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Sandbox Express Bus extended, private vans now available to help tourists get off-island

Sandbox Express Bus extended, private vans now available to help tourists get off-island

PHUKET: The ‘Sandbox Express Bus’, which was to cease operations today (Aug 16), has been extended to continue taking Sandbox tourists from Phuket to Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok until at least Aug 30, and Sandbox tourists can now also choose to take a private minivan to the capital, officials confirmed today.

By The Phuket News

Monday 16 August 2021, 05:22PM

The Phuket Sandbox Express Bus will conttinue operating until at least Aug 30, while private vans are now available for hire. Image: Phuket Info Center

The Phuket Sandbox Express Bus will conttinue operating until at least Aug 30, while private vans are now available for hire. Image: Phuket Info Center

The extended and expanded services were announced through the “Official Phuket Information Center’, operated by the Phuket office of the Ministry of Interior.

The bus will continue to operate every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, costing B1,800 per person per trip.

Shared vans also now depart every Monday, Thursday and Saturday, costing B2,300 per person in a van shared among six passengers, a staffer operating the Sandbox Express Bus contact line confirmed to The Phuket News.

If a passenger prefers, he or she can hire a van to occupy all by his or herself, at a cost of B13,500, and travel on the day he or she prefers, the staffer also confirmed.

Meanwhile, the bus itself will continue to pick up passengers from Central Festival Phuket at 5am and from the PTT petrol station in Thalang at 5:30am. The bus is scheduled to arrive at Suvarnabhumi International Airport at approximately 9pm the same day.

To reserve a seat on bus, passengers need to submit additional documents to the SHA Plus Manager for the hotel or other accommodation venue where they are staying with the following details:

  • Passenger’s email and phone number
  • Destination (Suvarnabhumi International Airport or the destination province)
  • Flight (if available)
  • Date of flight (if applicable)
  • RT-PCR or Rapid Antigen Test results no later than 72 hours before departure (if not a passenger from the Phuket Sandbox project); or a Release Form if the passenger is from the Phuket Sandbox project
  • Copy of passport and immigration stamp
  • Immigration entry document number

The SHA Plus Manager will reserve a seat on a certified vehicle so that the passenger can travel out of the province. The documents listed above will still need to be submitted to the SHA Plus Manager, the announcement noted.

Internal - Phuket News TV

All bookings for the bus for Phuket Sandbox tourists must be made via the SHA Plus Manager at the passenger’s SHA Plus hotel.

Bookings are open daily from 8:30am to 4pm.

“Please reserve your seat before 12:00 (noon) one day before departure,” the announcement said.

Passengers must register by completing a Google Form registration document (click here).

“If you wish to travel on a date other than the one listed above, please fill out the ’Other/Other’ field in the form and the Sandbox Express team will contact you directly,” the announcement noted.

People with enquiries about the Phuket Sandbox Bus service were advised to call Ms May at 093-5800889 or Khun Panya at 086-4927882​.

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Kurt | 24 August 2021 - 23:59:03

Kaaskoff, that there are no flights is well known, was not the point of my comments. The discussion is, what is safer Covid-19 wise. a short flight or a long bus ride with many stops? The buses are dirty, not covid proof. Ever sat in such bus near the toilet? Yulk.

Lodestar | 24 August 2021 - 13:47:23

Kurt's right on every point. Just took Sandbox bus, a disaster I'd not repeat.  Scheduled for 5a; left at 5:30; 5 stops; arrived at BKK >7p.  Torture--not driver or bus, both fine & professional--but because it's a CVD Petri-dish on wheels.  2 hours in, 1/2 passengers not properly masking, by end ~2/3.  With 72-hr CVD test-window & Delta, 1 recently-infected passenger would ...

Christy Sweet | 18 August 2021 - 12:32:02

I wish the authors of these notifications would learn the difference between the term later, and earlier.  NO EARLIER than 72 hours id correct. The term 'later' is confusing. Again the refusal  to hire competent NES to proof read the English  just shows incompetence. 

maverick | 18 August 2021 - 12:21:59

The folks travelling to BKK are vaxed, as long as they observe hygiene rules and socially distance what’s the issue....horrible drive admittedly, but few choices right now...really not an issue worthy of comment , perhaps Kurt needs to fill his time whilst waiting for Grab driver to turn up with his VAX 

Christy Sweet | 18 August 2021 - 11:46:02

Kurt I agree completely planes are less likely to spread Covid but the costs to run a 30-40% capacity  flight are too prohibitive. 

DeKaaskopp | 18 August 2021 - 11:41:09

Kurt,there are no flights to Bangkok at the moment.So the only solution are buses or mini vans. Don't you get that ?

Kurt | 18 August 2021 - 07:24:42

Busses/Mini Van's stop several times during a 12-13 hrs journey at restaurant locations/toilets. Covid-19 wise not so safe as a 1.5 hours flight.

Kurt | 18 August 2021 - 07:20:41

@Christy Sweet, you are right. However, airport staff are there anyway and safe in behavior. Many Ministers came down from Bangkok to see/check on that. 2 Pilots in plane work with closed cockpit door, not in touch with passengers. Number of flight attendants can be reduced to 2 only as there is no meal service and carry only 30-40% of plane capacity. 

Christy Sweet | 17 August 2021 - 13:13:41

Flights require a dozen  ground staff, pilots, and cabin crew. Mini vans require just one sleepy driver, but what a hideous journey.  

Kurt | 17 August 2021 - 09:27:47

Extending 'Covid bus service' to Bangkok, add even Van's to it is just a ordinary money making decision. It has nothing to do with containing/fighting Covis-19 Delta virus. Who Officialdom think they are fooling with all their pencil-pushers paper obliging rules the road travelers have to answer prior their ride to very infected Great Bangkok?

Kurt | 17 August 2021 - 09:15:43

Question is, What is safer/lesser contaminating/infectious?  A 1.5 hr flight in a 30-40% filled up plane cabin to Suvarnabhumi or a 12 hour Bus/Van ride with stopovers on the way to Bangkok? Are these busses/Vans disinfected when they leave Great Bangkok on way back to Phuket, like they disinfect streets? Or do they return 'virus spreading'? The answer look quite simple.


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