How To Get from Phuket Airport to Your Hotel + My Best Phuket Airport Advice!

Discover the best ways to travel from Phuket Airport to popular destinations like Patong, Khao Lak, Phi Phi Islands, and more + my best Phuket Airport tip that will save you a lot of time!

Phuket Airport Thailand

Planning a trip to Thailand’s stunning island of Phuket or one of the nearby holiday areas?

One of the first things you’ll need to figure out is how to get from Phuket Airport to your hotel.

On my last trip to Thailand a few months ago, I flew into Phuket Airport and, later on the trip, took a domestic flight from Phuket to Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.

Kristoffer Føns, travel blogger in Thailand
Yours truly on his way from Phuket Airport to Koh Yao Yai

In this guide, I’ll break down all your Phuket airport transport options so you can start your vacation smoothly and stress-free.

I will start with my most important tip if you’re arriving at Phuket Airport on an international flight and need to get through immigration.

My Top Tip When Arriving at Phuket Airport ✌️

Phuket Airport arrival hall
Once you’ve cleared customs, Phuket Airport is excellent…

If you’re arriving at Phuket Airport on an international flight, brace yourself for the immigration process and get your tourist visa for Thailand.

It’s a notoriously long process – I spent over an hour and a half in line the last time I arrived in Phuket. It’s a pretty miserable way to start your trip, especially after a long flight.

But there’s a way to skip the queue: purchasing Fast Track. You can buy this service at the airport, but it’s crucial to have Thai baht on hand since they only accept cash.

Alternatively, you can book the service from home, which includes a special package with a private transfer to your hotel in Phuket.

Read more and book here.

It’s definitely worth it to either buy Fast Track upon arrival or book the special service in advance to ensure a smooth start to your holiday.

I’ll definitely never fly internationally to Phuket Airport again without booking the fast-track option.

How to get to your hotel in Phuket

kristoffer føns in thailand waiting for a speedboat
Me waiting for a boat in Thailand 😀

Here’s a detailed guide on the best transport options for some of the most popular areas in Phuket: Patong, Phuket Town, and Karon.

If you haven’t booked a hotel in Phuket yet, check out my guide on the best areas and places to stay in Phuket.

Also, I’ve got to be honest here and let you know that a lot of the information I’m getting comes from the awesome website 12Go.Asia.

I’ve been using this platform to book ferries, buses and shuttles in Thailand since 2017 and it just works.

So honestly, if you want to know how much it’d cost or how long it’d take to get from A to B in Thailand, I would head over to 12Go.Asia and do a quick search.

You can see timetables and get tickets for any mode of transport from Phuket Airport on that website as well.

patong-beach
Patong Beach in Phuket

Patong

Taxis

Taxis are the most convenient and quickest way to get from Phuket Airport to Patong. Taxis are available right outside the arrivals hall, and you can negotiate the fare.

Typically, a taxi ride to Patong costs around 500-1500 THB (approximately $14-$28 USD).

This option is perfect if you have a lot of luggage or if you arrive late at night. The ride usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic​.

You could also pre-book a taxi from around $19 – then you don’t have to worry about the driver knowing what hotel you’re going to and the price is fixed as you’ve pre-booked it.

You can pre-book your transfer here (this service gets great reviews).

Buses

An airport bus is an excellent option for budget travellers. The fare is around 150-200 THB (about $4.50-$6 USD). These buses run frequently throughout the day from 8:30 AM to 8:45 PM.

Although they are cheaper, the bus journey takes longer, usually around 1.5 to 2 hours, as it makes multiple stops along the way.

You can see timetables and book tickets at 12go.

Vans

Shared vans offer a middle ground between cost and convenience. The fare ranges from 200-300 THB (approximately $6-$9). While they are slightly slower than taxis due to multiple stops, they are a comfortable and affordable option.

Vans run from 6:00 AM to 5:30 PM, with a travel time of around 1.5 to 2 hours.

Phuket Town

Taxis: For a quick and direct trip to Phuket Town, taking a taxi is the best choice. The cost ranges from 650 to 1,000 THB (about $20-$30 USD). The journey typically takes around 30-45 minutes.

You can pre-book a driver online from Phuket Airport to Phuket Town here.

Buses: The airport bus to Phuket Town is very affordable, costing around 100-150 THB (about $3-$5 USD). The buses run from 7:30 AM to 9:30 PM, taking approximately 1 hour.

This is a great option for budget travellers, but it’s less convenient if you have a lot of luggage or arrive late at night​.

phuket-old-town
Phuket Town

Vans

Shared vans to Phuket Town are priced around 150-250 THB (about $4.50-$7.50 USD). They offer a good balance between cost and convenience, taking about 1-1.5 hours to reach Phuket Town.

Vans run from 6:00 AM to 7:00 PM, making them a viable option for many travellers​.

You can see timetables and book tickets at 12go.

Karon

Taxis: The easiest way to get from Phuket Airport to Karon is by taxi. The fare typically ranges from 800 to 1,200 THB (about $25-$35 USD).

