Communications & Transportation

Phuket Marine Information

Fundamentally speaking, Phuket is much like any other Southeast Asian destination but with subtle differences. You'll have to bargain for taxi and tuk tuk fares and they're sometimes not cheap as the drivers pretty much have the monopoly on transportation on the island.

Sometimes a short taxi/tuk tuk ride will cost as much as a day's hire of a rental car! Think ahead and if you feel that hiring makes more economical sense by all means do so but drive defensively as this is most certainly not the west when it comes to traffic etiquette.

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Telephones

Most digital portables with international roaming arrangements will work well in Thailand. Both GSM on 1900 MHz and Worldphone on 1800 MHz have roaming agreements. Always dial the area code and the number. (e.g. 076 236 550 for Phuket Dot Com)

Contact Numbers:
Operator – 100
Directory assistance – local – 13
Directory assistance – overseas – 100
International code for dialling overseas from Thailand - 001
Malaysia - dial 09, and then the number as you would another province in Thailand
Langkawi - dial 09–4 and the number

Government Offices:
Phuket Immigration Office - South Phuket Road, Phuket Town Tel: 076 212 108 Phuket Customs Office - South Phuket Road, Phuket Town Tel: 076 211 377 Phuket Harbour Master - Main Harbour, 88/5 Sakdidej Rd, Ao Makham Tel: 076 391 174

Transportation

Buses – Phuket has a local public bus service, both within Phuket Town and between town and the beaches - you just have to recognise which are the buses! They are often pick ups with covered back tray and bench seats. These will pick up and drop off at roadside; just flag them down. Destinations are written in Thai and sometimes English, on the side and front of roof racks. Prices are according to distance travelled; just ask the driver. It's a great way to meet locals and practice your Thai. Buses do not operate after dusk.

Motorbike Taxis – Very handy for quick trips. Riders wear various coloured tunic tops and you can flag them down. They tend to congregate at major intersections and town markets. Riders usually speak only a little English and it's best to agree on price before you set off. Short trips start at 20 baht, with around 40-250 baht for longer trips around towns and cities.

Tuk Tuk – A Thai institution, these converted mini delivery vans make ideal transport for a group, or when provisioning. Prices vary with distance and time of day or night. Best to settle on price before you set off. Flag them down from the roadside.

Jeep & Car Rental – You will need a valid driver's license to rent a car, jeep or motorbike. Wear the seat belt, and drive with extreme caution. Do not drink and drive. Jeeps start around 800-1,000 baht per day. Make sure they are covered by insurance.

Rent Motorbike – Motorbikes are a great way to get around but extreme care is needed on the roads. Helmets are compulsory and should be provided. Costs start around 150 baht per day. Hospitalisation costs extra.

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