Travelling between Krabi and Phuket is easy. Krabi Town and other resort destinations in Krabi province, including Ao Nang and Railey Beach, are connected with the largest island of Thailand by buses and/or ferries. Buses offer more departures throughout the day – almost every hour – and there are also minibuses plying the route along the Andaman coast. Both need about three hours to cover 170 km between Krabi and Phuket. Boats leave a couple of times a day, cost more and are dependent on weather conditions; many call to Koh Phi Phi en route and need more time to bring you to your destination, but the sea trip itself is very pleasant – if you are not prone to seasickness, of course.
From Krabi to Phuket by boat
Boats from Krabi to Phuket leave from Khlong Jilard pier, located about 4 km south of the centre of town (THB50 by local bus). There is at least one boat a day; more during high season months. In most cases these boats make a stop-over in Koh Phi Phi, sometimes for as long as 3 hours what brings total travel time to seven hours. Tickets may cost anywhere from THB700 to THB1200.
Instead of buying a ‘direct’ ticket from Krabi to Phuket, you can connect via Koh Phi Phi all by yourself – it gives you more flexibility as there are more departures a day from Krabi to Koh Phi Phi (THB450-THB600) and from Koh Phi Phi to Phuket (THN600-THB800) than from Krabi to Phuket – not all the companies travel the whole way to Phuket.
If you are based in Ao Nang, there is no need to go to Krabi Town first to take a boat to Phuket. During high season, there is a daily ferry to Phuket from Ao Nang. It does not call to Koh Phi Phi and thus provides a much faster way to get to Phuket, passing between Koh Yao Yai and Koh Phi Phi. During low season, the boat normally runs every other day but is dependent on weather conditions.
From Railey Beach you have to take a longtail boat to Krabi Town and hop onto a Phuket-bound boat there, though some companies offer ‘direct’ tickets to Phuket from Railey meaning that you will need to transfer from your longtail onto a big ferry in the middle of the sea – the experience not everyone will enjoy.
Obviously not the fastest way to get from Krabi to Phuket, travelling by boat also qualifies for a nice sea trip with great marine panoramas – provided the weather is good.
Tip Let us give you a little warning: the Andaman Sea is notorious for its rough character. When the weather is stormy it is really dangerous to go by boat. Put off your sea journey until the skies clear up or go overland – by bus or by taxi. It is much safer.
In Phuket, boats dock at Rassada pier, a 10-minute-drive east from Phuket Town. There are regular songthaews running from Rassada pier (THB10) to Phuket Town. The bus stop is located right in front of the ferry terminal. If you do not want to wait, get out of the terminal gates to the main road and catch a passing by songthaew to the town.
From Krabi to Phuket by bus
Krabi provincial bus station is connected with the other parts of the town by white and brown songthaews (THB20). Buses to Phuket leave every hour and take about three hours to get to the new bus terminal in Phuket (THB200), located a couple km north of Phuket Town. You can take a pink songthaew (line 2) to get from the terminal to the town or to the in-city bus terminal.
There are also minivans both from Krabi Town and Ao Nang to Phuket. They can be a hit or miss as even when full they sometimes pick up passengers on the way, making the travel time considerably longer.
Both big buses and minivans follow route 4 and call to Phang Nga Town. Phang Nga is undoubtedly one of the most underrated destinations of the Andaman, so consider making a stop there if you have a couple of more days at your disposal.
From Krabi to Phuket by taxi
There are a lot of street counters offering a taxi to any destination imaginable. These are normally ok though sometimes they may ‘forget’ to pick you up on the date agreed. Ground Business and Andaman Taxis are two reliable companies to get from Krabi to Phuket or other destinations. Take a note of their rates offered for chartered minivans accommodating up to 9 passengers (THB3500-THB4400). Even for a large group of travellers this kind of ride will cost you more compared to a bus trip, but less compared to a boat journey. And it will definitely take less time.
Why go to Phuket
People tend to either love Phuket or hate it. Yes, that is true: the Pearl of the Andaman has got too touristy and too commercialized these days; prices in the main resort areas are inflated and the taxi mafia contributes to the bad reputation of the island. But also true is that Phuket remains an incredibly beautiful island. With over a dozen sandy beaches to choose from; hiking and walking jungle trails; crystal clear waterfalls and spectacular view points; world-class wining and dining scene; glittering huge shopping centres; and accommodation options to suit every budget the island continues to attract nearly a third of all the international visitors arriving to Thailand every year. It does face a lot of environmental and uncontrolled development issues, but the steps undertaken in the recent years aimed at bringing the natural beauty of the island back appear to be slowly bearing fruits. Though elimination of beach umbrellas and chairs still provokes controversial opinion, it cannot be denied that without those chaotic agglomerations beaches do look better.
Getting around in Phuket
Phuket tuk-tuk drivers are notorious for hefty rates charging you from THB200 even for a couple of km ride. Things are slowly getting better, but you still have to accept the rules of the game: either you rent your own transport or pay the asked price to hop from beach to beach.
The local transport exists in the form of large songthaew trucks. They originate from Ranong Road near the market in Phuket Town and follo