A couple of weeks from now my girlfriend and I will be landing on Surat Thani airport at 15:25 (Air Asia flight from Bangkok). We'd like to go to Khao Sok NP the same day. This can be done using a private transfer, but that's rather expensive (2000 Baht). I've read there are minibuses from Surat Thani town to Khao Sok NP every hour until 17:30. They're operated by a company called Phantip. Will it be feasible to do this? Since we'd first have to go to the Phantip bus stop in Surat Thani from the airport we're wondering whether there is enough time or not to get the last minibus at 17.30. Thanks in advance for your replies!
#1 tomdegoeij has been a member since 23/2/2012. Posts: 8
Unlike a lot of Surathani travel agents, Phantip is a class outfit with big shiny offices near the first of the small bus stations right in town. I've used them to get to the islands and things worked seamlessly. If your flight is on time you have plenty of time to get down to their office.
2 weeks ago I was on a public bus from Khao Lak west of Sok to Surathani. This passes Khao Sok National Park and goes by Surathani train station on its way into Surathani itself. So it would be possible for you to get one of these in the reverse direction. What you want is a bus with Phuket or Takua Pa on the front. The Phuket bus will probably have Khao Sok/Takua Pa on it as well (English as well as Thai script). I think the last of these buses leave Surathani's town bus station around 1600-1630.
There will be public minivans probably to Takua Pa from the second small town bus station about one block south of the first - I think you will find these run later than the public buses.
Thanks for the extensive reply!
However, we changed our travel plans and won't be flying from Bangkok but will be flying from Udon Thani. Since there are no Udon Thani-Surat Thani flights that I know of we will probably fly to Phuket (direct flight by Air Asia). Since this means we will arrive in the evening, we won't be able to go to Khao Sok the same day. Does anyone have a recommendation for a cheap but clean sleep near Phuket bus terminal? :P
#3 tomdegoeij has been a member since 23/2/2012. Posts: 8
Yep, this time last week I stayed at D's Guesthouse in Thalang Road. Big squeaky clean fan rooms with bathroom 300 and 350 baht run by a nice lady with good English only 10 minutes walk from the bus station. She puts on a simple toast, jam, fruit and tea/coffee breakfast for 30 baht. If you Google you will be able to find a location map on Agoda or similar booking site for navigation. Or it is about a 50baht motorcycle taxi ride if you don't want to hoof it. I think D's has its own website (there may be a location map) but there is no need to book this time of year.
10 minutes further walk is Phuket Backpackers, a friendly bustling place with 250baht dorms and more expensive singles. I've used them often - another good joint.
That Surathani bus via Khao Lak, Takua Pa and Khao Sok is the one you want from the bus station. Simply ask for Khao Sok. The conductors are very good - yours will make sure you get off at the right place.
Any news about the new bus terminal in Phuket??
#6 Pigsy has been a member since 17/5/2012. Posts: 9