Getting from Phuket Airport to Patong, Karon, Phuket Town

Phuket island is a tropical paradise with beautiful beaches and vibrant towns. If you’re flying to Phuket, you’ll land at Phuket Airport, one of the busiest airports in Thailand.

How to get from Phuket Airport to Patong, Karon, Kata, Rawai, or Phuket Town and other popular destinations?

In this handy travel guide, you’ll know how to navigate your way from Phuket airport to these fantastic destinations.


Phuket Airport is about 40 kilometers from Patong, 47 kilometers from Kata, 50 kilometers from Karon, and 33 kilometers from Phuket Town.

To travel from Phuket airport, you can choose between private transfer, car rental, airport bus, taxi, or shared minivan.

On average, it takes about:

  • 1 hour from Phuket Airport to Phuket town
  • 1 hour and 20 minutes from Phuket Airport to Patong
  • 1.5 hours from Phuket Airport to Karon or Kata.
Sunset on Patong beach in Phuket, Thailand.
Beautiful sunset on Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

5 Ways to Get from Phuket Airport

Private Transfers

If you prefer a hassle-free experience, booking a private transfer at Phuket airport is the way to go.

Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by a professional driver who will assist you with your luggage and take you directly to your hotel in Phuket.

This option is particularly convenient if you travel with a group or carry heavy baggage.

Private transfers also provide privacy and flexibility, allowing you to travel at your own pace and make any necessary stops along the way.

I highly recommend booking your private transfer in advance to ensure availability. You can book your transfer with Welcome Pickups, Viator, or GetYourGuide.

Phuket airport entrance, Thailand.

Car Rental

If you prefer the freedom to explore Phuket at your own pace, renting a car in Phuket is an excellent option.

Renting a car gives you the flexibility to visit multiple destinations, including Patong, Karon, Kata, and Phuket Town, and discover hidden gems along the way.

Just remember to have a valid international driving license and familiarize yourself with local traffic rules.

Tip: Before renting a car, it’s a good idea to research the road conditions, parking availability, and any tolls you may encounter during your journey. Plan your route in advance and consider using navigation apps to make your driving experience smoother.

Airport Shuttle Bus

For those seeking an affordable option, the airport bus is the cheapest choice.

Phuket Airport Bus service departs every hour from 9 am to 9 pm.

It connects Phuket Airport to Rawai Beach with stops at many popular tourist destinations, including Nai Thon Beach, Surin Beach, Kamala Beach, Patong Beach, Karon Beach, Kata Beach, and Phuket Town.

These air-conditioned buses provide a comfortable ride, and the fares are often lower compared to other modes of transportation.

On our last visit to Phuket, we opted for the airport shuttle bus to reach Phuket Town.

It was a cost-effective choice, and we enjoyed the scenic journey as the bus passed through local neighborhoods.

The bus dropped us off at the bus stop quite near our hotel, saving us the hassle of finding a taxi or navigating unfamiliar streets.


  • Check the bus schedule and make sure to be aware of the designated stops for your destination.
  • Keep in mind that shuttle buses may have limited space for luggage, so if you’re traveling with larger bags, you should choose other options.

Timetable and fees

The bus from Phuket airport to popular destinations on the island costs 100 baht for any stop.

  • Phuket Airport to Phuket town bus: The trip takes 1 hour and 20 minutes. You can book your ticket here.
  • Phuket Airport to Patong bus: The trip takes about 1.5 hours.
Phuket airport to Patong bus timetable.

Shared Minivan

If you’re looking to save some bucks, shared minivans are a fantastic option.

These minivans operate from Phuket Airport and provide transportation to popular destinations like Patong, Karon, Kata, and Phuket Town.

The journey might take a bit longer as the minivan stops at various locations to drop off passengers.

Also, be prepared for potential delays due to waiting for other passengers or traffic conditions. We waited about 20 minutes for our departure.

If you travel by shared minivan, it takes about 1.5 hours to get from Phuket airport to Patong, and only 1 hour from Phuket airport to Phuket town.

Phuket airport to Patong bus guide Thailand.


Whether you’re heading to the bustling Patong Beach, the serene shores of Karon and Kata, or the vibrant Phuket Town, taxis will get you there in no time.

Once you step out of Phuket Airport, you’ll find a taxi stand with several taxis available.

From Phuket Airport to Patong, the trip takes about 1 hour and costs 800 baht.

Please make sure to choose a licensed taxi and negotiate the fare with the driver before starting your journey.

You should write down your hotel address or save it on your phone to communicate with the driver effectively.

How to choose the best travel options

When deciding which transportation option suits you best, there are a few factors to consider:

  • Distance and Travel Time: Phuket Airport is located quite far from the city center, and travel time can vary depending on traffic conditions. Keep in mind that during peak hours, the journey may take longer, so plan accordingly.
  • Cost: Consider your budget when choosing your mode of transportation. Taxis and private transfers tend to be more expensive, while shuttle buses and car rentals offer more affordable options. Remember to account for any additional fees or charges associated with each option.
  • Luggage and Comfort: If you’re traveling with heavy luggage, consider the convenience and space available in each mode of transportation. Private transfers and minivans usually have room for baggage, while airport buses and car rentals may have limited storage space. Prioritize your comfort, especially after a long flight.

