To get from Surat Thani to Phuket you have three options: 1. minivan, 2. private bus, and 3. public bus. The quickest option takes around 4 hours, and the slowest option takes around 6 hours. The prices range from 150 Thai Baht to 300 Thai Baht.
Comparison of Travel Options
|Transport Type||Ticket Price||Travel Time|
|Minivan||300 THB||4 hrs 00 min|
|Private Bus||230 THB||4 hrs 30 min|
|Public Bus||150 THB||6 hrs 30 min|
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All three transport options connect you to Bus Terminal 2 in Phuket Town. From there it is another journey to get to the main beaches of Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala and Katathani, which are all on the other side of the Island.
If you have been to Phuket already you will know that it can be fairly expensive to use a taxi. They rarely use a meter and often charge relatively high fares. Expect to pay around 700 THB, for instance, from the Bus Terminal in Phuket Town to Patong beach, possibly more late at night. For this reason you are recommended to use one of the cooperative mini bus services for your onwards travel from Phuket Town. If you take the private bus (provided by Phantip Travel Service) they will drop you off before you get to the main bus terminal in Phuket to catch a 200 THB per person minibus to Patong and the other beaches on the West side of the Island.
Option 1: Minivan
In theory this is the quickest option at 4 hours travel time, and a cost of around 300 THB per person. You can turn up and buy a ticket for travel throughout the day at anyone of the many travel agents located on the Talad Mai Road in the centre of Surat Thani.
- Cost: Around 300 THB
- Journey Time: 4 hours (if they travel direct)
Whilst this travel option appears to be the quickest, in reality it can end up being slower. The actual time it takes depends upon two things: when the minivan actually leaves the city and what stops it makes on the way. Minivans from Surat Thani often travel around the city picking up clients and before they actually get on with the journey they need to be relatively full. It is not unknown for minibuses to spend over an hour picking people up from various locations around the city before they start the actual journey to their destination. They also make some very time consuming detours to drop people off.
On a good day the minivan option can be the best, if you do not mind the loud music and lack of personal space, on a bad day a minivan journey can be slow and unpleasant.
Option 2: Private Bus
The reliable Phantip Travel Company has 6 daily departures from their office on Talad Mai Road (between Talad Mai Alley 8 and Talad Mai Alley 10) in Surat Thani city centre to Phuket Town. The cost per person is 230 THB booked in advance on the internet. The journey takes a fairly standard time of 4 hours 30 minutes with fixed departure times. The bus stops approximately half way for around 20 minutes, enough time to visit the toilet and eat at the large restaurant where they park the bus.
- Cost: 230 THB
- Journey Time: 4 hours and 30 minutes
- Bus Times: from Surat Thani Town to Phuket from with the Phantip Travel Company
- Bus Times: from Surat Thani Train Station to Phuket with the Phantip Travel Company
- Location of the Phantip Office in Surat Thani departure point for the bus to Phuket:
- On Arrival in Phuket: Follow the instructions of the bus driver to leave the bus before you arrive at Phuket Town bus main station to connect with low cost minivan connections to the beach resort towns of Patong, Karon, Kata, Kamala and Katathani.
Option 3: Public Bus
The public bus is very cheap (around 150 THB person) and reliable, but slow with an average journey time of 6 hours 30 minutes. The public bus is the transport option of choice for the majority of Thai people. You can turn up at the bus station (Talad Kaset 2) and buy a ticket shortly before the bus departs. The arrival point is also Phuket Town’s Bus Terminal 2.
- Cost: 150 THB
- Journey Time: 6 hours and 30 minutes
- Public Bus departure times:
- Location of the Talad Kaset 2 Bus Station to Phuket:
Route Map to Phuket
- Distance by road from Surat Thani to Phuket: 236 Kilometres
- Driving time from Surat Thani to Phuket: 3 hours 22 minutes
Location of Phuket Bus Terminal 2
- Ratsada, Mueang Phuket District, Phuket 83000