Taxi from Phuket Airport to Karon: everything a tourist needs to know

PHello, everyone! If you are reading this article, it means you are planning a trip to Phuket and want to know how much does a taxi cost from the airport to Karon beach. And for good reason, because this is the most popular route on the island! Today I will tell you everything I know about prices, ways to save and pitfalls. Believe me, during the 10 times that I flew to Phuket, I experienced all types of transfers from my personal experience. So get comfortable and let's go!

Official taxi prices from Phuket airport to Karon

Friends, get ready for the bitter truth. Standard taxi fare from the airport to Karon Beach - from 800 to 1200 baht. And don’t worry, this is per car, not per person! But still, it sounds like a robbery in broad daylight. But what can you do, this is ce la vie at the most popular resort Thailand.

Taxi at the airport

Let's face it. Phuket is far from Pattaya or Bangkok. The distances here are quite long, traffic jams are severe, and gasoline is expensive. Not surprisingly, transfer prices are also high. In addition, the airport is located in the northern part of the island, and Karon is in the southwest. Between them there is about 50 km of road (real distance), serpentines, passes, constant road repairs and construction. So 1000 baht for an hour trip is not the worst option.

By the way, about options. Of course, you can always save money and go to Karon by bus or minivan for 200 baht per nose. It makes sense if you travel light and are ready to be shaken sometimes in a stuffy cabin. But after a 10-hour flight, with suitcases and children, and with constant stops at other hotels - do you need it? Sometimes it’s better to overpay, but get there in comfort. However, the final choice is always yours and some people prefer to start their acquaintance with the island with just such a “sightseeing tour”.

And one moment. Don’t be surprised if at the airport they give you a price 100-200 baht higher than on the carrier’s website. Unfortunately, pre-order surcharges are a common practice in Phuket. You can try to bargain, but it’s not certain that it will work out. During the high season and holidays, taxi drivers do not make concessions at all - they know that there are more than enough people who want to leave.

5 life hacks on how to save money on a taxi from Phuket airport to Karon

Friends, 1000 baht per trip is, of course, a strong argument in favor of a minibus, which is five times cheaper and costs 200 baht. But don’t rush to close the page! I will share my life hacks on how to cut the price tag on a transfer and get there comfortably at the lowest price.

Five useful tips:

  1. Book a taxi online. Through services like 12GO, where prices are 10-20% lower than at the airport. Guaranteed transfer without surprises. I recommend paying attention to online applications inDrive And Bolt - in my opinion “THE BEST!” (more on them a little later).
  2. Choose local offices. Phuket Taxi Service, Andaman Taxi, Tik Taxi Phuket - these guys have more reasonable tariffs, and the service is no worse than international aggregators. You can make arrangements on the spot, but it is better to book in advance.
  3. Share the car between 3-4 people. The more passengers, the lower the price from the nose. If you are traveling with a group and without a lot of suitcases, a taxi will cost almost the same as a minivan.
  4. Fly during low season. Not particularly relevant due to the “stunning” cost of the flight, but still. From May to October there are fewer tourists in Phuket, and all prices, including accommodation, are more pleasant. Yes, it is likely to rain, but you can save on transfers and hotels. In addition, during the off-season the island finally breathes freely.
  5. Fly during the day, not at night. At night, tariffs are higher by 10-20%. If it makes no difference when to fly, choose morning or afternoon flights. The brighter it is outside, the fewer zeros on the meter!

Follow these simple tips and save up to 300 to 500 baht on your transfer. With this money you can hardly go on a noble excursion, but you can have a hearty snack in a decent cafe or buy a few souvenirs for Karon night market. Agree, the prospect is quite acceptable!

How to choose the best taxi at Phuket airport?

There are dozens of taxi services and offices at Phuket Airport, as well as hundreds of drivers. My eyes widen, I want to quickly go to the sea and the hotel. But don’t rush to agree to the first offer you come across! If you don’t want any hassles, then spend a couple of minutes and choose a reliable carrier in the official airport area.

Taxi drivers at the airport

Here are three proven companies that have been transporting on the airport-Karon route for many years:

  • Phuket Taxi Meter - budget option, in theory from 800 baht, sedans and minivans
  • Phuket Taxi VIP - middle segment, from 1000 baht, often new cars with air conditioning
  • Phuket Airport Limousine - premium class, from 1200 baht, meeting with a sign, Wi-Fi, water

With these guys you will definitely get there without incident. But it’s better not to meddle with unfamiliar taxi drivers on the street - just in case they talk to you and rip you off or take you to the wrong place. And if something happens, there will be no one to present it to. Do you need it? However, if you push yourself a little more, there is a more attractive option. And about him just below...

