Are you planning a vacation to Thailand in the near future? Most people begin their Thai vacation with a stop in Bangkok. But after a few days, tourists are itching to get out of the big city and onto white sand beaches.
So, they make the trek from Bangkok to Phuket.
Most people don’t realize that the distance from Bangkok to Phuket is about 429 miles by air and 525 miles by road. So, it takes a bit of planning to make the journey.
As one of the most visited countries globally, it has so much to offer to every type of traveler. As a result, it truly is the land of smiles, as the country’s nickname suggests.
Wondering what the easiest ways to travel from Bangkok to Phuket are? Keep reading to find out now.
Why Travel from Bangkok to Phuket
Bangkok is an incredible city. In fact, it’s the second most visited city in the world. It should be the first place you visit in Thailand, as you’ll have a remarkable experience in the country’s capital.
Plus, flying into Bangkok is the easiest for international travelers. Flying directly to Phuket will almost always cost more money. And doing so would cause you to miss out on the magic of Bangkok’s incredible food scene, thriving outdoor markets, and breathtaking temples.
But once you’ve spent enough time in the big city, you’ll be longing to get to the coast. Southern Thailand, particularly around Phuket, is one of the dreamiest destinations in the world.
World-class beaches, tropical islands, excellent diving, snorkeling opportunities, and so much more make Phuket a top destination.
Wondering how to get to Phuket from Bangkok? Once you’ve had your fun in the capital city, here are the easiest and most cost-effective ways to get to Phuket.
Easiest Ways to Travel from Bangkok to Phuket
Depending on your budget, your timeframe, and your travel style, there are a number of ways to get from Bangkok to Phuket, and back from Phuket to Bangkok. Here are the most common.
Take to the Skies
Flying from Bangkok to Phuket is the fastest and easiest way to make the journey to the southern islands. While it’s the most expensive way to travel south, Bangkok to Phuket flights are still very affordable.
In fact, if you don’t mind local, budget airlines, you can fly roundtrip starting from about $40. And the best part is, the flight takes less than two hours. If you prefer the flexibility of one-way flights, a Phuket to Bangkok flight can be as low as $25.
While taking other methods of travel can save you $10 to $20, it’s much easier to spend a little extra and arrive much quicker. This is especially true for those who don’t do well sitting for long periods of time, such as those who are older or have any health conditions.
To secure the best ticket price and the most convenient departure time, book your ticket months in advance, if possible.
Enjoy a Leisurely Train Ride
If you don’t mind traveling a little slower, you can take the train. While there isn’t a direct train service between the two cities, there’s only one change that needs to be made.
First, you’ll travel from Bangkok to Surat Thani. From there, you’ll board a bus to finish the journey to Phuket. Your total travel time will be upwards of 12 hours.
A second-class, combined bus and train ticket will cost around $30. You can pay a bit more for the first class. A Phuket to Bangkok train will start from the Phuket bus station, taking you back to Surat Thani before hopping aboard the train to Bangkok.
Take a Bus
If you don’t want to switch from a train to a bus, you can take a single Bangkok to Phuket bus to simplify the journey. The express bus will take about 13 hours. Bus ticket prices vary between $20 and $30, depending on the carrier and ticket class you choose.
While it’s a long ride, the buses are very comfortable. Large seating, constant air conditioning, restrooms, snacks, and wifi are all included. So if you don’t get carsick very easily, you can get some work done on your computer or watch movies on your personal devices.
Want to travel through southern Thailand at your own pace? You can always rent a car in Bangkok and drive to Phuket on your own.
Renting a car at the Bangkok airport is relatively simple. Just be sure to have an international driver’s license, which you can acquire before you leave your home country. Also, bring along your passport and proof of health insurance.
To best avoid fraud, choosing reputable car rental companies with a history of serving tourists. Make sure your rate includes insurance, in case the car is damaged, broken into, or stolen.
Car rental can cost about $30 per day. But the benefit is that you won’t have to pay for taxis every day while on vacation, so it might be worth your while. Plus you can explore off-the-beaten-track areas where taxis might not be found.
Rent a Motorbike
Feeling adventurous? One of the best ways to explore Thailand is by renting a motorbike.
Be advised, driving a motorbike on the busy roads of Thailand is not for the faint of heart. You should have experience driving a scooter or motorcycle in your home country before trying to do so in Thailand.
If you want to learn to ride a motorbike, wait until you arrive in Phuket so you can practice on easier roads.
While renting a motorbike is very easy to do in Thailand, it’s best to have the right license beforehand. If you don’t have a motorcycle license in your home country, then your travel insurance policy likely won’t cover a motorcycle accident or injury. And since road conditions can be very difficult, particularly for new riders, accidents aren’t uncommon.
The reward, however, is exploring Thailand at your own pace. It’s far cheaper than renting a car or paying for taxis to get around, often around $5 per day. However, transporting luggage can be difficult.
As a result, this is best for the minimalist traveler if you plan on getting from Bangkok to Phuket via motorbike. Alternatively, you can fly to Phuket, then rent a motorbike when you arrive.
Planning the Best Thai Vacation
Now that you know how to get from Bangkok to Phuket, you’re ready to start planning your vacation. Since the Bangkok to Phuket distance is quite long, it’s best to book your inter-country travel plans as far in advance as you can.
And if you need help planning your trip to southern Thailand, check out this list of the best beaches and islands to include on your itinerary.