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Ranong

Getting there and away

Air

The provincial airport is 21km south of Ranong, and low cost carrier Happy Air makes flies to Rangong from Bangkok four times a week. Happy Air/Ranong Air has a useless website and no online booking facilities. You will need to book tickets through a travel agent or call the airline directly if they are actually flying to Ranong next season. Last high season they had three or four flights a week (depending on who you asked) and prices were 3,200 baht one way, 5,200 baht return. In Ranong, Happy Air/Ranong Air may be reached at (077) 832 222 or (081) 891 5800, and in Bangkok at (021) 348 000.

    Train

    The nearest station is Chumphon and the best overnight train to catch is the Express number 85 which leaves Hualumphong at 19:30. From Chumphon it takes about two hours to get to Ranong by bus or minibus. It is possible to make the morning ferry or speedboat if you manage to get a spare seat on the first visa-run minibus to Ranong, and you might just make it on the first bus out too. If not you'll have to spend the morning in Ranong and get the afternoon boat. An overnight bus from Bangkok is a more straightforward way of getting to Ranong.

      Bus

      Ranong can easily be reached by bus from Bangkok, Surat Thani, Chumphon and centres further south such as Phuket and Khao Lak. From Bangkok, both government and private VIP buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal and the journey time is about 9 hours.

      The two private bus companies (New Mit Tour and Chok Anan Tour) both stop at Ranong bus station but passengers can also get dropped off at their offices in Ranong which saves you having to get transport from the bus station into town. The government VIP bus only drops people at the bus station and fares are more expensive than the private bus companies.

      Overnight buses leave Bangkok at around 20:00-21:00 and get to Ranong in time for the morning ferries. Daytime buses also leave around 09:00 but these arrive in Ranong too late to catch a ferry the same day. Cheaper but less comfortable second class air-con buses are also available. A VIP bus costs 666 baht (departs Bangkok 20:00) and a first class bus 428 baht (departs Bangkok 20:30).

      From Ranong it's possible to take buses direct to most southern destinations and Bangkok. Sample fares include:

      Bangkok: 2nd class air-con buses depart hourly (except between 10:30 and 13:30) from 5:00 to 20:00, cost 335B and take about 10 hours. There is also a 24 seat VIP bus that departs at 20:00 and costs 668B.
      Chumphon: Air-con buses depart at 13:30, 17:30, 19:30, and 21:15, cost 100B and take about 4 hours.
      Hat Yai: Air-con buses depart at 6:00, 10:00 and 20:00, cost 390B and take about 7 hours.
      Krabi: Air-con buses depart at 7:00, 10:00, and 12:00, cost 188B and take about 4 hours. The Krabi buses also stop in Khuraburi (75B), Takua Pa (110B), and Phang Nga (170B).
      Nakhon Sri Thammarat: One air-con bus per day departs at 7:30, costs 300B and takes a bout 6 hours.
      Phuket: Air-con buses depart at 2:00, 5:00, 6:00, 14:30, 16:30 and 23:30, cost 182B and take about 5 hours.
      Surat Thani: Air-con buses depart at 8:30 and 14:00, cost 180B and take about 3 hours.

        Getting Around

        In Ranong city, songtheaws depart from the market in Ruangrat Rd. and destinations include Saphan Pla and the hot springs, with the fare almost always 13B. Some larger songthaews go farther afield, with at least one making the trip to Khuraburi everyday. There are also a bunch of red, pink and purple vested motorcycle taxi drivers who hang around Ruangrat Rd generally looking bored — they'll charge you 20B-100B for a ride elsewhere about town.

        Motorbikes may be rented at most guesthouses and travel companies for 250B for manual or 300B for automatic. If wanting to step off the bus and on to a motorbike the Kiwi Orchid Guesthouse rents motorbikes right at the bus station.


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