The journey takes about 1 to 1.5 hours. This is the best option if you have a lot of luggage or if you prefer a direct route​.

You can pre-book your transfer here.

Buses

While there are no direct buses from Phuket Airport to Karon, you can take a bus to Phuket Town and then transfer to another bus or a tuk-tuk to Karon.

  • It’s not something I’d recommend if you’re travelling to Phuket with children or aren’t used to using transport in Thailand.

This option is the most economical, costing around 150-200 THB (about $4.50-$6 USD) in total, but it’s also the most time-consuming, taking up to 2.5 hours depending on transfer times.

You can see timetables and book tickets at 12go.

Getting to Khao Lak

Travelling from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak involves an approximately 75-kilometre journey, and you have several transport options to consider, each with its own advantages and price points.

Given the distance and the potential for travel fatigue, especially if you’ve had a long flight, I highly recommend pre-booking a taxi.

It ensures a smooth, comfortable, and direct journey to your hotel in Khao Lak without waiting for shared transport or dealing with multiple stops.

Pre-Booked Taxis

For the most convenience, especially given the distance, pre-booking a taxi is highly recommended. The cost for a private taxi from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak ranges from 1,700 to 2,000 THB (about $48-$57 USD).

This option offers a direct and comfortable ride, usually taking around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic conditions. It’s the best choice if you have a lot of luggage or if you prefer a hassle-free transfer straight to your hotel​.

Check out this option that costs only around $38.

Airport Taxis

You can also get a taxi directly at the airport.

While this might save some time regarding pre-arranging, the prices can vary, and it’s often less predictable than a pre-booked service.

Expect to pay around 1,700 to 2,000 THB ($48-$57 USD), similar to pre-booked options​.

Vans

Shared vans are a more economical choice, with prices ranging from 600 to 1,000 THB (about $17-$28 USD). They offer a balance between cost and convenience, though they typically take longer due to multiple stops along the way.

The journey can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the number of passengers and stops. Vans generally operate from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM​.

Advantages of Vans:

  • Cost-effective for solo travelers or those on a budget.
  • Regular departures throughout the day.
  • Direct drop-off at your accommodation in Khao Lak.

Express Buses

The most budget-friendly option is the express bus, with fares as low as 260 to 300 THB (around $7-$9 USD). The bus ride takes approximately 2 to 3 hours.

While this is the cheapest option, it’s also the least flexible in terms of schedule and comfort.

Advantages of Buses:

  • Cheapest mode of transport.
  • Regular services from the airport.

Getting to Krabi & Ao Nang

The distance from Phuket Airport to Ao Nang in the Krabi province is about 170 kilometres. Despite it seeming faster to travel by boat, I recommend taking a taxi and driving.

Ao Nang in Krabi
Ao Nang

It’s often hard to predict how quickly ferries or speedboats can get you to your destination, so having a pre-booked taxi and sitting back and relaxing without thinking too much about the journey is simpler.

Check out my guide on where to stay in Krabi if you haven’t booked your hotel yet.

Kristoffer Fons in Ao Nang
Ao Nang Beach is very nice.

Pre-Booked Taxis

The most straightforward and comfortable way to get from Phuket Airport to Krabi or Ao Nang is by pre-booking a taxi.

This option provides a direct route, typically taking around 2 to 3 hours. A private taxi costs range from 2,500 to 3,500 THB (about $72-$100 USD).

Pre-booking ensures that a driver will be waiting for you upon arrival, making the trip hassle-free and efficient.

The cheapest option I can find at 12go.Asia is a 2.5-hour private taxi from Phuket Airport to Ao Nang for 63.

Express Buses

Another budget-friendly option is taking an express bus. The fare is around 300 to 400 THB (about $9-$11 USD).

Buses operate several times a day, but they are the slowest option, taking up to 4 hours to reach Krabi or Ao Nang.

This is an excellent option for backpackers, but for “normal” travellers I’d highly recommend getting a taxi.

Ferries and Speedboats

While it might seem appealing to travel by sea, the schedules and travel times can be unpredictable.

Ferries and speedboats can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on sea conditions and the specific service.

Additionally, once you reach the port in Krabi or Ao Nang, you will still need ground transportation, which will add to the overall travel time and complexity.

Getting a ferry or speedboat from Phuket Airport to Krabi is just not worth it, guys.

Getting to Koh Yao Yai

Getting from Phuket Airport to Koh Yao Yai is relatively straightforward but involves a short ferry ride.

Santhiya, my favourite hotel in Koh Yao Yai
My favourite hotel in Koh Yao Yai.

If you stay at the luxurious Santhiya Koh Yao Yai Resort, they offer a seamless private shuttle service from Phuket Airport.

This service includes a comfortable ride to the pier and a speedboat transfer directly to the hotel’s private pier.

I’ve personally used this service, and it works wonderfully – making your arrival stress-free and efficient.

Check out my video from Santhiya Koh Yao Yai here:

And let’s explore the transport options if you’re not staying at the luxurious hotel.

