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From the Phuket International Airport, there are multiple options for getting to your hotel in Phuket.
Airport Bus Phuket : It is the cheapest way from Phuket Airport to Phuket Town with one price 85฿. The bus leaves every hour from 6:30am to 8:45pm. It is perhaps the only official government service Airport Phuket-Phuket Town. Right as you come off the arrivals hall, turn left and walk about 20-25 meters until the end of the building, the bus will be there with a vibrant orange colour. Alternatively, you can go upstairs using elevator to the 2nd floor (departures hall), walk out of the departure halls and turn left. The bus will park in front of Burger King Airport - hard to miss it. It is very convenience for those who stay in Phuket Town.
Pre-arranged Hotel Transfer: Most hotels offer this service at an extra charge. You can contact the hotel directly prior to your arrival and inquire as to whether or not the hotel will pick you up and take you to your hotel. Charges for this range from 500฿ -1200฿ depending on the hotel and the destination. You'll provide the hotel with your arrival time and flight information and once you collect your baggage, you exit the airport doors, there is an area where a driver will be holding up a sign with your name on it.
Motorcycle taxis It costs approximately 20 baht / person / trip to travel around Phuket City. Alternatively, motorcycles can be rented from rental agencies located on Rasada Road or from several operators along beaches. The cost may vary from 150 baht 300 baht / day, depending on the number of cylinders. Do not use local converted red or yellow Tuks Tuks or Black plate unlicensed drivers at all.. Often sitting in front of hotels insist hotel calls metered taxi ONLY. Plan ahead get metered taxi numbers. Ph 076 From Thailand Tourism website. Recommended to use a metered taxi only. Occasionally a Thai taxi will attempt to charge you a fixed rate and it may be difficult for you to know if it is a reasonable price; it is recommended that you use a metered taxi whenever possible. It is much safer and you will avoid putting your self in danger. Second only to this is a hotel Branded limousine from hotel , not cars in front of resort.
Metered taxi: The airport is one of the few places you can pick up a legitimate metered taxi by walking up ,where you can be sure not to get ripped off. Beware the the The metered taxi stand is off to the side outside the lower ground floor terminal doors, far right it is a yellow stand and the yellow and red taxis are parked round the corner. There are many stand and people poaching for taxi business but they are x5 the price. and often drive dangerously. There is a flat charge of 100 Baht at airport , which is normal practice when departing from Thailand’s major airports. Normal meter fall is 20-35 baht when you get in outside of airport area. State your destination, and you will be issued with a receipt and assigned a driver. This receipt also acts are as a complaint slip should you be overcharged or experience a problem. This way drivers are held accountable and are more inclined to give good customer service. Take Land line number for metered taxi stand at airport insist your hotel has number available for guests at front desk. "taxi mafia" have made it difficult for the unsuspecting visitor to even find this option.
* Here are the directions to get a metered taxi to your hotel:
Bus to next province There are regular bus services (VIP, air-conditioned and non-air-conditioned) to neighboring provinces such as Krabi, Phang-nga, Chumphon, Ko Samui (bus/boat), Nakhon Si Thammarat, Ranong, Surat Thani, Satun, Hat Yai, Takua-Pa and Trang. Departures are from the Phuket Bus Terminal off Phang-nga Road. For more up-to-date schedules and fares, call Phuket Air-conditioned Bus Station, tel. 0 7621 1977.
Limousine service: Right as you come through the doors after you pick up the luggage, you'll see several counters where you can get "negotiated limousine" service to your hotel. You'll see placards with the rates. Basically, this is the controlled transportation mafia that runs these counters. If you decide to use one of these services, you'll pay for your transportation and be handed a receipt and one of the sales people will walk you out to the curb and you'll hand the receipt over to the driver.
Shared mini van: This is probably the cheapest choice if you are a couple or travelling alone. Otherwise a metered taxi may be more cost effective. Basically this is a mini van that holds up to 10 passengers. Once full, the van will drop off passengers directly at their hotel, but not before stopping at a travel agency in order to "confirm" your final destination.
In reality, this is merely a ploy to attempt selling you a hotel or tour package, but is easily ignored. This is a popular option with backpackers and budget oriented travellers. You buy your ticket at a counter as you exit baggage claim. A typical fare, for example to Karon, is 180฿ per passenger.
This is how one visitor described the unscheduled stop en-route;
" were told be taken directly to hotel but 20 minutes or so after leaving from the airport, the driver pulled up to a tourism office and all passengers were asked to step out of the van for ticket "validation." What really happens is that everyone is pressed to sign up and pay for various tours and hotels before getting back on the road to your intended destination. It was absolutely infuriating. The driver got out of the van, and joined in the office, where he sat down and made himself comfortable for 20 minutes." LINK
CAR RENTAL:Phuket has numerous car rental companies, most of which are reputable and reliable. Ensure you have an International Driving Permit and your National Licence. Most companies will not ask to see the International Permit, but having one is the LAW.
