Ko Pha Ngan & Krabi Town
What really happened is we got picked up as expected on time by a minivan, then we collected a few more people from various other resorts on the island. However, by this point I realised we wouldn’t have made the 9am bus, and when I asked the driver, he said he was taking us to Surat Thani and then we would be taken to the ferry by bus.
Fine, or so we thought as we drove the 3 hours or so up through some lovely scenery and without a stop, we pulled up at a restaurant/travel shop in Surat Thani. This was apparently to have our tickets checked, given a sticker for the ferry, buy some food/drinks off them and the usual tour tout trying to arrange taxis at inflated prices for when we arrive on the island. We declined this as I expected and had also read they were cheaper to get on arrival there.
However, as time ticked by, I was wondering why we were waiting so long as an hour or so passed, and we got closer to having to leave for the 3pm ferry. We waited on more people arriving, and then we got put on a coach to drive to the ferry port at Donsak Pier. Just as we got near there, we turned off and headed in a different direction and ended up at Laem Thuat Pier which is 10km west of where we wanted to be. We got off the bus, given another sticker and ticket and then just told to wait in another café as the transfer staff disappeared.
By now I was wondering what the hell was going on, so Sadie went to ask the café staff when the ferry left. 4.30pm we were told, which is also a slower ferry than the one we thought we had booked and wouldn’t get us to the island till about 7pm... so it seems the transfer company, P.P Service & Transfer had just ignored what we had booked and did it their own way, no doubt due to save costs and try make more commission on everyone.
Anyway, after a bit of a wait, we got on the ferry which was a lovely crossing with a quick stop at Ko Samui, and featured a beautiful sunset across the Gulf of Thailand coming down behind some distant islands. At arrival on Ko Pha Ngan, we asked about a shared taxi (Songthaew) which we quickly got for 200B each, a lot cheaper than the 600B we were quoted by the tout earlier, and went the 20-min journey to our hotel at Salad Beach.
With time ticking on and us wanting to shower/eat dinner, it wasn’t till after dinner that they eventually found another room for us, but it was just for that 1 night as it was a huge increase in cost and a beautiful room, but sadly wasn’t available for the rest of our stay as we would have been tempted to stay in that one.
Our room was huge, with a beautiful view over the bay and a hammock plus seating on our balcony, and with a good selection of food, drinks and cocktails, a pool and a short walk to the beach, we enjoyed our 5 nights here.
The rain got heavier, so I retreated to the bar area and we spent most of the day hiding in there as the rain created a river and a waterfall down the main path through the resort. We had a lovely lunch and a couple of beers, then headed back to our room to get ready for dinner.
Ying Yang was again our choice as it was so good and cheap previously, and we weren’t disappointed again, and the rain started again so it was back to the hotel for an early night as we had another long day ahead travelling to our next stop of Krabi Town for a couple of nights stopover.
This time we had booked our return travel direct on the Songserm website, cutting out any middle-men and the chances for things to go wrong. Our hotel took us and a few other guests to the ferry port and not long after we got on the ferry back to the mainland. A bus was already waiting for us there to take us to Krabi, and it went direct.. even if the driver was a bit rubbish.
Arriving at the Songserm office just on the outskirts of town a mere 30 minutes late, we were soon on our way in a minivan to our hotel for 50B each which was nice to see they weren't trying to rip people off. So yeah, the return journey was a lot better than the outward one, lesson learnt and will book direct if possible from now on.
It was nearly 8pm by the time we got checked in, so just went to a local place called Gecko Cabane for dinner that I had found on Trip Advisor which was just round the corner, plus it was #4 in Krabi. The food was lovely and after that we just had an early night after travelling all day and being a little sunburnt.
The next day we just chilled a bit, went a walk along the riverside to see some sculptures and then booked our journey to Ko Jum for the following day by minivan then ferry. At night we found a couple of bars doing happy hours and then had another lovely dinner before taking a walk through the night market.
Ko Pha Ngan & Krabi Town Photos