this will be my transportation tips on the bigger phuket tuk tuks (also called songtheaws) which are bigger than bangkok tuk tuks). There are two kinds of songtheaws, the converted pick up trucks that seat up to 8 people and is popular for tourists and the converted trucks which acts like minu buses that seat up to 20 to 30 people that is popular with locals.
these tuk tuks only act as novelty for the large number of tourists in Phuket Island and that local thais rarely use them as a means of transport as the taxi fares are way cheaper. Tuk tuks are a generic tricycle common in the Whole of Asia and almost every country has it's version of the tuk tuk. the basic design of a tuktuk is being fitted with a water-cooled two-stroke engine. They have handlebar controls instead of a steering wheel, making them a tricycle. But here in phuket, they are of the larger variety, often a reconfigured pick up trucks (called multi cabs in other parts of asia but known as a Songtheaw in Thai) and run in 4 wheels and carry up to 8 passengers when packed. These are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value.
If you are a smart tourist, then don't ride in one of these contraptions as they charge a minimum of 200 baht for a 3 kilometer ride for tourists and even 500 baht for those unscrupulous tuk tuk drivers who wait by fronts of hotels!.
Songthaew's run to Phuket Town from Patong regularly. They're large, battered trucks with benches in the back (the word songthaew literally means 'two boards') and, while not the fastest or most comfortable way to get around, they're an affordable and reliable ride during the day. The 'songthaew station' in Phuket town is along Ranong Rd and each songthaew's fare and destination is clearly marked in English. Simply catch run running along the Beach Road in Patong. They cost 25 baht and it takes about 45 minutes to get to Phuket Town.
The sawngthaew is like a small pick-up truck with two rows of bench seats down the sides and you alight at the rear of this small bus.
Fares seem to be fairly flexible around Patong so you should state your destination and agree on the price before setting off.
There is a daytime bus service (songthaew) to most parts of the island. Songthaew (means two rows) which refers to the two wooden benches that run down each side of this colorful wooden-body public transport vehicle. All buses run on a loop route between a beach location like Patong and back to the songthaew stop on Ranong Road in Phuket Town.
I've never seen a bus as packed as one of these . . . with people hanging out. This was during rush hour one morning and it was packed with people going to work.
These buses don't seem to be too popular with tourists.