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Travelling from Bangkok to Ko Pha Ngan

  • courthag

    Joined Travelfish
    5th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Hi there, I have read the advice on this site but am still unsure what to do!
    We arrive in Bangkok latish on Friday night and have booked a hotel. We are planning on heading to Ko Pha Ngan. Can't afford the flights to Ko Samui.

    So we have two choices: Get flights to Surat Thani which arrive at either at 12.55 or 15.10 during the day. Not too keen on the early one cause would like relax a little and check out Bangkok before rushing off after the previous long distance flight. Would we make the ferry if we arrive here at 15.10?

    I have also read other recommendations that this way wastes time and isn't the most time effective way. (We are only in Thailand for two weeks)

    The other option is to get an overnight train to either Champun or Surat Thani (not sure which one is best for this option either).

    Does anyone know which option is the least time consuming and least stressful??

    Any recommendations are really appreciated! My partner doesn't want to go on the bus so have cut it down to these options. I keep reading conflicting things and can't seem to figure out a whole journey time!

    Thanks
    Courtney

    #1 Posted: 5/8/2009 - 00:15

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  • SBE

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    Although it is possible get to Ko Phagnan from Chumphon on the Lomphraya ferry, the island is closer to Surat Thani .

    I googled ferry times for you.

    http://kohphangan.com/travel/gethere.html

    According to that there's a ferry leaving at 6pm and you can buy a boat ticket and a transfer bus ticket at the information counter at the Surat Thani airport.

    The overnight sleeper train is a time efficient and economic way of getting there because you travel while you sleep and save on a night's accommodation in a GH but it's not the best option for you in this particular case because:

    1.You really need to book sleeper berths several days in advance as they're almost always full. You're arriving in Bangkok the night before and won't have time to do this. Sometimes you can get a third class seat just showing up but it's less comfortable than a VIP bus seat (and slower).

    2. Even if you manage to get berths you'll be taking the train on Saturday evening so you won't get to KPN till Sunday.

    If you fly you'll be there by 20.30 on Saturday evening.

    Hope this helps.

    #2 Posted: 5/8/2009 - 03:16

  • courthag

    Joined Travelfish
    5th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Hi there,

    Thanks so much for this! Much appreciated, have been a great help :-)

    #3 Posted: 5/8/2009 - 15:06

  • BruceMoon

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    SBE

    I see you recommend the train (I like trains). And, you suggest a sleeper needs to be pre-purchased. I note one can pre-purchase over the net (look here), wouldn't that suffice as a way to get a sleeper?

    Cheers

    #4 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 11:29

  • SBE

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    It might do, I've never bought a ticket online. The Thai Railways site never seems to be working whenever I've checked and I didn't know about that site so thanks for that... I've bookmarked it. I see they say that only 10% of the total seats are allowed for online booking though.


    Although the overnight sleeper train to Chumphon and Surat Thani leaves on time it is invariably late arriving for some reason... an hour late or more. The best one to take for the morning ferries is the one that leaves at 19.30pm.

    #5 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 14:59

  • courthag

    Joined Travelfish
    5th August, 2009
    Posts: 5

    Thanks all, I ended up booking the flights in the end... I just hope that we will make the ferry at the other side. Guess we shall see, I have seen conflicting information about what time they all leave on the net.

    Courtney

    #6 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 15:04

  • SBE

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    I haven't done the flight-ferry combination but you should be able to get a taxi to the pier if the transfer bus has already left ...very doubtful it would have though, as they'd be specifically waiting for passengers off that flight.

    Worst case scenario would be the slow night ferry arriving early next morning.

    #7 Posted: 6/8/2009 - 15:47

  • matimulinar-
    is

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2009
    Posts: 25

    hi
    i have a question once i arrive at surat thani how can i go to the donsak pier? because there is 60 km so by taxi would not be so cheap so there is a bus leaving the train station to donsak pier?
    and is better to buy a joint ticket in bangkok either bus or train +ferry?
    thanks,
    matias

    #8 Posted: 14/8/2009 - 15:23

  • somtam2000

    admin
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    Straight forward bus from Surat Thani to Don Sak -- it's generally a part of the ferry ticket price if you buy the ticket in Surat.

    Joint tickets are only worth buying if they are using the government buses -- if it is using a private bus service (which is what most of the agents on Khao San Road use) I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole -- theft is endemic on those buses.

    #9 Posted: 14/8/2009 - 16:46

  • matimulinar-
    is

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2009
    Posts: 25

    ok thanks
    so the goverment bus departs from the south terminal bus on bangkok?
    how much is the joint ticket aprox? can i buy it (train or bus + shuttle bus +ferry)in bangkok(khao san road)?
    cheers
    matias

    #10 Posted: 15/8/2009 - 13:48

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  • SBE

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    The train is govt run but you could probably buy a train/ferry combo ticket from a travel agent in KSR. They'd just add on a little commission for the train ticket.

    You can of course buy a bus/ferry combo from a travel agent too ... extremely easy to do ... but it's doubtful that they'd sell you a govt bus ticket. No govt buses leave from KSR. If the risk of getting stuff nicked from your luggage in the hold of one of the KSR private buses doesn't bother you, then go for it.

    Government buses do require a bit more effort on your part as you have to make your own way to the Southern Bus Station by taxi or bus. However if people keep recommending you do this rather than take the "easy" option of taking a bus directly from KSR, there is a reason!

    The Lomprayah bus from KRS seems to have a fairly good reputation though. I've never taken it myself, just seen people saying it's OK on travel forums. You could try that if you want but still wiser to keep anything you'd hate to lose on your person.

    #11 Posted: 15/8/2009 - 18:43

  • matimulinar-
    is

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2009
    Posts: 25

    yes i will definitely take a govt bus. can i buy the ferry ticket in bus station?
    thanks,
    matias

    #12 Posted: 16/8/2009 - 12:26

  • matimulinar-
    is

    Joined Travelfish
    1st August, 2009
    Posts: 25

    i will try to take the train but if it is full i'll take the bus

    #13 Posted: 16/8/2009 - 12:32

  • Ingrids

    Joined Travelfish
    29th September, 2009
    Posts: 41

    Hello Matias,
    How was your trip? Ì`m going to take a plane from Saigon to Bangkok and from Bangkok I`m thinking in take this bus to Ko Pha Ngan.How much did you pay and where did you buy the ticket (Government bus)?
    Thank you!!
    Ingrid

    #14 Posted: 1/11/2009 - 23:38

  • TravelAddic-
    tBaby

    Joined Travelfish
    24th February, 2010
    Posts: 7

    Hi Guys,

    Really useful info here, kind of related to my predicament right now.

    I will share if anyone can offer any advice.

    I need to do the following:

    To get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan and I would like to travel by day. I fancy the train (great sights).

    - Traveller2000 tell me they can't connect me to a ferry unless it's the overnight trip. So assuming I take the day train (which I am 100% happy to do so), how can I get around this?

    - I hear that I need to go to Koh Samui first, and then to Koh Phangan. This true? I am sure I saw a map which said I could go straight to Phangan. Whichever is best, really.

    - There are some discrepancies with which Bangkok train station I book through too.

    If anyone has the "perfect plan" for me, based on their knowledge or experience, then I will be delighted to hear from you. Travelling by day by train is my non-negotiable part, the rest.... I throw up to the Gods. :)

    Thank you in advance from your world friend, the Brit. :)

    #15 Posted: 24/2/2010 - 09:07

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