There are several ways to use Phuket local bus services. All are cheap, and all are slow, but if you are visiting Phuket with a small budget and if time is not an issue, you can save quite a bit of money by taking advantage of these bus options.
The Smart bus goes all the way from Phuket International Airport to Rawai beach and stops at 12 stations along the way, almost every beach on the west coast: Bangtao Beach, Surin Beach, Patong Beach, Karon and Kata Beach and finally Rawai.
The rate is incredibly cheap, from 50 baht for the shortest distance and 170 baht for the longest ride. Buy a refillable Smart Card onboard to pay the fare (fare cannot be paid directly in cash). Refill is available in designated shops or restaurants around the island.
The bus at airport:
The platform is next to Gate No. 4 of domestic terminal. The bus will arrive in 15 minutes before departure time.
The bus destination:
Airport > Thalang > Cheng Thalay >Bangtao > Surin Beach >Phuket Fantasea > Big C Kamala > Patong > Karon > Kata > Rawai Beach.
Timetable from Phuket airport/Rawai Beach:
6.00 am, 7.00 am, 8.00 am, 9.00 am, 10.00 am, 11.00 am, 12.00 am.
01.00 pm, 02.00 pm, 03.00 pm, 04.00 pm, 05.00 pm, 06.00 pm, 07.00 pm, 08.00 pm, 09.00 pm.
Payment and Fare:
1. Cash : 170 baht/trip/Passenger (Flat Rate) *Suitable for single trip.
2. 3 days pass 499 baht : 3 days unlimited travel with Phuket Smart Bus.
3. Phuket Rabbit card : Start from 50 - 170 baht (According to distance and the card must has e-money at least 170 baht) . Card is available with staff on the bus 300 bath ( card fee 100 baht, e-money to use 200 bath).
NOTE: Phuket Smart Bus is free for kids under 7 years old! Please show a passport and inform the staff at the airport or the driver, for more information visit here
The oldest and best-known local bus is the Blue Bus (known as Song Taew). It often looks more like a wooden truck than a bus as you know it. Those will only take you from Phuket town to a beach or a small set of beaches, but not between beaches.
That blue bus leaves roughly every 30 minutes from 6 am to 6 pm, and a ride costs 30 to 50 baht. A typical trip from Phuket Town to Patong can last 50 to 60 minutes, but you need to add the idle time waiting for a bus to arrive, plus the frequent traffic jams on the way. On the other hand, it can be a fun experience at the bus is open an open-air one and it give you the ‘local feel’.
Location: Central Market, Ranong Road Phuket Town
Hours: 6 am – 6 pm
Price: 30 to 50 baht
Itinerary: Phuket Town to a beach or a set of beaches, and back
Blue Bus Routes
Patong Beach: 30 baht
Karon, Kata and Kata Noi: 30 baht
Kamala, Surin and Bang Tao: 40-50 baht
Rawai, Nai Harn: 35 baht
Chalong: 30 baht
The Pink Bus is also a converted truck that circulates only around Phuket town, using four different routes as indicated on the map. The fare is only 5 baht whatever route you use.