Getting around Patong is very easy, public transport does exist in Phuket but it does not really adhere to regular schedules as it does in most western countries, the Tuk Tuk (A mini Thai Taxi) is the most common way to get around Patong and Phuket.
The Tuk Tuk operates in all the beach centers and depending on your negotiating skills will charge from 40 Baht to 800 Baht depending upon the distance. One thing that I have learned over the years here in Phuket is once you get to know a particular Tuk Tuk driver and he is trustworthy, get his phone number and use him for your entire stay. If you have never been in a Tuk Tuk, have a look at this video.
Open Air Buses
If you really want to go cheap on the transportation you can hop on one of the many buses that operate in the beach areas of Phuket, if you don’t mind waiting and have a lot of time this is a good way to travel, the buses are cheap but on the downside they only travel from the beach centers and to Phuket city itself.
One of the most flexible ways to get around Phuket is to rent a car or Jeep, which brings out one problem, most of the cars and Jeeps for hire on the roadside are not insured and believe me you will see these Jeeps and cars for rent all along the southern coast of Phuket, I strongly recommend you rent from a reputable rental firm such as Budget, Avis, Hertz or Vivia.
One of my favorite car rental places and I have used them for years is Pure Car Rental
, they give you a good deal and the car is insured. One thing I like about them is there 24 hour support network, one year I broke down way up in Nai Harn beach after calling them they were at my location within a few hours with another car.
Motorcycles are readily available and easy to hire in Phuket. However, they will never be insured and with the accident statistics in Phuket as high as they are, this is one means of transportation you should resist. Phuket has a helmet law and if you are not wearing your helmet be prepared to pay a fine and probably take a trip down to the station, if you are breaking this law.
One note on the helmets, I call them “Tupperware” helmets and I am not sure what they really can withstand, most helmets that I have seen, appear they would “shatter” to pieces, so I would “highly” recommend you get one of those full head helmets.
Driving Around Phuket.
The roads are pretty safe and well kept but the island does have a high accident rate so take it slowly on the mountains and watch out when it rains as it really gets slippery.
Drivers on Phuket tend to drive fast, you could end up getting tooted at if you drive slower than the crowd. This is just a natural warning to let you know someone is behind you and not to take offense to it.
There are plenty of hazards to be aware of like dogs running out from everywhere, vehicles overtaking from both sides and screeching trucks expecting you to get out of the way as they roar past you.
There are a few accident black spots in Phuket, one of the most well known is the hill on the way into Patong
and the hills north of Patong and the approaches to Tesco Lotus and Big C supermarkets on the airport road.