When to go
Phuket is most alive during the sunny season, from November to March. Be prepared to pay significantly higher prices for rooms in this period, and make that dinner reservation promptly. When the monsoon lull hits, expect slower service and more irregular opening hours at shops and eateries.
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Planes30km from Phuket Town, Phuket International Airport (www.phuketairportonline.com) is Thailand’s second busiest after Bangkok, with charter flights connecting to dozens of destinations.
TrainsThere are no trains to Phuket. Buses travel from the Southern Bus Terminal in Thonburi, Bangkok, but the journey is a back-straining 14 hours; it makes far more sense to hop on a one-hour no-frills flight.
AutomobilesNavigating Phuket by car is manageable with the help of a decent map. Roads can be treacherous though, so don’t scrimp on insurance. Motorbike rental is also a possibility, if you can stomach the statistics (10,000 accidents a year).
TaxisFlagging down taxis in Phuket is relatively hassle-free; fares start at THB50. Three-wheeled tuk tuks are everywhere in Patong and Phuket Town, but are becoming expensive. Negotiate a round-trip rate if you’d like one to wait for you while you shop or sightsee; be prepared to pay upwards of THB150 an hour. A cheaper, but slower, option are songthaews, which run between the main resort areas and Phuket Town.