Bangkok to Phuket: Plane, Train, Bus, Boat, Hitchhike or Drive
Since moving to Phuket, Thailand and hosting people from all over the world thanks to Couchsurfing.com, I am often asked what the best way to get from Bangkok to Phuket is. Having lived in Thailand for almost two years now and traveling often, I have had the experience of most all the recommendations I am about to make. Your preferred form of transportation may not be the best option for somebody else traveling with a smaller budget or with more limited time constraints. I will, therefore, cover 6 different options to get you from Bangkok to Phuket from fast to free by either of these options: Plane, Train, Bus, Boat, Hitchhike or Driving.
Since Bangkok is the capital of Thailands and also where the largest international airport is Suvarnabhumi, it makes sense that many people begin their journey in there. If I were to recommend a particular path, I would say to spend 1 day in BKK then head to Chiang Mai, then south to Phuket and looping back up to Bangkok via Koh Samui and Phangan. The other option would be doing that in complete reverse order, you will then get to experience most of the key areas in Thailand. This does exclude equally incredible places like Ayutthaya or Chiang Rai.
So, How to get from Bangkok to Phuket?
Taking the plane is by far the most convenient and efficient ways to travel from Bangkok to Phuket, and with low prices by Thai Lion and Air Asia. You can expect to fly most times of the day anywhere from 1000 baht or $20 USD and up depending on promotions and season. If you plan on doing this and have some time after spending a few days in Phuket then I would recommend taking the ferry from Krabi and island hopping in Samui and Phangan on your way back to BKK.
The ferry from Bangkok to Phuket is not the most luxurious or time effective ways to get there, but if you have the time, taking the ferry island hopping on your way can be the most fun. By the time you reach Koh Samui or Phangan, you will have tons of options for things to do like partying in Chaweng or going to a Full Moon Party. You can then even stop at Koh Tao on your way to Krabi before finally making it to Phuket. This route requires changing ferries on each island and the cost starts anywhere from 200 baht. Another option is to fly from BKK to Samui and then boating to Krabi.
The Train travel time is approximately 12 hours and will cost you anywhere from 1000 baht up. This is a good option for someone who wants a sleeper room or may not feel comfortable taking the ferry out in the open water. You can conveniently check the travel timetables online via the SRT website.
The cheapest way to get from Bangkok to Phuket is to take the bus which costs ฿650 – ฿800 and takes almost 14 hours. You’ll need to make your way to the South Bangkok Terminal. There are several options, but I would recommend an express bus with wifi.
Hitchhiking is always an option, especially in a super friendly country like Thailand. The only drawback is not everyone has a car so you may have to walk a long time before finally getting picked up by someone. If you don’t have too much to carry and are traveling solo you might even be able to score a ride on the back of someone’s bike.
Regardless of whether you are catching a ride from the pier in Krabi or all the way up north from Bangkok, this is by far the cheapest way to travel. Given the lack of control you have over your method of transportation in this scenario, you will need to expect your trip to take significantly longer, especially from BKK all the way down Surat Thani.
If you have a rideshare arranged or just get a wild hair up your butt and decide to drive your motorbike from BKK it can take you anywhere from 8+ hours by car and 3000 baht in gas. I wouldn’t recommend biking down as it can be quite dangerous and also exhausting but would be a relatively cheap option.
Bangkok To Phuket
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