The city of Surat Thani is one of the major transport hubs for Southern Thailand. It is connected to the capital, Bangkok, by trains, flights, and plenty of buses, seeing thousands of tourists pass through each year on their way to the islands of the Gulf of Thailand or across to Phuket, or as a stopping point on the way further south. When you’ve enjoyed the sights and sounds of Phuket, traveling via Surat Thani is a popular way to go, giving you plenty of options for transport connections to other parts of the country, or even to spend some time in Surat itself. The city has a different atmosphere to the typical tourist resorts, and you can use it as a base for exploring nearby national parks. There are lots of options for traveling from Phuket to Surat Thani, including many for the budget-conscious traveler.

Options for Travel from Phuket to Surat Thani

The straight line distance from Phuket to Surat Thani is only around 170 kilometers (106 miles) but unless you’re flying, the actual distance by road is a fair bit longer at about 235 kilometers (147 miles). Flying is an option, although not a particularly sensible one, so the main ways to get from Phuket to Surat Thani are by bus or by taxi. If you search for available options, flights will come up as an option, however, flying from Phuket to Surat Thani there are no direct flights. This means you would be flying via Bangkok which really doesn’t make sense considering it takes as long (if not longer) than a bus, and costs considerably more. Therefore, a flight from Phuket to Surat Thani would only be a viable option if there was nothing else available.

Phuket to Surat Thani by Bus or Van

Phuket to Mainland Bridge
Phuket is an island but it is connected to the Thai mainland via a bridge.

Buses from Phuket to Surat Thani are by far the most popular way to travel between these two places, and it’s easy to see why. There are multiple departures every day, and like all bus travel in Thailand, it is very affordable. Traveling by road is not always a particularly quick way to get from A to B as the country is not filled with high-speed freeways, and the roads can sometimes be a little rough, but slow and steady will get you there, sometimes at the scheduled arrival time, but often late! Despite the obvious drawbacks of going by bus from Phuket to Surat Thani, hundreds of tourists make this trip every week.

Phantip Travel bus
Phantip Travel bus

You may find some smaller operators offering minivans out of Phuket but be aware that they will often make multiple stops along the way, making an already long journey even longer. For this reason, we recommend going with one of the major transport companies, Phantip, as they operate nine minivans from Phuket every day, leaving on the hour starting at 7am, and the last van is at 3pm.

Phantip Travel Minivan
Phantip Travel Van

Phantip’s minivans are scheduled to take 4.5 hours, so your earliest arrival time in Surat Thani could be 11:30am, while the latest will arrive at 7:30pm. Vans depart from Phuket Bus Terminal 1 and arrive at a central point in Surat Thani Town. The service with Phantip is reliable as this is a reputable company that has been in business since 1970. Tickets for all the vans are the same price, so it doesn’t matter what time of day you depart, the ticket will cost the same. You should be able to buy tickets directly at the bus station but to make things easier, and guarantee you a seat on the van departure that you wanted, we would advise booking online through 12Go.

In terms of larger bus companies, there is also another provider who you could consider. Greenbus has a bus from Phuket to Surat Thani, but they only have the one departure per day. It appears that they are running a full-size bus for this route, so you may want to consider Greenbus is you want to have more space considering that minivans can feel a little cramped sometimes and have limited luggage space too. Greenbus does not seem to be bookable through 12Go at this point, so you would either need to buy tickets at the bus station or check on their website. The scheduled journey time with Greenbus is faster than with Phantip, so this maybe another reason to choose them if you’re looking for a fast way to travel from Phuket to Surat Thani. Their buses are scheduled to take just 3 hours and 10 minutes.

Private Taxi from Phuket to Surat Thani

Phuket Town
Phuket Town

Private taxis are an expensive way to get from Phuket to Surat Thani, but they also offer the most convenience. There are multiple taxi companies offering this route and prices do vary so it’s worth comparing them if you want to save some money, but it is also a good idea to compare what types of vehicles they use. Many are sedan style cars and within that range you might be able to choose an Economy taxi over a Comfort taxi to save a few dollars. With these cars you will get the best value for money by sharing with a few other people, so if you’re traveling with a few family members or friends, going by taxi and splitting the cost can make this a quite affordable option.

