Phuket is easily reachable from other destinations in the south with travel times much lower than those from Bangkok and other central and northern regions of Thailand.

From Krabi

Perhaps the closest main destination from Phuket is Krabi, which is a road journey of only 3-4 hours. With no train services in the area, travelling by bus or by taxi is the best option available to anybody travelling overland. Another option is to travel by speedboat or ferry. A speedboat from Phuket to Krabi will take approximately 3 hours but when the seas are choppy, a ferry would be more suitable. The ferry will stop at Koh Phi Phi along the way making for a very scenic journey. The stages between Krabi and Phi Phi, then Phi Phi to Phuket will take about 90 minutes each.
 

From Surat Thani and Ranong

As with Krabi, the preferred mode of transport from Surat Thani and Ranong to Phuket is the bus. A little further away than Krabi, the journeys from Surat Thani and Ranong will take about 4 and 5 hours respectively.

 

From Hat Yai

The farthest of the main locations in the south is Hat Yai, which is a journey of approximately 7-8 hours if you travel by bus. You could take the train to Surat Thani and continue by bus from there but the overall journey time would be longer. If 7-8 hours is too long for you and you don’t mind spending a little extra, you will be able to get a flight from Hat Yai directly to Phuket instead.