Ensure you take out first class insurance, and it's a good idea to take photo's of your hire car from different angles in case of any dispute about damage later on. Phuket is a very busy area so be cautious and drive defensively on the roads. Road accident statistics in Thailand are horrendous, right of way is judged more on vehicle size than road position.
Be especially careful of motorbikes, you'll be sharing the road with children of a very young age operating them too.
Multi-National Rental Companies operate out of Phuket like Avis and Budget . There are also many local hire car companies like Pure Car Rent and Braun Rentacar or Mobile Car Rental also phuketcarrental2u.com and www.phuket-car-rental.com (plus many more) with economy models starting around 1000฿ per day, with Optional Protection Packages (CDW) for 200฿/day. When paying by credit card, ask for the transaction to be done in baht. Avis and other rental companies will do the exchange for you, without asking you, and charge you in your home currency (dollars for example.) The exchange rate they offer will be below market rate, and below what your credit card would give you. Ask for the bill to be left in baht.
The local companies will sometimes accept a cash deposit (usually for the rental fee plus the selected insurance excess amount)in lieu of a Credit card payment.Car Rental Service Avis Car Rent Airport Tel: 0-7635-1243
Kata Beach Resort Tel : 0-7638-1530-3
Boomerang Travel & Tour 71/13 Patak Road
Chalong Bay Tel: 0-7638-1690
Dusit Laguna Hotel Bang Thao Beach Tel: 0-7632-4322-9
Hertz Car Rent Thawon Palm Beach Hotel, Karon Beach Tel: 0- 7638-1034-7
Holiday Inn Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0608
K.M. Travel Phangnga Road Tel: 0-7621-0893
Le Meridian Karon Noi Beach Tel: 0-7634-0480-5
Mobile Car Rental (Boat Lagoon Marina) Tel : 088 768 8297
The Metropol Hotel Montri Road Tel: 0-7621-5050
Surin Beach Tel: 0-7632-4017-20
Patong Merlin Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0037-41
Pearl Village Nai Yang Beach Tel: 0-7632-7006
Phuket Arcadia Karon Beach Tel: 0-7638-1038-40
Phuket Airport Tel: 0-7632-7258
Phuket Cabana Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0138-4
Phuket Car Center Takua Pa Road Tel: 0-7621-2671-3
Phuket Island Tel: 0-7638-1010
Phuket Yacht Charter 5/3 Chao Fa Road Tel: 0-7621-6556
Phuket Horizon Car Rent 235/4 Yaowarat Road, Tambon Talat Nua, Muang District Tel: 0-7621-5200
Pure Car Rent Opposite Thavorn Hotel, Ratsada Road, Tel: 0- 7621-1002
Via Rent A Car 70/85 Rat U-Thit, Patong Beach Tel: 0-7634-0160
CHAUFFEURED SERVICE:If you travel with more than 4 people, then a chauffeured service in Phuket is an option worth considering.
A chauffeured minivan starts at around 3500฿ - 4000฿ for 8 hours including gas, driver, and insurance. Also, you don't have to worry about the mountainous route or about staying sober.
Further Advice - DRIVING IN THAILAND
MOTOR-SCOOTER RENTAL: Legally you will need a motorcycle licence from your home country AND an International Drivers Permit.
This is a fun ( dangerous) way to get around Phuket, remember road accidents are very common, tourists and locals die on the roads, so it is not recommended for the novice rider. You will find motorbike rental places scattered around the island, and rates will start at around 200฿ per day, with reductions for longer term rentals. A deposit of around 1000฿ is normal, but ensure you get a receipt so you can claim it back at the end of the rental period.
There is more information here http://phukettravelandtours.com/motor...
Here's how to stay strictly within the law if operating any vehicle ( car or motorcycle) on a Thai public roads - READ THIS LINK
As with a hire car, make sure you have the appropriate International Driving Permit, and your National Licence in case of an accident or interlude with the Thai Police.Take photo's of the bike before you take it away in case of any dispute about damage later on. Consider the conditions of your personal travel insurance in regards to riding motorbikes and the maximum capacity allowable.
It is NOT ADVISABLE to ever leave your PASSPORT as security, but having a photocopy on hand, to leave with the hirer if required is a good idea. If a hirer insists on having your passport, move on and try someone else.Make sure you also get a well fitting helmet as part of the rental. Helmets ARE STRICTLY MANDATORY, you will be caught and fined if you fail to wear one. You still will be caught and fined DOUBLE if your partner behind you fails to wear one. Fines start at about 350฿ and go up from there. Also consider good footwear and appropriate clothing to give you some protection should the worse happen. Yes, it happens a LOT.
Read Phuket Destination Expert, Cathy&Gary's traveller article on self driving