30 January 2017

Travel: Phuket Trip, Transportation (Part 2)

This is part 2 of my experience sharing about the transportation while I was travelling in Phuket in the middle of January 2017. In part 1, I was talking about the cheapest way to move from Phuket International Airport to various popular destinations. In case of you miss my Part 1, you can check it out here. πŸ‘ˆ
In part 2, I'll be talking about some transportations choices to move around in the main area. πŸ˜ƒ

Motorcycle taxi

Just like in Bangkok, motorcycle taxis are also available in Phuket and widely available at Phuket Town and Patong. This is a cheap & efficient way for you to reach your destination faster especially during rush hour. You can easily find this taxis around the time especially in front of convenience store (7-eleven, Family Mart etc.). The drives are easily recognised wearing red or blue vest. 

But not sure if they are willing to take passengers for a long distance trip like Patong-Town. The price depends on your destination, but mostly for foreign tourists, they demand from 100 baht. Make sure you negotiate and decide your price before using their service. I took motorcycle taxi from my hotel to Chillva Market (about 4km away) for 100 baht. The taxi was about 300 baht. However, if you are travelling in a big group, you might wanna consider to take a taxi or tuk tuk instead.

Local bus

I think the local bus is the most suitable transportation choice for low budget travellers. The price per route is less than 50 baht. Even though it's cheap but it's slow because the bus will make some stops before reaching your destination. I personally like the bus because of its uniqueness using wooden floor open traditional blue buses. Some buses do not have AC and you still able to see electronic fans in the bus.The buses operate between around 7am to 6pm everyday. No timetable is available. 
I think it's actually a lorry transformed into a bus.

The interior of the bus. You can see the electronic fans.
I took this bus from the Town to Patong just for 30 baht per person. You can find the bus stops at Ranong Road, a walking distance from Thalang Road. They don't have a specific terminal building or bus stop signs for the buses but you'll recognise them parked beside the road waiting passengers. Different buses will have different route and you can see their destinations written on the bus. But sometimes no English name, so don't be shy to ask the bus drivers for your bus. Or else you'll wasting your time and money going to other places. 😜

These are the popular bus stops if you are travelling from Town to Patong or vice versa:
*There are also some other stops as well along the way.

Town (Ranong Rd.) → Central Festival Mall → Jungceylon Mall/ Bangla Rd → Patong Beach

Tuk Tuk

Tuk tuk is very well known in Bangkok and is considered a cheap public transportation but NOT in Phuket. Since the main income in Phuket comes from tourism, tuk tuk drivers place ridiculously high prices to the their passengers eventough the distance is just about 2~3km. Unlike tuk tuk in Bangkok, mostly tuk tuk in Phuket are modified small lorry and they are usually coloured red.

If you are a solo traveller or a low-budget traveller, I don't recommend you to use tuk tuk. The cheapest price that I can get was 500 baht one way from Patong to Big Buddha. So round trip will be 1000 baht!!! 😑I'm going to spend that kind money just to see a Big Buddha. I can take another 1-day island tour with the same amount of money. Eventually I didn't take it. Plus, I was over-spent too. πŸ˜“

At Patong beach, you can see many tuk tuks along the road every time you passes them, each drivers will approach you promote their mini-tour. Sometimes it gets annoying but don't stressed out 😝, a polite "no" will be appropriateπŸ˜€πŸ‘.

Taxi/Grab Car

If you are planning to travel in a group of more than 3 people or money is not an issue to you, just use a taxi. Mostly that I aware, they are using Toyota Camry. The cost are is quite expensive but reasonable. Sometimes, you'll find that tuk tuk is much more expensive compared to taxi. My experience, a tuk tuk asked me for 700 baht from Patong to Town, but when a Grab Car (a taxi) has a fixed price of 460 baht. So, you might wanna compare these prices before deciding which transportation to take.

Even though Grab Car service is available in Phuket, unlike in Malaysia, they do not offer Grab Car (economy), the one that offers ride on a stranger's car like Uber, but rather you are calling a taxi or limo. Well, the good thing is you just don't need to argue to use the meter or negotiate your price because the price is fixed as decided by the app. But you would hardly find Grab Car taxis in the Town area compared to Patong.

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