How to get to Phuket Old Town once arrived (CHEAPEST)

Phuket Old Town: Phuket night market

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After reading this article, you will be able to answer the following questions:

How to get to Phuket Old Town by public transport once you arrive? How do I find the bus stop at Phuket Airport? Best place to stay in Phuket? How much am I expecting to pay to get to Phuket’s old town by bus?

Table of Contents

    As the plane touched down in the vibrant city of Phuket from Kuala Lumpur, I embarked on a spontaneous adventure, opting for a 100-baht bus ride to the old town after arriving.

    I manoeuvred around to look for the bus station, and it got quite complicated as I couldn’t find the exact bus that got me to Phuket Old Town. With that, I went from the multiple exits in the airport but yet the bus stop is no where to be found. As a budget backpacker, I tried my best to avoid any form of private transport like Grab Bike or Grab Car as it costs more than 300 baht to get to the old town! Thus, this article is important as it explains everything you need to know about transportation to Phuket:

    Bus to Phuket Old Town

    The Phuket Smart Bus is a newer and more modern option for public transportation in Phuket. It offers air-conditioned buses with comfortable seating and operates on fixed routes throughout the island. To get to Phuket Old Town from Phuket International Airport, take the A2 bus to Phuket Town Bus Station.

    Once you arrive by plane, step outside the arrivals building and go to the left if you’re facing the car park (important!)

    Photo by Roma Neus.

    As you can see, there are multiple different buses departing from phuket airport to different locations such as Patong beach, Koh Sire beach and etc.

    The bus you should be taking is Phuket Smart Bus, heading to Rawai Beach.

    The bus only accept cash (Take note), and you will be assigned with a physical ticket. This is very important as I have seen multiple foreign tourist couldn’t board on the bus due to insufficient cash in hand.

    Prices for bus tickets
    • As of 2023, it costs 100THB (2.81USD) to get there


    Besides that, If you are looking for a more convenient way to travel I strongly suggest you to take Bolt. In thailand, bolt is indeed the cheaper option among its competitors. Historically, as Bolt has fought to attract more users its fares have been lower than those of Grab or other alternatives. (Not sponsored!)

    Prices/cost for e-hailing

    Solo travellers

    Solo travellers! Try out the bolt motorbike as it is the cheapest option out there to get you to Phuket old town. Therefore, It is a fast and convenient to maneuver around the traffic!

    • Pricing : 25THB Base fee (0.7USD) + 3.5THB/KM (0.09USD)
    • Estimated total price: 3.85USD

    Group travellers

    Group of more than 2 person travelling in a group, bolt car is the perfect option for you.

    • Pricing : 70THB Base fee (1.9USD) + 7.50THB/KM (0.21USD)
    • Estimated total price: 9.25USD (Group of 4 = 2.3USD per person!!)

    Taxi (final option)

    As you exit from the airport, you’ll encounter numerous taxi drivers eager to offer you a ride. I’d typically advise against it, as some might try to scam you without using the meter, especially when dealing with foreign tourists, referred to as “Farangs.” If you find yourself with no other options, it can certainly be beneficial in getting to Phuket Old Town.


    • Expect to pay more than 500THB (14.8USD) or more

    My experience

    Phuket Old Town

    The bus journey unfolded as a serendipitous theatre, with the backdrop of sunny Phuket casting a warm glow on the bustling streets.

    Upon arriving at the old town, the vibrant tapestry of Phuket Festival greeted me. The streets pulsated with the energy of tourists and the rhythm of diverse performances. Navigating through the festivities, I stumbled upon a revelation – today marked the culmination of Chinese New Year, known as Chap Goh Mei. Phuket, it seemed, was not only a tropical paradise but also a melting pot of cultures. With grand celebrations echoing in every temple, the air was filled with a palpable sense of unity.

    Phuket Old Town: Phuket Night market sparkled the night with cheap eats and amazing performances.

    Engulfed in the rich tapestry of cultural celebrations, I found myself struck by the fascinating fact that Thailand boasts the world’s largest Chinese population outside of China itself. It was a testament to the global allure of this enchanting destination.

    Best Place To Stay in Phuket

    The hostel I stayed at is Aekkeko Hostel, and it stands out as the most welcoming and vibrant hostel I’ve encountered. It’s the place where I forged some lifelong friendships that I couldn’t have imagined. Shout out to Coco (the owner), who also go above and beyond to provide the best experiences!

    I highly recommend Aekkeko Hostel for anyone embarking on their first journey through Southeast Asia. The owner, Coco, being a backpacker himself, understands all the needs of fellow backpackers. The hostel is incredibly sociable, and the second-floor giant hammock adds an extra touch of chill vibes. They also got a mini library at the entrance, where travellers can hangout and chill !

    Aekkeko Hostel, Phuket : Reading section notice board.

    I booked my stay through Hostelworld two weeks prior since it tends to be fully booked. I spent four amazing days at Aekkeko Hostel.

    At Aekkeko Hostel, I also crossed paths with David, an american chemical engineer working at Seoul, Korea. In the blink of an eye, we became the best of friends and travel buddies for the next three days.

    Picture with David, at Big Buddha, Phuket.

    With English, you’ll go far—very far.


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