How I organized my arrival to Phuket: hotel, islands tour and taxi from the airport to the hotel.
In 5 days I will be in Phuket (Thailand) for the first time, and I am very excited about it! Earlier this year, Fran and I went to Thailand for my birthday, and we visited Bangkok, Koh Tao, and Koh Phangan. This time, we chose to go to Phuket because we read that Maya beach, where the movie The Beach was filmed, will close in June for a period of 6 months for cleaning and maintenance – same with Boracay. Therefore, it was the perfect excuse to go!
This time it might be slightly different, though. We planned the trip as usual but it might turn out to be a solo trip in the end. Fran doesn’t know if he will be able to join me (I hope he will come last minute!). When we found out, I thought about not going either, because I wanted to go the two together. However, I already got my flight tickets, it would be a pity not using them.
So here I am, writing about how I have organized this (hopefully not) solo trip to Phuket.
I am a regular user of Booking when it comes to booking accommodation. Not because it is the best portal ever, but because I am used to it, even though the “Genius” program is not that amazing tbh. This time, however, I switched portals, and I used Orbitz (Fran’s recommendation) which is pretty similar to Booking. Orbitz has a lot of accommodation options, and it really has a good fidelity program!
I finally booked a hotel in Kamala beach (West coast of Phuket) using Orbitz, at the same rate offered by Booking, AND I got US$7.39 reduction for my next booking.
Choosing island tour
While I was choosing my hotel, I was also checking different options to go to Phi Phi Island as I read that most of the companies pick you up in the morning at the hotel. Because of that, I wanted to choose a hotel where the company would go and pick me for the trip, as they usually start quite early (my pick-up time is 06:10 am), and it is easier to wait for them at the hotel rather than to go find them on your own.
I saw different companies offering tours but I read a lot of good reviews on Tripadvisor about Phuket Sail Tours (PST). The staff is described as very friendly and apparently they arrange the routes so that we can visit all the different locations out of the “rush hour” to enjoy a more relaxed experience. When I contacted them, they replied within hours. After a couple of emails with them, I had my booking ready.
Another good thing about PST is that you don’t have to pay any deposit in advance for the Speedboat tours, which I think it is fair enough.
Choosing transportation from the airport to the hotel
Once the hotel and island tour is booked, the last step is to arrange the transport. If I were landing during the day, this wouldn’t be an issue, however, my flight is at night, and I arrive at Phuket International Airport at 00:45 hours. I tried to research whether there are taxis at night but most of the information I saw dated for a couple of years ago. Some users said that there was no problem, while others said that taxis are rare to find.
Due to the lack of reliable information, I asked my hotel for the price of their pickup service, and they offered me a ride for 1400 THB (US$43). As I expected, it seemed a bit expensive, so I went back and try to dig a bit more to find other options. I found a company with good comments called Phuket Taxi and Transfers. I checked their website and Facebook page, and I contacted them using Facebook Messenger to ask for their rates. They replied within the hour and offered me a ride for 800 THB (which is the average price I read online for a transfer from the airport to Kamala at night).
I gave them my flight information and name and that was it! Transfer booked.
Now everything is ready! Can’t wait for the weekend to arrive!