There are a number of options for getting from Phuket Airport to your hotel, villa or apartment.
The airport lies a fraction to the east of Mai Khao Beach. Situated at the narrow, northern end of Phuket, the runway stretches across most of the island’s width. It is worth mentioning that a window seat on the plane during approach means you will see the soaring limestone karsts, lush greens and turquoise blues that the island is famed for.
Airport Transfers –
Pre-booked transfers are usually the most hassle-free option when travelling from Phuket Airport. Not only will you easily spot someone holding a sign with your name on it in arrivals, but you can also go for a luxury option which may be worth it considering the exchange rate. Prices range from around 500 THB to 1200 THB. You may also see advertised a “negotiated limousine” but these are best avoided. Airport transfers can be booked with Resava online at the same time as your luxury villa or apartment.
If you’re getting a metered taxi, make sure you go to the official taxi stand or you may get taken for a ride. Once out of arrivals, you’ll need to turn right and walk about 150 feet. The taxi stand is well signposted and you can’t miss the red and yellow taxis. You will be issued with a receipt and a driver who will be keen to help you with your luggage. The receipt doubles as a complaint slip should you experience any problems (including being overcharged). While ordering your taxi, it is also worth taking the company phone number. Unless you’re a dab hand at haggling, it’s best to insist the driver turn his meter on. Fares can vary due to petrol prices but are usually between 350 THB to 650 THB depending on the destination. These fares include a 100 THB airport tax.
Car/Motorbike Hire –
Driving in Thailand can be hair-raising even when you’re not the one driving. This is also true in Phuket but nonetheless hiring a car or motorbike can be fun and gives you far more freedom than other options. Even to hire a scooter though, you will need a motorcycle license and an International Driver’s Permit, the latter of which you will also need to hire a car. It’s worth taking pictures of the vehicle upon receipt so you cannot be blamed for any damage you didn’t cause. It is a bad idea to use your passport as security though, so it’s a good idea to have some copies prepared. Road accidents are common in Phuket and tourist fatalities are not unheard of so if you’re planning to hire a car or motorbike, you should definitely do some research first.
Shared Minivan –
This is a popular option for those travelling as ones or twos. You can purchase a ticket from a counter as you leave baggage claim and although the tickets are cheap, there will be an unscheduled stop at a travel agency where you will be pushed to sign up for various things. Unlike offers presented by the drivers of the negotiated limousines though, you can quite easily decline.
Busses run from Phuket Airport to Phuket Town on the hour. These busses are fast and affordable but do not go to the west coast and do not run all night. The busses will be marked “AIRPORT BUS” and tickets cost around 80 THB. To get to the terminus, take a right out of arrivals and walk around 70 feet until you see the busses parked in front of Burger King with their distinctive orange detailing.