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From Phuket to Ko Samui (Overland via Donsak)

  • Marney_47

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2008
    Posts: 13

    After i have visited Phi Phi Island i plan to go to Ko Samui and instead of going all the way to Bankok i was planning to go overland to Donsak and catch the ferry to Samui from there. I was just wondering how easy was this trip for those who have done it before?

    I have seen its about 2 and a half hours bus followed by the 1.5 hour ferry but i was wondering if there were any travel companys that take car of this whole trip in one leaving from Phuket/Krabi?

    Any information on this woulbe be greatly appreciated...

    Marney

    #1 Posted: 14/7/2008 - 07:55

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  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1291
    Total reviews: 61

    Phi Phi Family run a ferry-bus-ferry service island to island - http://www.phiphifamily.com/
    A small caveat here. There have been lots of complaints of thefts from luggage in the underbus storage area of coaches put on by private travel companies between Krabi and Surathani (and KSR and Surathani) So to be safe don't leave any valuables in your luggage - have them in your carry pack in the cabin.

    You will find that any small travel agency on Phi Phi can sell you a similar ticket using other operators, usually involving minibuses between the Krabi pier and Donsak.

    You can do it pretty easily independently - catch a ferry to Krabi town, a songthaew up to the bus station, a bus to Surathani and then a songthaew or minibus out to Don Sak (if you leave PP late in the day, you can get the night-ferry from the Surathani town pier at around 23oo)

    #2 Posted: 14/7/2008 - 11:09

  • somtam2000

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    I'd definitely recommend avoiding anything run by Phi Phi Family -- they're one of the most complained about operators in the south and should not be trusted.

    From Phuket get a bus from the bus station to Surat Thani then get a bus out to Don Sak -- there's no need to book this through an agency.

    #3 Posted: 15/7/2008 - 11:00

  • somtam2000

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    Sorry, hit the enter key too fast. If you do want to do this through an agency, any travel agent in Phuket will sort it out for you, just specify you do not want to travel with Phi Phi Family.

    #4 Posted: 15/7/2008 - 11:01

  • Marney_47

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2008
    Posts: 13

    Thanks appreciate the feedback it seems like its easy enough to sort on my own but nice to know there are travel agencys around...

    Prior to go to Phi Phi i plan to get to the island from either Krabi or Phuket. After researching the two on travelfish im kinda leaning more towards going to Krabi rather than Phuket by bus when i get off the overnight train Surat Thani... Would you agree that its probably easier to go to Phi Phi via Krabi than Phuket? And that i will probably have a more enjoyable time in my 1-2 night stay?

    #5 Posted: 15/7/2008 - 13:11

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1291
    Total reviews: 61

    Marni, I think the Railay/Ton Sai area of Krabi is better for a 1-2 day stay than Phuket - and Krabi town is better for an overnight stop than Phuket town.

    I think Phuket and Krabi otherwise are about equal for access to Phi Phi from Bangkok. BUT, if you want to use the train - for sure Krabi is closer to Surathani. I personally reckon a direct bus Bangkok to Krabi is the go - but not if you can't sleep on buses and don't like to miss your zzzzs.

    Going back to Phangan, I would not go through Phuket. This is an inverted L shaped route, much further than the direct route thru Krabi. Of course, if you want to check out Phuket as you pass thru, that's different.

    Somtam's mention of Phi Phi Family problems emphasises my line on underbus thefts - but once again there are alternative minibus operators which you can line up on Phi Phi - plus as explained, you can do it yourself by public bus from the Krabi town bus depot. Just a bit more time consuming.
    I reckon I'd go the minibus - done this the opposite way Phangan and Samui to Krabi and Trang a number of times. The main downside of the minibus is there is less comfort if it is full.

    #6 Posted: 16/7/2008 - 18:06

  • Marney_47

    Joined Travelfish
    16th May, 2008
    Posts: 13

    Thanks Tezza, i have taken all you information on board... great stuff mate

    #7 Posted: 17/7/2008 - 10:17

  • gameson

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2009
    Posts: 8

    I am thinking of doing the same. I have been reading some posts here and would like to know.

    1. what are the difference between government bus and mini bus?
    2. does the bus usually make stops in between Phuket to Surat Thani /Donsak? Or all the way?
    3. somtam2000, what is the difference between taking the bus to Surat Thani and then ferry to Samui vs taking the bus to Surat Thani, then transfer to Donsak, then ferry from Donsak to Samui? What are the time difference between the two route? I would like to minimize transfers as little as possible because transfers may confuse me.
    4. what type of bus should I take to minimize theft?

    Thank you.

    #8 Posted: 12/11/2009 - 14:23

  • gameson

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2009
    Posts: 8

    One more question...
    what would be the price difference between goverment bus and bus arrengement by travel agency? If it's not too much, I would rather have an agency fix everything for me as I don't want to get confused and lost, lol, and also, you know, helping the local economy. :)

    #9 Posted: 12/11/2009 - 14:34

  • tezza

    Joined Travelfish
    13th April, 2006
    Posts: 1291
    Total reviews: 61

    1 Govt bus is big comfortable coach - minibus small, cramped .. uh ... minubus!
    2 Yep, usually at least one stop by a roadside restaurant/store mit toilets etc
    3 Few of the day ferries go from Surathani itself. Most from the Donsak area (Surathani is quite a way upriver from the coast). The night ferries go from the Surathani town pier - my favourite way of accessing Samui.
    4 Govt bus - plus I've never had problems of theft on minibuses - your gear is always stowed behind the back seat or on top - kinda in view. Note on ANY bus I always have my valuables in my small day pack which I keep with me.
    5 Dunno how much more expensive the private operators are - but you can go to Phuket bus station and buy a govt bus/ferry ticket right on to the islands which is pretty simple.

    #10 Posted: 14/11/2009 - 19:45

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  • Djmisstracy

    Joined Travelfish
    11th November, 2010
    Posts: 1

    Hi,
    I am going to the Fullmoon party nye in Thailand but I am going to be stuck in Phuket as there are NO FLIGHTS left from the 28th. I was considering the bus from Phuket to Don Sak but there is no where online I can book a seat. I've never been the Thailand before and I'll be by myself. If I can't get the bus will there be drivers I can pay to drive that far?

    #11 Posted: 11/11/2010 - 16:58

  • kunal1side

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2010
    Posts: 8

    Hi DJ Miss Tracy ... Why not spend NYE in Phuket :) !!!

    I was planning for Full Moon Party NYE however changed my mind due to rains in Samui.
    And its not a real full moon party on 31st Dec ... The real full moon is on 21st Dec ...

    Airfare will be expensive and spending time in travelling will be a waste :)

    I think Phuket will be a safe bet ...

    #12 Posted: 15/11/2010 - 15:34

  • kunal1side

    Joined Travelfish
    12th November, 2010
    Posts: 8

    Hi Tracy,

    Ok Finally Decided ... I will be travelling from Phuket to Koh Samui for FMP.
    How are you planning to travel ?

    Regards

    Kunal.

    #13 Posted: 17/11/2010 - 12:16

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