The smartest, fastest and easiest way (in my opinion) to travel from Bangkok to Phuket is definitely by plane. yes, it could be more expensive by 1000-2000 baht but the travelling time is only an hour compared to taking the bus which will take you 8-10 hours depending on the class of bus you're taking. Your best bet for the cheapest plane would be Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Bangkok Airways.
The cheapest and (the route we chose) is taking the bus from Bangkok to Phuket. So let me share to you our experience. :) So take a taxi and head to Sai Tai Mai bus terminal in Thonburi to purchase tickets at least 15 minutes in advance of your desired departure. Bus Schedules are available online at the Thailand Travel Company website. You can purchase your ticket online or just head over to the counter to purchase.
It is advisable to check you preferred time and book it as early as possible since seats are fast to go. Also, buying tickets on counter can be little confusing with everything written in Thai. We were lucky that we met a thai woman who helped us purchase our tickets. We got the 1st class bus which cost 529 baht (roughly 800 pesos). you have 3 choice for which bus to choose from-VIP (around 1000 baht), 1st class (500-600), 2nd class (300-400). VIP bus are the fastest to get booked since they have limited seats and is advisable to book 2 days advance.
Our bus took 13 hours of travel time with 2 stops in between. The bus itself has a comfort room so it's okay if you slept through the bus stop. However, ours smells stenchy and it is better to go down and take the loo at the bus stops where you can also eat and refresh yourselves.
Another tip I could give you is when booking, try to get the seats on the 1st floor of the bus! specifically the one nearest the driver! wider leg room and only limited people in the 1st floor! We were lucky enough to book the one below and had the 1st floor for ourselves! :)
off we go! from Bangkok to Phuket!
Anyway, from the terminal we had to hire a van to take us to our hotel. It'll be hard to travel from Phuket bus terminal to wherever your hotel. As I have noticed, there are no (or few) taxis available in the area. So your choice of travelling is either to hire a whole van or if you're travelling alone is to hire a motorbike to drive you to wherever you're heading! :)
Next post is on our Phuket leg! Our hotel in Phuket is sooooooooo awesome, you just hafta wait!! :))
till the next entry!