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No, Uber is not available in Phuket. After Uber’s exit from the Thai market in 2018, options like Grab have taken the forefront in app-based transportation on this vibrant island. Visitors can also experience the local charm through tuk-tuks, traditional taxis, and an array of public transport choices, each offering a unique perspective of Phuket’s scenic beauty and cultural richness.

Nestled in the Andaman Sea, Phuket stands as Thailand’s largest island, famed for its stunning beaches, lively markets, and rich cultural landmarks. If you are planning a trip here you may be wondering how you are going to get around, and is there Uber in Phuket? While Uber may not operate here, the island offers a diverse range of transport options that cater to the needs of both locals and tourists, ensuring a memorable and convenient travel experience across its picturesque landscapes.

Is There Uber in Phuket

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Uber is not available in Phuket or anywhere else in Thailand as of 2023. Instead, the ride-hailing service was replaced by Grab, a Southeast Asian platform, when Uber sold its operations in the region to Grab in 2018. Grab operates like Uber and is one of the main ride-hailing services in Phuket. In addition to Grab, there are other ride-sharing options like Bolt and InDrive available in the area, although ride-shares in Phuket may be more expensive compared to other places in Asia.

Other Ride-sharing Apps Like Uber in Phuket

In Phuket, while Uber is not present, several other ride-sharing and transportation apps fill the gap, offering convenient travel options across the island. Having a combination of the following apps downloaded on your phone can help boost your chances of finding an affordable ride no matter where you are in Phuket.


The most prominent ride-sharing app in Phuket, and indeed much of Southeast Asia, is Grab. It offers services similar to Uber, including car rides, food delivery, and even a motorbike option which can be a quicker alternative in traffic. Grab is known for its reliability and wide coverage across the island. Grab can be more expensive than other rideshare options.

Vehicle Options

  • JustGrab: Combines taxis and cars into one option, offering the fastest pickup at an affordable price.
  • GrabCar: Private car option for a more comfortable and personal experience.
  • GrabTaxi: Traditional taxis that are part of the Grab network.
  • GrabBike: For solo travelers, a motorbike option can be faster, especially in traffic.


Another alternative is Bolt (formerly known as Taxify). This app has been expanding its presence in various countries and offers competitive pricing. However, its availability in Phuket can be more limited compared to Grab.

Vehicle Options

  • Bolt Car: Standard private car service, similar to GrabCar, offering a comfortable and private travel experience.
  • Bolt Premium: Higher-end vehicles for those looking for a more upscale travel experience.
  • Bolt Green: Eco-friendly vehicles, catering to environmentally conscious passengers.


InDrive, a unique ride-hailing service, offers an alternative approach to transportation in Phuket. Known for its real-time bidding system, it allows passengers and drivers to negotiate fares directly. Although InDrive’s presence in Phuket is growing, its availability and range of services can be more limited compared to established players like Grab.

Download InDrive

Vehicle Options

  • InDrive Car: This is the standard service offered by InDrive, comparable to GrabCar or Bolt Car. It provides a comfortable and private travel experience, suitable for routine trips around Phuket.
  • InDrive SUV: For those requiring more space, whether for larger groups or extra luggage, the SUV option offers a more spacious ride.
  • InDrive Eco: Catering to the environmentally conscious, this option includes vehicles that are eco-friendly, although availability may vary.

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Are Ride Share Apps Expensive in Phuket?

Ride-sharing apps like Grab and Bolt in Phuket are generally considered affordable, especially when compared to traditional taxi services, but their cost-effectiveness can vary depending on several factors.

Factors Affecting Costs

  1. Distance and Time: Longer distances and time taken due to traffic can increase the fare.
  2. Vehicle Type: Choosing premium vehicle options will cost more than standard ones.
  3. Demand Surge: During peak hours or in high-demand areas, prices can surge.

Comparing Costs with Other Transportation

  • Compared to Taxis: Ride-sharing apps are often cheaper than traditional taxis, mainly because they avoid the common issue of fare negotiation or overcharging.
  • Public Transportation: While buses or other forms of public transport may be cheaper, ride-sharing apps offer more convenience, direct routes, and comfort.
  • Tuk-Tuks: Tuk-tuks are a popular local transport option and can be comparable in price for shorter distances. However, for longer trips or in tourist areas, they might be more expensive and less predictable in pricing.

How Much Do Rideshares Cost in Phuket?

  • Short trips within the city could cost anywhere from 150 to 300 Thai Baht (approx. 4 to 9 USD).
  • Longer trips, such as from the airport to popular tourist spots, might range from 600 to 800 Baht (18 to 24 USD).

