There are 3 main ways to get from Phuket airport to Khuraburi. As per usual there is a correlation between the speed and the price.
i) Fastest & most expensive : Take a taxi from Phuket airport to Khuraburi pier. We can arrange this for you.
The driver will be waiting at 'Arrivals' for you. He will have a sign with your name on it.
Duration: 2 1/2 hours +
- 3,200Bt (+service) up to 2 people with luggage or 3 people without - 4 door standard car - Toyota Avensis, Honda Accord
- 3,700Bt (+service) 2-4 people with luggage or 5-6 people without - 4 door SUV - Toyota Fortuner (limited availability)
- 4,700Bt (+service) 4-5 people with luggage 6-8 people without - Toyota Commuter Minibus (limited availability)
Please note there is a 300Bt surcharge for Phuket Airport transfers where the pick up time is between 8pm and 6am. This surcharge is applicable in both directions.
ii) Mid price option & still fast if you're lucky : Take a taxi from Phuket airport to the bus stop on the main road to Phang Nga.
You will need to use your judgement on this one as the price offered by taxi drivers at the airport can vary. If you get cheaper than 300Bt then you have done well. Additionally, you will need to make it clear to the taxi driver that you want to get the taxi 'NOT to Phuket town' but 'to the bus stop on the road out of Phuket to get a bus to Ranong'. In this case I say Ranong because Ranong is the final destination for the buses going to Khuraburi and everyone knows Ranong whereas not everyone knows Khuraburi. It is not reasonable to walk to the main road out of Phuket as it is half an hour walk in the scorching sun.
Once at the bus stop hail down a bus to Ranong or even Bangkok. They start at Phuket bus station and will run once an hour. So if you are lucky you will spend less than half an hour waiting. The bus ride takes up to 4 hours depending on traffic and the driver. The bus conductor will let you know when you reach Khuraburi bus station in the centre of Khuraburi town. See below b) for transfer details from Khuraburi town to Koh Phra Thong.
Duration: 4 hours +
Price: 800Bt per person
iii) Cheaper option & slow: As above in ii) except that rather than catch an expensive taxi from Phuket airport to the main road you catch the airport bus to Phuket bus station* and catch a bus to Khuraburi from there.
The bus to Phuket bus station will cost around 80Bt. The drawback of this method is that it takes you all the way back into Phuket town stopping along the way. This can take up to an hour and a half and also means that you will be backtracking on the bus from Phuket to Khuraburi.
The plus side is that since you will be taking the bus from its original embarkation point of Phuket bus station then you can be assured a seat. See below c) for transfer details from Khuraburi town to Koh Phra Thong
Duration: 7 hours +
Price: 400Bt per person
n.b. if you are planning on getting a bus from Khuraburi bus station to Phuket International Airport to catch a flight then you should allow at least 4 hours. This is because the timetable often changes and buses can go faster or slower depending on traffic and the driver. We would recommend a taxi which will take 2 and half hours.
b) Transfer from Bangkok Airport to Khuraburi by Government Bus
Traveling around Asia is great fun but at times can be daunting and complicated - especially when you are trying to get to a specific 'off the beaten track' destination which nobody has heard of. The language barrier is especially difficult as most locals only have a very limited grasp of English or other languages.
To assist those travellers who have been resourceful enough to find our unique location on the web we have created this short guide to help you find your way through the maze of choices which await you on arrival at Bangkok airport all the way to Koh Phra Thong and finally to Blue Guru Diving at Golden Buddha Bay.
i) Bangkok Airport to Khao San Road:
Getting off the plane, passport control, baggage collection and clearing customs are very easy at Bangkok's new Suvarnabhumi airport. Most travellers will be pleasantly surprised at how smooth and quick this process can be. It is only once you have reached the arrivals section outside where any decisions need to be made.
Tip: Go to outside the departure hall to get a taxi. Grab a trolley and head upstairs to the departures area. By taking a taxi from departures you will get to avoid the queues that build up at arrivals AND you can avoid the airport taxi fee imposed at the regular taxi rank.
Do not accept offers of taxis whilst on your way to departures. Politely say 'no thank you' and move on. (reason being is that these drivers will try to fix you on a high price. You may waste a lot of time haggling with them for no result). Once at departures go outside to where people are being dropped off by taxis. There should be a number of taxi drivers ready to take you into town. They are keen to pick up a quick turnaround otherwise they have to head to arrivals and queue up behind the other taxis to take a customer back into the city.
During this procedure there is a very important step in establishing the price with the taxi driver. He may want to fix a price with you of 800Bt+. Politely refuse and say 'meter'. He may press on with this tactic and in that case politely decline and look for another taxi. By meter the fare to Khao San should be about 500Bt.
On two occasions I have had the driver accept to take me on the meter only to change his mind as leaving the airport. This is annoying and can be difficult to deal with in polite terms. However, you must continue to be friendly and ask for return to the airport OR accept his terms.
Learning a little Thai can greatly enhance your chances of success.
Before jumping in the taxi it might be an idea to know where you want to go. A lot of travellers go to the Khao San road (Thanon Khao San) to stay in a guesthouse or a cheap hotel. The Khao San Road remains one of the few places in Bangkok where accommodation can be had for 300 Bt per night.
