The Best Ways to Explore Phuket, Thailand

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Phuket is one of the top destinations in Thailand. With white sand beaches and lush jungles, its no wonder so many travelers flock to this island off of Thailand’s southwest coast. The name Phuket comes from a word meaning hill, which is what the island is said to look like from a distance.

There’s so much to see and do in Phuket that most travelers are looking for a way to experience the best of the island. Yet, it’s not always easy to get around on your own. Here are the best ways to explore Phuket, Thailand.

By: jeff~

Travel by Rental Car

Traveling by car in Phuket is the fastest way to get around. While many choose a metered taxi, these are generally pricey and can quickly add up to a big cost. Finding a taxi at a peak time is also a challenge, especially in more touristy areas.

The best option for traveling on the open road is to rent a car in phuket. Not only will this save you money overall, but it’s also great for friends and families traveling together. You can travel where you want at your own pace. Don’t worry—the road conditions in Phuket are good, and it’s easy to find places to fuel up your vehicle. Just remember to drive on the left side of the road.

Take a Boat or Ferry

Next to cars, boats are a common way to get around. Remember, Phuket is an island. There are several main piers from which you can find ferries, speedboats, and even long tail boats. You can also privately charter a boat if you have a day’s excursion in mind.

The main pier is Rassada Pier, and you’ll find a lot of morning and afternoon trips from this terminal. Travel by water to Koh Phi Phi, Krabi Town, Koh Lanta, and other popular destinations. The perk of traveling by water is getting to see all the gorgeous views of the island from the Andaman Sea.

Travel Like a Local via Bus

Once you’re in Phuket, you’re likely to see a lot of open-sided, small buses popular with locals and travelers alike. If you want an authentic experience, and you don’t mind a slower trip, taking one of these buses could be an affordable option. These buses frequently go through Phuket Old Town and the main beach resorts.

However, beware that while reliable, these buses are notoriously slow. They make many stops, and this can delay your journey. Make sure you’re not in a rush if you step on a local bus like this.

Use Your Transportation Apps

If you’re used to getting around with smartphone apps like Uber and Lyft, you’re in look. In Thailand, the Grab app is commonly used to book rides through taxis at a cheaper rate. These can often be arranged through your accommodation as well.

This app is a simpler alternative to navigating the many taxis that will frequent popular areas of the island looking for tourists. You’ll have a guaranteed rate, and it’s a lot easier to book through this modern service.

Avoid the Tuk Tuks

Finally, try to avoid tuk-tuks if possible. Phuket actually doesn’t have traditional Thai tuk-tuks which is why they have four wheels rather than three. They’re only found on Phuket because they’re something tourists want and expect on the island.

While taking a tuk-tuk will get you to your destination, it’s notoriously overpriced. Drivers tend to stick together to avoid lower-priced rides. There’s also a common scam in Thailand, especially Phuket, where these tuk-tuk drivers will take you to pearl centers or jewelry stores to get you to buy something. While you can easily say no, this isn’t fun to deal with when you’re traveling.

Explore All of Phuket

Now that you know the best ways to see Phuket, you’re ready to start your journey. Getting around is half the fun in Thailand, as you’ll quickly discover, so you have a lot to look forward to.

Just make sure you know the best option for you, whether you rent a car with friends or try the local buses. It’s time to enjoy this emerald isle for the beauty it is.

Have you been to Phuket? 

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About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

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