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Departing from the busy hub of Bangkok, the destination of Phuket offers equal measures of relaxation and excitement in a vacation spot loved by locals and travelers alike. As the largest island in Thailand, Phuket has it all. Beaches and national parks are scattered around the island and are great places for resting and nature exploration. The city of Phuket contains bustling markets, colorful buildings, and a friendly mix of people.
The bus journey (838 kilometers or 520 miles) from Bangkok to Phuket is a long trip that will take around 15 hours. And although long, the bus from Bangkok to Phuket is both comfortable and easy. There are several operators traveling between these destinations, and you have the choice between VIP, Tourist, or Standard options. All class options offer similar amenities such as reclining seats and toilet facilities for a comfortable journey. Bus stations in Bangkok are quite central and easy to access, making your departure from the city simple.
Although Phuket is an island, it is connected to mainland Thailand by bridge, making it quite convenient to reach. Once you arrive, the coastline and many beautiful islands are easily accessible, making it the perfect starting point for an island-hopping adventure.
What you can see when traveling from Bangkok to Phuket depends on the time of day you travel. During daylight hours, you will escape the buzz of traffic and make your way along the coastal highway. Small towns, national parks and sea views are all visible during the journey south. You will also pass some popular destinations along the way including the beach resort city of Hua Hin.
If you decide to take an overnight bus, your journey will most likely begin with a sunset over Bangkok’s skyline. When you leave the city, most of the journey will be dark and peaceful, giving you the chance to get some shut eye. Crossing over into Phuket the following day, you will feel refreshed and enthusiastic to explore the welcoming island culture and refresh yourself before heading to the beach.
One of the fastest modes of transportation from Bangkok to Phuket is with the VIP Bus operated by The Transport Co. Ltd. The journey takes around 14 hours.
The cheapest way to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is with the Tourist Bus by Naga Travel, with tickets starting at $28.
The most popular transportation service from Bangkok to Phuket is with Thai Sriram’s VIP Bus. The journey takes approximately 15 hours and is a comfortable ride with reclining seats, blankets, food, and drinks.
Traveling by bus from Bangkok to Phuket is a popular option with several choices of operators and classes. Buses depart several times throughout the day from morning to evening so you can leave at the time most convenient to you. You even have the choice of overnight travel if you want to skip paying for accommodation for a night, but there is a lack of official sleeper style buses on this route meaning you may not have fully reclining seats.
However, all bus seats will have some level of recline to make the long journey between Bangkok and Phuket more comfortable. Other comforts include blankets, toilet facilities, and food and water onboard. Air conditioning is also provided but can often be turned up high, so make sure to bring a warm layer with you on board. Buses will make rest stops along the way so you can stretch your legs and buy snacks for the onward journey, which may lengthen the overall travel time.
Most bus companies expect you to arrive at least 30 to 40 minutes before departure and offer a limit of 1 large suitcase and 1 piece of hand luggage onboard. Check before you book if your ticket is refundable, as the policy is different with each operator. Once you arrive in Phuket, the bus terminal is located in a built-up area with easy accessibility to restaurants and shops. You can further explore the island or head to your accommodation by motorcycle, bus or tuk tuk.
There are around 7 bus departures per day from Bangkok to Phuket.
The best time of year to visit Bangkok is approximately between December and February due to the likelihood for dry, mild weather and less packed streets.
Phuket is best visited between November and April during the dry season when the temperature is at around 75°F to 89°F (24°C to 32°C). The high season sits between these months from December to March but brings a vibrant vibe to the markets and nightlife culture.