In summary, ride-sharing apps in Phuket offer a cost-effective and convenient alternative to traditional taxis, though prices can vary based on several factors. They strike a balance between affordability and the convenience of door-to-door service.

How to Pay

  • In-App Payment: The most convenient option is to link a credit/debit card or mobile wallet to the Grab app for cashless transactions.
  • Cash Payment: Cash payments are also accepted, which can be handy for those who prefer not to use digital payment methods.

Known Issues with Ride-Sharing Services

  • Availability: During peak hours or in less touristy areas, finding a ride can be challenging. Prices may also increase during these periods.
  • Language Barrier: Some drivers may only speak limited English, which could lead to misunderstandings regarding destinations or fares.
  • Network Issues: Weak internet connections in certain parts of the island can affect the functionality of these apps.

Scams and How to Avoid Them

  • Overcharging: Always check the estimated fare on the app before booking. If a driver insists on a higher price, it’s better to cancel and rebook.
  • Route Detours: Be aware of the route. Some drivers might take longer routes to increase the fare. Using your own GPS navigation can help you stay informed.
  • Cancellation Scams: In rare cases, drivers might accept your ride and then not move towards your location, hoping you’ll cancel and incur a fee. If you notice this, report it through the app.

By being aware of these aspects, tourists and locals can navigate Phuket with more confidence using ride-sharing services.

Taxis in Phuket

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Taxis are a significant part of the transportation landscape in Phuket, offering an alternative to ride-sharing apps. Here’s a detailed overview of taxis in the region.

Are Taxis Cheap in Phuket?

  • Comparative Cost: Taxis in Phuket are generally slightly more expensive than ride-sharing services like Grab or Bolt. They are known for their higher fares, especially in tourist-heavy areas. However, sometimes during busy periods rideshare app prices may surge, and in this case, traditional taxis can be cheaper!
  • Negotiation Factor: Unlike ride-sharing apps, many taxi fares aren’t metered and require fare negotiation upfront, which can lead to inconsistent and sometimes inflated pricing.

How Much Do Taxis Cost in Phuket?

  • Fare Calculation: For taxis with meters (which are not always used), fares start with a base fee (around 50 Baht, approximately 1.50 USD) and increase with distance and time.
  • Example Fare: A taxi ride from Phuket International Airport to Patong might cost between 800 to 1000 Baht (24 to 30 USD), depending on the negotiation.
  • Negotiation Tips: It’s advisable to agree on the fare before starting the journey to avoid any surprises at the end.

Do Taxis Accept Credit Cards in Phuket?

  • Payment Methods: Most taxis in Phuket operate on a cash-only basis. Credit card acceptance is rare, so it’s best to have cash in local currency.
  • Carry Small Bills: Cab drivers may claim not to have the correct change at the end of your ride.

How Do I Catch a Taxi in Phuket?

  • Hailing on the Street: You can hail a taxi directly from the street in busy areas.
  • Taxi Stands: There are designated taxi stands, particularly at the airport, major tourist spots, and shopping centers.
  • Pre-booking: For a more convenient experience, you can book a taxi through hotel services or by calling local taxi companies.

Are There Taxi Apps in Phuket?

The Grab App can be used to book traditional taxis combining the convenience of the rideshare app with the reliability and availability of regualr taxis.

Are Taxis Safe in Phuket?

  • Safety: Taxis are generally safe, but it’s always wise to use reputable taxi services, especially those recommended by hotels or tourism centers.

Common Taxi Scams in Phuket and How to Avoid Them

  • Overcharging: Always negotiate the fare before starting the journey.
  • Long Routes: Be aware of your route to avoid unnecessary detours.

Do I Need to Tip Taxi Drivers in Phuket?

  • Tipping Culture: Tipping is not customary, but rounding up the fare or leaving a small tip for good service is appreciated.

Other Ways to Get Around Phuket

Phuket offers a variety of transportation options beyond taxis and ride-sharing apps, each with its own unique characteristics. Here’s a comprehensive look at these alternatives.


  • Description: Tuk-tuks in Phuket are small, open-air, three-wheeled vehicles that are iconic to Thailand.
  • Cost: Fares are usually negotiated before the trip. Short distances might cost around 200 to 300 Thai Baht (6 to 9 USD), but prices can be higher, especially in tourist areas.
  • Usage Tips: Always agree on the fare before starting your journey to avoid overcharging.

Motorbike Taxis

  • Description: These are a quick option for solo travelers, ideal for short distances.
  • Cost: Fares are lower than car taxis, usually starting at around 50 Baht (1.50 USD) for short trips.
  • Safety: Helmets should be provided and worn for safety.

