You’ve already booked your hotel in Patong and you’re excited to start your holiday on the tropical island paradise of Phuket. But do you know how you’re going to get there from the airport? Patong is more than 36 km away from Phuket International Airport, so it’s important to have a plan.
Unprepared tourists face a chaotic situation when they leave the airport and often end up overpaying for a ride to Patong.
There are many affordable means of transportation available. You just have to know where to look. We’ve prepared a list of the best options to help you plan for your trip.
Airport Express Bus
We don’t recommend the standard city bus, since it only goes to Phuket city center. The Express Bus, on the other hand, goes all the way to Patong Beach for 120 Baht per person. The trip to Patong Beach takes almost two hours and is available every day from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Express Bus is clean, comfortable and air-conditioned. Although certainly not the fastest way to get to Patong, this is the best option if you’re looking to save money.
Phuket Smart Bus
The blue and white Phuket Smart Bus, waiting in front of the airport terminal, goes to Patong and beyond, all the way to Rawai Beach in Southern Phuket. The best part of this option is that it takes the route along the scenic west coast. The bus runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. and you can check the live location of the buses on their website. Each trip costs only 50-170 Baht per person, and there are multiple payment methods available including cash, mobile banking money deposit, or Phuket Rabbit Card. The bus arrives at the parking spot 15 minutes before departure time, so we recommend you get there a bit early to make sure you don’t miss it.
There are two minibus companies at the airport, and you can find their ticket offices near Entrance 3 in the terminal building. The journey to Patong via minibus takes about one hour and costs 180 Baht per person. The seats are comfortable, and the ride will be quicker than the regular bus. But you will have to wait for all 11 seats to be filled before the driver takes off.
If you’re in a group of 11 people, this is the perfect option. But even if you have to wait for all the seats to be filled, this option will still be faster than the buses.
Taxi is the fastest, most private and most comfortable way to commute to Patong. Your driver can stop anytime and anywhere you like, and will drop you off right at your hotel. Of course, you do have to pay more for this convenience. A taxi ride from the airport to Patong costs 800 Baht. Taxi tickets can be purchased at the same offices near Entrance 3 where minibus tickets are sold.
Phuket is one of Thailand’s biggest tourist destinations, with over 5.3 million people visiting the island each year. This creates an opportunity for hucksters and, unfortunately, dishonest taxi drivers who commonly defraud tourists.
If you’re going to take a taxi, you should buy your ticket at the official counter where they have fixed prices for every destination. Be wary of taxi drivers who randomly approach you on the street, as they often charge exorbitant fares.
When traveling from the hotel, the staff can make sure you book with a reputable transportation company.
Some good news
The vast majority of the local Thai people you will meet will be very welcoming, friendly, honest, and helpful. Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles for good reason. And, if you have any doubts about any aspect of your trip, our staff will be more than happy to help.
There many wonders to discover on the island of Phuket – and as the most popular area, Patong is a great place to stay. Patong has beautiful beaches, loads of daytime and nighttime activities, and some excellent restaurants to try out.
Novotel Phuket Vintage Park is the perfect sanctuary in the heart of Patong. We definitely encourage you to take in all the sights of this vibrant area, but if you simply want to relax, we have an award-winning spa, a large sparkling swimming pool, delectable cuisine and much more.