The train from Bangkok to Surat Thani can get delayed along the way and this makes it tight to catch the last boat to Koh Samui. When the train arrives there are guys running up and down the platform shouting Koh Samui, and as a first time traveller on that route, coming from Hua Hin, I asked how much to the boat and was told 150baht. Lovely ! However when he had gathered a dozen people into his van he took off at breakneck speed and 10 minutes later stopped and handed us over to another driver who demanded 900 bht per person for the rest of the journey including a boat ticket. It was on the open road with no real alternative, other than refuse to pay and stay the night, with all the complications that would involve with the itinerary, not to mention the cost. So, it cost 1050 bht to get from Surat Thani railway station to Koh Samui, a scam I'm sure. Is there genuine transport meeting the trains does anybody know, as my experience was so panicked that I didn't observe anything other than the cost.
Sorry to hear about your experience, but I hope it won't take the fun out of your trip too much. We've all been caught by such things from time to time. Just remember: Living well is the best revenge.
There are combination boat/bus/ferry tickets sold by various travel agents and websites, including Seat61. These types of combo tickets will help reduce scams, but won't eliminate them.
You can protect yourself by being as well informed as you can on the options and costs of transport, booking your travel whenever possible so that you aren't in a hurry, and just taking a moment to look around before you buy a ticket, because, as you learned, once you buy the ticket, you are working for them.
Most important, remember from the Hitchhiker's Guide and Don't Panic! Good luck.
Thank you for the response and the good advice. Normally that is what I would do as you wisely advised , however I wanted to experience the train journey and could find no packages including the train journey. I am glad I went by train, it was so comfortable and very civilised in 2nd class and was not expensive. It was a pity that the experience was tainted by this little upset. I keep reminding myself that even when scammed the price is still less than it would be at home ! That does the trick and settles the anger ! Thanks again !
I had a guy try to do this to me in Bangkok - but I just refused to pay. I said to him "You made a deal man". He drove off, I hailed a taxi - but I didn't give him one satang.
#4 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957