pastel sino-Portuguese buildings along the streets in Old Phuket Town / Patong to Phuket Town

How to Get from Patong to Phuket Town: 5 Ways

Are you trying to get from Patong to Phuket Town? These are the five different transportation methods you can use to do that!

Phuket Town is considered the island’s city center, and it’s home to a wide variety of restaurants with international cuisines, boutique shopping, quaint cafes, and unique bars.

But the area is most famous for its beautiful Portuguese-Sino buildings and Phuket Town Sunday Night Market, one of Thailand’s largest/best night markets.

Besides all that, Phuket Town is a must-visit; the area is very walkable, and visiting offers a nice break from the constant beach areas in Phuket.

Thai police officer directing traffic in Old Phuket Town. on a sunny day

Songthaew (local bus)

Songthaew is a type of local transportation used all over Thailand; most popular places in Thailand you’ll visit will have them. Sometimes, they can be small pickup trucks or large buses, which is the case in Phuket.

This local bus operates out of Phuket Town with routes leaving Phuket Town and routes coming to Phuket Town.

But unlike traditional buses with specific stops, the Songthaew bus stops whenever a passenger wants to get on or get off, anywhere during its route.

The Songthaew bus operates from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM and frequents approx every 30 minutes (sometimes it takes longer, not to worry, be patient, and you should see it come unless it’s after 5:00 PM, then you may have missed the last one).

The Songthaew bus is also referred to as “The Blue Bus”

phuket blue bus parked at Kata Beach in Phuket waiting for passengers

To take the Phuket Songthaew first, ensure you’re standing on the road where the bus has a route and in the right direction towards Phuket Town. The bus cost is 40 THB/$1.20 US per passenger, and only cash is accepted.

You must wave when you spot the songthaew, and the driver will stop to pick you up. If the bus is full, the driver won’t stop; you’ll just have to wait until the next one.

When you’d like to get off the bus, you must press the bus button and have your cash ready to hand to the driver. Sometimes, drivers ask you for the cash before the trip; it’s normal.

From Patong to Phuket Town, one direction is heading into Patong Beach, and the other is heading out of Phuket Town to Patong Beach. Refer to the route map shared below.

route map for the local phuket blue bus
Credit: Phuket Blue Bus

Grab or Bolt

If you’ve traveled to Southeast Asia before, you’re most likely familiar with Grab and Bolt, two popular ride-sharing apps operating similarly to Uber. Both are very convenient to use and offer great pricing for rides around Phuket.

Simply pull up the app of your choice on your phone and order a car to pick you up from your location in Patong to take you to Phuket Town.

The prices for your ride from Patong to Phuket will vary by vehicle choice and the time of day. Prices for rides fluctuate and slightly increase in the later evening hours.

Expect to pay anywhere from 400 to 550 Baht / $11.40 to $15.70 US.

The app provides the option to request different vehicle sizes, so you should find a vehicle large enough, even if you’re visiting in a group or with your family.

I’ve used both apps countless times in Phuket to get around, and the only difference is Grab tends to have more drivers at all times, and Bolt’s rides tend to be cheaper but with fewer drivers!

several food vendor stalls at the Old Phuket Town Sunday Market

Taxi

If you’re in a rush to get to Phuket Town from Patong, walking around, you’ll spot several taxis eager to take tourists around the island.

An added convenience when taking a taxi is that you don’t have to wait for your ride, unlike the other transport options mentioned above.

But the downside of taking a taxi is that drivers in Phuket are known for charging “tourists’ prices.”

Figure this: Phuket is known as Thailand’s most expensive place to visit. Because of this, some taxi drivers in Phuket assume tourists visiting have lots of money and try to take advantage of this by charging high prices.

Be prepared to haggle with taxi drivers in Phuket; they’re known to start with a higher price.

From Patong to Phuket Town, expect to pay anywhere from 400 to 550 Baht / $11.40 to $15.70 US.

Sometimes taxi drivers will suggest that there’s heavy traffic and they need to charge higher.

Here’s what you do: Check Grab, put in your destination, see how much Grab is quoting you, and negotiate with the taxi driver based on this price. If you pay slightly higher than what Grab quoted you, no problem; that’s for the convenience of not having to wait for your Grab taxi to pick you up.

If you choose to take a taxi, please look for the registration to make sure it’s a licensed taxi.

beautiful bright pink Sino-Portuguese buildings in the streets of Old Phuket Town, Thailand

Tuk Tuk

Similar to taxis around Phuket, you’ll spot plenty of red truck Tuk Tuks driving around the island, eager to take you to wherever you need to go.

Again, if you’re in a rush, taking a Tuk Tuk from Patong to Phuket Town is very convenient. But be prepared to haggle and negotiate with tuk tuk drivers in Phuket, even more than the taxi drivers here.

Similar to what I stated earlier, if the Tuk Tuk driver is proposing a high price for your ride, check the Grab app, see what it quotes you, and negotiate off of this price. If you pay slightly more, it’s worth the convenience of not having to wait for your ride.

An added convenience to the tuk-tuks in Phuket is that they can fit up to 6 passengers; this isn’t the case for a taxi. If you’re in a group, do factor that in when considering the cost of your trip.

