Wednesday, October 3, 2012

from phuket international airport to the beach

and vice versa.

where are we going? to the beach! where are we going? ... okay enough of dora's jingle or swiper may ruin the mood. but honestly, there was a point in my life when i used to watch dora the explorer before i would dash for work. haha! and i'd like to end it at that.

Phuket Kata Beach

how far is phuket int'l airport to the beach?

Phuket google map
Phuket map from

sure thing is, it is really that far! duration by google may not consider traffic or how many stops a car will have. since we took a vehicle for hire, we reached kata beach in an hour and a half.

from the airport to the beach

out of the three main areas for a beach life in phuket, we chose the more laid back kata beach. the other two by the way, are karon beach and patong beach which the latter gets the full share of the famous nightlife in phuket. there are also overly plush resorts near the airport but the rates would probably cost us our arms and legs.

we didn't make use of the pick-up service of our hotel because it was expensive and burning a hole in our pockets upon arrival was unfavorable for us, the mere mortals.

Phuket International Airport's Arrival Area
Phuket Int'l Airport's Arrival Area

eva and i were among the first ones who went through the immigration but our speed didn't matter as we had to wait for more than 30 minutes before we could be on our way. our speed could be put into use if we chose to be whisked away by a cab but that would mean shelling out 700THB.

Phuket mini-bus ticket
Our Mini-Bus tickets to the beach!

there are several counters for various airport transfer services, which are located right after exit from the immigration check. we were even quite overwhelmed by the men who worked for their respective agencies and they were pretty much everywhere!

mini-bus seemed not to be the recommended option because the uptight woman in the counter tried to sell us a taxi service but adamantly, we still stuck to the mini-bus service. she looked rather disappointed after that.

Phuket mini-bus
Mini-Bus from Phuket Int'l Airport

at first when i heard about the mini-bus, i thought it would look like a jeep with obviously no air-conditioning but i was surprised when the little man who was our driver ushered us to wait alongside this huge van! we were even  hypothesizing about the reason why a lot of people shied away from the mini-bus service. aside from the agencies selling the taxi service in priority, the mini-bus term may only give lesser credit than what it really is.

so, we stood there for a long time while a couple of taxi drivers tried to convince us to take a taxi instead. it was nearing desperation because the sun was already glaring and we couldn't be basking in the sun at the airport. we went there for the beach! but our driver gave us a glint of hope as he gestured a swift motion with his hand while promising that we would reach kata beach in 30 minutes. at the back of my mind, i hope we reach safely. anyway, even if he had difficulty speaking in english, his attempt to assure us amused me and it couldn't be that bad. with the normal standard of transportation safety in the world, i had experienced questionable transport many times and the kind of normal for a lot of people can even be too rigid in my carefree land.

then, after several long minutes of waiting, a flight from bangkok arrived and our mini-bus pack was complete.

Phuket Traffic junction along the way
Traffic junction along the way

Phuket Pine tree in the middle of highway
Pine tree in the middle of the highway

the commute along well-paved roads was uneventful except a mandatory stop at a travel agency but we didn't have much to do with it. we were even told that we needed to get off and go inside the travel agency's office so that someone could write our hotel's name for the driver to read. but then, the driver already knew our hotel from the short conversation that we had at the airport. oh well.

eva and i were the only ones bound for kata beach and the rest were dropped off at patong beach which saved us some time.

from the beach to phuket int'l aiport

getting back to the airport is i think more crucial since one wouldn't want to miss his flight back. but being stuck in an island won't surely be as bad as it seems. you might just get a reprimand from work which you can forget by planning on a next excursion. lol

Taxi to Phuket Int'l Airport from Patong Beach
Our swanky ride to Phuket Int'l Airport from Patong Beach

on our last day, we hired a cab from kata beach to patong beach so that we could at least see first hand what's patong after all. our ride cost us 600THB which was reasonable for its distance and it was a comfortable ride.

Sino Phuket, Patong
Sino Phuket, Patong

patong turned out to be more commercialized than our comfort and we were just glad that we opted for kata beach. patong may be good for us next time.

right on where i was standing, was the taxi drivers holding out signs for a taxi service. they looked legit with their IDs clinging around their necks. we approached one who we thought was more cordial than the rest. it was a very subjective decision and it very much depended on our gut feel.

wild ideas went instantly into my head when the man led us into the side alley of the mall but everything evaporated when we saw our swanky ride. haha the ride cost us 800THB which was already okay because it would hurt much more if we miss our plane.

Scary woods in Phuket
Scary woods in Phuket

the commute back was again uneventful - thankfully! although i got paranoid briefly when the driver took a different route and i knew it was different because i was certain that we didn't pass that way before. i usually don't and can't sleep while on the road and much more in a new place -- no matter how tired i am.

i even pulled out my free map hoping that roads were specified but it was of no help. the only thing that relieved me was when we passed by an international school and i remembered a fork in the highway with a sign that the road leads to this certain school. it pays off to read signs. :)

we made it to our flight and we were back to reality a few hours after.


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