Phuket Town is a stylish, pleasant town and a good place to stay if you want to explore Phuket Island rather than just stay by the beach. Phuket town was on the China-India trade route and remnants of this remain in it’s multicultural people. The town also has beautiful Portuguese styled buildings which are a joy to stay in.
Local transport buses regularly run from outside the market in town (by the big roundabout with the fountain off Ranong Road) . You can reach all of the popular beach areas from around 20Baht. Almost all buses return to Phuket town, but negotiate the fare before hand.
If you’ve arrived by boat from Ko Phi Phi it’s easy to get to town from the jetty. Most ferries offer a transfer service for 50Baht.
Scooters are perhaps the best way of exploring the island from Phuket town. Prices are from 150Baht per day. Many places in town rent scooters. Traffic on the island is busy, and for confident riders only. Helmets are compulsory on Phuket Island.
Getting There and Away
Phuket bus station
The main bus station is a 15 minute walk from the main town center. All long distance buses start here, and go to all major destinations in Thailand. You can buy tickets from the bus station. There are lots of travel agents around the bus station, but you’ll find the cheapest tickets from the bus operators themselves who have ticket counters inside the terminal.
To Ko Samui & Ko Phang-Na: Phantip offer bus and ferry combo tickets. 550Baht to Ko Phang-Na. They have a ticket office in the bus terminal. This option is cheap but takes a long time; leaving Phuket at 10am you’ll arrive at Ko Phang-Na at 20:30. There are slightly more expensive mini-bus options, from 700Baht, that take less time on the road and connect with an earlier ferry. The quickest, easiest and most expensive option is to charter a taxi to Surat Thani, and catch a ferry there. A taxi will cost 2,000Baht, and 250Baht per person for the ferry.
Accommodation in Phuket Town is cheaper and generally of a better standard than you’ll find at the tourist beach resorts.
Talang Guest House
tel: 07621 4255
Highly recommended guest house. The big, clean, hugely spacious and well decorated rooms and set within an old warehouse building with Portuguese styling. Some of the rooms open onto a breezy gallery, and some have small views. The rooms have lovely old furniture, great fittings, safety despost boxes, king size beds, hot showers and complimentary bottle of water on arrival. The staff run a small travel shop downstairs, and are very friendly and helpful. This is the place to recoup after spending masses of cash on the islands. An easy 15 minute walk to the bus station. One of the best guesthouses in Phuket and probably Thailand. Simple, but good, continental breakfast included. Rooms available included singles (280Baht), doubles (350Baht) and triples (450Baht). Add 100Baht for AC. 9 out of 10.
There is a post office in Phuket town. There are several musical equipment shops if you need to buy a guitar or plectrums. There are a number of hair dressers and massage shops. The supermarket on Rasada Road is small, but a huge Tesco store can be found on the outskirts of town.
Food and Drink
There are lots of places to eat in the town. You’ll find several cheap places, popular with the locals with menus in English. There are also a number of more expensive places geared towards tourists. Try the large open fronted place on the western end of Phang-Nga Road for cheap Thai food. On the road leading to the supermarket, by the now closed shopping center on Rasada Road, Le Cafe serves great European and Thai food, and across the road a small Thai place servers very good, cheap Thai food.