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THAILAND: PHUKET
From Bangkok to Phuket

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From Bangkok to Phuket
3 Best Ways to Get There -

Located on the west coast of southern Thailand, the province of Krabi is best known as the gateway to some of the most stunning islands in the country. Ko Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and Railay Beach–all famous for their turquoise waters and stunning snorkeling–can be reached from Krabi.

There are over 150 islands in Krabi, offering a mix of stunning coastline, thick trekking jungles, and plenty of exotic wildlife. For those searching for excitement, it's hard to beat Krabi – but Krabi also offers plenty of relaxing getaways. Less developed than Phuket, Krabi is also about 10 times bigger, so it's easier to find a quiet corner of paradise while there.

There are many ways to travel from Bangkok to Krabi–get on a plane for the quickest option or choose water or land to get peeks of the beautiful Thai countryside on your way to a tropical paradise. If attempting this trip by land, be prepared for a long day – there are 785 kilometers between the two cities.

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1. Take a flight

Flights depart from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport for Phuket International Airport several times a day and take only one hour. During a weekday, you can find very reasonably priced one-way flights from Bangkok to Phuket, but expect prices to be higher on weekends and during high season. Bangkok's domestic airport–Don Muang Airport–also offers flights to Phuket. All the low-cost airlines fly from here.

Phuket airport is located about 30 kilometers outside town, so once you land, you'll have to figure out a way to get to your hotel. If you want comfort and speed, a taxi will get you to the hotel's door in under 45 minutes, but it won't be very cheap. Shared transportation options are cheaper and include a minivan and a public local bus–but be warned that buses don't have AC and take 90 minutes to get into town..

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Phuket Interational Airport

2. Phuket by Train 

Trains don't go all the way from Bangkok to Phuket, but you can hop on one until you reach the town of Surat Thani and then switch to a bus for the rest of the journey. The train ride takes anywhere from 8.5 to 12 hours, depending on which train you choose. Most trains are sleepers with AC and you can choose between first and second class tickets.

First class gets you a private two-person cabin, while second class means sharing a carriage with many other passengers. There's also a cheaper train with seats only (no beds)–but it's a long overnight trip, and the savings aren't big enough to be worth the discomfort.

The bus ride from Surat Thani to Phuket is an extra four to five hours, but the buses are spacious and comfortable. The Phantip Travel Company has modern buses that leave directly from the Surat Thani Railway Station towards Phuket, so you don't have to worry about getting into town for a connection.

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The National State Railway

3. Phuket by Bus

There are both day and overnight buses from Bangkok to Phuket–all of them offering AC, on-board snacks and drinks, and free movies. Overnight buses are more popular and fill up quickly, so make sure you book well in advance, especially during high season.

While there are no seat classes on the buses, you can pick between a 1st class bus (usually referred to as a VIP bus) and 2nd class buses. Besides price, the main difference is legroom and much more comfortable reclining seats in the VIP buses–an important consideration since the journey is at least 14 hours long if you don't run into traffic jams.

Buses to Phuket leave either from the Southern Bus Terminal or the Mo Chit Northern Bus Terminal in Bangkok, and all stop halfway along the route for 30 minutes, so you can get some coffee or just stretch your legs. This is actually inconvenient if you're on the night bus, but a welcome break if you're taking the daytime one. You can get tickets directly at the station, online or in person at one of the many local travel agencies in Bangkok.

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