Phuket International Airport (HKT IATA) is 35 km north of Patong. Limousines from the airport to Patong are a steep 600 baht (45 minutes). Meter-taxis start at 400 baht (from the meter-taxi stand at the airport. Ignore the touts and turn right as you exit the terminal). Shared minibuses are 180 baht. Tickets can be obtained immediately outside the terminal. The minibus will stop halfway to Patong to ask where you are staying and to sell you overpriced hotels and tours. A cheaper, but more time consuming, option is to take the comfortable air-con airport shuttle bus to Phuket Town (85 baht, 1 hour), and switch there to a local bus to Patong. See "By bus". Alternatively, if you know the right road, you can get off the bus after you pass the Big C shopping centre on the right (the airport bus goes to the left there, and the road to Kathu and then Patong is to the right at the same intersection), then catch a local bus to Patong there. Local buses to Patong are clearly marked in English and Thai.
Airport Bus Express: Travels between airport & Patong, service also include Kata and Karon. The fare to Patong is 150 baht and to Kata and Karon is 200 baht. Tickets can be bought from the driver. The first bus will be outside the old main passenger terminal at Phuket International Airport at about 07:30 so to serve passengers arriving on the early flights. The bus will be parked at bus stop at the northern end of the terminal. Just follow the signs; as you exit the terminal, turn left and walk to the end of the building – bus will be there. Buses are cream-coloured with blue stripes. There is another bus service called “Airport Bus” that uses orange buses. These buses go to Phuket Town. If you take this bus, you will need to catch another bus in Phuket Town to take you to Patong. Please note that the bus will depart once it is full. Don’t worry, though, buses depart Phuket Airport every hour. If you are in a hurry, it may be best to take a taxi from the airport. Same advise to people who are carrying a lot of luggage with them. If there are not enough passengers to justify using full-size bus, they use a minivan instead. They have three minivans that are used during the “low season” (May-October) to help reduce the cost of fuel for buses. The first bus will leave the airport at about 08:00 and last bus departs at 20:00. When you get on the bus, you must tell the driver where your hotel is. The driver will drop you off at your hotel if possible. However, if your hotel is on a steep hill that bus will not be able to climb, you can travel in one of minivans for convenience and safety. Don’t worry, the fare is the same. Passengers can get off the bus (or minivan) at several locations en route to Patong, Kata and Karon. However, the bus or van will not pick up any passengers en route. The drop-off locations include Phuket International Airport, Muangmai, Thalang, Heroines Monument, Boat Lagoon, Tesco (bypass road), the See Kor Intersection (near the Caltex petrol station) in Kathu, and at Jungceylon in Patong (bus stops on Phang Muang Sai Kor Rd). In Patong, they use Jungceylon as main “terminal” for buses returning to Phuket Airport. If you want to use service from Kata or Karon, please call them and we can pick you up. Likewise, if you are staying in Patong, just call them and they will pick you up if possible. Their website is no longer operating and company does not have a contact email address, so it is best to contact directly for the latest information. For more details or to book tickets in advance, or call at 076-328291 or 084-0652122. The main office is near the Bangkok Bank branch on Phang Muang Sai Kor Rd in Patong, near Nanai Soi 8, but many foreigners have trouble finding the office.
Regular buses connect to Phuket Town (25 baht, 30-45 minutes) every 30 minutes or so between 07:00 and 18:00. The route starts from the southern end of the beach, after which the bus crawls north along the coast road, stopping to pick up passengers, before finally heading off across the hills, and going via Kathu, then passing near Big C before entering the Phuket Town.
In Phuket Town, those buses are usually waiting for passengers near the local market (1-1.5 km west from the Phuket bus station), however, some huge (almost bus-sized) songthaews marked "Phuket - Patong" were seen near Phuket bus station too. If you're coming by public bus from other areas in Thailand (like Bangkok or Surat Thani), as well as if using the airport bus, you will end up in this bus station. Local motorbike taxi drivers can and will offer fares like 40 baht to the market or 250 baht straight to Phuket - just walk (there's a city map in the terminal), bargain hard, or just wait for an arriving songthaew; even if he's not going to Patong, he will drop you to the bus station for no more than 20 baht, or probably 10 if there's more than 2-3 of you.
To get to the market from where the large songthaews go, turn right into Phang Nga Rd on leaving the bus station and walk to where the road ends. Turn left then right at the roundabout immediately after. Walk along this road and you will see them several hundred metres along. Choose the one to the beach you want.
The ones returning from Patong will arrive here, but if enough persons want to go to the bus station, they are charged an extra 10 baht each and were dropped off there.
"Limousine" usually refers to a larger sedan, such as a Toyota Camry, with leather seats, etc. They cost around 600-700 baht to go to Kata Beach. Considering the drive is about an hour long, this is one of the best options to get to Kata Beach.