Ranong Airport is located 20 kilometres south of town off Route 4 and serviced by only a couple of daily flights to/from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport with Nok Air. It’s a magnificent approach into Ranong, passing over mountains and islands before a runway emerges out of the mangroves. Pon’s Place has buses that meet arriving flights and charge 200 baht per person, including drop off at any hotel in town or Ko Phayam Pier.
The bus station is located off Route 4, two kilometres southeast of downtown. Several songthaews departing from Municipal Market stop here; just say “bus station” and someone will point you to the right truck. Fares include:
Bangkok (Sai Tai Mai / Southern Terminal): Second-class buses depart at 07:30, 10:30, 13:30, 15:30 and 19:30 for 325 baht. First-class buses depart at 08:00, 20:00, 20:30 and 20:45 for 403 to 470 baht. VIP buses depart at 20:00, 20:20, 22:30 and 22:50 for 627 to 670 baht. Some first-class and VIP buses to Bangkok departing from 08:00 to 22:50 can also be caught at the Sombat Tour office next to Tinidee Hotel in downtown Ranong. The trip takes around 10 hours.
Chumphon: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 17:00 for 150 baht and take 2.5 hours. Most Bangkok-bound buses also stop at Chumphon.
Krabi: Buses depart at 07:00, 10:00 and 13:30 for 360 baht and take six hours. Also services Phang Nga town.
Phuket: Buses depart roughly every 1.5 hours from 06:30 to 17:45 for 225 baht and take six hours. Also services Khuraburi for 100 baht; Takua Pa for 140 baht; and Khao Lak for 165 baht. Make a transfer in Takua Pa if heading to Khao Sok National Park.
Prachuap Khiri Khan: Minibuses depart hourly from 07:00 to 16:00 for 250 baht and take five hours.
Surat Thani: Minibuses depart hourly from 06:00 to 16:00 for 190 baht and take four hours.
Longtail boats to Kawthaung in Burma depart from Saphan Pla jetty in the Pak Nam area; details on catching a boat and crossing the border are found on the main Ranong intro page.
Ferries to Ko Phayam and Ko Chang Noi depart from Ko Phayam Pier, marked in English on a blue sign off Chalerm Phrakiat Road. Blue songthaew 6 and red songthaew 3 can drop you along the road for 20 baht and then it’s a five-minute walk to the pier. Motorbike taxis charge 70 baht to take you here from the Municipal Market. Several travel offices are clustered around the pier; you can buy your ticket at one of them or in advance at any travel office or guesthouse back in town.
In high season, slow boats depart for Ko Phayam at 09:30, 10:00 and 14:00 for 200 baht and take two hours. Speedboats depart every hour or two from 09:30 to 16:30 for 350 baht and take 45 minutes. In low season, only one slow boat departs at 09:30, depending on weather conditions. All ferries disembark at the main village pier on the east coast of Phayam.
In high season, longtail ferries depart for Ko Chang Noi (just say “Ko Chang” in Ranong) at 09:30, 13:00 and 14:00 for 200 baht and take two hours. These drop travellers off in front of resorts along the beaches so be prepared to carry your luggage through waste-deep water. Speedboats depart at 09:30 and 10:30 for 350 baht and take a half-hour, disembarking at the New Pier. In low season, a single ferry departs at 09:30 if the seas are calm enough.
If you prefer to book your travel in advance, you can book ferry tickets to Ko Phayam and Ko Chang Noi online with Ranong Ferry who can arrange both slow boat and speed boat ticketing.
Clunky wooden songthaews ply Ranong’s streets from early morning to early evening and are quite reliable, charging 10 baht per person for short rides and 20 baht to the piers or bus station. They all wait for passengers in front of Municipal Market on Rueangrat or you can flag them down as they pass. Some destinations are marked in English and it doesn’t take much effort to find one heading to the piers or bus station.
Downtown Ranong is small enough for walking. Pushbikes can be rented at Ranong Backpackers Hostel on Rueangrat for 50 baht per day, and mountain bikes at the tourist info centre in front of the bus station for 100 baht. If you’re looking for a private driver to tour you around the province, Mr Pot (T: 088 384 4775;081 270 4801) speaks decent English and has reasonable rates for his extended cab pick-up.
Pon’s Place on Rueangrat rents out cars starting at 1,200 baht per day and motorbikes for 250 baht, but we found the motorbikes poorly maintained. Sunny Side Up, the cafe next to Palmy Home, rents out better-quality motorbikes but they’re often all rented out. Motorbike rental is also advertised at Kiwi Orchid and NL Coffee next to the bus station, but again, neither had a bike available when we inquired. If all else fails head to Ko Phayam Pier, where several travel offices rent motorbikes starting at 200 baht per day.