After spending one amazing week in Koh Samui we headed off to Phuket. We didn’t have a big budget for travelling in the South of Thailand, so we had to cut our expenses as much as possible. It’s not a secret that flights within Thailand, especially between southern cities are quite affordable. However we preferred to save those $200 which we would pay for 2 adult one way tickets and find a cheaper way to get to Phuket.
We already had an experience of long distance travel by bus in Thailand and it was quite good, so we thought why can’t we do it again, especially when the price is so attractive?! A couple of days of research gave us a feeling that travelling by bus to Phuket was not a good idea. Many comments on Tripadvisor, different forums and some blogs I found were not good. Some were saying that the trip was awful and they spent several hours just waiting for the bus in the middle of nowhere. Others claimed that they lost luggage, had a very uncomfortable tiring and long trip, or experienced very bad service. All these comments were written about different companies which provide trips from Koh Samui to Phuket, including Lomprayah.
Lomprayah High Speed Ferries is a famous enough company in Koh Samui and its been running the service for more than 13 years Its ferries shuttle between Koh Samui, Koh Phang, Koh-Tao, Chumporn, Donsak Pier etc. Though we found some bad reviews about this company, we decided to give it a try. You know how it is, there are always people who don’t like anything. It was the only company which looked more or less serious and had on its website all prices, timetable and an online booking service.
I have to say that we didn’t trust them at all and were really worried about how everything will go. We called them and asked some questions, they answered very clearly and they didn’t sound as if they were going to scam us. However it was not enough for us and we hopped on our scooter and drove to the Nathon Pier, the place from where all ferries depart and where Lomprayah company resides. We found friendly and helpful Thai ladies behind the window of the counter and they explained the procedure, told us to buy tickets 2 days before at the latest and ensured us that everything would be ok 🙂
We came back to the hotel and booked our tickets online (as buying online we could get the transfer from the hotel for free). The price of 1 adult ticket from Koh Samui to Phuket by ferry + bus is 650 baht ($21). I think prices change quite often and they also have web promotion prices, so check before you buy. Just for your information we bought our tickets on the 24th of March 2013.
So how was it? We set ourselves for the worst and were really surprised when we found:
- punctual and comfortable transfer service from the hotel
- just a 15 mins delay of the departure
- convenient and airconditioned catamaran
- our luggage was pretty safe, actually as it was always within the area of our vision
- exact 6 hours safe and comfortable trip by bus with one stop for some snacks and stretches (though they warn that due to the weather conditions there can be long delays)
- we had an airconditioned mini-bus, since there were only 10 of us. When there are more people they give you a big 2 level bus with a toilet (they say so).
We were very satisfied with our trip and would go again if we had the chance. The scenery is fantastic and roads are very good. It’s fun to cross the country by bus!
Have you used the Lomrayah service? Which means of transport do you choose to move from one city to another in Thailand? Please share your experience with us!