Tuk Tuk, Phuket
Tuk Tuk is the common name of the famous public transportation in Thailand, but here in Phuket a tuk tuk is way too different from the tuk tuk that they have in Bangkok. Its more of a jeep type which can accomodate upto 6 persons.
Most of the drivers here have a fix rate of 100THB no matter whats the distance.
What would a visit to Phuket be without experiencing Thailand's most recognised form of trvael? Tuk-tuks are abundant on the island and the three wheeled vehickes offer more safety and comfort than its two-wheeled counterpart. A set fare of about 20-40 baht is standard in Phuket Town. In other areas, the price is negotiable. Ranging 100-500 baht, depending on place and your negotiation skills. Enjoy the ride!!!
To view the different types of tuk-tuk in different parts of Thailand, Click here
Tuk-tuks come in a range of styles, possible the best known are those three wheeled vehicles in Bangkok that are gas powered and it is the noise they make that gave birth to the name. Go to other cities in Thailand and you will see similar three wheelers, but they will not look the same. On Phuket they are 4 wheeled mini vans, usually red or yellow in colour. To hire one just flag it down, state your destination and then agree the price. Only get on board after you have agreed the price. There are no meters in tuk-tuks and this is one thing that is true throughout the Kingdom.
There are many things to debate when on Phuket, where is the best beach; the best bar; the best restaurant; was that really a man etc? The one thing that nearly everybody agrees on is that tuk-tuks are taking tourists for a ride in more than one way. The only exceptions to this debate are of course the tuk-tuk drivers. Partly thanks to the new one way traffic system around Patong the minimum fare is now 150 THB, even if you go just a couple of blocks! Now compared to western prices this is hardly highway robbery, but if you compare a trip from one end of Patong to the centre (Bangla Road) a distance of a couple of kilometres, to how far you can go in a metered Bangkok taxi you’ll soon get the point. In fact air conditioned taxis, of which there are a small number, when compared to omnipresent Tuk-tuks in Phuket, charge the same as their less comfortable alternatives.
The solidarity of the drivers when it comes to pricing is admirable and for us tourists it is a case of “grin and bear it”. They are by far the most convenient way to get around the island. There are buses between the main resort areas and Phuket Town, but they are not that frequent or, for that matter, fast.
I stayed in town and find the way to travel around. First day I wanted to visit Patong and only Tuk Tuk I could find in town. My friends and I took Tuk Tuk from Town to Patong for about 600 Baht. We enjoyed Patong and later wanted to visit other beaches. So many Tuk Tuks tried to offer a tour and we decided to take Tuk Tuk again from Patong , travel to the south of the island and end in town, spent another 600 Baht. We got this rate after work on bargaining! Everyday while we were in Phuket, still taking Tuk Tuk to many places and found some bad and some good drivers. I just tried to enjoy my trip in Phuket and looked over some bad. In the last day we felt enough of Tuk Tuk so we got a rental car for half day (800 Baht) drive by myself. I think this is a great way to travel around the island, drive on my own, just get a good map and go !!!
The Tuc Tucs are the local taxis around here.
Most of them are red, but there are also some blue ones. Inside you may have to fold down a little - obviously they are built for Thai standards...
The more you are the cheaper gets the drive for one.
Before you get in, do not forget to haggle about the price.
In the last year they got up a lot with what they expect (150 Baht for the drive to the other side of the beach, that is 2 km and much too much), and some wouldn't go down, so I often choose to walk the shorter distances.
Also there is the possibility to rent a motorcycle for not even 200 Baht a day - and you can drive wherever you want.
Apparently, there is only a few ways to get to/from airport ~ taxi (or private car), tuk tuk or buses.
My trip to the airport from Kata Beach in a private taxi cost me 500 Bhat. Initial price was 600 Bhat. Maybe it was too expensive but since I was pressed for time, I did not protest much. The funny thing is that it would cost the same if I had taken a tuk tuk.
Anyway, it was a comfortable ride and journey time was a little more than 30 minutes.
For short distances tuk tuks are fine. They used to be very cheap, but in the main resorts like Patong, even short distances cost around 100 Baht. You should state your destination and agree on the price before setting off! Luckily, they drive more carefully than in Bangkok.
