How to get from Bangkok to Phuket inexpensively and quickly

How to get from Bangkok to Phuket inexpensively and quickly

Washed by the waters of the Andaman Sea, the island of Phuket is considered to be the first resort destination in Thailand. Every year it is visited by more than 8 million foreign and local tourists, which is about 30% from all vacationers in the resorts of the country. Such a large flow of people on a small piece of land requires an effective transport communication of the island.

In the late 1960s Phuket was connected to the Thai mainland by a bridge. This made possible unimpeded road and bus communication with it. In the early 1980s an airport was built that allowed quick access to Phuket from many cities, including Bangkok. The railway to the island has not been built so far and is unlikely to ever be done.

By bus.

Buses in the transport system of Thailand play a leading role. In terms of comfort, many cars have long outstripped trains of the second and third classes. Only 32 people ride in the air-conditioned cabin. The distance between the rows is so large that it allows you to give the chair an almost horizontal position and stretch your legs even for a person with a height of 180 cm.

Book bus ticket Bangkok - Phuket

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Water and a light snack are provided free of charge during the trip. The route makes several standard stops every 3 hours. In the places of such stops there is a shop, perhaps some kind of public catering, merchants. All this will be very useful if you want to look at Thailand from the bus window and choose a day trip. Most flights on the Bangkok - Phuket route follow at night.

The bus departs from the southern bus station of the capital - Southern Terminal. Arrives at the Phuket bus station - Thoranee Thong, Ratsada. Tickets at the lowest price are purchased at the box office of the terminal. There is an online booking system BusOnlineTicket with a choice of seats in the cabin. Buses leave every hour.

Travel time - 12 hours. Distance - 867 km.

Ticket price - $15 in a 55-seat bus, $28 - in a 32-seat bus.

By plane

Air service between Phuket and Bangkok is even more regular than bus service. The latter will be typed no more than 30 flights per day. At the same time, two dozen direct flights depart from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport and another three dozen from Don Muang. In total - more than 50 flights daily. It's probably hard to find a busier destination in the world. At the same time, Phuket airport has international status, and most tourists fly directly to the island, bypassing Bangkok.

Such a wide variety of flights implies a large degree of price diversification. One-way tickets can be found in the limit of $40-$150 when departing from both airports.

Book flights from Bangkok to Phuket

Suvarnabhumi will be slightly more expensive than Don Muang. If you plan to fly very cheaply, for example for $40, then this must be done from Don Muang. With a ticket price of $50-$60 and above, the issue of choosing an airport is not fundamental.


Flight time is 1:20. Phuket Airport is located in the north of the island. From it to Phuket Town - about 40 minutes by bus. In total, you can get there in 2 hours.

By train + bus

If you are tired of planes and want to diversify your life, then the route, part of which runs by rail, and the other part by bus, may be an interesting trip.

From Bangkok, trains run in all directions. The southern branch ends at Surat Thani Station. You can get to the end station. Or leave earlier: for example, in Hua Hin. Both from Hua Hin and Surat Thani it is possible to get by bus to Phuket.

Trains in Thailand differ in the number of stops and speed:

  • ordinary
  • ambulances
  • express trains
  • special express trains

Wagons are classified into:

  • first class (single and double compartments)
  • second class (reserved seat)
  • second class (sitting soft chairs)
  • third class (soft benches)
  • third class (hard benches)

The cost of a ticket is formed in a complicated way: the distance, the type of train and the class of the car are taken into account.

Table 1. Estimated cost of train tickets

Bangkok - Hua Hin, $

Bangkok - Surat Thani, $

Third class



Second class (seated)



Second class (reserved seat)



First grade



Only first and sometimes second class carriages are air conditioned.

Depending on the speed of the train, the trip will take:

  • to Hua Hin - 3.5-4 hours.
  • to Surat Thani - 9-12 hours.

It is more convenient to get to Surat Thani, because. from the station of this city, buses depart hourly in all southern directions, including Phuket. The bus ride will cost $5 and take 4 hours. If you make a transfer in Hua Hin, you will need to get from the railway station to the bus station (Kiab Tank Rodfai Road). The cost of the trip to Phuket from Hua Hin is $14, travel time is 10-12 hours.

By car

Driving more than 800 km in Thailand is not an easy test. It's 10-11 hours on the way. Although the roads are in excellent condition, local official and unwritten rules of behavior on the roads can make it very difficult for a person who is not familiar with these rules to travel. In addition, this is an expensive trip: on average, fuel will take $70-$100.


The route is simple. The main part of it runs along Highway 4, which goes around the whole of southern Thailand.

  • Information about renting a car in Phuket
  • In Phang Nga, Highway 402 departs from Highway 4, leading to the Sarasin Bridge, which connects Phuket to the mainland.
  • On the border of Ratchaburi and Phetchaburi provinces, exit highway 4.
  • Departure from Bangkok - on Highway 35.
  • In Chumphon Province, Highway 4 turns right. The further way lies along Ranong and Phangnga.
  • Road 402 leads to Phuket Town.

There is an alternative way to get to the island without stopping at Ranong.

  • At the Chumphon turnoff, go straight on Highway 41 to Surat Thani.
  • In Surat Thani, turn right onto Highway 415 passing through Krabi.
  • At the border of Krabi and Phang Nga, exit onto the already familiar Highway 4, along which drive 4 km to Highway 4311.
  • From 4311, exit again onto Highway 4 and then follow it to Highway 402 leading to Phuket.

Thus, the first and second routes are separated in the province of Chumphon. Further, the first passes along the western coast of the Malay Peninsula, the second - along the eastern. The routes connect at Phangnga, near Phuket. As a rule, motorists get the second way. Buses follow the same route.

By cab

If you have $250, which you are ready to give to the taxi driver for a 10-hour journey, then perhaps a taxi will be the most comfortable and most personal way to get to Phuket from Bangkok.

Table 2. How to get to Phuket.

Type of transport

How long will it take

Cost, $


12 ч.

from 15


1 ч. 20 min.

from 40

Train + bus

13-16 ч.

from 15


10 ч.

from 70 (gasoline only)



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