Public Buses

  • Phuket Smart Bus: Connects Phuket International Airport to the major beaches.
    • Route: Covers key areas like Patong, Karon, and Kata beaches.
    • Cost: Fares range from 50 to 170 Baht (1.50 to 5 USD) depending on the distance.
    • Timetable and More Info: Phuket Smart Bus Website
  • Local Bus (Songthaews)
    • Description: These are large, open-air buses that operate on set routes.
    • Routes: Connect Phuket Town to various beaches and local areas.
    • Cost: Very affordable, usually around 30 to 40 Baht (less than 1 USD) per trip.
    • Schedule: They typically run from early morning until late evening.

Ferries and Boats

  • To Nearby Islands: Regular ferries and speedboats connect Phuket to nearby islands like Phi Phi and Krabi.
  • Cost: Varies by destination; for example, a ferry to Phi Phi Island might cost around 400 to 500 Baht (12 to 15 USD).
  • More Info: Visit Phuket Ferry for schedules and booking.

Car and Motorbike Rentals

  • For Self-Driving: Renting a car or motorbike can be an adventurous way to explore Phuket at your own pace.
  • Cost: Daily rentals for cars start from about 1,000 Baht (30 USD), while motorbikes can be cheaper, around 200 to 300 Baht (6 to 9 USD) per day.
  • Important: International driving permits are required for renting vehicles.


  • Rental Options: Several shops offer bicycle rentals.
  • Cost: Approximately 200 to 300 Baht (6 to 9 USD) per day.
  • Ideal for: Exploring local areas or for short trips in less congested areas.

Each of these modes of transportation offers a different experience and level of convenience, allowing you to choose based on your travel preferences, budget, and the nature of your journey.

How Do I Get from the Phuket International Airport to the City Center?

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Phuket International Airport is the main gateway to the island for international and domestic travelers. Located in the north of the island, getting to the city center or popular tourist areas requires a bit of travel. Here are the available options:

Airport Taxis

  • Service: Official airport taxis are available at the terminal.
  • Cost: The fare to Phuket Town is approximately 600-800 Baht (18-24 USD), and to Patong, it can be around 800-1000 Baht (24-30 USD).
  • Booking: Taxi counters are located in the arrivals hall.

Grab and Bolt

  • Availability: Both Grab and Bolt operate at the airport.
  • Cost: Similar to airport taxis, but can be slightly cheaper. Expect to pay around 600-800 Baht to reach central areas.
  • Booking: Through their respective apps upon arrival.

Phuket Smart Bus

  • Cost-Effective Choice: This is a budget-friendly option for those not in a hurry.
  • Route: It connects the airport to major beach destinations.
  • Cost: Ranges from 50 to 170 Baht (1.50-5 USD) depending on your stop.
  • Schedule and Stops: Check Phuket Smart Bus Website for more details.

Private Transfers

  • Convenience: Ideal for those seeking comfort and ease, especially in groups or with lots of luggage.
  • Cost: Varies with service providers; generally starts from around 1,000 Baht (30 USD).
  • Booking: Can be arranged in advance through hotels or online booking platforms.

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Car Rentals

  • Flexibility: Offers the freedom to travel at your own pace.
  • Cost: Daily rental starts from about 1,000 Baht (30 USD).
  • Process: Rental counters are available at the airport; international driving permits are required.

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Shuttle Services

  • Some hotels and resorts offer shuttle services from the airport, either complimentary or for a fee. It’s best to check with your accommodation beforehand.

Is Wi-Fi Available at Phuket International Airport

Yes, Wi-Fi is available at Phuket International Airport, which can be very helpful for passengers looking to arrange transportation upon arrival.

Wi-Fi Access Details

  • Free Wi-Fi: The airport offers free Wi-Fi to passengers.
  • Access Procedure: Typically, you may need to register or log in using your mobile number or email to access the free Wi-Fi.
  • Coverage: Wi-Fi is generally available throughout the terminal, including arrival and departure areas.

Having access to Wi-Fi at the airport is convenient for travelers who need to book a ride via apps like Grab or Bolt, check their hotel reservations, or inform someone of their safe arrival.

Traveling from Phuket to Other Parts of Thailand

Phuket, as a major tourist hub in Thailand, offers several transportation options for traveling to other parts of the country. Here are the most common ways to journey from Phuket to other Thai destinations:

By Air

  • Phuket International Airport: Offers flights to numerous domestic destinations, including Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and more.
  • Airlines: Includes both full-service and low-cost carriers like Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, and AirAsia.
  • Cost: Varies depending on the destination and booking time. Booking in advance can often secure better rates.