Taxi and Ferry

A popular and convenient option is to taxi from Phuket Airport to Bang Rong Pier, followed by a ferry or speedboat to Koh Yao Yai.

The taxi ride to the pier typically costs around 600-1,000 THB (about $17-$28 USD), and the ferry ticket ranges from 300 to 750 THB (approximately $8-$22 USD).

The total travel time is around 1.5 to 2 hours.

Shared Van and Ferry

For a more budget-friendly option, shared vans are available. These can cost between 200-300 THB (about $6-$9 USD) for the van ride and around 300-750 THB (about $8-$22 USD) for the ferry.

This option takes a bit longer due to multiple stops but is cost-effective.

Direct Ferry Services

You can also book direct ferry tickets which cost around 300-750 THB (about $8-$22 USD). These ferries depart from Bang Rong Pier and take about 30-45 minutes to reach Koh Yao Yai.

Private Speedboat

For a quicker and more exclusive transfer, you can opt for a private speedboat, which significantly reduces travel time but comes at a higher cost, around 1,500 to 3,000 THB (approximately $43-$86 USD).

Remember:

  • Book in Advance: Whether you choose the hotel’s private shuttle or other transport options, booking in advance ensures a smooth journey.
  • Plan for Delays: Ferries and speedboats operate on a schedule, so if your flight is delayed, it might be wise to have a pre-arranged overnight stay in Phuket.

Getting to Phi Phi

Travelling from Phuket Airport to the Phi Phi Islands is an adventure in itself, but it’s essential to plan carefully to ensure a smooth journey.

The distance from Phuket to Phi Phi is about 50 kilometres by the sea, and the only way to get there is by ferry or speedboat.

Here’s what you need to know to make the trip hassle-free.

Phi Phi Islands, maya bay
Maya Bay

Given the ferry schedules and the possibility of flight delays, booking an overnight stay in Phuket is highly recommended, and I’d recommend getting a hotel close to the ferry terminal.

This way, you avoid the stress of missing the last ferry and can start your trip to Phi Phi well-rested.

Staying near the Rassada Pier in Phuket Town can be very convenient. This area has numerous hotels and guesthouses, providing easy access to the ferry terminal the next morning.

A taxi from Phuket Airport to the ferry terminal costs around 600-1,000 THB (about $17-$28 USD) and takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. This is the most convenient and quickest option.

Ferry Schedules

Ferries to Phi Phi generally run twice a day – at 8:30 and 12:30.

Ferry Tickets:

Ferry tickets from Phuket to Phi Phi range from 450 to 750 THB (about $12-$22 USD). The ferry ride takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, offering a scenic route through the Andaman Sea​.

As always, you can get tickets at 12go.Asia.

Speedboats

For a quicker trip, speedboats are available, and it takes around 45 minutes to reach Phi Phi. These can cost between 785 to 1,500 THB (about $22-$43 USD), depending on the service and time of day​.

So navigating your way from Phuket Airport to various popular destinations in and around Phuket can be a breeze with a bit of planning.

Whether you’re heading to Patong, Phuket Town, Karon, Khao Lak, Krabi, Ao Nang, Phi Phi Islands, or Koh Yao Yai, there are multiple transport options available to suit every budget and preference.

I hope this guide helps you plan your travels more effectively. If you have any questions or need further assistance, feel free to leave a comment below, and I’ll be more than happy to help you out.

See all my Thailand Travel Guides here and make sure you choose the right area to stay in Bangkok if you’re planning on visiting the capital of Thailand (you should!).

Frequently asked questions about Phuket Airport transport:

What is the best way to get from Phuket Airport to Patong?

The easiest way is definitely by taxi. The ride takes about 45 minutes to an hour and costs between 500-1,000 THB ($14-$28 USD). If you’re looking to save money, shared vans and buses are available, but they take longer. I’d recommend getting a taxi from the taxi stand or pre-booking your own private driver.

Are there any direct bus services from Phuket Airport to popular beach destinations?

Yes, airport buses go to Patong, Karon, and Kata beaches. They are super budget-friendly, with fares ranging from 100-200 THB ($3-$6 USD). However, be prepared for a longer journey due to multiple stops along the way.

How can I get to the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket Airport?

To get to the Phi Phi Islands, take a taxi or shuttle to Rassada Pier, then hop on a ferry or speedboat to the islands. Ferries cost around 450-750 THB ($12-$22 USD) and take about 1.5 to 2 hours. I’d highly recommend booking your ferry tickets online as it’s a popular route.

What are the transport options from Phuket Airport to Khao Lak?

I highly recommend pre-booking a taxi. It costs around 1,700-2,000 THB ($48-$57 USD) and takes about 1.5 to 2 hours. Shared vans and buses are also available, but they can take longer due to multiple stops.

Websites I use to book my trips 👇

Booking.com has the best offers on hotels and unique places to stay
GetYourGuide is the best place to book tours & activities with free cancellation
This power bank is the one thing I never travel without
Welcome Pickups is the best & safest place to pre-book airport transfers

Psst 👀 Have you subscribed to my Youtube channel and my Instagram where I provide more useful travel tips?