Koh Samui/Koh Phangan

Discussion in 'Phuket / South Thailand - General Discussion Forum' started by penetrator, May 11, 2007.

  1. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    A few questions for Johno or anyone else in the know. Thought it better to start a thread particular to these islands in which any other questions can be asked rather that sidetrack other threads.

    As I said previously in another thread I'm planning on driving down to Samui from Pattaya in June. While on Samui I also plan on going over to Koh Phangnan to watch the boys n girls doing their silly dances at the full moon party and then returning back to the mainland straight from there.

    So my plan is get the Don Sak - Samui ferry, a few days on Samui then get the Samui - Phangnan ferry before getting the Phangnan - Don Sak ferry.

    My GF has been reading on some Thai forums about how there is often 5 hours waits to get on the ferries - is this true ?

    If I book a ticket in advance am I guaranteed a place on the ferry the same as with a plane ticket or do I have to join the queue on a 1st come 1st on the ferry basis the same as anyone else just turning up ?

    How reliable are the ferries between Don Sak, Samui and Phangnan ? I'm quite pushed for time so dont want to hanging around for hours on end for ferries that might or might not take to sea.

    Any answers/thoughts much appreciated.
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  3. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    You can book your ferry up to about a week in advance from Don Sak to Koh Samui

    If you are taking the car, best to leave on Samui and take passenger ferry to Koh Phang Ngan

    If you want to take your car to Kog P.N. you have to go back to Don Sak and get car ferry to K.P.N.

    Booking is a must, as last ferry over is 7pm, and if full, have to wait till 5am for next one. People I know have waited 8 hours for a ferry.

    Obviously if you arrive by bike, no need to book, just ride on next available ferry

    If you book you are guaranteed a place on ferry as long as you arrive 30 minutes before sailing.

    the bad weather we all had a week ago, all ferries to the islands were cancelled only for 1 day, and things should be okay in June as that is their non monsoon season

    I am there on Samui first week in June then of fto Koh Phang Ngan for a few days before returning to Phuket

    Here is the link for info to book ferry
  4. penetrator

    penetrator Ol'Timer

    Thanks Johno.

    I've read on a few websites that there is a Seatran ferry that runs between Samui and Phangan and assumed it was a car ferry so thought better to take the car so can go directly back to Don Sak. Obviously if this is not the case I'll have to rethink. Maybe you could find out for sure when your there.

    Here is a timetable I found of ferries to/from Don sak/Koh Samui/Koh Phangnan/Koh Tao but not sure if it can be trusted.


    It's a shame I'll be there about 2 weeks after you Johno, would of liked to of bought you a beer for your much valued advice.
  5. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer


    In the olden days, the car ferry went don sak-samui-phangnan, but they went bust.

    Don Sak has only 3 ferries a day to Phangnan

    I will double chec when I am on Samui this month, but no car ferries go Samui-Phangnan, passenger ferries only, so another option would be to leave your car at Don Sak, go Samui, hire a bike there, passenger ferry to Phangnan, hire a bike there, then get a number of different ferries back to Don Sak, some go straight there, no need to go via Samui.

    another option is leave car in Surat Thani, take back packers ferry 3 hours up river and across.

    another option, take nite ferry out of surat thani, have done this a few times, its great, leaves surat at 11pm (I think), chugs real slow to samui, gets in at 5am, and ca stay on ferry longer when docked if you want, have mattresses on top floor, all numbered, and its a nice way to go over, nite ferry means you can do the trip t Surat from home in 1 day, and have all the various options to come back

    Samui sucks now for taking a car, roads too narrow and too many vehicles, can hire a bike from 100 baht a day

    hope some of this helps in making decision

    p.s. could you email me your email address please penetrator as there is something I want to ask you
  6. Tomo

    Tomo Ol'Timer

    I took the overnight ferry to Samui from Surat Thani a couple of years ago with my GF.

    After downing a few beers and assorted chicken-on-a-stick at the dock night market, we boarded the ferry and chugged on down the river in blessed tranquility.

    However, once we got out into open water things changed dramatically and we found ourselves in a howling tropical storm. As TJ rightly said, there are numbered mattresses on the upper level for the backpackers (locals downstairs with the chickens and bikes) and the waves were breaking through the upper windows and washing down through the boat. Must have been interesting on the lower decks!

