Songthaews in Phuket

One of the most convenient and affordable options is Songthaews service. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what Songthaews are, how they work, and why they’re a great way to get around Phuket.

What is the history of Songthaews?

The history of Songthaews in Thailand dates back to the early 1900s. The word “Songthaew” means “two rows” in Thai, referring to the two rows of seats in the back of the truck. Initially, Songthaews were used as a cheap means of transporting goods and agricultural produce from rural areas to markets in urban centers.

As the country started developing, they evolved into a mode of public transportation for people, especially in smaller towns and villages. The vehicles were modified to include a covered bed with benches for passengers to sit on and a canvas roof to protect them from the sun and rain.

Over time, they have became a popular choice for both locals and tourists in Thailand, offering an affordable and convenient way to get around. In some regions of Thailand, Songthaews are decorated with colorful patterns and designs to attract passengers and stand out from the competition.

Today, they continue to be an important part of Thailand’s transportation network, providing a vital link between rural and urban areas. They are especially popular in tourist destinations like Phuket, where they offer visitors an authentic and memorable way to explore the island.

What are Songthaews?

Songthaews, also known as “red trucks” or “baht buses”, are a common sight in Phuket. They are converted pickup trucks with a covered bed and benches for passengers to sit on. The name “Songthaew” means “two rows bus” in Thai, referring to the two rows of seats in the back of the truck.

How do Songthaews work?

They don’t follow a fixed route like buses or taxis. Instead, they operate on a shared basis, picking up passengers along the way and dropping them off at their desired location. To flag down a Songthaew taxi, simply stand by the side of the road and wave your hand when you see one approaching. When you want to get off, just tell the driver or signal to them by pressing a button or pulling a cord.

Why choose Songthaews in Phuket?

One of the main reasons to choose Songthaews in Phuket is their affordability. They charge a flat rate of 30-50 baht per person for a trip to most destinations, regardless of the distance traveled. They are also a great way to experience local life and interact with other passengers. Additionally, Songthaews can take you to places that are not easily accessible by other means of transportation, such as hidden beaches or remote villages.

Tips for riding Songthaews in Phuket:

  • Always negotiate the price before getting on a Songthaew
  • Don’t be afraid to ask the driver to drop you off at a specific location
  • Be prepared to share the Songthaew with other passengers
  • Bring small bills or exact change to avoid any confusion
  • Hold on tight when the Songthaew is moving, as they can be bumpy and may not have seat belts.
Lisa Boonmee
About the author
Lisa Boonmee
I am passionate about unveiling the hidden gems of Phuket, from its stunning beaches to its vibrant cultural scene. My extensive travels across the island have given me a deep appreciation for its unique beauty and rich history, which I love sharing with our readers.