Phuket Town

Phuket Town (เมืองภูเก็ต Mueang Phuket) is the provincial capital of Phuket Province.

Understand

Stately Sino-Portuguese mansion on Krabi Rd

Phuket Town is the largest town in Phuket Province. It has a population of 63,000 and is the economic hub of the island. For the most part just an ordinary, scruffy provincial Thai town, it's hardly a major tourist attraction, but the Chinatown area is worth a quick look and there are some great Thai-style shopping opportunities too. Overall, accommodation and food in the town is cheaper than near the beaches, and can provide a refreshing change of pace.

Get in

Buses and songthaews connect Phuket Town to major beaches around the island, and start from Ranong Rd at the Ranong market. To get there if you are at the old (number one) bus station, walk back out to the road you came in on, and turn right. (Phang Nga Rd) Walk to the end of the road, about a kilometre, turn left, then right again and you will see the large blue songthaews a couple of hundred metres along on the left. The first ones you come to go to Patong. Further along, they go to the other beaches. You will also see buses going to Patong at the bus station itself, for 40 baht.

The most popular service at the market is the one to Patong (25 baht, 45 minutes) which leaves every 30 minutes between 07:00 and 18:00. Fares to other beaches range from 15 to 30 baht. If you miss the last bus back a taxi will cost 200-400 depending on your bargaining skills.

Bus Terminal 1 (the old terminal downtown) has no markings indicating it is Terminal 1. Buses from here run to local destinations, for example, Khao Lak and Takua Pa. To Khao Lak is 90-120 baht.

Phuket International Airport is 30 km to the north of Phuket Town, about 30 minutes by taxi (500 baht), 45 minutes by shared minibus (100 baht) or 1 hr by Government Bus from the bus terminal (85 baht). This is still the old Number One bus terminal. It is possible that they stop at the new terminal.

Buses run to the airport between 05:30-18:30, and from the airport between 06:30 to 20:45, every 1 to 1.5 hours.

There is a large sign on the wall with times. Pay on the bus, and not at the terminal.

Bus Terminal 2

This is the (relatively) new terminal, some distance from the old one and most of the longer-distance buses come and go from there.

To get from one station to the other (and vice versa), you will see a fuchsia/hot pink-coloured songthaew. It parks in bay number 12 at the new bus station. This is the bus station shuttle and it will take you to the old number one bus terminal for 10 baht. It orbits between the two stations.

When arriving at this station, you will immediately accosted by taxi drivers. Do not immediately engage a taxi unless you are in a hurry. Take a minute to survey your options. The taxi desk is at the rear of the station. Out of sight, at the front of the station, are where the motorbike taxis hang out. This is usually a much cheaper option.

If you want to go to Patong or the other beaches directly from this (number two) terminal, then you will pay 250 baht per person to hire a songthaew outright as you would a taxi. This price assumes a full passenger load.

To get to the beaches far more cheaply, take the fuchsia songthaew to the number one bus terminal and follow the suggestions there.

Get around

Phuket Town is just a little too big to be covered comfortably on foot. There's little organised public transport as such, but motorbike taxis and four wheeled tuk-tuks cruise about looking for fares.

See

Detail of door relief, Put Jaw Temple
Downtown Phuket

Phuket Town's low-key attractions are mostly related to its colourful Chinese history and heritage, found in the Chinatown area on the northwest side of the city around Thalang Rd.

Do

Spas

Buy

Shopping seems to be the main reason for visitors to come to Phuket Town. In addition to local markets and a slew of malls and departments stores, Chinatown's Thalang Rd offers a large selection of boutiques and galleries retailing traditional handicrafts as well as antiques from the region. Phuket Night Bazaar occupies a large area where you can get local stuff (though you might find the same things much cheaper at the Big C supermarket!).

Markets

Shopping malls

Eat

Drink

Sleep

Budget

Mid-range

Go next

Catch a ferry from Rassada Pier to Ko Phi Phi, Rai Leh, or any of the surrounding islands.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Tuesday, February 02, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.