Thailand Travel Diary

Taxis and Tuk Tuks in Phuket

Taxis and Tuk Tuks in Phuket are the most popular form of transport among tourists. Since most hotels are located very close to the beach and popular tourist spots, it is easier to just walk to and from your hotel to most places. However, if you are coming from the airport or if you want to visit other areas which are not close to your hotel, you can hire a taxi or a tuk tuk. Most tourists do not prefer other forms of transport like buses or motorbike taxis. Buses are slower because they tend to stop at multiple places, while motorbike taxis are suitable only for solo travellers and are not very comfortable. Here are the two most popular ways to get around and explore Phuket on your holidays. To hire a taxi, you can either find one at a taxi stand or book using an app. Although Uber no longer operates in Thailand, you can still get a similar sort of service using the Grab Taxi app. You'll find tuk tuks everywhere around Phuket. To hire one, just let the driver know your destination, finalise the price and get on it.

Taxis in Phuket

You'll find air-conditioned taxis near most beaches and attractions in Phuket. Taxis in Phuket are bright red and yellow-coloured and cheaper compared to tuk tuks. Taxi fares in Phuket start at 50 baht for the first 2 km and 7 baht for every km after that. If you're coming from Phuket airport to the city, there is a 100 baht surcharge. Some taxi drivers tend to quote a flat rate if they have a better car or if you are looking to hire the taxi for a long journey around Phuket. You should always agree on a price before getting in a taxi. If you want to hire a taxi for the day to visit places around Phuket Town, prices are generally negotiable. While you won't find Uber in Phuket, you can book a metered taxi to pick you up using the 'Grab Taxi' app. Just select your pickup and drop off points in the app and a taxi driver will come and pick you up (except at the airport where Grab taxi is not allowed to operate).

Tuk Tuks in Phuket

Tuk Tuks in Phuket are a fun, convenient and exciting mode of transport but they are quite different from the iconic blue tuk tuks you'll find in the rest of Thailand. Generally, tuk tuks only have three wheels, but in Phuket, they have four wheels. The reason is Phuket's hilly landscape, which is not suitable for a three-wheeled vehicle. They appear more like a small van or a minibus and are generally painted in bright red or yellow colour. You can choose between a flashy tuk tuk that is decorated with disco lights and has an impressive sound system in the passenger compartment or a quieter one without the bells and whistles. They are a popular mode of transport for short distances, and you'll find them parked and waiting for customers near beaches and most major attractions in Phuket. Tourists love them because most don't get to ride in anything like them back home. Tuk Tuks are open and don't have air-con or seat belts, but they are fun, especially at night. Tuk Tuks in Phuket are generally more expensive than a taxi or a local bus because they are more exciting. Unlike taxis, tuk tuks don't have meters, but you can always negotiate to get a better price. A 3 km ride on a tuk tuk will cost you 200 baht on average. Most tuk tuk drivers in Phuket are reliable, polite, and super friendly. When you hire a tuk tuk in Phuket, tell your tuk tuk driver the exact location you want to go to and always agree on the price to be paid per person. Some tuk tuk drivers will try to take you to places like jewellery stores or tailors on the way to your destination where they get a commission if you buy something. Generally, a visit to these places is quick and interesting without a hard sell, but if you are not in the mood, you can decline the offer.