the Royal Phuket City Hotel.

By Minivan

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 or Had Yai, go for between 200B and 500B. Note: Operators of minivan companies rarely speak English.

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.