How To Get From Bangkok To Phuket (Cheapest/Fastest) 2023

Phuket is Thailand’s largest and most popular island, famous for its incredible beaches, countless activities, and wide selection of accommodations.

The fastest, easiest, and my personally recommended way of getting to Phuket from Bangkok is by plane, taking just 1 hour and 30 minutes. I take a plane to Phuket because it’s the most convenient and, even compared to cheaper options, is still affordable (400 THB difference compared to train + van combo)

The cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by train to Surat Thani and minivan to Phuket (this option is only cheaper than flying if you select a non-sleeper seat, a bed on the train will work out more expensive).

The journey from Bangkok to Phuket takes 1 hour 30 minutes by plane, 14 hours by bus, or 12 hours by car.

TypeJourney timeStarting price (estimate)
Plane (fastest)1 hour 30 minutes900 THB one way
Bus14 hours+783 THB one way
Train & Minivan (cheapest)16 hours+547 THB one way
(non-sleeper train seat + shared minivan taxi)
Taxi12 hours+8,000+ THB one way

Let’s take a look at each mode of transport in more detail.

Plane (recommended – fastest)

The fastest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by plane, taking approximately an hour and 30 minutes.

Flights to Phuket from Bangkok fly out from Don Mueang (DMK) and Suvarnabhumi (BKK) departing from 7 am until 10 pm.

Phuket International Airport (HKT) is the primary airport in Phuket, located in the North of the island. Onward transport available at the airport include shared and private Taxis or pre-booked airport transfer.

Airlines flying direct to Phuket from Bangkok: Nok Air, Thai AirAsia, Thai Vietjet Air, Thai Lion Air, Thai Smile, Bangkok Airways

Prices start from 900 THB per person for a single one-way ticket, depending on the time of the year, flight time, and airline.

Compare prices with Skyscanner:

Airlines flying to Phuket

AirlineDeparture Airport
Nok AirDon Mueang (DMK)
Thai AirAsiaDon Mueang (DMK) & Suvarnabhumi (BKK)
Thai Vietjet AirSuvarnabhumi (BKK)
Thai Lion AirDon Mueang (DMK)
Thai SmileSuvarnabhumi (BKK)
Bangkok AirwaysSuvarnabhumi (BKK)

Insider tips:

  • Book an early morning flight to get the cheapest fare
  • Bangkok Airways has complimentary lounge access for all ticket holders

Bus

Prefer to take the bus? Buses operate out of Mochit Station, Southern Terminal Bangkok, and private stations.

The bus trip from Bangkok to Phuket takes approximately 14 hours, but the buses are equipped with an onboard toilet and make several services stops along the way.

Private bus companies operating the route are Transport Co Ltd, Lignite Co Ltd, Sombat Tour, and Monthanathip Tour & Travel.

Prices start from 783 THB per person for a single journey ticket, depending on the operator and timetable.

Compare prices on 12Go:

Bus Timetable

Operator/Departure StationDepartureArrivalJourney
Transport Co Ltd
Mo Chit Bus Terminal (Chatuchak)
6:45
21:12
14h 27m
Transport Co Ltd
Mo Chit Bus Terminal (Chatuchak)
16:45
07:12
14h 27m
Transport Co Ltd
Mo Chit Bus Terminal (Chatuchak)
18:00
08:27
14h 27m
Transport Co Ltd
Southern Bus Terminal Bangkok (Sai Tai Mai)
16:3006:5714h 27m
Lignite Co Ltd
Southern Bus Terminal Bangkok (Sai Tai Mai)
18:3006:3012h
Sombat Tour
Sombat Tour Viphavadee 13 Bus Station
16:0006:4514h 45m
Monthanathip Tour & Travel
Montanatip Office
19:0012:0017h

Timetable is subject to change check 12Go for the latest timetable.

Train & Minivan

Unfortionally there is no direct train from Bangkok to Phuket but you can get a train to Surat Thani and then get alternative transport such as a taxi or bus to Phuket.

The 12-hour train to Surat Thani Train Station operates out of Bang Sue Station (renamed Krung Thep Aphiwat Train Terminal in 2022).

The majority of the trains going to Surat Thai offer sleeper seats which transform into flat beds for sleeping. Sleeper train seats start from 1,000 THB for a one-way trip depending on train type and class. Sleeper seats for trains 31, 83, 167, and 85 can be booked directly on Klook

Standard seats are available starting from 217 THB depending on train number and class.

Once you arrive at Surat Thani you can book a shared minivan or private taxi to Phuket with prices starting from 330 THB per person. A taxi to Phuket takes around 4 hours from Surat Thai.

The total journey by train and taxi to Phuket is approximately 16 hours, not including waiting times during transit.

Train Timetable

Train no/RouteDeparture ArrivalPrice
43 (non-sleeper)
Special Express Bangkok-Surat Thani
07:50
18:50Adult: 608 THB
Child: 484 THB
39 (non-sleeper)
Special Express Bangkok-Surat Thani
22:05
09:25Adult: 608 THB
Child: 484 THB
171
Rapid Bangkok-Sungai Kolok
12:30
01:33Adult: 217-728 THB
Child: 164-604 THB
31
Special Express Bangkok-Hat Yai Junction
14:30
02:31Adult: 908-2,379
Child: 784-2,120
37
Special Express Bangkok-Sungai Kolok
15:10
03:35Adult: 908-2,379
Child: 784-2,120
169
Rapid Bangkok-Yala
15:35
04:27Adult: 217-728
Child: 164-604
83
Express Bangkok-Trang
17:00
05:25Adult: 257-1,839
Child: 204-1,580
167
Rapid Bangkok-Kantang
18:30
07:47Adult: 217-728
Child: 164-604
85
Express Bangkok-Nakhon Si Thammarat
19:3008:32Adult: 217-728
Child: 164-604

Timetable subject to change check railway.co.th for up-to-date times.

Taxi

Prefer to get a taxi to Phuket? private taxi charters take around 12 hours, starting from 8,000 THB per trip depending on operator and vehicle type.

The benefits of booking a taxi charter include pickup/dropoff at your desired location, which could be more affordable if you’re traveling in a larger group.

Compare prices on 12Go or through ride-hailing applications such as Grab or Bolt.

Summary

There are multiple transport options when traveling from Bangkok to Phuket, including plane, bus, train + minivan, and private taxi.

The fastest way to travel to Phuket is by plane, and the cheapest is the train + minivan combo. However, this combo it’s less convenient, so I still prefer to travel by plane.

Hopefully, in the future, there will be direct high-speed trains to Phuket that can compete with flying.

Leave a Comment