Surprisingly, a lot of taxi drivers will not know what you are talking about if you say 'Bai Thanon Khao San, kap (for male speakers) or ka (for female speakers)' - translation is 'go to Khao San road please'. You may have more luck if you say 'Bai Banglamphu kap (or ka)' .
Banglamphu is the area of Bangkok that the Khao San road is located and they will then know where you are trying to go....probably.
ii) Khao San Road to the Southern Bus Terminal:
After your stay in Khao San - ranging from minutes to months - it is time to move on south. There are a number of private buses for tourists which can take you to Surat Thani and then onto Koh Samui - Koh Pha Ngan - Koh Tao on the south east coast or to Phuket on the south west coast. Avoid these buses.
Not only are they going to places you don't want to go - not if you are coming to Koh Phra Thong anyway - but they are also for the transportation of 'farang' en masse to these highly touristic destinations. This is no bad thing in itself and can be a great opportunity to hook up with other travelers.
However, for a more authentic and more comfortable bus ride we suggest that you take one of the scheduled buses from the Government Bus Station. This is not too far from Khao San Rd. with the taxi ride costing perhaps 250Bt or so on the meter.
The only real disadvantage to taking the government bus is that it is impossible to book a seat ahead of time. This means that you should consider going to the bus station several hours before your planned departure time (or even the day before) to secure your seat.
The buses to Khuraburi set off in the evening from 7pm so a sensible time to leave Khao San Road would be 2pm. It is really up to you as it might be possible to arrive at the bus station much later and still pick up a seat but the longer you leave it the less chance there is.
iii) Southern Bus Terminal to Khuraburi:
The hard work is almost done now although one final tricky step remains. That is to negotiate your way through the crowds at the bus station to the appropriate counter to buy your ticket. This is easy if you have learnt to read Thai by now but if not then try the kiosks numbered from 60-65. These were the appropriate counters as of mid 2014, but in a dynamic developing country like Thailand things like this often change.
The bus ticket to Khuraburi should be about 800Bt or so which is still good value for the distance and duration of the ride. The buses are generally in good condition - spacious and with strong air conditioning. Because of this latter consideration it is of paramount importance to take some warm clothes with you on the bus. If not you will get really cold during the journey.
The journey should take about 10-11 hours which will mean that you will arrive in Khuraburi as the sun is rising. It should not matter if you are still asleep when the bus arrives. The conductors are quite sharp when it comes to remembering where the 'farang' on the bus are getting out. Nevertheless, I personally prefer to set an alarm to wake myself up so that when it comes time to get off the bus that I am aware enough to collect my belongings.
Now that you are in Khuraburi the fun begins and it is time to refer to section c)
c) Transfer Khuraburi town/Khuraburi pier to Koh Phra Thong
Koh Phra Thong is in an early stage of tourist development. There are a number of reasons for this. One of them is the relative difficulty of transport from various parts of the country to the long beaches on the east coast of this paradise island.
In more recent years the national bus routes have developed, opening up Khuraburi and other parts of Phang Nga to international travellers. However, after arriving in Khuraburi the passage on to these Andaman coast islands remains difficult and/or expensive.
For a start, there are no tuk-tuks or songthaews in operation in Khuraburi. This means that transport to and from the pier must be by taxi or motorbike taxi. These are easy to find and can be arranged from 400Bt for a small car taxi and 60Bt for a motorbike taxi. The trip from Khuraburi town to Khuraburi pier is about 15minutes by either mode of transport.
So you can get from most places in Thailand all the way to Khurabur pier with relative ease. After this it gets more complicated. The longtail boat ride from Khuraburi pier to the north end of Koh Phra Thong is a beautiful 1 and a half hour ride through the mangroves and along the channel between Koh Ra and Koh Phra Thong. Owing to the length of the ride, the price of this boat ride is relatively expensive compared to the cost of staying on the island.
Economies of scale have not yet crept into tourism to and from Koh Phra Thong and so there is no scheduled tourist boat service to easily allow visitors to share the costs of the boat. This means that when you book your Koh Phra Thong holiday you pay for the boat for your group. However, since the trip is very pleasant you could easily consider the transfer as a self-contained tour :). We continue to search for more effective methods for this trip and will encourage the development of a scheduled tourist ferry service if a local provider is willing to offer it.
d) Important notes on arrival time to Khuraburi
The latest time for your longtail boat from Khuraburi pier to Koh Phra Thong is 4.30 pm. If you have arranged taxi transfer with us then the latest time of arrival to the following arrival points are as follows:
- Phuket Airport : 1.30pm
- Phuket Town : 1pm
- Khuraburi Town : 4pm
- Khao Sok : 3pm
- Surat Thani : 12.30 pm
- Other: Please contact us
If you may arrive after the times above, please contact us immediately so that we can amend your booking. The normal solution is to spend a night at Boon Piya Resort and depart for Koh Phra Thong the following morning. We can arrange this for you.
If you are traveling to Khuraburi by bus or by an external taxi provider then you must provide plenty of time to allow arrival in Khuraburi well before 4pm for timely boat transfer.