Taking a Bus to Phuket
Traveling to Phuket by bus from Bangkok takes about 14 hours. You can catch one from the Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai), in Thonburi. (Charan Sanitwong rd, Bangkok, tel: 02 435 1200, 02 435 1199).
Types of Buses
Not all buses are the same. A couple hundred baht more will buy you a lot more comfort. The standard air-conditioned buses cost around 700 Baht. These have 32 seats which are a little small seats and don’t recline much.
For a more comfortable journey take the VIP buses which have much bigger seats and more legroom. These have 24 seats and cost about 1,050 Baht per person.
Long-distance buses will stop at a designated restaurant about half-way into the journey, where you can have a simple meal or buy snacks to take with you. If you are on a VIP bus, the price of the meal is included in the ticket.
There are also private coach and minibus services available from travel agents or some hotel tour desks. Be wary of booking private buses from agencies on Khao Sarn road. The service on such buses can be unbelievably bad.
Phuket Bus Terminals
Bus Terminal 1
With the opening of Terminal 2, Terminal 1 will continue to service local routes such as Phuket to Phang Nga and the airport bus, as well as all buses arriving after 10pm in the evening. Terminal 1 is located on Phang Nga Road in Phuket Town down a side road opposite the Royal Phuket City Hotel.
Bus Terminal 2
Phuket’s long-awaited second bus terminal finally opened in April 2012 to service long distance routes such as Bangkok and Chiang Mai. The terminal is located on Thepkrasatri Road southbound on the northern edge of Phuket Town. There is a local bus service operating between Terminal 1 and 2 from 5am to 10pm. Buses arriving after 10pm will only stop and Terminal 1.
A Word Of Warning
Thieves operate on long-distance buses so keep on eye on your valuables. Don’t put anything valuable in the luggage compartment of the bus. You may find that its not there when you arrive. There have also been reports of thieves befriending tourist and offering them snacks which contain drugs to make them fall asleep, then robbing them while they doze.
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