After extensive googling can't seem to find out if there is a specific bus/bus time for the Surat Thani to Phang Nga Town route...
I'm catching the 0805 train from Bangkok to Surat Thani which arrives at 1645
Does anyone know how to reach Phang Nga town from there at that time or will we be stranded?!
#1 thailandtour has been a member since 10/1/2013. Posts: 5
Last bus I took from Surathani bus station to Phuket swung by the railway station and then took off for Phuket via route 401 that goes across to Takua Pa via Khao Sok. Except it hung a left onto 415 just past the dam/lake and before the Khao Sok NP bungalow area and went down to highway 4 near Phang Nga town. Now I'm pretty sure it diverted into Phang Nga town before going on to Phuket - trouble is I've been on too many buses in that area recent trips.
Thing is, Phang Nga town is a major regional center and I can't imagine there being no buses between it and similar Surathani. So even if the Phuket buses don't divert there, there are sure to be others. I'd be calling in to one of the small travel agents at or across from the station and asking.
There are minibuses between Surathani and Phuket which would probably call in to Phang Nga town. One of those agents at the station could make sure it calls in and picks you up.
If the Phuket bound buses don't divert to Phang Nga town you could ask the conductor to put you off on route 4 as close as possible. There are lots of passing buses heading south which would pick you up. The conductors are very good by the way - they never forget about where passengers want to get off.
Every Bangkok-Phuket bus I've been on has called in at Phang Nga town and there are dedicated Bangkok-Phang Nga services.
Thanks Tezza - only thing I was worried about was as my train doesn't get in until 1645 I might miss the last bus and be stranded!
It's a few years since I have been to Thailand - do the buses pick up from by the station at Phun Phin or Surat Thani itself?
One last question - I am now thinking of going to Ko Phra Thong after reading your excellent blog!
Will I have any luck getting to Takua Pa then on to Kuraburi at that time of afternoon/night?
Do you reccommend any islands/NPs in particular over towards Ko Phra Thong?
#3 thailandtour has been a member since 10/1/2013. Posts: 5
Buses and a fair proportion of minivans I have been on out of Surathani have picked up at Phun Phin station. I feel that if you went to one of the travel agents there they would make sure any appropriate minivan going your way would call in.
If the train is on time I don't think 1645 would be too late for transport heading towards Phang Nga town. My experience of Thailand is that buses etc get scarce after about 1800 unless they are doing routes into/out of Bangkok.
Not too sure about Kuraburi. I reckon the last Surathani- Takua Pa bus would probably leave about 1800 and probably take about half an hour t reach the station. It would probably get into TP about 2000. Now I have been on a bus went thru TP and dropped me at Ranong north of Kuraburi about 2330 so it is possible you could do it. Some Phuket to Bangkok overnight buses also go thru Takua Pa and Kuraburi (most go the more southern route) so they are another possibility - however they are often heavily booked. There is a local Takua Pa to Kuraburi small rattler but I reckon this would probably not run after 1800.
It's very frustrating not having timetables or being a local - maybe you could PM one of the Kuraburi travel agents like Tom and Am or Barracuda Dive and ask for details.
I know there is a late afternoon/early evening bus out of Bangkok's southern bus station drops off at Kuraburi abt 0600-0700.
Islands near Phra Thong. Well I thought Ko Koh Khao was a nice one. Of course the Surins National Park is best accessed from Kuraburi. Even though the coral was shot (and still is according to my cyber-friend MV who has just visited) I did like the beaches and the camping and thought it worth the visit.
Ranong is about an hour north and its two islands are very nice - I don't think Ko Phayam is overdeveloped yet and little Ko Chang Andaman side is a laid-back gem.
Clarification: I mentioned in Alternatives in #2 that a Bangkok-Phuket overnight bus might be the go. But as you may have gleaned from this present post - a small proportion of Bangkok-Phuket buses go via Ranong, Kuraburi, Takua Pa and Khao Sok - and don't go within 50km of Phang Nga town. They will tell you at the bus station whether your bus goes via Phang Nga town.
#5 thailandtour has been a member since 10/1/2013. Posts: 5