For most people, getting around in Phuket (And all of Thailand) can be a very daunting task, it seems the Thais do not view road safety as much as the west as this means the roads can be very scary to drive on! This is a quick guide to help any tourist out there get around in Thailand.
This will inform you on all methods of transport in Phuket, and the associated risks with each if there are any!
Please take note that people drive on the left in Thailand! – You will find most the major roads in very good condition, as they have recently been built or refurbished. Most sign-age in the city regions have Thai and English sign-age, the further out you drive the less you will see signs in English.
You are required to hold a international drivers license to drive in Phuket, although not many rental place’s will check to see if you hold one, never leave your passport with a rental place as they have been known to hold them for ransom. Some will argue Police only enforce the helmet law, I do not agree with this as I have known people to be booked in the past for no license offenses.
Motorbike Rental: Renting motorbike’s seems to be the most popular option for Tourist’s when they first arrive in Thailand, this also seems to be the cause of many holiday drama’s due to the associated risks with having a accident in unfamiliar territory, or having a collision with another road user. People have been known to be scammed for thousands of dollars for simply running into a another Thai on a bike or in a car.
Hospital Bills are not cheap in Thailand, and a accident can end up costing far more then one would expect, as there is no bike rental insurance available in Thailand, it does come down to the person renting the bike.
I advise people to rent a bike, if you have ridden them in your home country are willing to accept the risks! If you have never ridden a bike before, or feel the Thai traffic is a little to hectic for you, I would advise not renting a bike as it will probably cost you your entire holiday.
Car Rental – Renting a car is a far safer option to renting a bike, but you still have the risk of having a accident with no insurance. Cars can cost a lot to fix in Thailand, and should the other party be injured you will be left with there medical bills.
A jeep should cost no more then 500-600 Baht a day to rent, and you will be required to hold a international drivers license if you are driving on of these! – It can be a excellent way to save money on a holiday, allowing you to control where you go and when you go there.
Motorbike Taxi – A popular form a transport for Thai’s, and Expats alike. It seems many older tourist’s are not very comfortable with this method, but more and more younger one’s are turning to it to save money when they can! For as low as 20baht you can get almost anywhere in Phuket with in minutes!
Register bike taxis will be wearing a blue vest, please make sure you ride with these rather then just rogue drivers. They are not insured! If you are going to rent a motor bike, it is important to remember that Thai People do not drive like we do at all. It is very common for Motorbike Riders to cut onto the other side of the road when taking a corner to save time. This is a major cause of head on collision across most of Phuket, while Patong Hill seems to have accidents every day.
Tuk Tuk – The most popular form of transport for all Tourist’s, some have complained recently that the price for a Tuk Tuk is to expensive (200 Baht for sometimes a 2minute journey) – My opinion is that there are hundreds of these in Patong and they will try to charge as much as they can, if you are not able to barter them to a lower price then you should rent a car a get a bike taxi!
The standard fare at the moment for most journey’s in Patong is 200 Baht, which is fair in my opinion considering the exchange rate for most country’s. There has recently been much in the papers and news regarding the Phuket Tuk Tuk’s causing some problems for some people. One recent issue was a judge who was told by a Tuk Tuk Driver that she could not park in a certain spot. This has put a heavy light on the Tuk Tuk Drivers of Phuket.
To / From Airport – Most hotels and resorts will offer Free Airport pickup, if you are staying somewhere that does not offer this you will find many Taxi’s and Limos are Phuket Airport waiting to take you to your destination.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us Here.
Phukt Night Life Information Last Update: 15/01/2011
Phuket Night Life Information Last Update By: Phuket Deals Admin