After Bangkok, Phuket was my next destination in Thailand. It’s a nice break after the city’s bustling nightlife, crowds, and traffic.

There are several ways to travel from Bangkok to Phuket, including ferry, flight, train, bus, and motorbike or car.

In this guide, I will compare these options and provide some useful tips for your trip to Phuket to help you get started with your island getaway right away!

phuket thailand phi phinislands
Soak in the turquoise waters of Phi-Phi Islands in Thailand

Where is Phuket Located?

Located in southern Thailand, Phuket is an island in the Andaman Sea surrounded by Phang-nga and Krabi. It is approximately 839 km away from Bangkok.

You can travel from Bangkok to Phuket via plane, bus, train, motorbike, or car.

Here’s how far Bangkok to Phuket is:

Can you get a Ferry from Bangkok to Phuket?

No, there is no direct ferry service available from Bangkok to Phuket. This is because Bangkok is situated inland, on the Chao Phraya River near the Gulf of Thailand, whereas Phuket is an island located in the Andaman Sea.

The distance between these two places is considerable, and there are no direct sea routes to connect them.

However, several other travel options are faster and more economical, such as flights, trains, buses, cars, and motorbikes. I’ll provide a comprehensive list of these options below.

bangkok to phuket by ferry
Bangkok to Phuket by ferry: Is it possible?

If you’re interested in including a ferry ride in your travel itinerary, you can take a bus or train from Bangkok to a coastal city like Surat Thani or Krabi.

Then take a ferry to nearby islands like Koh Phi Phi or Koh Lanta. From there, you can transfer to Phuket by ferry.

However, this route is more about the experience of visiting other islands rather than a direct or efficient way to reach Phuket from Bangkok.

Another option is to take a ferry from Pattaya to Hua Hin, which takes only 2 hours compared to a 6-hour bus ride.

This ferry operates a regular schedule of three crossings per week, so you can plan accordingly.

Fly From Bangkok to Phuket

Fly From Bangkok to Phuket
Fly From Bangkok to Phuket

The quickest way to get to Phuket from Bangkok is by plane. Flights from Bangkok to Phuket only take around 1.5 hours. Compared to a 14-hour bus or train ride, it will save almost an entire day of travel time. For a short trip, every hour counts!

To make the most of my trip, I booked a cheap flight to Phuket from Bangkok, which gave me an extra day to spend on the beach with my partner, who had arrived two weeks earlier.

Many airlines fly this route, which makes Phuket International Airport the second busiest airport in Thailand – right after Bangkok.

It is located in the island’s northern part, only about 30 minutes from Phuket Town and 45-60 minutes from the beach areas.

If you’re looking for cheap flights, you can fly out of Don Mueang Airport, Thailand’s low-cost carrier hub. Plane tickets are surprisingly affordable.

I found one-way fares for under $25 and roundtrip tickets for $40. You can find these promos from budget airlines like Thai Smile, Thai Lion Air, Vietjet Air, and AirAsia.

IMPORTANT REMINDER: Bangkok, Thailand has two main airports – Suvarnabhumi Airport and Don Mueang Airport.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is the newer and bigger airport that handles most of the international flights to and from Bangkok while Don Mueang Airport is an older and smaller airport that mostly takes care of the domestic flights to and from Bangkok and some international flights from low-cost airlines.

Cost: $22 for a one-way ticket | $40 for a return ticket

Travel Time: 1.5 hours

Take a Bus From Bangkok to Phuket

Take a Bus From Bangkok to Phuket
Ride with these local buses from Bangkok to Phuket

Bus tickets start at around $21 for the 14-hour to 16-hour journey, which makes it the cheapest but the longest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket.

Busses depart from Bangkok’s Mochit Northern Bus Terminal and arrive at Phuket Bus Terminal 2. Several bus companies offer bus service between Bangkok and Phuket, with departures throughout the day and night. 

Although second-class buses are reasonable, considering a VIP bus operated by Phuket Travel or Express Bus might be a good idea. They offer extra legroom, reclining, and single-row seats to make your long trip more comfortable. 

During the trip, there will be a 30-minute break for you to stretch your legs and buy snacks or drinks. Book your seat in advance because buses tend to fill up quickly.

With my 10 years of traveling in Asia, I always use 12Go to book buses and train tickets. They offer the cheapest prices and hassle-free booking. Book your bus and train tickets to Phuket here.

