Getting there & around
You’ll find the bus terminal (0 7621 1977) just to the east of the centre, within walking distance of the many hotels. Services from here include the following:
There are cheap car rental agencies on Th Rasada near Pure Car Rent. Suzuki jeeps go for about 1600B per day (including insurance), though in the low season the rates can go down to 1100B. If you rent for a week or more, you should get a discount.
The rates are always better at local places than at the better-known international agencies, though you may be able to get deals with the familiar companies if you reserve in advance.
Avis Rent-A-Car (airport 0 7635 1243; www.avisthailand.com) Charges a premium (around 1500B per day) but has outlets at some bigger resort hotels.
Pure Car Rent (0 7621 1002; www.purecarrent.com; 75 Th Rasada) A good choice in the centre of town.
You can rent motorcycles on Th Rasada near Pure Car Rent, or from various places at the beaches. Costs are between 250B and 350B per day, and can vary depending on the season. Bigger bikes (over 125cc) can be rented at a couple of shops in Patong and Karon.
Take care when riding a bike and use common sense. People who ride around in shorts, T-shirt, a pair of thongs and no helmet are asking for trouble – a minor spill while wearing reasonable clothes would leave you bruised and shaken, but for somebody clad in shorts it could result in enough skin loss to end your travels right there. If you do have an accident, you’re unlikely to find that medical attention is up to international standards.
Phuket now has a helmet law that police claim will be enforced without exception: those caught not wearing one will be fined 300B. When we last visited there still seemed to be plenty of ‘exceptions’, but then again, it’s just stupid to ride without a helmet so don't take the risk (on your wallet and life).