The nearest airport is located 60 kilometres west of Phattalung in Trang, followed by Hat Yai, just over 100 kilometres to the south.
The train station is located right downtown, within walking distance of the hotels and around the corner from the fresh market.
Trains depart for Bangkok at 16:20, 17:10, 17:35, 19:45 and 20:15, with fares ranging from around 250 baht for a hard seat in third class; 430 baht for a soft second-class seat; and a minimum of 530 baht for a sleeper. There are also several local trains that run north and terminate at Nakhon Si Thammarat, Surat Thani or Chumphon (most Bangkok-bound trains will also stop at these cities). In Bangkok, trains depart for Phattalung at 13:00, 14:45, 15:10, 15:35 and 22:50.
Heading south, trains depart for Hat Yai, Yala and Sungai Kolok (Malaysia border) at 04:20, 05:00 (this one goes on to Butterworth), 05:45, 06:00, 08:20 and 10:40. Several additional trains terminate at either Hat Yai or Yala.
The bus station is inconveniently located six kilometres northwest of downtown Phattalung off Route 41. Motorbike taxis can take you to/from here for 40 baht one-way. A blue songthaew also runs here from near the train station, but good luck finding it among the fleet of songthaews that run in different directions. Fares include:
Bangkok: Most buses now stop at both the Sai Tai Mai (Southern) and Morchit (Northern) terminals in Bangkok. First-class buses depart at 09:00, 09:30, 16:30, 17:40, 18:30 and 19:30 and cost from 595 to 700 baht, depending on which you choose. VIP buses depart at 09:10, 16:30, 17:30, 18:00, 18:30 and 19:00 and cost from 920 to 1,045 baht. The ride takes around 13 hours.
Baan Thale Noi: Minibuses depart every half-hour from 06:00 to 18:00 for 70 baht and take a half-hour.
Songkhla: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 18:00 for 100 baht and take around two hours.
Hat Yai: Minibuses depart every 15 minutes from 05:00 to 18:00 for 80 baht and take close to three hours. Also services Baan Khao Chaison.
Sungai Kolok (Malaysia border): Regular buses depart at 12:30 and 14:30 for 275 baht and take close to six hours.
Trang: Minibuses depart every half-hour from 06:30 to 18:00 for 60 baht and take an hour.
Nakhon Si Thammarat: Minibuses depart every half-hour from 08:00 to 17:00 for 100 baht and take less than two hours.
Surat Thani: Minibuses depart every two hours from 08:00 to 16:00 for 180 baht and take 3.5 hours.
Phuket: Regular buses (with WiFi!) depart roughly every 1.5 hours from 07:30 to 15:30 for 215 baht and take more than six hours. These also service Trang for 50 baht and Krabi for 120 baht.
The tightly packed downtown area around the train station, fresh market and Wat Khuha Sawan is best explored on foot. Otherwise you’ll find motorbike taxis at the train station, and at a shopping centre located at the corner of Charoontarm and Apaiborirak roads, among other places.
Blue songthaews line up in front of the fresh market and around the corner towards the train station on Ubonnusorn Road. Some of these run to Baan Lam Pam, among other places within the province, but they’re not marked in English and finding the right one can be a challenge.
The only place we came across to rent a motorbike was The Room Phattalung. However there was only one available (an automatic) and we reckoned that it wasn’t normally rented out. If you want to be sure to have a vehicle, rent one in Trang and do the 60-kilometre drive to Phattalung on your own.