Want to know how to get from Bangkok to Phuket? In this post, we’ll share a summary of the three ways to get there and compare each option on duration, costs and level of comfort. For each option, we go into more detail to help you decide which transport provider to book with and where to buy your tickets.
What to expect when visiting Phuket
Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and one of the most visited destinations in the country. The beautiful shores of Karon Beach, the historic charm of Old Town, and the nightlife in Patong beach attract millions of tourists every year.
Surrounded by numerous smaller islands, Phuket also offers unbeatable snorkelling, diving, and water sports adventures. You can explore the colourful marine life while snorkelling at the nearby Koh Phi Phi Island or embark on a diving trip. Located just a short distance from the international airport, Phuket is easily accessible for travellers who want to visit Thailand’s beautfiul beaches without having to travel too far.
3 ways to get from Bangkok to Phuket
There are three ways to travel the distance of 845 km (525 miles) from Bangkok to Phuket: by bus (12h-14h27m), train + bus via surat thani (17h32m-18h47m) and flight (1hr 15m). The journey takes between 1h15m - 18h47m and the quickest way is by flight. The lowest priced tickets start from 700 THB ($19.50) for the bus.
Both bus stations are about 10 km from Bangkok city centre, but Bangkok Southern Terminal comes with the advantage that you can also get there with Bangkok’s metro system. By taxi, it will take around 20-30 minutes to reach the bus stations from Bangkok city centre.
The Transport Co. has departures from both, Bangkok Southern Terminal and Mochit Terminal. On the other hand, Sombat Tour and Lignite buses all depart from the Bangkok Southern Terminal.
All buses coming from Bangkok arrive at either Phuket Terminal 2 or at Thalang. These bus terminals are 16 km distance apart.
If you arrive at Phuket Terminal 2, a car ride to the old Phuket Town is just 10 minutes. On the other hand, if you arrive in Thalang District, it will be a 30-minute journey to the town.
You can take a local bus to Phuket or for more comfort, you can also catch a songthaew or opt to spend a little extra and take a taxi to your hotel.
There are also other tourist buses which you can book through travel agencies. The majority of these tourist buses leave from the Khao San Road area. Unfortunately, you will likely end up paying more without any additional comforts for this option.
Also, be aware that there have been some reported cases of theft and unreliable service from these tourist buses. For this reason, we do not recommend booking these tourist buses on Khao San Raod.
Bangkok to Phuket by Flight
Duration: 1hr 15m
Starts from: 725 THB ($20.00)
Duration: 1hr 15m
Cost: 725 THB ($20.00)
The most convenient and fastest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by flight. Most of the low-cost carriers such as AirAsia, and Thai VietJetAir offer multiple flights per day.
Fares start around 725 THB ($20.00) for a one-way trip when booked in advance. During promotions, flights can even go as low as 330 THB ($9.00).
On the other hand, during the peak season and on Thai holidays, ticket prices can be extremely inflated. Keep this in mind when planning your trip.
The flight takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to reach Phuket from Bangkok.
Low-cost airlines AirAsia and Thai VietJetAir both offer flights departing from Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Muang Airport. There is not much difference in time to get to the airports, so we recommend just booking a flight that is most convenient for you.
Other airlines operating on this route are Thai Lion Air and Nok Air, Thai Smile, Thai Airways, and Bangkok Airways.
Arrival at Phuket Airport
All flights land at Phuket Airport. Phuket airport is located in the northeastern part of the island. The airport is approximately 30 km from Phuket Town and 40 km from the popular (party) destination Patong.
To get from the airport to your destination, you can arrange a pick-up from your hotel or book a shuttle service at the airport. See our route page of Phuket Airport for more information on how to get to your accommodation from the airport.
TIP: If you decide to travel by plane, please consider including a carbon compensation fee to reduce your impact on the environment.
Bangkok to Phuket by Train + Bus via Surat Thani
Starts from: 995 THB ($28.00)
Cost: 995 THB ($28.00)
Phuket does not have a railway station. This means you first have to travel to the nearest train station which is located in Surat Thani.
If you are hoping to spend a day or two in Surat Thani, this is a great way to see it on your way to Phuket. Keep in mind this is an extremely long journey and is even the most expensive option.
If you want to explore Surat Thani first, you can take the orange bus from the train station to the city centre for 20 THB ($0.50). There are also taxis available which charge 140 THB ($3.80).
Surat Thani town is about 15 km east of the railway station and the trip to the centre should take about 20-30 minutes from the railway station.
Honestly, there isn’t much to see in Surat Thani, though. That’s why we recommend continuing with a van to Phuket. These vans conveniently leave from the bus terminal next to the railway station.
Step 2: Surat Thani to Phuket by Bus
Costs: 265 THB ($7.00)
Costs: 265 THB ($7.00)
From the train station, you can take the Phantip bus bound for Phuket. There are several trips daily and the earliest leaves at 07:00 and arrives at the Phuket Bus Station 1. The fare is 265 THB ($7.00).
Train + Bus via Surat Thani options from Bangkok to Phuket
Aekkeko Hostel is set in central Phuket Town within walking distance of numerous bars, restaurants, and sights. It’s a vibrant and colourful place with so many chillout places it’s impossible to keep count.
Offering both dorm beds and private rooms, there’s something for everyone. Plus, the dorm beds are huge! The staff will welcome you like family making you feel right at home.
Baan Sutra Guesthouse is in the perfect location, just a 1-minute walk from the Old Town. Yet when you step through its doors, you forget about the chaos outside. The hotel is clean, serene and homely.
The rooms are bright and very spacious. You’re guaranteed to have a comfortable stay here, especially with the helpful and friendly staff.
Calling all digital nomads or anyone looking to relax without having to spend too much money. HOMA has everything you could need — a huge rooftop swimming pool, games room, gym, co-working space and an Italian restaurant. You never have to leave!
The rooms are modern with vibrant pops of colour and huge beds. Need any help? The staff are always there to give you recommendations and make sure you have the best stay.
Staying at Hotel Tide puts you seconds from the beach and in the middle of luxury. The huge swimming pool overlooks the beach and is the perfect place to escape the heat. Or relax on the terrace or nets overlooking the sea.
Here you’ll be a 10-minute drive from the Old Town, but if you don’t want to make the journey, you can enjoy the onsite delicious restaurant. This is the ideal place to unwind and chill in Phuket.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Abby is a writer who finds joy in mountains, beaches, and road trips. She considers her solo backpacking trip to the rice terraces of Bontoc one of the most fulfilling moments in her life. She’s loyal to the islands of her home country, the Philippines, but Thailand’s beaches also have a special place in her heart.