From Patong to Phuket Town, expect to pay anywhere from 400 to 570 Baht / $11.40 to $16.25 US.

Watch out for TukTuk scams in Phuket; they’re prevalent. Drivers sometimes will offer you a visit to a “special temple” along the way, or a gem shop, etc. Don’t fall for the tuk-tuk scam; it’s a waste of time, and the driver will ask you for extra money at the end of your trip.

TIP: Before getting on, reconfirm the agreed-upon price with your driver. That way, you won’t have to worry about the driver suggesting a higher price when they drop you off.

photo of the famous Patong Beach sign on bangla road

Rent a Scooter

Last but not least, renting a scooter in Phuket to get around the island is best if you’re staying in Phuket for longer than a week. That way, you can go around on your own time!

Also, Phuket’s roads are quite picturesque, so driving on a scooter around the island is an experience in itself.

Besides public transportation, renting a scooter in Phuket is the cheapest way to get around the island. The daily cost is around 300-400 Baht, or $10-13 US.

If you’re with more people and need more room, you can rent a car in Phuket and drive yourself around the island as well. Depending on your vehicle of choice, most cars start at $25+ US per day.

Watch out for scooter rental scams in Phuket; refer to my Phuket scams guide and take precautions.

TIP: At the shop, make sure to take clear video footage of the scooter’s condition before riding off with it.

several scooters parked next to one another in Old Phuket Town

Bonus Way – Phuket Instagram Tour

If you’re visiting Phuket for a short time and intend to visit Phuket Town, just stop by and see the area quickly.

Another great way to visit Phuket Town from Patong Beach is attending this Phuket Instagram Tour. Basically, this tour takes you around to all the most famous spots in and outside of Phuket conveniently all in one day!

You’ll get to visit Phuket Town for 45 minutes on the tour, amongst many other popular places like the Big Buddha, viewpoints, beaches, islands, and more!

It’s one of the highest-ranked day tours in Phuket; it’s ideal for those looking to experience the most of Phuket all in a short period of time.

the famous tall white big buddha of phuket on a clear sunny day

Patong to other Beaches

Now that you know how to get from Patong to Phuket Town and back. Let’s discuss how to get to the other beaches in Phuket!

Patong Beach is nice, but there are much nicer and more picturesque beaches in Phuket to visit. After all, you’re visiting an island famous for its beaches, and you shouldn’t experience just one beach here!

Below, I’ll cover how to get to any of the following beaches mentioned and how to get back to Patong as well.

Patong to Kamala Beach

Patong to Surin Beach

Patong to Karon Beach

Patong to Kata Beach

Patong to Bang Tao

You must use the Phuket Smart Bus to get to any of the beaches mentioned above from Patong.

This local bus operates along Phuket’s west coast, making stops at all the popular beach areas on the island.

The bus operates from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, but the last bus depends on your pick-up location; refer to the schedule.

It costs 100 THB/$2.85 US to take the Phuket Smart Bus.

The Phuket Smart Bus starts at Phuket Airport and stops at many beaches, with its last stop being at Rawai Beach. It also operates the same opposite route from Rawai Beach, with many stops and ending at Phuket Airport.

Arrive at your stop 10 minutes earlier to ensure you catch the bus. Refer to the bus map to make sure you’re at the correct stop.

views of mountains and the ocean from the interior of the Phuket Smart Bus

Patong to Phuket Town — Final Thoughts

Those are all the different ways to get from Patong to Phuket Town. See which of the transport methods works best for you!

Phuket Town stands out above all other areas in Phuket. It has no beaches, and it’s the island’s center where most of the islands trade, shopping, and more are.

By the way, make sure to check out my comparison guide on Patong vs Phuket Town!

It’s the best area in Phuket to go shopping because of its large Central Mall and several boutique shops selling souvenirs, clothing, fabrics, spices, and more. The area is also known for its charming cafes and dim-lit bars.

Remember, the Phuket Town Night Market is on Sundays, so on Sunday, you can expect Grab/Taxis/TukTuks to cost slightly more due to traffic.

If you’re looking to visit the Phuket Town Night Market and take a Grab or Taxi, I recommend you go earlier before the traffic to save a bit on your trip cost.

Several tourists walking on Thalang Rd for the Old Phuket Town Sunday night market

How much is a taxi from Patong to Phuket Town?

A taxi from Patong to Phuket Town costs around 400 to 550 Baht, which is about $11.40 – $15.70 US. Be prepared; you will most likely have to negotiate with the taxi driver.

Is it worth going to Phuket Town?

It’s definitely worth visiting Phuket Town. The area is known for its beautiful Portuguese-Sino buildings, many options for international cuisine, Sunday market, and charming cafes/bars.

Is it better to stay in Patong or Phuket Town?

It depends on the atmosphere you’d prefer. Patong is very touristy, but you’ve got quick access to a beach as a bonus. Phuket Town doesn’t have a beach but isn’t touristy; it’s calmer and offers plenty to do.

How to get around cheap in Phuket?

The cheapest way to get around Phuket is by using the Songthaew (local blue bus), which costs only 40 THB/$1.14 US per ride.

But keep in mind it only operates certain routes between 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

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