My boyfriend and I are leaving for our SE Asia trip in 2 weeks (!!!) but we were hoping for some advice on how to get from the Southern Gulf Islands in Thailand to Bali...I'll detail the rough itinerary of our entire trip below - let me know your thoughts, suggestions, anything! We're keeping most of it open and haven't booked anything besides our accommodations in Hong Kong and Bangkok.
Apr 19 - Apr 22: Hong Kong (fly to Bangkok on the 22nd)
Apr 22 - Apr 25/26: Bangkok
Apr 25/26 - Apr 28/29: Siem Reap OR Chiang Mai (either bus to Siem Reap or train to Chiang Mai. We may fly back, depending on how much flights cost, if it will save us considerable time)
Apr 28/29 - May 12/13: Gulf Islands (Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan, Ko Samui ) (train or fly through Bangkok or direct if we can manage it...)
May 12/13 - May 20/21: Bali (southern Bali, Ubud, and Amed)
May 20/21 - May 26: Lombok and Gili Islands (ferry from Bali)
May 26 - June 1: Java (we realllllly want to go to the Karimunjawa Islands, but don't know if we'll be able to squeeze it in - it sounds like travel to them really depends on the weather!) (ferry or flight from Bali or Lombok)
June 2: Fly home
My main question is this: what is the best way to get from the southern Gulf Islands to Bali? We are okay with paying for flights provided they aren't exorbitant, but I am guessing we will have to get to either Surat Thani, Krabi, or Phuket to fly over? Is this right? Would this involve taking a ferry from Ko Samui - Don Sak and then a bus to Surat Thani/Phuket/Krabi? As far as I can tell most airlines don't have a direct flight for this route or even a set flight with a short layover (all the ones I've found have a minimum 4 hour layover!)
More generally...what do you think of the trip itinerary as a whole? We tried to balance out sightseeing with island hopping and beaching, and we deliberately arranged it so the first 2 weeks or so of our trip we're doing more jumping around and sightseeing and are taking it a little more easy after that initial leg. I hope we're not trying to do too much. We had to make some cuts - Luang Prabang was on our original itinerary but we couldn't figure out how to make it work without spending tons of time in transport or forking over a lot of money for a flight.
Any suggestions, feedback, advice, must-sees, etc. are much appreciated! Thanks :)
#1 magalaya has been a member since 20/2/2013. Posts: 11
I'd get a boat from Surat Thani , then take Air Asia from Surat Thani to KL, then from KL to Denpasar (Bali). Not sure how the prices work out but if you can take advantage of one of their sales, it could work out not too expensive.
From the islands, you will be able to organise a ferry/bus ride all the way through to Surat Thani airport - or you may need to stay overnight in ST, depending on flight times.
I just did some quick checks on Air Asia for fun and there are some promo deals on 11 May. Yes, there would be a 4 hour layover, but seriously, that's not too bad. (You do need to allow time for delays, bag collection, checkin times, etc).
Thanks for the reply! Yeah, we ended up booking a flight through Air Asia...I called Cathay Pacific and they require proof of onward travel so we had to provide confirmation that we would be leaving Thailand in 30 days, and the sale made it reasonably priced. It totally blew my mind how many fees Air Asia charges though! Jeebus, I guess that's how they get away with claiming "cheap" fares!!
#3 magalaya has been a member since 20/2/2013. Posts: 11