Phuket to Krabi

by Guest

Thailand has so many amazing spots, it’s a shame to just stay in one place. Two major hot spots in the south are Phuket and Krabi and it’s well worth visiting both. Though Phuket is technically an island, you’d be forgiven for thinking it wasn’t – it’s large at almost 50 kilometres (the biggest island in Thailand) so it’s easy to be based away from the sea. The rowdy party town of Phuket Town has some of the best nightlife in the country and have been drawing in tourists and backpackers for years. There is a cultural side to the city as well – trendy art galleries, luxury boutique hotels and museums are changing the image of Phuket somewhat. The town of Krabi is nestled among iconic stone karsts seen in many of Thailand’s southern photos. This chaotic town may not be on the same level of Phuket, but there is still plenty of restaurants, bars and nightlife to keep young backpackers busy way into the night. The beautiful turquoise waters, coral and exotic fish make swimming and snorkeling a pleasure.

So, how to do you get between the two? There are plenty of options including going overland across the Sarasin Bridge which joins the mainland with Phuket Island. Here’s several options for getting between Phuket and Krabi.

Phuket to Krabi by Car

One of the easiest and most flexible ways to get between the two locations is by hiring a rental car. There’s a very decent motorway which meanders all the way from Krabi to almost the Sarasin Bridge. The drive is around 160 kilometres and takes around 3 hours depending on how quick you travel, how many times you stop and the traffic conditions. It’s well sign-posted, so a sat-nav (although useful) is no entirely necessary. It’s worth noting that some sections of the road are still in construction, so traffic delays are no uncommon. If you have plenty of time, it’s also possible to go off piste a little and down the little country roads through small villages and beautiful southern countryside scenery. This will take considerably longer so make sure you head off early. One thing to remember is that car rentals cars almost always charge a one-way fee if you want to drop the vehicle off in another location. These fees can vary, but can be expensive, so it may be worth organizing to drop the car back at the same spot. Car rental in Thailand starts around US $20 per day and you will need to drop off the car with a full tank of petrol.

Phuket

Phuket to Krabi by Taxi

Taking a taxi is a convenient, albeit expensive (by Thai standard) option for getting between Phuket and Krabi. Taxis fees along the route vary but usually work out around US $70 one way. It’s always worth speaking with a few taxi drivers to ensure you get the best price. It’s not unreasonable to negotiate, but don’t squeeze them to hard, they will also need to do the return journey so it’s a full day’s work. The added advantage is they will pick you up from your hotel and drop you off at your exact location, and you can depart when you want adding extra flexibility.

Phuket to Krabi by Minibus

Minibus is a good value but hairy option to take. Drivers are notoriously quick drivers, so you’ll need to hang on tight. They will pick you up from your hotel, but this is only really an advantage if you are picked up last, else you’ll be spending an hour or so racing around the streets of Krabi and Phuket picking up the other travelers. Because of this, the journey takes a little longer than a private car, usually around 3 to 4 hours and they stop once or twice en route. There are plenty of minibuses offering the service and it can be bought for around US $13 at any travel agency or hotel reception. You don’t need to book well in advance unless it’s a public holiday. They are almost always available.

Phuket to Krabi by Bus

Larger buses are the cheapest but slowest way to travel between Phuket and Krabi. You will need to get yourself to and from the bus stations as they obviously won’t pick you up from your hotel. Coaches tend to be modern, but check that it has air-conditioning before you book. This is the service used by domestic tourists, so travelling by bus is the best way to meet local Thais. They depart every couple of hours throughout the day and takes around five hours. Tickets cost US $6-7 and can be bought directly from the bus company before boarding.

Phuket

Phuket to Krabi by Ferry

As long as you don’t get sea sick, travelling across the ocean can be the most pleasant to travel between Phuket and Krabi. The ferry departs daily in the high seasons between November and April and three times a week the rest of the year (Wednesday, Friday and Sunday). It departs from Rassada Pier in Phuket and arrives at Nopparat Thara Pier in Krabi (or vise versa). Note that this is a passenger ferry and you can’t take cars or vehicles. The journey takes just over 2 hours and costs US $22. There is another option for a ferry which travels between the two locations with a stop in Phi Phi. This means you can spend a few hours exploring Phi Phi before taking the afternoon ferry onwards to either Phuket or Krabu. Book tickets in advance from travel agents or your hotel.

Phuket to Krabi by Speed Boat

Travelling by speed boat is by far the quickest way to get from Phuket to Krabi (or vise versa). The journey takes just an hour and a half and is a daily service running throughout the year. It’s worth remembering that if you are travelling in low season and the sea is rough, the service is sometimes cancelled. The ticket costs around US $35 per person and travels between Koh Yao and Ao Nang.

Some more information on Phuket before you plan your trip:

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