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Phuket International Airport is 35 km to the north of Patong. "Limousine" taxis from the airport to Patong
are a steep 500 baht (45 minutes); meter-taxis 300+ baht (if coming from the airport, from outside the car
park gates); shared minibuses limit the damage to 150 baht (but 180 baht in the Patong to airport direction,
presuming you book through an agency). Even cheaper (however also more time consuming) option is to
take the comfortable a/c airport shuttle bus to Phuket Town (85 baht as of May 2010, 1 hour), and switch
there to a local bus to Patong, see "By bus" section. Alternatively, if you know the right road, you can get
off the bus after you pass the Big C shopping center on the right (the airport bus goes to the left there, and
the road to Kathu and then Patong is to the right from the same intersection), and try to catch a local bus
to Patong there, which also passes that intersection. Local buses to Patong are clearly marked in English
and in Thai.
Regular buses connect to Phuket Town (25 baht, 30-45 minutes) every 30 minutes or so between 07:00 and
18:00. The route starts from the southern end of the beach, after which the bus crawls through town (via
Bangla Road), stopping to pick up passengers, before finally heading off across the hills, and going via
Kathu, then passing near Big C before entering the Phuket Town.
In Phuket Town, those buses are usually waiting for passengers near the local market (1-1,5 km west from
the Phuket bus station), however, some huge (almost bus-sized) songthaews marked "Phuket - Patong"
were seen near Phuket bus station too. If you're coming by public bus from other areas in Thailand (like
Bangkok or Surat Thani), as well as if using the airport bus, you will end up in this bus station. Local
motorbike taxi drivers can and will offer fares like 40 baht to the market or 250 baht straight to Phuket - just
walk (there's a city map in the terminal), bargain hard, or just wait for an arriving songthaew; even if he's not
going to Patong, he will drop you to the bus station for no more than 20 baht, or probably 10 if there's more
than 2-3 of you.
Limousine usually referrs to a larger sedan, such as Toyota Camry, with leather seats, etc. They cost
around 600-700 baht to go to Kata Beach. Considering the drive is about an hour long, this is one of the
best options to get to Kata Beach.
Patong can (just about) be covered on foot, but there are plenty of taxis and motorbikes to get you around.
The cost of these is one of the main down sides to Patong as they are unregulated and charge what they
Phuket has two types of taxi - millions (or so it seems) of small songthaew-style minivans (usually bright
red, occasionally bright yellow), and very few conventional sedan-style taxis (yellow and red, with a
"TAXI-METER" sign on top).
The minivans have no meter, and their drivers are notoriously mercenary, so always agree a price
beforehand and do bargain hard. Short hops typically cost B200 since the one way system was invoked.
For longer distances the metered taxis are generally a better bet. You can hail one by telephone on
Motorbike taxi rides within Patong start around 40 baht.
How to go to Patong?