Cost: $20 for a one-way ticket

Travel Time: at least 14 hours

Ride the Train From Bangkok to Phuket

Bangkok To Phuket Train
See scenic landscapes on a Bangkok to Phuket Train

There are no direct trains to Phuket. Instead, you can get there by combining a train and a bus. If you enjoy slow travel or want to see small villages, taking the train is a great option.

Surat Thani is also an excellent place to stay, as it is the gateway to Koh Pa Ngan and Ko Samui.

Start your journey by boarding a train at Hua Lamphong Station or Bang Sue Junction, which will take you to Surat Thani railway station. From there, you can take a 2-hour bus to reach Phuket.

The trains have air conditioning, comfortable seats, and roomy cabins. If you plan to sleep during the trip, consider booking a first-class train with beds.

Cost: $25+ for a train ticket, $8 for a bus ticket

Travel Time: at least 14 hours (about 9 hours by train and then 5 hours by bus)

Rent a Car or Motorbike and Drive From Bangkok to Phuket

Want some travel flexibility from Bangkok to Phuket? Rent a car.

If you plan to travel with your family, partner, or group from Bangkok, consider renting a car and driving to Phuket for the best scenic views.

Alternatively, if you’re an adventure junkie comfortable driving on rocky paths and busy roads, renting a motorcycle can offer you an experience of a lifetime.

You must have an International Driver’s Permit or a Thai driver’s license to rent a vehicle in Thailand. Car rentals begin at approximately 1,000 Baht ($30) daily, and motorbikes are available for 620 Baht ($18).

Driving in Thailand can be dangerous, particularly when sharing the road with large trucks and buses. The traffic moves quickly, and the road conditions are subpar, so it’s crucial to exercise caution.

If you want to make multiple stops, take 3-4 days and stop in Phetchaburi, Prachuap Khiri Khan, and Phang Nga. There are many viewpoints, temples, and national parks along the way.

Cost: $30+ per day for car, $18+ for a motorcycle

Travel Time: 12 hours, depending on the traffic

Rent a car from local providers and pick it up at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Rent a motorcycle online and pick it up at the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Best Tips for Traveling from Bangkok to Phuket

Whichever way you choose to travel from Bangkok to Phuket, here are the best tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip:

  • Choose the mode of transport that fits you. Consider flying for the quickest journey, or take a bus or train for a more scenic and budget-friendly option. Each mode of transport offers a different experience.
  • Book in advance. It’s a good idea to book your tickets in advance, especially for flights and trains. This can help you get better rates and ensure availability, particularly during peak travel seasons.
  • Stay hydrated and comfortable. The journey can be long, especially by bus or train, so make sure you carry water and snacks and wear comfortable clothing.
  • Pack light but smart. Phuket has a tropical climate, so pack light clothing and essentials like sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellent. A light sweater can be useful for air-conditioned transport. We traveled to and around Phuket with just a backpack, saving a lot on transportation!
  • Check the weather. Phuket has a tropical monsoon climate, so planning your trip is important, especially if you visit nearby islands. We decided to do island hopping on our last week in Phuket, but unfortunately, it rained every day so we missed it.
  • Explore ferry options. Speaking of trips to any Thai islands, research ferry schedules in advance so you won’t miss them like we did.
  • Stay connected. Consider getting a Thai SIM card for easy navigation and to stay connected during your journey from Bangkok to Phuket. Save yourself from haggling from taxi drivers and make sure you are connected for navigation and booking grab.

🤩 Having traveled to 20+ countries, I now prefer eSIMs for their easy setup and top-ups. Try eSIM for your Bali trip and get US$3 off on your first purchase with discount code: GLADIS6190.

  • Respect local customs and dress codes. Especially when visiting temples or religious sites in Phuket, dress modestly and be mindful of local customs.
  • Plan Your Arrival. Whether you’re landing at Phuket International Airport or arriving by bus or train, have a plan for reaching your accommodation, whether it’s a taxi, bus, via Grab, or pre-arranged transfer.
  • Be Open to Adventure. Phuket offers a wide range of activities, from serene beach days to vibrant nightlife. Stay open and flexible to fully enjoy what the island has to offer. Let wonder and awe inspire you.
  • Bring a book. I always bring a book or my Kindle on the road. It helps me make the most out of my time and also allows me to practice mindfulness while waiting. I also love reading slow travel inspirations on the road.
  • Practice mindfulness. I love long commutes because they put me in a meditative state. I notice the trees, people, and buildings around me and stay present at the moment. Focusing on your breath for a few minutes can help reduce stress and increase contentment.

