I really want to stay in Chumphon for a few days, and I've come across a bit of a dilemma.
I'm trying to decide between going to Surat Thani , and chilling there for a few days, and then heading to Koh Phangan and Koh Sumai (I've been before and loved both), or going from Chumphon to Koh Tao, and then the other two. Surat Thani is not an option onthe way back, because I'm flying back to Bangkok from Sumai.
Firstly, is it really worth going to Koh Tao? I'm on a bit of a budget, and I'm not really interested in diving. I'm getting plenty of other Islands in during my trip.
Secondly, what's Surat Thani like?
Finally, is it easy to getfrom Chumphon to Surat Thani?
If you aren't going to be diving then I would personally suggest you cross Koh Tao off your list for the sole purpose that it is very much a diving island. Accommodation can be harder sort in the high season if you aren't booked into a diving resort and the general feel of the place is geared towards that of all things scuba. There are only so many diving anecdotes and stories one can take and you'll be driven to early nights by the likes of gap year student Sebastian from Plymouth spouting non-stop cliches about how he discovered himself whilst french-kissing a Trigger fish.
In other words give it a miss..although admittedly the beaches and scenery can be quite stunning.
It all depends on your time frame really.
As far as Surrathani goes as a city it is really quite dull. It boasts little other than a Tesco Lotus, a Big C, a smattering of sordid karaoke bars and a series trite 'restaurants'. The best thing about the city is its proximity to the Donsak Ferry port where Samui and Phanngan wait to rid you of your hard owned baht.
Very easy to get from Chumphon to Surat, either by minibus, regular bus or train. Each takes approximately 2 hours and the train journey inparticular is most scenic.
You could of course choose the slightly dearer but more adventurous route which consists of a trip on the Lomprayha Catarmaran from Chumphon ferry port to Koh Tao and then onto Samui or Phangan from there. From Chumphon to Koh Tao takes around 4 hours whilst the other two island lay some further two hours south.
Enjoy your trip...I'm jealous.
#2 youthinasia has been a member since 13/4/2011. Posts: 4
As already said, Its a diving island but still a laid back gorgeous island with nice beaches and reasonable snorkeling.
Surat Thani is pretty dull and generally visited as the gateway to Samui and Phangan.
Safe travels :)
Does anyone know if it is possible to catch either the night or day train from Bkk to Chumphon, then get to Koh Tao, without staying overnight in Chumphon?
#5 lathdas has been a member since 2/5/2011. Posts: 3
Surathani is just a hot dusty crowded port town and regional cente a fair way up a river. Not too much for the traveller.
Ko Tao is a nice island diver or not. Way better place to spend your time and different enough from Phangan and Samui.
Tezza, really appreciate your reply, but maybe a little misunderstanding. Never has any intention of going to Surathani. Really just want to know if there is any time to catch a train from Bkk in order to reach Chumphon in time to get the Lomprayah ferry to Koh Tao WITHOUT an overnight stay in Chumphon?
Any info on this would be greatly appreciated.
#7 lathdas has been a member since 2/5/2011. Posts: 3