The best way to take a taxi from the airport to Karon

And now about the method of traveling by taxi, which I consider optimal today, how in terms of cost, reliability and availability — order a car through an online application inDrive. In essence, this is a regular online aggregator that brings passengers and drivers together. But drivers who use the service undergo documentary and photo checks, have a rating, etc.

The application itself is Russified and intuitive. To install it, go to the main page of the site, and at the bottom of the page select download by QR code for your device. It will not be difficult to figure out the search and order further. Important point: the proposed price per trip may vary and quite quickly too. So be sure to watch distance to final destination.

Order screen 1
Order screen 2

Do you see that in the screenshots above the route, distance and cost of the trip have changed? It is not clear why the route has changed (most likely, traffic jams can be avoided this way), but the fact remains that the price has increased by 142 baht.

By the way, before boarding, do not be lazy to check the interior and trunk for cleanliness and serviceability. No matter how in a hurry you are, driving all the way in the scent of durian or with a broken air conditioner is still a pleasure. And if the driver behaves strangely, it is better to refuse the trip. Remember: your comfort and safety should be above all, because you still have time to rest :))…

What to expect on the road from the airport to Karon?

So, we decided on a taxi, everything was clear about the price, and we loaded our luggage. It's time to go! Now is the time to find out what awaits you on the road.

I’ll say right away: the distance from Phuket airport to Karon beach is about 50 km. In ideal conditions, you can get there in 40-50 minutes, in normal conditions from 1 hour to 1 hour 20 minutes. But don't forget that you are in Phuket. Narrow roads, serpentines, endless hills and eternal traffic jams are commonplace. Plus frequent rains, especially in the off-season. So allow at least an hour for the transfer, or better yet, an hour and a half.

Phuket Map

The route to Karon runs along the central highway of Phuket - Thepkasattri Road. Along the way you will see the Heroines Monument - a monument to the two sisters who saved the island from the Burmese in the 18th century. Obligatory photo stop! There will also be a chance to check out the landscapes - jungles, hills, rubber and pineapple plantations. If you're lucky and there are no traffic jams, you'll get some good website research.

Be aware: most taxi drivers do not speak English. Therefore, make sure to write the name of the hotel in Latin and take a business card with the address. If you have any questions, you can always call the reception - the staff will be happy to help you talk to the driver.

And a couple more tips just in case. Always keep a bottle of water and a light snack handy, preferably a nutrition bar, in traffic jams on Thepkasattri Road, and even if there are repairs, you can get crowded. Keep track of your belongings and documents, especially when leaving the car. Well, don’t forget to take a business card from the driver or save his number in case you want to call a taxi on your way back.

Or maybe without a taxi? Review of alternative ways to get to Karon

I understand that 1000 baht per hour on the road is significant for the budget. Luckily, taxis are not the only way to get from the airport to Karon. Here are some ideas on how to save on transfers:

  • Shared Minivan — a comfortable minivan for 6-10 people. Departure from the airport every 30-60 minutes, price - 200 baht per nose. A taxi is half the price, but you will have to wait until there is a group.
  • Airport Bus - a budget, but long way. First, take a bus to Phuket Town for 100 baht, and from there take a local bus to Karon for 50 baht. The entire journey will take three hours. It's worth it?
  • Rent a bike or car - a good option if you are an experienced driver and are not afraid of left-hand traffic. Prices from 300 baht per day for a bike and from 800 baht for a car. But you can plan your route yourself.
  • Hitch a ride - for extreme and sociable people. Get out on the road with the “Karon” sign and slow down private drivers. Look, they will deliver you for 200 rubles. But take into account all the risks - from the language barrier to last-minute cancellation.

I would like to separately highlight the best, of course in my opinion and at the moment, method of transfer. Meet Phuket Smart Bus!

The Best - the most budget option to get to Karon Beach Phuket

Here I will say with complete confidence: the cheapest, relatively comfortable, but relatively long, and not always convenient due to the location of the hotel, the way to get to Karon Beach is to use Smart Bus Phuket - a bus that runs from the airport to Rawai Beach, passing all the popular beaches of the island. The cost is amazing - only 100 baht per person.

Smart bass
The bus takes 1 hour 50 minutes to 2 hours to get to the beach we need, without transfers or other hassles. It runs on a schedule and has specific stops. If the topic is interesting, then see the details on the official website of this bass or enter the route in Google maps on public transport, the full layout will be visible there.

Smart bass Phuket

As a result, I can logically say: which option to choose is up to you. My recommendation is to travel comfortably by taxi or minivan. But if your budget is very limited and your sense of adventurism is off the charts, try alternatives. Most importantly, don’t forget to share your impressions in the comments!

