Travelling to and from Phuket International Airport
Here is a blog to make travelling to and from Phuket International Airport a little easier for you.
When you first arrive in Phuket and have cleared customs and immigration you may now wonder how we get to your resort. Believe it or not this is a question we get asked quite regularly and although we can try to provide our own transportation this is not always feasible and customers will need to make their own way to our shop or their chosen resorts.
Many people have the misconception that Phuket is a small island when in fact it covers an area of 222 square miles. It is roughly 31miles in length, 12miles wide and has a population of over 800,000 people. Within this area there are a large number of resorts with the most popular destinations being Patong beach, Kata Beach and Karon Beach which are all to the south of the airport and have a transfer time of roughly one hour. Aussie Divers Phuket in Patong beach is roughly 40 kilometers from the airport. With the resorts to the north of Phuket such as Bangtao then the transfer time can be as short as 20 minutes. These times however are all based around the local traffic and can be greatly increased.
There are three main ways of transferring from the international airport to your resort. These are private taxi, minivan and public bus. Within Phuket there is no railway or subway system.
For each option we will give you the pros and cons:
Private Taxi (Metered , non metered, limousine)
With a private taxi then this will take you directly from the airport to your hotel and is considerably quicker than the minivan and public buses. This is the quickest way get to your hotel. The drivers can take short cuts and are not set to go a designated route. They can adjust for roadworks, accidents, etc. Obviously with the private taxi the price is going to be higher than a public bus however most taxis are now on a meter which is clear for all to see.
The safest and easiest taxi is the metered taxis. If when departing the terminal turn right and there will be a taxi stand. There will be a small desk with an attendant that will be able to speak English. You will explain to her where you would like to go and she will explain it to your allocated driver. These are metered taxi, the driver will try to negotiate a fixed price. DO NOT do this. Make sure the driver turns the meter on and leaves it on. A trip to Patong should be around THB 700 (US$23). If you would like to come to the Aussie Divers Shop please get either the attendant or driver to call our shop (076 688 113) to get directions in Thai.
Non Metered Taxi
Phuket Airport was once a terrible place to get a taxi. Until the military coup in 2014 the taxi touts ran the taxi service at the airport. They were unregulated and out of control. You couldn’t get through the exit door without getting mobbed by the taxi touts. You then could not walk 20 metres without getting 30 requests for a taxi. Now they are rare however if you were to come across one than a price negotiation will commence. The general price is around THB 800 to Patong however they will try to get more. We have heard some unsuspecting tourist paying excess of THB 2,000 to Patong. Other resorts such as Kata and Karon are going to be more expensive as they are further south than Patong whereas the resorts to the north will obviously be cheaper.
Approximate Taxi Prices
Nai Yan – THB 200
Bang Tao, Surin, Kamala– THB 700
Phuket Town- THB 750
Patong, Karon, Kata – THB 800
Chalong, Nai Harn, Rawai – THB 900
Karon, Kamala – THB 400
Kata , Phuket Town – THB 500
Chalong, Rawai – THB 600
Prior to leaving the airport terminal you may be offered a limousine taxi. This is an overpriced way of getting to your hotel and are often way more expensive that a metered taxi. The term limousine may not be an accurate one s a lot of the limousines are Toyota Camrys. There may be some slightly larger cars but rarely what you would consider a limousine in the western world.
The problem with the private taxi is that if you have a large group of people and a large amount of luggage then it more than likely will not be big enough to transfer you and your luggage so for this then a private minivan may be the best and only option for you.
The minivan is only 180 baht per person which is very cheap for a transfer to your resort. This cheap price however comes at a price. You will be sharing the minivan with other people from other resorts. First you will all be taken to the minivan office. This takes time out of your day and increases the time it takes to get to your resort. The driver will then arrange the hotels in order and drop off accordingly. You may be the first to get dropped off which is fantastic or alternatively you could be the last and we have heard of it taking over 3 hours to get to a customer’s hotel. We have also heard stories of the drivers taking customers to their friend’s shops and restaurants to try and convince them to buy food and gifts?
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