Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and is known for its stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant culture.
When it comes to getting around Phuket, using taxi apps such as Grab is a popular way to get from A to B quickly and cheaply.
But is there Grab in Phuket? The answer is yes. Grab is one of the few taxi apps that operate in Phuket and is a convenient way to get around. But it’s not the only taxi app, and it might not be the best way to get around.
In this guide, we’ve detailed everything you need to know about using Grab in Phuket, including its different types, and alternative ride-hailing services.
Is There Grab in Phuket?
Grab was founded in 2012 as a way to offer ride-sharing services in Southeast Asia. They have been operating all over Thailand, including Phuket, since practically the very beginning.
If you’re not familiar with Grab if it’s your first time in Thailand, it is defined as a ride-sharing service that allows local people with their own vehicles to operate as independent contractors, offering a “taxi service” through the app.
Because the drivers work for themselves, Grab is usually a cheaper option than licensed taxis which charge by the meter.
Grab allows users to see the price of the journey before they book, as well as be able to follow their route, share their journey with others, and communicate pick-up locations with the driver.
Where does Grab operate in Phuket?
Grab operates from all over the tourist areas on the island, connecting passengers to the airport, Old Town, Patong Beach, Kata Beach, Karon Beach, Kamala Beach, and more.
If you are visiting the northern side of the island near Sirinat National Park, you may find it difficult to find a Grab.
While Grab operates in Phuket, their “JustGrab” service only operates in limited areas. They operate from the most well-known parts of Phuket, such as the Airport, the Old Town, Patong Beach, and Karon Beach only.
If you are booking a Grab from the airport, note that the pick-up location is outside Gate 4 of the arrival hall. To get there, turn left at exit 3 and head to the pick-up point in front of Gate 4 (outer lane).
Types of Grab in Phuket
When using Grab in Phuket, you will find that it offers several transportation options. To help you understand which is the best one for you, here is a quick overview of each service:
This is the ideal mode of transport for solo travelers. A GrabBike is a motorbike service, which allows you to hop on the back of a motorbike and be driven to your destination.
Make sure your driver has a second helmet for you. Most of the time, the driver will have a passenger helmet, but it’s not always the case.
A GrabBike is much cheaper than a car, so if you don’t have luggage, consider this option.
GrabCar is the standard car booking service that accommodates up to two passengers. It’s ideal for couples or solo travelers since it only allows a couple of passengers.
It tends to be the cheapest service aside from the GrabBike.
This is a premium service with higher-end vehicles and more comfortable seating for up to four passengers.
This is ideal for families with lots of luggage as there is more space for more passengers (and usually a bigger trunk).
You can sometimes see an option for a GrabShare. This is a service that allows you to share your taxi with other people going in the same direction.
It’s not common, but the benefit of this is that you get a reduced fee if you agree to share your taxi. If the taxi doesn’t pick other passengers up, then you still get a reduced price.
Most Grab drivers don’t like to offer this service as it’s not determined they will be able to pick up another fare, however, you do sometimes see it on the way to Patong Beach as this is a very popular area to visit in Phuket.
GrabVan (5-10 seater)
If you’re traveling with a large group, consider a GrabVan. This is a larger vehicle booking option ideal for groups of five to ten people.
There are a surprising number of GrabVans available, especially around the Patong Beach area.
In fact, if you are getting a Grab back to another area after a night out in Patong Beach, you may have to get one of these back.
Grab Alternatives In Phuket
While Grab is a popular option, there are alternatives to consider when traveling in Phuket. Here is a comparison between Grab and its main competitors.
Grab Vs Bolt
While Grab is the most famous ride-sharing app, it’s not the only one. Bolt is another ride-hailing service that operates in Phuket, offering similar services to Grab but for usually a cheaper price.
However, Grab currently has a more extensive network in the area. While Bolt is usually cheaper, you may find you are waiting longer for a driver to accept your request as they can earn more with Grab.
If you are pressed for time, you will find you will have more success hailing a driver using Grab.
Grab Vs Yellow Taxis
The yellow taxis are the official taxi services in Phuket. They tend to be more expensive than Grab since they offer a tariff by the meter.
You may find you have no other option but to take a yellow taxi when arriving late at night at the airport, since there may not be many Grab drivers about at that time of night.
Yellow taxis are safe and comfortable, and most of the drivers speak English. The only downside to using them is the price, otherwise, they are a great alternative to Grab.
Occasionally, you can negotiate a price with your driver beforehand.
Grab Vs Tuk Tuks
Tuk Tuks are a fun and unique way to get around Phuket. They have big flashing lights, and loud music, and tend to pick up backpackers and travelers looking to party.
Compared to Grab, they can be quite pricey, but what you get is a cultural experience.
Some tuk-tuk drivers may try to overcharge tourists, especially late at night on the way back from Patong Beach, so do use your best negotiation skills when getting a tuk-tuk.
Grab Vs Songthaew Bus
Songthaew buses are a cheap form of public transport in Phuket and tend to be what the locals use.
They are a low-cost alternative since you can get a journey from one side of the island to the other for around 40-50 baht (as opposed to 100-200 baht with Grab).
The downside is that they are slow, and the schedule is more of a guideline than something strictly adhered to.
It can take 3 times as long to travel with songthaews, which can be inconvenient, especially if you are not familiar with the routes. But if you are on a really tight budget and time is not of the essence, then it’s a good alternative.
Note that the buses tend to be crowded.
How To Pay For Grab in Phuket
There are two ways to pay for Grab in Phuket; you can pay cash, or electronic payment through the app.
The app takes debit cards and credit cards and even connects to PayPal.
You can also offer tips through the app at the end of the ride if you enjoyed your experience.
Related Reading: Do You Tip in Thailand?
FAQs About Using Grab in Phuket
Here’s what people usually ask us about using Grab in Phuket…
Is there Uber in Phuket?
No, there is no Uber in Phuket. In fact, there is no Uber in Thailand.
Is Grab easy in Phuket?
Yes, it’s very easy to use Grab in Phuket. You simply need to input your drop-off location and make sure your pick-up location is accurate. It can connect to your satellite and see where you are. You can also communicate with your driver before pick-up as well.
What is the cheapest taxi app in Phuket?
Bolt is the cheapest taxi app in Phuket, but it has fewer drivers than Grab which means you may have to wait longer for a ride.
The Verdict: Is there Grab in Phuket?
Grab is available in Phuket and offers several transportation options, including cars, vans, and premium services.
However, there are alternative options to consider, such as Bolt and traditional transport methods like songthaews and tuk-tuks which may be cheaper and more readily available.
Regardless of your preferred mode of transport, it’s important to consider how far you are going and how much you are willing to pay.