Getting from Chiang Mai to Koh Tao/Koh Phangan

After spending 3 weeks in continental Thailand, I missed the sea. So the plan was to get to Koh Tao and after a bit of research and skyscanning I’ve booked a ticket to Surat Thani. I knew that from there I’d be able to catch a boat using Lomprayah and get to the islands.

What I didn’t do is checking the boat timetable first.

Hint! Check the boat timetable before booking your aeroplane ticket!

As a result, I only had half an hour between the arrival of my flight and the departure of a bus to the pier. Therefore, I haven’t booked the boat ticket – it’s 800-900 baht and I didn’t want to miss it.

Usually, I book a hotel for 1-2 nights in the new destination because the thought of checking out hotels with my luggage doesn’t seem appealing. This time, since I didn’t know if I’ll make it to Koh Tao, I was truly ad-hoc.

The flight arrived on time, and my bag came out in the first dozen. I rushed to the Lomprayah counter to get my ticket.

What I forgot about was that there was a storm…

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The boats didn’t go to Koh Tao because of the weather conditions. So I went to Koh Phangan.

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The bus to the pier took about 2 hours. Then, we all boarded a huge catamaran, that reached Koh Samui in 1,5 and then, Koh Phangan in 30 minutes, arriving about 5PM.

The catamaran was huge. The lower (closed) deck had 3-6-3 seat arrangement and about 25 rows. The middle deck had some benches, and the top deck had more benches. The weather wasn’t great, with occasional rain and not too calm of a sea. I tried both upper decks but found them too windy and wet to enjoy. I’m sure it’s lovely during the high season!

The staff were distributing plastic bags for those who found the motion excessive.

Hint 2: If you’re taking a catamaran and have a tendency to get motion sickness, take some pills before you board!

On arrival, myself and 3 germans were pointed to a songthaew that would take us all for 200baht each to our hotels. That seemed like a rip-off. Then, we stood in a queue at the exit from a port. The germans called it tuk-tuk-mafia and left the car. So did I. In 2 minutes, a got a motorbike taxi that took me to the hotel I booked on the way.

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