Hi there, I have read the advice on this site but am still unsure what to do!
We arrive in Bangkok latish on Friday night and have booked a hotel. We are planning on heading to Ko Pha Ngan. Can't afford the flights to Ko Samui.
So we have two choices: Get flights to Surat Thani which arrive at either at 12.55 or 15.10 during the day. Not too keen on the early one cause would like relax a little and check out Bangkok before rushing off after the previous long distance flight. Would we make the ferry if we arrive here at 15.10?
I have also read other recommendations that this way wastes time and isn't the most time effective way. (We are only in Thailand for two weeks)
The other option is to get an overnight train to either Champun or Surat Thani (not sure which one is best for this option either).
Does anyone know which option is the least time consuming and least stressful??
Any recommendations are really appreciated! My partner doesn't want to go on the bus so have cut it down to these options. I keep reading conflicting things and can't seem to figure out a whole journey time!
#1 courthag has been a member since 5/8/2009. Posts: 5
Although it is possible get to Ko Phagnan from Chumphon on the Lomphraya ferry, the island is closer to Surat Thani .
I googled ferry times for you.
According to that there's a ferry leaving at 6pm and you can buy a boat ticket and a transfer bus ticket at the information counter at the Surat Thani airport.
The overnight sleeper train is a time efficient and economic way of getting there because you travel while you sleep and save on a night's accommodation in a GH but it's not the best option for you in this particular case because:
1.You really need to book sleeper berths several days in advance as they're almost always full. You're arriving in Bangkok the night before and won't have time to do this. Sometimes you can get a third class seat just showing up but it's less comfortable than a VIP bus seat (and slower).
2. Even if you manage to get berths you'll be taking the train on Saturday evening so you won't get to KPN till Sunday.
If you fly you'll be there by 20.30 on Saturday evening.
Hope this helps.
Thanks so much for this! Much appreciated, have been a great help :-)
#3 courthag has been a member since 5/8/2009. Posts: 5
It might do, I've never bought a ticket online. The Thai Railways site never seems to be working whenever I've checked and I didn't know about that site so thanks for that... I've bookmarked it. I see they say that only 10% of the total seats are allowed for online booking though.
Although the overnight sleeper train to Chumphon and Surat Thani leaves on time it is invariably late arriving for some reason... an hour late or more. The best one to take for the morning ferries is the one that leaves at 19.30pm.
Thanks all, I ended up booking the flights in the end... I just hope that we will make the ferry at the other side. Guess we shall see, I have seen conflicting information about what time they all leave on the net.
#6 courthag has been a member since 5/8/2009. Posts: 5
I haven't done the flight-ferry combination but you should be able to get a taxi to the pier if the transfer bus has already left ...very doubtful it would have though, as they'd be specifically waiting for passengers off that flight.
Worst case scenario would be the slow night ferry arriving early next morning.
i have a question once i arrive at surat thani how can i go to the donsak pier? because there is 60 km so by taxi would not be so cheap so there is a bus leaving the train station to donsak pier?
and is better to buy a joint ticket in bangkok either bus or train +ferry?
#8 matimulinaris has been a member since 1/8/2009. Posts: 25
Straight forward bus from Surat Thani to Don Sak -- it's generally a part of the ferry ticket price if you buy the ticket in Surat.
Joint tickets are only worth buying if they are using the government buses -- if it is using a private bus service (which is what most of the agents on Khao San Road use) I wouldn't touch it with a barge pole -- theft is endemic on those buses.
#9 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,767
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so the goverment bus departs from the south terminal bus on bangkok?
how much is the joint ticket aprox? can i buy it (train or bus + shuttle bus +ferry)in bangkok(khao san road)?
#10 matimulinaris has been a member since 1/8/2009. Posts: 25
The train is govt run but you could probably buy a train/ferry combo ticket from a travel agent in KSR. They'd just add on a little commission for the train ticket.
You can of course buy a bus/ferry combo from a travel agent too ... extremely easy to do ... but it's doubtful that they'd sell you a govt bus ticket. No govt buses leave from KSR. If the risk of getting stuff nicked from your luggage in the hold of one of the KSR private buses doesn't bother you, then go for it.
Government buses do require a bit more effort on your part as you have to make your own way to the Southern Bus Station by taxi or bus. However if people keep recommending you do this rather than take the "easy" option of taking a bus directly from KSR, there is a reason!
The Lomprayah bus from KRS seems to have a fairly good reputation though. I've never taken it myself, just seen people saying it's OK on travel forums. You could try that if you want but still wiser to keep anything you'd hate to lose on your person.
yes i will definitely take a govt bus. can i buy the ferry ticket in bus station?
#12 matimulinaris has been a member since 1/8/2009. Posts: 25
i will try to take the train but if it is full i'll take the bus
#13 matimulinaris has been a member since 1/8/2009. Posts: 25
How was your trip? Ì`m going to take a plane from Saigon to Bangkok and from Bangkok I`m thinking in take this bus to Ko Pha Ngan.How much did you pay and where did you buy the ticket (Government bus)?
#14 Ingrids has been a member since 29/9/2009. Posts: 41
Really useful info here, kind of related to my predicament right now.
I will share if anyone can offer any advice.
I need to do the following:
To get from Bangkok to Koh Phangan and I would like to travel by day. I fancy the train (great sights).
- Traveller2000 tell me they can't connect me to a ferry unless it's the overnight trip. So assuming I take the day train (which I am 100% happy to do so), how can I get around this?
- I hear that I need to go to Koh Samui first, and then to Koh Phangan. This true? I am sure I saw a map which said I could go straight to Phangan. Whichever is best, really.
- There are some discrepancies with which Bangkok train station I book through too.
If anyone has the "perfect plan" for me, based on their knowledge or experience, then I will be delighted to hear from you. Travelling by day by train is my non-negotiable part, the rest.... I throw up to the Gods. :)
Thank you in advance from your world friend, the Brit. :)
#15 TravelAddictBaby has been a member since 24/2/2010. Posts: 7