Bangkok to Phuket: Which is the Best Way to Get There?

The best way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by taking a flight. It’s the quickest and relatively affordable option. But if you’re booking last minute and flights are expensive, don’t worry – you can always take the bus.

Taking the train is an excellent option for those who want a rustic experience. And if you’re traveling in a group, renting a car is a perfect choice to save money and appreciate the stunning scenery.

For the adventurous types, renting a motorcycle is the way to go! Ultimately, choose an option that fits your personality and the length of your trip.

Stunning Beach in Phuket, Thailand

Best Things To Do in Phuket

We stayed in Phuket for a month, and here are the best things we absolutely recommend doing on this beautiful island.

phuket beach kata noi beach
Kata Noi Beach in Phuket
Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve
Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve
The Big Buddha Phuket
Big Buddha Phuket
  1. Visit the Big Buddha Phuket: The Big Buddha statue is located on Nakkerd Hill and is the third tallest Buddha statue in Thailand. It’s one of the most famous landmarks of Phuket that offers mesmerizing panoramic views of the island. This spiritual statue is the perfect spot for reflection and to appreciate the beauty of Phuket from above.

    Read next: A Complete Guide for Visiting Big Buddha Phuket
  2. Explore Phuket Old Town: Phuket Old Town is a lively place with a mix of Sino-Portuguese architecture, colorful streets, and unique shops. It’s a cultural hub where visitors can immerse themselves in the island’s history, enjoy local cuisine, and find unique souvenirs.
  3. Relax on Phuket’s Best Beaches: Phuket has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand, from the busy shores of Patong to the tranquil sands of Kata Noi to the hidden jungle beach of Freedom Beach. Each beach has its own unique charm, whether you’re looking for vibrant water sports, serene sunbathing spots, or scenic sunsets.

    Read next: 10 Most Beautiful Beaches in Phuket You’ll Love
  4. Take a Boat Tour to Phi Phi Islands: The Phi Phi Islands are famed for their crystal-clear waters, excellent snorkeling spots, relaxed vibe, and backpacker-friendly atmosphere. A boat tour to these islands offers a day of adventure, relaxation, and the chance to see some of the most breathtaking seascapes in Thailand.
  5. Visit Wat Chalong: Wat Chalong is Phuket’s most important Buddhist temple. It is a peaceful and spiritual site that provides insight into Thai Buddhism. The temple’s intricate design and serene atmosphere make it a must-visit for those seeking tranquility and a deeper understanding of the local culture.
  6. Phuket Nature Elephant Reserve: This elephant sanctuary offers a unique opportunity to interact with elephants in an ethical and sustainable environment. It’s my second encounter with elephants after visiting Udawalawe Safari Park in Sri Lanka, and this time, I became emotional seeing them up close! Here’s the tour we’ve taken.

🤩 Stay in the BEST Things To Do in Phuket – take 5% off with code “GLADISTRAVELS”

Where to Stay in Phuket

Whether you choose to immediately hit the beach or rest after your travels, here are the best hotels and resorts to stay in Phuket:

The Slate Phuket: This unique resort is an architectural masterpiece located against the backdrop of Phuket’s beautiful landscapes and the breathtaking Andaman Sea.

Inspired by the island’s tin mining heritage, The Slate Phuket offers an eclectic blend of industrial chic and tropical luxury, from its innovative cuisine to its tranquil spa retreats.

Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa, Phuket: This resort delivers an unmatched blend of comfort and elegance, featuring sprawling pools, rejuvenating spa treatments, and dining options that capture the essence of coastal living.

Karon Beach Condominium: Just a stone’s throw from the vibrant Karon Beach, Karon Beach Condominium offers the perfect escape for those seeking the comfort of home with the luxury of beachside living.

This modern condominium has spacious units, a refreshing swimming pool, and a fully equipped gym. We stayed here for a month and it’s truly a home away from home!

🤩 Stay in the BEST hotels in Phuket – take 5% off with code “GLADISTRAVELS”

FAQs: Traveling from Bangkok to Phuket

How long is the flight from Bangkok to Phuket?