If you don’t want to rent you can use the follow
TUC-TUC is the thai version of a taxi only smaller and sometimes faster
It can carry up to 6 people and the rates start at 150 baht around one area (PATONG,)from patong to karon beach about 250 baht
Motorbike taxi can carry up to 3 people(with the driver) and start at 50 baht
Taxi rates from 500baht
Tuk-tuks are everywhere in Phuket and they are in huge numbers in Patong.
Tuk-tuks are small vans, which have open backs and sides and can carry about six people.
Its very important to negotiate your fare before you get in, its based on distance, NOT the amount of people travelling and they will always try to get as much out of you as they can.
On average we paid 700Baht for a return trip from Patong to Karon, 400baht from Patong to Chalong Bay and 400Baht to Phuket Town. Then again we also had a Tuk-tuk for 4 hours and it cost 800Baht. Average prices for within Patong Beach were 100 - 200baht.
We always avoid Tuk-tuks parked outside hotels as they seem to be more expensive, we found it cheaper to flag one down.
Some drivers will suggest they take you to shops for cheap shopping, we have done this once and never again. They are paid a commission or given petrol vouchers for taking you there and the shops are pretty expensive.
Very convenience and easy access to anywhere. Cheap and fast and most best part is you could get this littile speedo transport everywhere around Phuket. You could make a deal with the driver for a day tour package. Discuss about the price first before you make any good deal. I had mine and it cost 600baht for a whole day trip around the island. Its was fun and totaly great experince.
Tuk Tuk are the most common public transport in Phuket. They are everywhere, very easy to get. It would be better for short journey, cuz it would be quite bumpy and uncomfortable for a long travel, and some of them don't have back door... *Remember to negotiate the price before u get on the tuk tuk.
Another way to get around is to get a taxi. If you want to go around the island for the whole day, u can book a taxi, it only costed me 1200 bahts for a whole day taxi and the drivers will take you to where you would like to go. They would even give some shopping and dining recommandations, some of the recommandations were nice, but some are just normal tourists shopping spots, it's all up to you if you want to go, they wont force it~ again, price is negotiatable.
All of the tuk tuk and taxi drivers i met were all very nice and friendly, so don't worry.
Tuk tuks are named because of the sound of their engine, these are motorcycle 2-stroke engines. They are popular amongst tourists for their novelty value.
In Phuket, they tend to be small vans instead of 3-wheeled rickshaws.
You should bargain with the driver before getting in. If not you may end up paying too much.
The downside is they only tend to go to the really touristy places like Soi Bangla.
You can rent a motobike as many people do, but as they often have no insurance I preferred to move around with tuc tuc, the local version of taxi(there are also normal taxis though), they are inexpensive and you find them at any time of the day or night.
Tuc Tucs are the best way to get around the island. They are very cheap and you shouldn't be afraid to bargain. If you hit on a driver you like them ask them to come again the next day. Tuc Tuc drivers make excellent tour guides. We were there during school holidays and our driver had his little 5 year old. He was so sweet. We paid both for of them to come in with us at Aquarium. The driver acted as a translated when need, told us stories of what it was like growing up in Phuket and it was lovely to see his son get so excited about feeding the fishes. At Lunch time he said he would take us somewhere special. We thought we were going somewhere very exotic. Instead he took us to a large mall. It actually was a great experience. We didn't see any other tourist just Thia people doing there shopping, lots of teenagers hanging out and lots of everyday activities. After a week of beach hawkers, roadside stalls and Indian tailors, it was quite a contrast.
When we went to Bangkok, we avoided taking taxis and tuk-tuks like we would the plague. The prices they quote were exorbitant (by local standards), and some of them will try all means and ways to scam you (taking you to shops, etc). Most of the time, we used the skytrain and subway system instead (cheap, fast and convenient).
However, during this Phuket trip, we had no other choice but to take the taxis and tuk-tuks. After asking around, we found that most of the prices quoted by the drivers were quite "standard" (for example, about 200-300 baht from Patong to the shopping mall areas eg. Tesco Lotus). The drivers drove quite safely (at least for those we encountered!).