By Bus

  • Long-Distance Buses: Connect Phuket with many other cities and towns across Thailand.
  • Bus Types: Options range from standard buses to VIP coaches with more amenities.
  • Major Destinations: Includes Bangkok, Krabi, Surat Thani, and Pattaya.
  • Cost: Generally affordable; for instance, a bus to Bangkok can cost between 650 to 1,100 Baht (20 to 35 USD).

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By Ferry and Speedboat

  • To Nearby Islands: Services to islands like Phi Phi, Koh Lanta, and Krabi are available.
  • Ferry Companies: Include operators like Phuket Ferry and Andaman Wave Master.
  • Cost: Depends on the destination; a ferry to Phi Phi might cost around 400 to 500 Baht (12 to 15 USD).

By Car

  • Car Rentals: Renting a car for intercity travel offers flexibility and comfort.
  • Routes: Well-maintained roads connect Phuket to the mainland and other regions.
  • Cost: Daily rental rates start from about 1,000 Baht (30 USD).

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By Train

  • Nearest Station: Phuket doesn’t have a train station; the nearest major station is in Surat Thani.
  • Combined Bus and Train Tickets: Available for travel to destinations like Bangkok, with a bus transfer to Surat Thani train station.

Private Transfers

  • For Direct Travel: Suitable for those seeking a hassle-free journey, especially in groups.
  • Cost: Varies with the service provider and destination.

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Each of these options offers a different balance of cost, comfort, and travel time, allowing you to choose based on your preferences and the specifics of your journey.

Is Uber Eats in Phuket?

While Uber Eats specifically may not be available in Phuket, there are several other food delivery services that have become quite popular on the island, catering to the diverse culinary preferences of both locals and tourists. Grab and FoodPanda are the most popular and widely used services in Phuket.

Food Delivery Services in Phuket

  1. GrabFood: Operated by Grab, which is also a major ride-hailing service in Southeast Asia, GrabFood offers a wide range of food delivery options. It features an extensive list of restaurants and local eateries, covering everything from Thai street food to international cuisine.
  2. Foodpanda: Another popular choice, Foodpanda provides a comprehensive selection of restaurants in Phuket. It’s known for its user-friendly app interface and regular promotions.
  3. Line Man: An extension of the popular messaging app Line, Line Man offers food delivery services in addition to courier and grocery delivery. It collaborates with a variety of restaurants across Phuket.
  4. Gojek: Previously known as GET, Gojek is another contender in the food delivery market in Phuket. It offers a range of restaurants and local food options, along with other services like ride-hailing.

Features of Food Delivery Services in Phuket

  • Wide Range of Options: These services offer a diverse array of food choices, from local Thai dishes to international cuisine.
  • Convenience: Easy to use with apps available on both iOS and Android platforms.
  • Payment Flexibility: Most services accept various forms of payment, including cash on delivery, credit/debit cards, and mobile wallets.
  • Promotions and Discounts: Regular promotions and discounts are available, making it a budget-friendly option for many users.

These food delivery services are widely used in Phuket and are known for their reliability and variety. They have become an integral part of the dining experience, especially for those who prefer the convenience of having meals delivered directly to their location.

Final Thoughts on Uber and Transportation in Phuket

In conclusion, while Uber itself is not available in Phuket, the island’s transportation landscape offers a rich tapestry of alternatives that cater to a wide range of needs and preferences. Services like Grab and Bolt lead the way in app-based ride-hailing, offering convenience, competitive pricing, and a variety of vehicle options. For those favoring a more local or traditional touch, options like tuk-tuks, motorbike taxis, and conventional taxis provide an authentic Thai experience, albeit with a need for some fare negotiation.

The introduction of innovative services like InDriver adds a unique dimension to the market, allowing passengers to negotiate fares directly with drivers. Additionally, the island’s well-structured public transport, including buses and ferries, ensures connectivity to various points of interest and nearby islands, catering to budget-conscious travelers.

Phuket’s evolution in terms of transportation reflects its status as a major tourist destination, balancing modernity with local charm. As you navigate the island, the availability of free Wi-Fi at key locations like the Phuket International Airport further facilitates a seamless travel experience, allowing for easy arrangement of transport upon arrival.

Whether you’re exploring the bustling streets of Patong, heading to the serene beaches of Kata and Karon, or planning an excursion to neighboring islands, Phuket’s diverse transport options promise convenience, adventure, and a glimpse into the local way of life. Remember, each mode of transport comes with its own set of experiences and stories, making your journey around Phuket as memorable as the destination itself.


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