Popular with tourists and expats, pretty Phuket is the largest of Thailand’s islands, and is one of the nation’s top tourist attractions.
But how to get from Bangkok to Phuket? What’s the easiest way to get there?
There’s so much to see and do here, from watersports and diving to gourmet dining experiences and crazy nights out, or just relaxing on the beach in the glorious sunshine.
And even though there’s a pretty great distance between the two places, Phuket is surprisingly accessible from the country’s capital Bangkok — be it by bus, train or plane.
Here’s our comprehensive guide on how to get from Bangkok to Phuket…
Flights from Bangkok to Phuket
With over 800 kilometers separating the two, by far the easiest and quickest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by plane, and flights to Phuket from Bangkok are also surprisingly affordable.
There are over 50 different airlines offering flights between Bangkok and Phuket, with carriers departing from both Bangkok Don Mueang Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport.
If you’re travelling on a shoestring and need to find the cheapest flight possible, most low cost carriers such as Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air and Thai AirAsia have around 30 daily flights departing from Bangkok Don Mueang Airport.
Depending on when you are travelling prices vary, with November and December being the cheapest time to travel with flights starting at around 1500 baht, rising to starting prices of around 6000 baht in the month of October, and average starting prices of about 3000 baht throughout the rest of the year.
The Bangkok to Phuket flight duration is refreshingly fast, taking a mere hour and a half or so.
The arrival point for flights departing from Bangkok is Phuket International Airport at the northern end of the island roughly 30 kilometers from Phuket City.
From the airport it’s easy to continue your journey to other parts of the island by bus or taxi.
Train from Bangkok to Phuket
Travelling from Bangkok to Phuket by train involves a little more effort than simply flying, but it is significantly cheaper than taking a flight.
Rather than taking one direct train from Bangkok it’s necessary to change from train to bus at Surat Thani, 650 kilometers south of Bangkok.
The train journey from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station in the city centre to Surat Thani takes a minimum of 5 hours depending on how many stops the train makes.
From Surat Thani the bus goes directly to Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket Town, with the journey taking around four hours.
There are roughly 10 trains departing daily from Bangkok, with departure times starting at 8 in the morning and running all the way up until around 10 o’clock at night.
You will need to choose between second and first class seats or sleepers — note that first class and sleeper carriages sell out quickly so it’s best to book these in advance.
Not all trains have air conditioning, and those that do cost a little extra. It’s also worth checking if there is a restaurant on board — if not, remember to stock up on snacks.
Prices vary, but the most cost effective way of making the journey is to get a combined train and bus ticket, with prices starting at just over 1000 baht.
Bangkok to Phuket Bus
The third travel option from Bangkok to Phuket is to get a bus that takes you all the way to Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket Town.
This is also a budget friendly option with the advantage of being simpler than taking the train and the bus, although it is by far the travel method with the longest journey time.
Buses depart from the Southern Terminal of Bangkok’s Hualamphong station, and there are around 10 daily departures starting in the early hours of around 6 or 7 in the morning and finishing at about 8 or 9 o’clock in the evening.
The journey takes a total of about 14 hours on average, so it’s worth investing that little bit extra to pay for a luxury express bus with all facilities on board and more comfortable seats. Prices start at 650 baht for a cheaper bus up to around 1000 baht for a more comfortable option.
How do you get from Bangkok to Phuket?
Featured image is by Andy Mitchell (CC BY-SA 2.0 licence)