Budget backpackers guide around Phuket by bus & check-in to these 3 lux hotels below $100

‘700baht? 500baht? How much you pay?’ yelled the taxi drivers along the streets of patong.

Phuket is an island for honeymoon and family-friendly getaways, which makes traveling around rather costly. If you’re too tired going through this strenuous process again and again (though it maybe fun sometimes), i suggest you read on to enjoy cheap tuktuk fares at a bargain of 25baht or maybe an airport transfer at just 100baht instead of the stunning 650baht.

It’ll be better to convert those difference for an ice-cooling beer along the beach or treat yourself to a relaxing massage and we hope those commando-trained taxi mafias won’t come after us for this.

Airport Bus to Phuket Town

This mode of transport is a myth. To navigate around an island using public transport, it’s not as easy as in Bangkok where you’ve many modes of transport to play around. We did some thorough research and found just a news article on the recent implementation of a public bus from the airport to phuket town. Well, not very recent, it was dated back in 2013 and no one knows if it’s updated.

To get to Phuket town, you can either opt for the 680baht private taxi or a 150baht shared minivan or a 100baht public bus to Phuket Town. You’ll have to make a wise decision considering if you’re traveling alone or in a group. If in a group, it’ll be better to hop on board the taxi, else the public bus will do more justice to the pocket.

TESTED AND PROVEN. The public airport bus to phuket town is still operational on an hourly schedule and since you’re in the sabai sabai time zone, it’ll be better to catch an earlier bus so that you won’t miss your flight. Stops between Phuket Domestic Airport and Old Bus Terminal include Big C, Central Festival, Boat Lagoon and Nai Yang Beach so you can hop on and off between places. The duration of the whole trip took us 1.5hours, considering a slight jam along the way during the morning peak hours.

Note: You’ve to take the airport shuttle to domestic terminal and wait for the airport bus at the departure area which is easily identified in orange livery and ‘airport bus waiting area’ at the terminal.

Phuket Airport to Patong/Karon beach/ Kata beach

This route is quite tricky, depending how much time you have. Traveling on a public airport bus will take twice longer, so i will suggest hopping on a 12-seater shared mini-van to patong then transfer to a taxi (180baht). The mini-van will also drop you off at your hotel doorstep for free, if you stay in patong beach areas.

local tuktuk ply between Phuket town and the Phuket beaches – kata/patong

TESTED AND PROVEN. If you’ve the luxury of time, you may consider taking the airport bus from Phuket Airport to Old Bus Terminal (1.5hrs/100baht) then transfer to a local tuk tuk (1hour/25baht) which adds up to 125baht. Rides maybe bumpy on local tuktuk and it’s not recommended for travelers with baggages.

Save those BAHT and check-in to these BELOW US$100 rooms and villas

When you’re save those baht, all you need is a cosy room. How about a pool villa (it’s all yours!) under $100? Hell yes – just 10mins drive from bustling Patong!

The Amala Grand Bleu resort is an all-suite villa that owns a majestic view of the Andaman sea and your private pool. My taxi driver was all excited – ‘all pool villa, this?‘ and i nodded my head, maybe more excited than him. The luxury sea villa that i checked in didn’t disappoint – it comes with a full-length private pool (not those kind of small tubs) with jacuzzi, living room/bedroom and a welcoming bathtub that paths its way from the pool.

See, we didn’t kid you? The bathroom comes with 2 separate sinks and a deep-soaking tub for all your foamy adventures. Don’t forget those france-imported bathing amenities to add up to the cosiness.

Your own pool

We can’t stop emphasizing this – your own pool to jump in or skin-dip! Luxury seaview pool villa – yes, it does overlook Kamala beach (at a distance) and surrounded by the gorgeous plantations all around.

All at a price of US$100 (or less)? Yes, only US$90 (on average), before rebates on expedia. Usual price quoted by the hotel at $300, which they got a little disbelief at the 45% and more discounts.

Peranakan Nyonya

This colonial hotel is worth every penny. Run by a peranakan family, the Little Nyonya hotel does have that homely feel, on top of business comfort. Instagram-able in every spot, the pool is definitely a highlight against those balconies hanging out of the main block.

Checking out the deluxe colonial room – it has a pampering bathtub undivided from the room. Next to the bed, you can simply jump straight into it anytime and not miss any of your favourite TV channels.

Oh the beds! It was so comfortable that i decided to take a short nap. You can see how these historic elements are being applied to the colonial feel with the touch of peranakan nyonya – plush coin cushions, threaded pillows and wall dividers.

The hotel is strategic for weekend stays – just a short walk to the Phuket weekend market (without wasting 400baht taxi fare from Phuket town) and 10mins drive to CentralFestival mall.

All at a price of US$100 (or less)? Yes, only US$80 (on average) including a pool-side breakfast.

Phuket town vibes

Soak up the bustle of phuket old town with a town hotel check-in. The new up and coming Blu monkey phuket phangnga road is in the spotlight. Dazzled with bathtubs out on the balcony and very very cosy plush beds, the Chimpanzee Bath Pod room is so good that you’ll exclaim ‘TAKE ALL MY MONEY!’.

Expanded from its budget bed and breakfast hotel, the Blu monkey phuket phangnga road is chic and trendy with dark-themed yet pleasant rooms. It also hosts all-day free snacks, a small lap pool for some basking and a gym to work-out.

Rooms are techy with good range of amenities enough to satisfy although it falls shock on the lack of fridge. Top-up a little more for rooms with external bathtub – trust me, it’s worth. The location of the hotel is just in front of the bus station that serves airport bus, express bus to hat yai and tuk tuk to different beaches across Phuket. How convenient and decently priced!

All at a price of US$100 (or less)? Yes, only US$70 (on average) including a simple breakfast.

Complete the road-trip with a visit to Phuket Town. Visit the trick-eye museum, snap some photos at the mural backyard or enjoy local thai food at some of the best eateries. Remember to take a stroll along the streets at the baba houses and sino-portuguese buildings.

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