The average flight time from Bangkok to Phuket is 1 hour and 30 minutes.

What’s the easiest way to get from Bangkok to Phuket?

The most convenient way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is by air, with daily flights available from Bangkok’s airports to Phuket International Airport, taking only 1 to 2 hours.

How do I reach the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket?

To get to the Phi Phi Islands from Phuket, you have two options: taking a ferry or a speedboat. Ferries usually depart from Rassada Pier or the Klong Khien Pier in Phuket, and the journey takes around 2 to 3 hours.

If you prefer a faster alternative, you can take a speedboat, which takes about 1 hour but is more expensive. You can buy your tickets in advance or at the pier, and it’s recommended to check the latest schedules and book early during peak travel seasons.


So there you have it: even though it’s not possible to travel from Bangkok to Phuket by ferry, there are other ways to get from Bangkok to Phuket.

However you choose to get there, one thing is for sure – it will be worth it. Phuket is waiting for you with its pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, and exciting adventure.

Have you been to Phuket? How did you travel from Bangkok to Phuket? Share your experience in the comments below.

Read More Thailand Travel Guides:

Best Beaches in Phuket to Visit in 2024
The Ultimate Guide to Big Buddha Phuket
A Complete Guide for Chiang Mai Flower Festival 2024
Off-the-beaten Path Flower Festivals in Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai

Slow Travel Planning Guide

🚑 Should I buy travel insurance?

Absolutely YES! For just $5-10 USD per day, SafetyWing gives you peace of mind with its affordable coverage.

📲 Where to buy a local sim in Phuket?

I’ve switched to eSIMs for all my travels and it’s been a game-changer! Airalo’s eSIM offers cheap data in 200+ countries without roaming fees. Super easy to set up and top up! Get your Thailand eSIM here.

🏩 What’s the best way to book accommodations in Phuket?

It depends. is my go-to platform for hotels and apartments. If I want to save money on hostels, I use Hostel World.

And for longer stays where I want a cozy home, I book VRBO (which is cheaper and safer than Airbnb).

🗺️ How do I find local experiences and tours?

I find the best local tours with Klook, thanks to its vast selection across Asia. Get 5% off by using the code “GLADISTRAVELS”

For truly unique and authentic local experiences, GetYourGuide is my go-to. I’ve taken cooking classes with local chefs and gone on guided tours of hidden places using both platforms. I’m really happy with how everything turned out.

🚗 Is renting a motorbike a good idea in Phuket?

Absolutely! If you can drive a motorbike, I highly recommend renting one through BikesBooking. Public transport in Phuket is not very good. We saved a lot of time and money by having our motorbike, and it was so much fun!

If you’re with friends or family, you can also rent a car from Discover Cars. The roads in Phuket are less busy than Bangkok’s, so you can enjoy a more relaxed drive.

✈️ How to find the best flight to Phuket?

I always use Skyscanner to find cheap flights. It’s a search engine that compares prices across many airlines to get you the best deals.

🛳️ Can you get to other islands from Phuket?

Yes, you can easily travel from Phuket to other islands. Ferries from Phuket can take you to destinations like the Phi Phi Islands, Bamboo Island, Monkey Beach, and Maya Bay.

🏦 What is the best way to withdraw money in Phuket?

I use my Wise card. provides free global accounts and the most affordable money transfers. I can manage multiple currencies easily and withdraw cash at very low costs. Plus, I find their exchange rates are among the best available!

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  1. This is incredibly useful! I honestly didn’t know flying was an option. I like how you included ways to book directly in the post.

  2. Wow, there are so many ways to get from Bangkok to Phuket! I love that you can choose an option that best fits your budget. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I flew from Bangkok when I visited. Found it very easy and simple. Just make sure to double check which airport! I almost went to the wrong airport in Bangkok.

  4. It’s nice to know there are so many options to get from Bangkok to Phuket – I think the roadtrip to enjoy all of the scenery sounds nice (though the flight could definitely save you more time). Thanks for sharing!

  5. I went to Thailand when I was in high school but would love to go back again and explore some more! If the bus option were more like 6-8 hours, I’d choose that one to save money + catch up on sleep, but I cannot sleep for 14 hours straight…definitely choosing plane! Thanks for the helpful info! :]

  6. Loved reading all your tips! I’ve been to Thailand once but I’ll definitely have to go back and check out your recommendations. Thanks for sharing!

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