You could take a bus from Patong Beach to Phuket Town for THB20. Frequency is about 30 mins but we do see at least two buses at the depot everytime. The departure point is just opposite Café Del Mar at the southern end of Patong Beach.
The bus will travel through town via Bangla Road and stopping along the way to pick up passengers before finally heading off across the hills to Phuket Town.
Air Asia has the best rates I have found in and around SE Asia and Thailand.
I usually fly last minute and 1-way (cause who knows where i'll want to go next) And have always gotten a great price with Air Asia.
Recently, I even booked the same day and got 1-way fare Phuket to BKK for $23 USD. the other low cost airlines are competitively priced as well, but, for me, Air Asia has larger routes (more cities serviced). I usually book online and they do offer better prices with advanced purchase. However, if and when you book the same day as travel or within 24 hours, you cannot do it online and must reserve a ticket on the phone and then pay for it at the ticket counter at the airport before check-in (2 separate counters at BKK and SIN)
The planes are well kept and free seating (like SouthWest in the states). Other great low-cost airlines: Nok Air, Bangkok Air, Tiger Air and JetStar Air ( Phuket or Bkk to Singapore), One Two Go by Orient Thai Air. .... all are great low cost carriers in and around Thailand.
1 thing to watch out for - all the Asia carriers (Thai Air included) have a 15 kg luggage limitation and charge 30-60 BHT per kg over. So your luggage could be more expensive then your person. If you are returning to an area and do not need all your baggage check with your hotel or storage at the airport for leaving it behind. Luggage Storage at BKK is 90 BHT per day (can add up fast) and is located in the International Terminal.
One of the cheapest mode of transportation from Airport to Patong Beach is to take the join minibus. Tickets are priced at THB150 and can be purchased at the counter upon exit of the arrival hall. You may also pay direct to the driver who will make purchase of the tickets on your behalf. The mini bus will depart when they have 10 passengers. Turn to your left and you will see a mini bus signage.
Although the price of THB150 is cheap compared to the price of a taxi, I would caution those in a hurry to pay the extra THB to have your own taxi to bring you direct to your destination. I would consider taking the join minibus as a tourist trap as they don’t even ask us where we were all going when we board.
Finally, we were all driven to a travel agent company where they gave an excuse that there were so many of us and need to check our tickets and make some rearrangements. So we were all asked to seat at the desk. The staff asked where we are going and have we booked our accommodations and tours. He tried to sell us accommodation and tour packages and we gave them the we are not interested look. We wasted half an hour of our time here where we have to wait for the rest to be brainwashed. Surprisingly, the rest were local Thais and they all signed up their packages either for tour or accommodations. Probably they were given locals prices.
Why pay 400B and above to get to Phuket Town. Use the local bus service as we did, it costs 20B a person.
They look over sized sawngthaew and they leave from Thaweewong Road (beach road). Yo can flag one down and they will stop. Services stop at 5pm. They stop at the fountain circle roundabout.
Thai Baht 25 to and from any where (Bus Terminal to Patong Beach)
Don't be confused if you see a Blue Lorry coming your way saying PATONG PHUKET PATONG these are also use as Bus for Transport.
Frequency 15 to 30 Minutes
Buses (sawng thaews) to the various beaches leave from the main market in Phuket.
If you arrive at the main bus station from elsewhere in Thailand and want to get to the beach don't believe anyone that tells you that it is necessary to get a tuk-tuk or taxi. You can of course, but the bus is cheaper.
The market is about a 10 minute walk from the main bus station or a short tuk-tuk ride if you are carrying luggage.
There are only a few buses in Phuket and the main form of transport from beach to town is the song taew.
They are very colourful, with a sign showing where they are going. These buses leave from a stop by the fresh produce market in Phuket Town, then travel to every major beach area on the island.
It is slow but cheap way to get around with the fare from Phuket town to Patong now set at 20 Baht per person.
Individual owners of small motor bikes rent their services, carrying passengers, sort out youyr fare first!!
Renting your own car
The best way to get around and see the island is by far renting your own vehicle.
Roads are good in Phuket and the scenery is spectacular.
Car rental companies which offer full comprehensive insurance are:
National Car Rentals
Budget Car Rental
If you want to get around cheap, i suggest you take the local transport. Just note that there is 2 bus stations in Phuket town. One runs within Phuket island and the other runs interstate. Make sure you check out where you should be.
1) Patong beach to Phuket town - 20 BHT. Busses runs every hour along patong beach.
2) Phuket town to Phuket Airport - 55 BHT. Busses runs every hour
There are minibuses that go to the main tourist areas around Phuket. They will leave when the bus is almost full. The cost to get to the Karon Beach area from the airport is 180 baht. Usually, they will be able to drop you directly at your accommodation so make sure you have the address, especially if you are staying in the smaller guesthouses.
There are overnight buses (busstation is about 2-3 km east from the trainstation, off Siphunawat Rd.), you can buy the ticket in the bus station they ar very seldom completely full, or if you prefere daytime travel there are mini buses. Mini buses have offices opposite the trainstation (from where they leave), propably 20-30% more expensive as by bus. Prices for nightbuses are fixed, depend on the bus quality, for minibuses, up to 30%percent difference in different agencies, look around.
I did the long journey from KL to Patong Beach. Took bus from Puda Raya (35RM) from KL for an approx 7 hour journey to Hat Yai. At Hat Yai I booked a mini van for 300B (Variety Travel: 074 - 351280/81). They said it would take 6 hours when in fact it was 9 hours and the driver took us to a place where we were basically agresssively asked to reconsider our accommodation options and staying in one of "their" hotels. Looking back I should have gone to the Phuket Bus Station and caught a Top Class bus for the same price - but quicker and more comfortable.
Once in Phuket you have to get to the markets (1-2 Km walk) from the Phuket bus station to the markets to make sure you get the last bus at approx 6pm. The bus trip costs 15B. If you miss the bus - you will have to catch a tuk-tuk or motorbike taxi (between 100B and 500B).
One small problem with Phuket, is the public transport network. Buses run between Phuket town and all major western beaches, but not between the beaches on the west coast. This means if you don't fancy a long round-about trip to get say from Kata to Patong, you can take a tuk-tuk. The tuk-tuks on Phuket aren't quite like the ones in Bangkok. They're bigger and very expensive. Fares are fixed by the "tuk-tuk cartel", so don't bother trying to haggle. 200Baht is the fare from Kata to Patong and that's just oneway!! I read that taxis are being introduced to the island in order to provide competition for the tuk-tuk oligopoly and therefore reduce costs of transport between beach towns. Send me an e-mail if you learn more!
We tried travelling on the local Kata/Karon bus to Phuket town. It costs 20 baht per person regardless of the starting or ending point. It took us more than an hour to travel from the starting point at Kata to Phuket town. The bus comes at half hour intervals. But they may wait for more than 10min for passengers at Kata and Phuket towns, the starting points. We also noticed that there was a bus from Phuket town to Patong and each passenger pays 15 Baht.
at phuket bus terminal, it seems like there's no cheaper way to get to patong because drivers would approach you and refuse to tell you the options available. but there is. at the market, there's a vehicle there which the local people use. to patong beach it costs 20b only! waaay cheaper than 250b the driver charged us.
First we were driving completly alone from the Phuket town center to a beach near Phuket airport. Then children came on the bus and the crowd was so big I though someone will fall down of the bus.
And after arriving on the bus station we realized that the beach was more than 5 km away ...