I’ve already written a post on how to travel from Bangkok to the East Coast islands here, but for this installment of my Thailand series I’ll be explaining the cheapest and quickest ways to travel to the West Coast towards Phuket, Koh Phi Phi, Ao Nang and Krabi Town. All around Phuket there are both luxury resorts and hostels for backpackers. You can be in your own world or stay in the Patong Beach region, which is pretty comparable to Pub Street in Siem Reap or Khao San Road in Bangkok.
Because Phuket is an island, you cannot take a train directly from Bangkok to Phuket town. You can, however, take one from Hualalamphong in Bangkok’s city centre to the harbour town of Surat Thani, and take a bus from there. There is one daytime train and two overnight trains, the former taking eight hours and the latter twelve, plus another four hours by bus. The total cost of this is 1589 (£40) baht for a 1st class ticket or 1018 (£25) baht for 2nd. Unless you’re keen on seeing the Thai countryside on the day train or are looking to kill time before meeting a connecting flight, I would not recommend this option for travelling purely because of the time it takes and the little difference in cost between it and flying.
Overnight buses take around 14 hours and cost roughly half that of a train ticket. You can purchase bus tickets all around Khao San Road and Ram Butri for around 600 to 650 baht, which gets you an assigned seat on an airconditioned coach with space for your luggage and legs. Honestly, the coaches are really comfortable and booking an overnight bus will save you a night of accommodation either in the capital or along the coast.
By far the fastest way to travel, you can get from Bangkok to Phuket airport in an hour with another hour drive to Patong on the other side. flights cost as little as £13 with Thai Airways which includes up to 23kg of luggage and a taxi to Patong will cost around £10. I’d recommend using the local equivalent to Uber, Grab, to save bartering with drivers at the airport on price.
If there are a large group of you, it might be most feasible to rent a minibus, however compared with the cost of flying there may not be a huge difference in price. The bus takes 18 hours, which again saves the cost of accommodation for a night, and suits those who have an aversion to flying, but can cost anywhere up to £380 for nine people, roughly £45 a head. If you’re keen on seeing Thailand outside of the normal tourist stops and want the luxury of stopping wherever you want whenever you want, perhaps looking into this option may be worth looking into.
You can read all of my articles on Thailand by clicking here, including hotel reviews and tips on getting around.
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