Many things spring to mind when you think of Bangkok. There’s the Chinese porcelain and glass-covered Wat Arun. The Temple of Dawn towering 70 meters above the Chao Phraya River with vigilant eyes. The colorful Grand Palace. The backpacker haven Khao San Road that never sleeps. And the authentic floating markets.
There are many ways to get to Bangkok from all over the country, but only a few from Phuket. Of course, flying is the fastest method as the Phuket to Bangkok distance by flight is just 668kms. But what about slow travel?
To save you the research, here are the best ways to get from Phuket to Bangkok.
Travel options from Phuket to Bangkok
When it comes to travel options for this journey, you’re spoiled for choice. Want to reach your destination fast? There are plenty of affordable flights to Suvarnabhumi and Don Mueang Airport daily. The shortest Phuket to Bangkok flight time is one hour and 20 minutes.
You can ride a Phuket to Bangkok bus or minivan and watch Thailand’s scenery roll past, or splash out and opt for a comfortable, private taxi from Phuket to Bangkok.
Getting to Bangkok from Phuket Airport
If you opt to fly from Phuket to Bangkok, you can ride the Smart Bus to the airport for 170 THB ($5) from the west coast beaches like Rawai, Kata, Karon, or Patong Beach, to name a few. The Smart Bus runs daily every 90 minutes.
For an even cheaper fare of 150 THB ($4), you can ride the airport bus from Phuket Bus Terminal 1. It operates twelve times a day and takes you to the airport in 1.5 hours.
Plenty of airlines offer a Phuket to Bangkok flight several times a day. For example, there’s Thai Smile, Air Asia, and many other airlines, such as Nok Air.
Getting to Bangkok from Phuket’s Patong Beach area
To travel from Phuket to Bangkok by road, you’ll have to get to one of Phuket Town’s two bus stations as there aren’t any direct coaches from the Patong area.
The island cab drivers charge astronomically high prices, so you’d better ride a blue songthaew, a pick-up truck with two benches in the back. The blue songthaew runs daily from Patong to Phuket town every 30 minutes, and the ride will take approximately an hour.
If you’re pressed for time, a motorcycle taxi ride to Phuket town might be worth it, provided you don’t have tons of luggage in tow.
If you book a private minivan ride, you’ll save the trip to Phuket Town because you’ll get picked up from any hotel. However, it’s also more expensive than the other options. It’ll take 12-14 hours for buses and minibuses to cover the Phuket to Bangkok distance. But more on that below.
Buses run several times per day.
Getting to Bangkok from Phuket Town
Sure, you could fly, but why bother if you can ride a coach to Bangkok directly from the two bus stations in Phuket town? Bus rides are cheaper than flights from Phuket to Bangkok. Plus, these days, they’re less likely to be canceled and come with several amenities, like reclinable seats.
Pro tip: If you’re returning to Phuket after your Bangkok trip and have a motorbike, you can ride your scooter to Phuket’s bus terminal 2 and park it here. They’ve got a supervised motorcycle parking area, and it’s damn cheap at about 20 baht ($0.64) per day.
Bus amenities and prices
VIP buses come with amenities planes don’t always offer. A friendly hostess will serve food and beverages. Plus, you’ll get comfy reclinable seats, legroom, a toilet, snugly blankets, and air-conditioning capable of challenging the arctic vortex. There’s usually a TV, too, or at least relaxing Thai music on the radio. The footrests and armrests you can flip up also add comfort.
One-way bus fares are usually around $19. Private taxi rides will cost you ten times as much, and minivan rides are available for $66.
The coaches arrive either at Mo Chit or Sai Tai Mai, depending on the bus company.
Views from the Bus
While riding a coach across Thailand, you can sit back and watch the hilly, grassy landscape roll past.
Neatly aligned rubber tree plantations dominate Southern Thailand’s scenery. White buffalos graze peacefully on great plains near Prachuap Khiri Khan. And jewel-encrusted Buddhist sanctuaries, chromium spirit houses that glitter in the sun, and gold-plated, dragon-embellished temples will catch your eye, particularly the one near Hua Hin.
There will be a 30-minute break so you can enjoy a spicy Thai noodle soup or less piquant khao pat gai (chicken fried rice). You’ll also pass local markets galore and wonder what all those exotic fruits are called.
Are you ready to explore the City of Angels?
Your bus ticket includes one suitcase loaded in the luggage storage compartment and a backpack or two to put in the overhead. Also, bring your camera and don’t forget to charge the batteries. Whether it’s the historic Rattanakosin Island with its glittering temples or the Riverside that appeals to you first, there’s plenty to see in the City of Angels. Too much for just one night in Bangkok.
Due to the 12-14-hour journey, it’s not feasible by road. If you fly and the plane isn’t delayed, you could fly back that night. But why would you? There’s too much to see.
Nope. However, railway buffs can get their money’s worth by jumping on a train from Suratthani to Bangkok.