Real tourist reviews about taxis from Phuket airport

Now, let's see what real travelers and tourists say and think about our topic. Perhaps this will help you make your final choice a little. Especially for you, I have collected the latest reviews from forums and social networks:

“I always book a taxi online through Qiwi. Last year we got from the airport to Karon for 950 baht, we were very pleased. The driver is polite, not talkative, and the cabin is cool. I recommend!"

Irina, Moscow

“We arrived at night, tired as dogs. If I knew how much money they would charge for a taxi, it would be better to take the bus! 1200 baht for a night rate is robbery in broad daylight. It’s good, at least according to the meter, without scams for currency exchange.”

Alexey, Novosibirsk

“Guys, what are you doing, why pay so much for a taxi! My friend and I took a minivan to Karon for 400 baht. Yes, we were shocked for an hour and a half, but we saved money.”
Irina, Obninsk

“We arrived in Phuket for the first time, very tired after an overnight flight. We decided not to skimp on the transfer and ordered a taxi through the Grab app. The driver arrived on time and met us with a sign in the arrivals area. We chatted along the way and learned from him many useful things for tourists. The only negative is that at the airport I had to look for a drop-off zone for passengers with an online taxi; it is not very conveniently located. But overall the impressions are positive, we arrived comfortably in 50 minutes and 850 baht.”

Olga and Victor, Ekaterinburg

“Friends, good afternoon everyone! We recently returned from Phuket and were on holiday in Karon. I will share my experience of ordering a taxi from the airport. There are a lot of options - from official counters to left-handed offices on the Internet. We chose the golden mean - the Russian-language KiwiTaxi service. The price is reasonable (1100 baht), you can pay online in rubles. The driver is adequate, the car is fresh. BUT!!! Qiwis take 100% prepayment. But in fact it turned out cheaper. I had to call support and wait for a refund. The troubles are shorter, so I don’t recommend them. It’s better to bargain at the airport.”

Dmitry, St. Petersburg

Well, yes, prices in Phuket are something! 1000 baht for an hour in a taxi - my heart is still bleeding. We ourselves do not belong to the majors, etc., we arrived on a last-minute ticket, every butt counts. So we started looking for a cheaper way to get to Karon. Eventually we went out to the road and caught a tuk-tuk. The driver asked for 700, they agreed on 600. And off we went... I’ve never been so shaken in my life! There is no air conditioning, the seats are plywood, luggage is at the feet. But the creepiest thing is the serpentines. I thought I would stay there! No, screw this savings, next time just use a normal car!”

Valentina Nikolaevna, Tver

Hi all! I recently flew to Phuket and I want to share my experience of traveling from the airport to Karon Beach. In general, a taxi will cost you about 800-1200 baht, depending on how you book it. Through the Bolt and inDriver applications, I found options from 760 baht, really! But keep in mind that you can only pay in cash there, and it’s better without large bills, otherwise the drivers have a hard time with change. Well, if you take a taxi right at the airport, then prepare from 1000 baht. Here’s a picture... Convenient, of course, but not the most budget option...
Andrey Petrov, Moscow

Only an idiot would argue that a taxi to Karon is not the most convenient option, but many tourists prefer more economical options. There are minibuses between the airport and Karon and it costs only 200 baht. Or you can catch a bus for 100 baht. True, you won’t have the super comfort of a taxi and the ride will take twice as long, but you can save a fair amount, especially if you’re traveling solo or as a couple. So, think for yourself, decide for yourself, as they say!
Olga, St. Petersburg

If it loads, then the choice is really difficult. Here you need to take into account the size of the company, the travel budget, and comfort again. Now, if you are not traveling with a large crowd or with children, then a taxi is the way to go. 900-1100 baht, if divided among 3-4 people, is not that much. Again, after the flight, getting to the hotel in comfort is a beauty! But if you are on a one-person trip, on a budget, and don’t mind spending time, then, of course, a minibus or bus will be more profitable. The main thing is to choose for yourself, and your vacation will be a pleasure!
Igor, Ekaterinburg

Well, it's time to wrap things up. See you on the paradise beach of Karon! And remember - even if the taxi driver turns out to be gloomy and taciturn, this is not a reason to ruin your vacation. In the end, you are going to relax, not to be friends with the driver. So relax, smile and have fun. And be careful on Karon with parachutes, otherwise different things happen. Bon Voyage!

Владимир Дубровский

Author and editor on the website "TRAVEL GUIDE" Lawyer by basic education. Likes to travel. An expert in the topic of tourism on the Yandex Q service. Favorite destinations are Asia and South America. Of the countries he prefers Thailand and the Dominican Republic. Editor of several online publications about travel and tourism...

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