    How scared was I as the boat heeled over at 45 degrees...?? Smell it - I was sitting in it!!! [xx(]

    Remarkably the elderly wooden tub did it's job and remained afloat.

    I guess it's all part of the experience!
  7. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    Tomo, suppose we had better not mention about the nite ferry that sank a few years ago.

    And don't think the car ferries are any safer, my friend who has a resort in Chaweng, was taking the car ferry to the mainland, and he does a lot of sailing and said the waves were a bit too big to make the crossing. Anyway the ferry left, and there was so much water on the car decks, all the honda dreams were floating, sloshing back and forth banging into all the cars and pick ups. But they made it okay, (albeit with wet feet).

    The main doors arent water tight even when fully closed, so when boarding with vehicle at Don Sak (mainland), never best to park right up the front as even a slight chop, your vehicle will have a nice salt cover on it.

    If coming from Samui, best to get on first as then you are at the back of the boat,and if you get salt spray then, boy have you got problems
  8. d555

    d555 Member

    Hey TJ!

    How r u doing?
    I was just checking this topic, and have a mediocre question.
    Passenger ONLY, ferry Samui- Phangnan, also means NO TRANSIT OF MOTORBIKES, right?
    I'll probably hire the Transalp (Patong), so it would be a plus to take it over to Phangnan...
    Do they have offroad bikes for hire on Phangnan?


  9. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    Hi D

    what they have on Phangan which is quite unique. They get a Honda Sonic 125, road bike and turn it into a dirt bike, long forks knobblies etc, this is just right for Phangan

    I am on Samui in 2 weeks time so can ask the guys of the passenger ferry about bikes, but i think they will probably draw the line at a Honda Wave, if they let them at all, but I have never seen any bikes on Passenger ferries.
  10. d555

    d555 Member

    Hi TJ!
    Right on!
    That's probably the best cc and mods for the Phangan's terrain, right?
    If the passenger ferry doesn't transfer bikes, I'll be happy to hire one these Sonic Grasshoppers.

    Q for you:

    You often park your own bike, to take a ferry , then hire another bike at the final destination.
    Is theft(of your own bike)a big concern?
    What I mean is... is a proper heavy-duty chain lock necessary?
    How about in the North?

    Of course, there is never "too much" when thinking safety
    & security.
    But then again, we know if someone really wants it, it will be theirs.

    Japan, which is known to be a safe place, has bike thieves just going wild! A good friend just got his 2007 Yamaha R6, 200km ridden, stolen last weekend, daytime, in front of the shop he was in, very sad!

    Start of the warmer season, the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) needs to stock up on "new" bike parts to export to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Thailand ....

    "Black Rain" without Micheal Douglas!
  11. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    I actually have never left my bike, the times I have taken passengar ferry have come down from Bangkok on the bus.

    Have a friend who has a bike shop, on Samui, and can probably arrange for you to leave your bike there, and then you just get Tuk Tuk to ferry
  12. d555

    d555 Member

    Okay TJ.

    If I can't take my bike to Phangnan, I will definitely take you up on the offer.
  13. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer


    or the other option is leave it at the guesthouse where you stay, there shouldnt be a problem with that
  14. d555

    d555 Member

    That's true.
    I am going to be trying out different guesthouses during my stay, and I can easily ask one of them.

    Also, when we "redeem your CBT", I'd like to share a little more about the multi-purpose of this trip.

  15. Tom Forde

    Tom Forde Ol'Timer

    Hi d555,
    I have a small townhouse in Samui and plan to live there some time next year
    Anyone on GT Riders are welcome to leave their bikes with me if you go over to Phangnan.
    I haven't decided wether to ride up from Newcastle again or ship the trusty old Dakar to KL and ride through. Probably do the Darwin Singapore thing and ride through to Samui.
    Anyway I will let you all know when I arrive and live in Samui.

    Tom Forde
  16. d555

    d555 Member

    Hi Tom,

    Thanks a lot for the offer.
    It would be cool to catch up for some rides in the near future.
  17. tropicaljohno

    tropicaljohno Ol'Timer

    Hi Tom

    I am off to Samui tomorrow for 2 weeks, but looks like you still in OZ

    perhaps we can meet up sometime when you move over there

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