Phuket Airport (HKT) is the main port of arrival for most visitors to the island. It's the second busiest airport in Thailand by passenger and freight volume. Over 14 million passengers from 37 destinations pass through its two terminals every year. Nearly 100,000 flights from 46 airlines touch down on its single runway annually.
The airport’s location is one of the most remarkable in Thailand, being directly behind Mai Khao Beach. During high season, approaching aircraft pass right over the beach just before they land. When they take off, northbound flights pass over the beautiful Phang Nga Bay, giving a unique view of the stunning landscape.
Interested in this tour? Book it here.
Arriving at Phuket Airport
On arriving at Phuket Airport's international terminal, you will first have to pass through Immigration. While there are 15 counters here, the airport has a reputation for long queues. We suggest having your arrival and departure cards fully filled in and ready before landing. Also, be patient and consider going to the restroom before joining a queue.
Next, there are five baggage carousels and eight customs counters. In the Arrivals hall beyond them, you can find money changers, ATMs and local SIM cards. Finally, you'll reach a 300-metre arrivals curb with several onward travel options. The airport has lifts, toilets and telephones adapted to disabled persons' needs throughout.
Changing Money at Phuket Airport
There are currency exchanges available throughout Phuket Airport, in both the Arrivals and Departures areas. Those in Arrivals get very busy as each flight lands, creating long and slow-moving queues. It is often quicker and easier to use one of the many ATMs. If you plan to do so, alert your bank before you travel. If you don't, they may lock your account on the assumption that your card has been stolen. Most banks will charge a small fee for using their card overseas.
Please note that the exchange rate at airport currency exchange services is often not the best. It is best to only convert enough cash to get you to your destination. You can then do the bulk of your money exchange elsewhere, getting more baht for your buck.
Getting to Your Hotel from Phuket Airport
Limousine services will be the first option you see for getting from Phuket Airport to your hotel. The Arrivals hall is crowded with them, all trying to get your attention. This is the most comfortable and convenient choice, making it great for long-haul travellers. However, it is also the most expensive. You can arrange this service on arrival, but booking your airport transfer in advance saves you time and energy.
A lot of desks in the Arrivals hall say that they provide taxis, but are actually limo services. To find the real metered taxis, you need to leave the airport building and look for the one counter marked "taxi meter". Unlike the alternatives, these vehicles always use their meters and the fares are fairer. You will have to pay an extra 100 baht on top of the meter as an airport service charge. Average fares for major destinations are:
- Phuket Town: 600 – 900 baht
- Patong Beach: 700 – 1,050 baht
- Kata/Karon Beach: 775 – 1,250 baht
Note that this charge is for the taxi, not per passenger.
Phuket Airport Bus
There are two inexpensive hourly bus services from Phuket Airport. The bright orange buses go to Phuket Bus Terminal 1 in Phuket Town, with services from 06:30 to 21:30. Tickets are available from the counter by the airport exit. They cost 90 baht for the larger bus and 100 baht for a minibus.
The other service travels to Patong, Kata and Karon beaches. The cream-coloured buses with the blue strip operate from the northern end of the arrivals curb (turn left out of the exit). They depart hourly from 07:30 and it cost 150 baht to reach Patong and 200 baht for Kata or Karon. Tickets are bought from the driver.
Tickets for minivans are available from counters througout the Arrivals hall. These vehicles are among the most cost-effective methods of getting to your hotel. Ticket prices are very low, but the journey is quicker than taking the bus and they will drop you right at your hotel. Minivans sometimes stop off at travel agencies along the way, where they will try to sell you tour packages. The vehicles can be quite crowded and uncomfortable. They may also take a long time to reach your hotel, if there are a lot of passengers.
Ticket prices per person are:
- Phuket Town: 120 baht
- Patong Beach: 180 baht
- Kata/Karon Beach: 200 baht
There are two car rental counters in the Arrivals hall, where you can hire cars from Avis, Alamo, National and Hertz. Please make sure to take along your passport and international driving license. Many more companies are located just outside the airport.
Departures from Phuket Airport
When it comes to going home or continuing your travels, Phuket Airport is quite compact and very easy to navigate. This makes getting to your gate simpler, but it also means that there are fewer duty-free shops. For more choice, there is a large duty-free shopping mall near Phuket Town. You can purchase goods at tax-less prices there and collect them at the airport before boarding your flight. Restaurants and money exchanges are available in the Departures hall.
It is best to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the departure time of an international flight or one hour before a domestic one. Given Phuket Airport's small size, you may be able to cut that down a little. However, it is advisable to check with your airline first. Thanks to traffic, getting from Patong to the airport can take as little as 40 minutes or as long as an hour or more.
Great Hotel near Phuket Airport
Located in Sa Khu, Proud Phuket is in a national park, minutes from Sirinat National Park, and close to Blue Canyon Country Club.Featured amenities include a computer station, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services.For a surcharge, guests may use a roundtrip airport shuttle (available 24 hours) and a cruise ship terminal shuttle. Read More...
Phuket International Airport
- Location: Mai Khao Beach
- Tel: +66 (0)7 635 1122