Phuket, known as the pearl of Andaman Sea, is the bigger island of Thailand. It is a province located in the southern part of the country and has many fascinating attractions that lure people around the world to visit. Because of beautiful beaches and sea, wonderful nightlife and nice weather, Phuket becomes one of the top places in Thailand that travelers choose to go, and of course, when they once visit there, they cannot wait to be there again and again.
It is not hard to get to Phuket. If you choose to go there by car, there are almost 900 kilometers from Bangkok to Phuket to drive and may take 8-9 hours totally. However, most people choose to fly there which takes no more than 1 hour and a half from Bangkok and the air fare is not expensive. Thai Airways and other low-cost airlines can serve you with several flights a day from many destinations.
The Phuket airport is a bit far from the popular beaches and well-known hotels. After you reach the island by plane, you can find a lot of service which can take you to your hotel cheap and easily. These service include taxi cars, airport limousines, and service vans waiting you outside the airport. Hotels and other accommodations are not hard to find and mostly their prices are really cheap. You can find luxurious hotels along the popular beaches or some easy home-stays near the communities or department stores. As I mentioned, Phuket is one of the top tourist attractions in Thailand. Even though there are a very large number of hotels and lodgings in Phuket, I recommend you to book a hotel earlier if you go there in the festival time or public holiday period and you will not regret doing that definitely.
So you are thinking of holidays in Thailand and you are low on budget. Here are some tips on how you can get the best value for your money to fly to Thailand. There are mant international airports in Thailand currently. These international airports are situated at Bangkok, Hat Yai, Krabi, Phuket and Koh Samui.
However, for the majority of tourists, they will fly into Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. The cost of flight tickets to Thailand usually will depends on the season. The peak seasons and usually are in middle of November to middle of February. This is because the weather is at its best. Do note that there will be premium rates being charged for flights between middle of December and New Year due to the celebrations.
The other periods that is very popular in July and August which is due to the school holidays. Usually, for these peak seasons, is very difficult to get a ticket to Thailand. You will probably need to book several months ahead in order to get lower-priced airfares to Thailand during these peak periods. So do aviod these peak periods if you want cheaper airfares.
The cheapest way to Thailand regional airports would be to buy a flight ticket to Bangkok and then transit via a domestic flight. There are many domestic airlines serving the many parts of Thailand.
If are thinking of going to Phuket, you have the additional option of flying nonstop from Sydney via JetStar if you are from Australia. There are also direct flight from other international airports from:
- Kuala Lumpur-Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia
- Singapore-Singapore Airlines and Silk Air Singapore
- Seoul-Korean Air
- Hong Kong – Cathay Pacific and Dragonair Hong Kong
However, if you’re from the United Kingdom, the easiest and the most comfortable way of reaching Thailand is to fly nonstop from London to Bangkok with the Qantas Airways, the British Airways, the Thai Airways and the Eva Airways. The total journey time to Bangkok will be about 11 1/2 hours.
The Airlines stated above would usually keep their prices reasonable due to the competition from the other airlines. It will cost you about 500 pounds including tax in the low seasons. During the peak seasons, it will cost you about 730 pounds including tax.
Depending on the number of stopovers, the journey could tak 2 to 12 hours longer if necessary. There are no known nonstop flights from regional airports from Britain and Ireland.
Beside these options, if it is more convenient for you, you may fly to other international airports for connecting flights to Bangkok such as:
- Frankfurt – Lufthansa
- Zurich – Swissair
- Abu Dhabi – Etihad
- Dubai – Emirates
Phuket Transportation - Commuting in Phuket
Tuktuks are best for short distances. They are rather small, and travelling and longer than half an hour could become uncomfortable. They used to be inexpensive, but these days even the shortest distances cost more or less 100 Baht. Negotiate the price before you get in, otherwise you could get into a fight. Tuktuk drivers are notorious for trying to rip off travellers and the conflicts often become violent.
There is only one authorized limousine service in Phuket that has fixed fares for transporting travellers from the airport. A shared minibus will cost more or less 100-200 Baht and a private taxi will cost more or less 500 Baht. These prices will vary based on your destination. There are metred taxis available around Phuket Town. These fares are 50 Baht for the first 2 km and then 7 Baht for each following kilometre. There will be a 100 Baht surcharge if you are departing from the airport.
There are air-conditioned available for hire with rates close to that of tuktuks. As with tuktuks, negotiate the fare in advance to avoid conflict.
Local buses, also called song taews, are painted bright blue and can be easily spotted. They run between 7 am and 6 pm. Their destinations will be written in English on the outside of the buses to make things more convenient for tourists. You can stop these buses anywhere, as there are no designated bus stops.
You are most likely to find a bus in the main part of town. In Patong, you are most likely to spot them on the beach road close to the tourist police box. In Phuket Town, you will find them in the market on Ranong Road opposite Thai Airways. The fares are generally more or less 15-20 Baht.
There will also be airport buses available.
Hiring a motorbike in Phuket is not recommended unless you are familiar with the area’s roads. It is also not advised to rent a motorbike if you do not have insurance, otherwise you will be liable for any damages and your own medical bills.
Once again, do not hire a motorbike unless you are 100% confident that you know the area. There is an extreme disregard for traffic regulations in Phuket and traffic accidents occur often. It is also not a good idea to hire a motorbike during a wet or rainy season as the bike will be more prone to slipping and you could be seriously injured.
There are multiple places where you could hire a car to travel in while you stay in Phuket. A car might be more expensive than your other options, but it is generally safer as well. It would still be a good idea to stick to quieter roads as even the sturdiest of card is not immune to Phuket’s traffic accidents. All the same warning that applied to motorbikes apply to cars as well.