Phuket Airport Early Arrival Tips

Airport Facilities:

If you arrive at Phuket Airport earlier than expected, use the airport facilities to freshen up and relax.

There are lounges, restaurants, and shops where you can grab a bite to eat, enjoy a refreshing drink, or do some last-minute shopping.

Explore the Airport Surroundings:

If you have some time to spare, consider exploring the area around Phuket Airport.

There are nearby attractions such as Nai Yang Beach and Sirinat National Park that offer serene natural beauty and a chance to soak in the tranquil atmosphere.

Take a stroll along the beach, dip your toes in the turquoise waters, or simply relax under the shade of a palm tree. It’s a wonderful way to start your Phuket adventure and make the most of your early arrival.

Phuket airport to Patong minivan taxi guide Thailand.

Phuket Airport Late Arrival Tips

Transportation Availability:

If you arrive at Phuket Airport late in the evening, you should check the availability of transportation options to the city center.

I recommend booking a private transfer if you arrive late. Planning ahead will save you any unnecessary stress and ensure you reach your destination safely and comfortably.

Grab food on the go

In case you arrive at Phuket Airport hungry and find limited dining options open late at night, don’t worry!

There are convenience stores within the airport where you can grab some snacks, sandwiches, or beverages to satisfy your hunger.

Check-in and rest

Upon reaching your accommodation in Patong or Phuket town, check in and take some time to rest.

Late arrivals can be tiring, and it’s important to prioritize your well-being.

Settle into your room, freshen up, and get a good night’s sleep. You’ll wake up refreshed and ready to embark on your Phuket adventures the next day.

Tips for an awesome trip in Phuket

To ensure a smooth journey from Phuket Airport to Patong and Phuket town, here are some helpful tips:

  • Research and Plan Ahead: Before your arrival, research the different transportation options available and familiarize yourself with their schedules, routes, and prices. It’s always better to be prepared, my friends!
  • Currency Exchange: Before leaving the airport, consider exchanging some currency to ensure you have cash on hand for transportation expenses, such as transportation tickets or a SIM card.
  • Communication: While English is commonly spoken in tourist areas, it’s helpful to have the names and addresses of your destinations written in Thai. This will make it easier to communicate with taxi drivers or ask for directions.
  • Traffic Considerations: Keep in mind that Phuket’s roads can get busy, especially during peak tourist seasons. Plan your travel times accordingly to avoid heavy traffic, particularly if you have a flight to catch.
  • Patience and Flexibility: Remember that travel experiences may vary depending on factors like traffic conditions and unforeseen circumstances. Stay patient and flexible, embracing the adventure that comes with exploring a new destination.


How far is Phuket Airport from Patong, Kata, Karon, and Phuket Town?

Phuket Airport is approximately 40 kilometers from Patong, 47 kilometers from Kata, 50 kilometers from Karon, and 33 kilometers from Phuket Town.

How long does it take to travel from Phuket Airport to these destinations?

Travel times can vary depending on traffic conditions and the mode of transportation. On average, it takes about 1.5 hours to reach Patong, Kata, and Karon, while the journey to Phuket Town typically takes around 1 hour.

Do you have to pay extra for luggage when taking a taxi or shared minivan?

No, there are no additional charges for luggage. However, if you have oversized or excessive baggage, the driver may request an additional fee.

Are there any direct shuttle buses from Phuket Airport to Patong, Kata, Karon, or Phuket Town?

Yes, there are direct shuttle buses available from the airport to these destinations. The airport shuttle bus service operates on scheduled routes, and you can check the specific stops and timings for each destination.

Is it safe to rent a car and drive in Phuket?

Renting a car in Phuket is generally safe, but you should follow traffic rules. Familiarize yourself with local driving customs and be mindful of other road users. Also, you should have travel insurance coverage for the rental vehicle.

Can I use ride-hailing services like Grab or Uber in Phuket?

There is no Uber, but you can use Grab or Bolt! These apps allow you to book taxis conveniently from your smartphone.

Is it necessary to pre-book transportation from Phuket Airport to Patong or town?

While it’s not mandatory, I highly recommend you do especially during peak travel seasons. Pre-booking ensures that you have a confirmed mode of transportation waiting for you upon arrival, saving you time and potential hassle. Additionally, it provides peace of mind, especially if you’re arriving late at night or traveling with a group.


Here is a quick summary of the available options to travel from Phuket Airport to popular destinations on the island.

  1. Private transfer: Hassle-free option to get from Phuket to Patong, Phuket town, and vice versa.
  2. Car Rental: For freedom and flexibility, renting a car allows you to explore at your own pace.
  3. Airport Bus: Connects the airport to different parts of the island.
  4. Shared Minivan: Budget-friendly way with different stops. Be prepared for potential delays due to pickups and traffic conditions.
  5. Taxi: Negotiate the fare with the driver and have your destination’s address ready for a smooth journey.

Whether you choose the convenience of a private transfer, the budget-friendly shared minivan, the affordability of the airport shuttle bus, or the freedom of a car rental, each option offers its own advantages. So, enjoy the beauty and excitement of Phuket as you explore its diverse and captivating areas. Safe travels!

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