Our next destination right after Phuket is definitely Koh Samui. When we’re in Phuket, we keep hopping from one travel agency to another travel agency to purchase joint ticket of minibus and boat which goes directly to the island. The price started from 1000 baht (Equivalent to RM100. How ridiculous is that?) and we finally ended up with the price of 400 baht for a minibus and boat tickets. Finally! Alhamdulillah as we couldn’t afford any expensive transportation fees at this point of time. We entered and surveyed more than 10 travel agencies around Patong Beach area.
We left the The Marq Hotel sharp at 7.00am with a simple breakfast that morning. Instant noodles, biscuits and milk is good enough for us as we have to go through another 6 hours journey. The driver cramped us in the minibus and both of us sat next to the driver as we’re the first passengers to be on board. We stopped at several hotels and the whole minibus was already fully packed. Everyone squeezed in and the minibus seems to small for all of us. We even heard a few passengers asking the driver is this minibus heading to Krabi, Hat Yai, Samui, Surat Thani and others. I stared and looked at FF and gave him that kind of looks which means “This is not good, i can smell something wrong here”. FF then asked the minibus driver where are we heading too? Are we going to Koh Samui with this kind of condition. He answered by telling us that he’s going to send and drop us at the minibus centre and from there, we will be transfer to another minibus based on the destination. He is only responsible to pick up all the passengers from Patong Beach area. OMG!
Once we reached the pit stop, we waited for 30 minutes for another minibus heading to Surat Thani. It’s a little cramped for us as it accommodate around 14 pax compared to the minibus from Hat Yai which only accommodate 10 pax with the same model and capacity. Takper la, nak sampai punya pesal.
This is the minibus which brought us to Surat Thani by Phantip Co.
After about 5 hours drive from Phuket Town, we then reached Surat Thani. We’re the last passengers onboard and the rest of the locals had stopped along the way. The driver then sent us to the bus terminal. He asked us to wait at the waiting area and we waited for more than 20 minutes. We couldn’t see him around. Mana la plak mamat nie pergi, please, not another scam. FF persuaded me to wait and he sometimes can be very positive at this critical situation. Finally, the driver showed up and another guy asked us to follow him on his tuk tuk. Arggghh, another transfer.To be exact, the 3rd transportation of the day.
View of Surat Thani town from the tuk tuk.
He then sent us to another travel agency. Oh no! We saw another bunch of people there who are heading to Koh Samui as well. We were told that bus will picked us up in 1 hour time. At the meantime, we saw the travel agency personnel keep calling all the ‘mat saleh’ after one another. We can smelled another scam coming on. They didn’t call us up since they might think we’re local. In fact, at all times, local will approach us in Thai. We discussed with the rest of the ‘mat saleh’ and everyone were busy looking at their Lonely Planet and print up. It was mentioned that ‘songthaews’ and taxi can be easily found at Nathon Pier and ‘songthaews’ will cost around 120 baht per pax for a 25 – 30km to Chaweng Beach. The travel agency personnel quoted around 1000 baht per pax which is way ridiculous!
The double-decker bus which brought us to the jetty. It took us another 40 minutes ride to Donsak Pier.
There are 2 ferry companies departed from Nathon Pier which is Songserm Travel and Seatran Ferry. You’ll definitely get to travel by Songserm Travel if you book via travel agency (as what we did). Most of the people who aboard Songserm ferry are mostly foreigner. It’s a small ferry with two decks as what we have in Pulau Langkawi. Meanwhile Seatran ferry is much bigger with several decks. They transport car, lorries and even bus. The whole journey took us about 1 and 1/2 hours
We quickly picked up our backpack and walked straight to the arrival point. You’ll see a lot of taxi and ‘songthaews’ operators waiting for customer. Some of them can be a lil bit harsh. We managed to secure a songthaews with the rest of ‘mat saleh’ with the price of 100 baht per pax to Chaweng Beach.
Our new friends from France. We tagged along all the way from Surat Thani to Chaweng Beach as they stayed nearby to our hotel.
Sharp at 5.00pm, we finally reached our hotel, Khun Chaweng Resort. To be exact, it’s just next to Starz Cabaret. Looking at the location, we’re very much happy on the selection. Even though the Starz Cabaret is just next door, we don’t even get distracted at night and some of them are way too friendly.
After a short rest, a refreshing shower and solat, it’s time to hunt for some Halal food and full day tour on the next day! There goes our 10 hours journey all the way from Phuket to Koh Samui. Did we mentioned that we just love the hard way! Hahaha.
Zara AB & FF
The Province of Chroma