Bangkoktaxi24 car
Bangkoktaxi24 SUV can be booked through 12go.

The best value for money comes if you opt for a 9-passenger van. You pay one price (all-inclusive) for the van. You may think a large van would be more expensive than a car but with some companies these are actually cheaper than Comfort car rates. So, when you split the cost between up to 8 other passengers, going by private taxi from Phuket to Surat Thani becomes very affordable and gives you the extra convenience. The only thing you will be sacrificing is a little comfort as vans are definitely not quite as comfortable as a car!

Ramon Transport Van
Ramon Transport Van

If you don’t know where to start looking into private taxis, just head over to 12Go as they sell tickets for multiple companies and vehicles. It’s really easy to compare the prices here and choose which service suits you best. You could choose to be picked up right from your hotel in Phuket or from Phuket Airport, and there are plenty of options when it comes to drop-off points too: Surat Thani Airport, Train Station, or right in the town center. Some of the private taxi companies you can book through 12Go include Ramon Transport, Andaman Taxis, BangkokTaxi24, and Glassflower.

Journey times vary across the different operators and types of vehicles too, and of course it does depend where in Phuket you are being picked up, and where is Surat you’re being dropped off. But, on the whole the journey time from Phuket to Surat Thani by private taxi should range from 3.5 hours to 4 hours 20. This means taxis are not necessarily the fastest way to travel, but if you are getting a door to door service remember that you are saving time it would take you to get to the bus station and from your drop off point to wherever you are heading.

So, with flights from Phuket to Surat Thani not being a viable option, the best way to travel between these two is either by bus or van. These direct services are the most affordable, although if you’re traveling around Thailand with a few companions, private taxis can become an affordable option too when the cost is split between several people, and they may be the most convenient with their door to door services.

What is the Phuket to Surat Thani bus distance?

The distance is 235kms (148mi) between Phuket Town and Surat Thani Town, buses depart from Phuket Bus Terminal 1 and arrives in Surat Thani Town. The bus ride takes around 4 hours and 30 minutes with Phantip Travel. The last bus leaves Phuket at 15.00. Bus tickets can be booked online with bus ticket prices on 12Go going for 300 THB.

Phuket to Surat Thani bus timetable?

In August 2022 the current bus schedule is 8 buses per day with hourly departure between 07.00 and 15.00 from Phuket Bus Terminal 1 to Surat Thani Town. Some of the bus rides are done with minivans but they do all have air conditioning. Scheduled bus travel time is 4 hours and 30 minutes with Phantip Travel. Bus tickets can be booked online with 12Go for 300 THB.

How do I get from Surat Thani to Phuket?

If you could travel by air in a straight line, the distance from Surat Thani to Phuket is only 170 kilometers (106 miles), by road it’s around 235 kilometers (147 miles). Traveling by a bus ride or a taxi ride are the two best options available. Travel times are around 4.5 hours with Phantip Travel buses and 4 hours with a taxi.

How long does it take from Phuket to surat Thani?

By road it’s around 235 kilometers (147 miles) to travel by bus, van or taxi. Journey times vary with pickup and drop-off points and the provider. Taxis are fastest, taking around 4 hours. A bus with Phantip Travel is scheduled as 4.5 hours. These options can be booked through 12Go.

Can you fly from Phuket to Surat Thani?

Even though both Surat Thani and Phuket have airports, there are no airlines flying direct flights between them. If you did want to catch a flight, you would need to first fly from Surat Thani to Bangkok, and then catch a flight from Bangkok to Phuket. As this isn’t really a feasible option, you should look at the alternatives: buses, vans and taxis. All are readily available, and buses and vans are very affordable.

How long is the bus ride from Phuket to Surat Thani?

Scheduled bus travel time is 4 hours and 30 minutes with Phantip Travel. The distance by road is about 235 kilometers (147 miles). In August 2022 the current bus schedule is 8 buses per day with hourly departure between 07.00 and 15.00 from Phuket Bus Terminal 1 to Surat Thani Town.

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