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Archive for the ‘Koh Tao’ Category

No Number

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 11, 2010

Night of April 7, 2010

All Pictures

Take up as much space as you like, I’ll just try to sleep with my head hanging out the boat.

Just Roll Him Over

I had in my coin purse 2 receipts; one said, “Koh Tao to Suratthani,” the other, ” Krabi to Koh Phi Phi”. All we had to do was stand out on the road near our hotel and wait for the travel agency’s taxi to come and pick us up. We were told that the taxi would come at 19:00, and the boat would leave at 21:00. But after waiting there for 10 minutes the bugs started biting.

There is a phenomenon known as “Thai time” which makes it nearly impossible for anything in Thailand to start, end, arrive, or depart as scheduled. Knowing that the taxi was to pick us up at 19:00, I calculated that the taxi could actually arrive anytime between 19:30 and 21:30. So when  our hotel’s free taxi to the dock showed up, we took it instead.

We got to the dock around 19:30 and put our backpacks on the deck. I have a bright yellow bag that I use when my backpack and I must separate. I take important items from my backpack and put them in my yellow bag. These include, my passport, any money or credit cards, all uninsured electronics, a pair of socks, and long-sleeved T-shirt, and my inflatable pillow… plus what ever Mark tosses in there.

a really bad shot of Mark’s diving video

We left for about 1.5 hours to a bar that was showing a movie starring Mark and his diving classmates. When we came back to board the boat and settle in, we were told that we had “no number”.

Me – “What does that mean?”

The ticket checking guy said, “no number” again and point to the beds on the lower part of the boat.

Me – “Is that where we sit?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

Me – “So where do we sit?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

Me – “What does that mean?”

Ticket guy – “No Number!”

I tried ever conceivable way to ask the annoying man where “no numbered” people are supposed to sit, but all he would say was, “no number.” Mark decided to just pick an empty spot so I joined him. We just sat back and watched what happened.

There was another couple who came aboard without numbers too. They couldn’t get much information out of the guy either. He told them to take the boat tomorrow. “Tomorrow you can have number.”

That’s when I realized that our boat had been oversold. I looked around the boat. I wondered why there were people laying in the path that should have been left clear as a walkway to the bathroom. They, I later learned, also had no number. I noticed that these middle people had mattresses and pillows and that there were numbered spots that had no mattresses and others had missing pillows.

Life on the lower deck

Then the people whose spot we were apparently in, showed up. We had to get up and stand awkwardly to the side. We waited until everyone who was to board had boarded and ask Mr. Unhelpful once more where we were supposed to sit. He never spoke a word to us, but just counted his tickets. He counted them about 5 or 6 times before he grabbed our tickets from out of Mark’s hands and ripped them up. Then he wrote us new tickets, with numbers, and handed them to Mark.

Should we sit here?

Mark looked at the tickets’ numbers and then to the corresponding beds. “These are taken.” Mr. Unhelpful did not respond. So Mark repeated, “These are taken. People are in them.” Mr. Unhelpful waved Mark off in disbelief. Mark pointed to the spots. Mr. Unhelpful followed Mark’s outstretched arm with his eyes. Then he grabbed the tickets from Mark’s hand again and started counting tickets once more.

At this point, 2 more people had come to Mr. Unhelpful’s table. They had numbers, but there were no mattresses. I looked down at the people in the middle. Most of them had mattresses.

But the couple could not get any information out of Mr. Unhelpful. He was busy recounting tickets for the 4th time and would need a 5th and 6th time before he was ready to communicate with anyone in this realm. Mark and I started to ask about bed 114 and 115. They were empty and had been empty this whole time. But Mr. Helpful was still on recounting round number 5.

Are you using this?

Those beds, 115 and 116, that were left empty had owners. Owners that didn’t show up until 21:50; ten minutes before the boat left. Yes. This 21:00 boat actually left at 22:00.

When he was done he gave us new tickets. These were technically empty. The man in 74 was fast asleep and sprawled out on both space 74 and 75. The man in 75 had moved his into 76. 76 was Mark’s newly assigned number. I was 77. This bed was where the girl in 78 had put all her crap.

In the real world the space allotted to 74, 75, 76, 77, and 78 would have only had four beds assigned to it. But this is not the real world; this is Thailand. The land where no one has ever said, “This one’s full.”

People will pile 6 souls on a motorbike, 8 people in a sedan, hundreds on a subway… Max capacity is taken as a challenge and every time I see a pickup truck speeding down the highway with 20 people dumped in the back I can tell that the driver is beaming with pride.

We managed to get the sleeping man to move over a bit. I, passive-aggressively gave the girl in 78 a dirty look, but she didn’t move her bag until she realized that I would use it as a pillow if she didn’t put it somewhere else.

I then spent a good part of the night pushing her arm off of me. I would move her arm and within 10 minutes I would feel it on my back again. She was a determined cuddler.

At one point I got up to use the bathroom and the small gap that had been my spot was gone. Her right arm and leg had filled in the space. I carefully lay down on my side in Mark’s spot, trying not to wake her. Then feigning night terrors, I suddenly flipped over on my back, crashing down heavily on an arm and leg in my spot. She didn’t want to cuddle after that.

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Koh Phi Phi
(เกาะพีพีดอน)

How to get there:

  • 7°45’00.1″N 98°46’42.9″E

From Koh Tao –

There are hundreds of travel agencies that will sell you tickets from Koh Tao to Koh Phi Phi. There is a fast boat (1,050THB), that leaves at 9:30 and a slow one (950THB) that leaves at 21:00, to Surathani (สุราษฎร์ธานี).

From Bangkok –

1. Take a train to Surathani, then a bus to Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

2. Take a bus to Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

3. Fly into Krabi. Go to Krabi dock and take a ferry to Koh Phi Phi.

Cost: (from Koh Tao)

Hours: (from Koh Tao)

  • fast boat – leaves at 9:30
  • slow boat – leaves at 21:00

Notes:

  • The ticket from Koh Tao, will also include a bus ride from Surathani to Krabi and a boat from Krabi to Phi Phi Island.
  • I think that it is better to book your ticket through an agent, because the price includes transfers from docks to bus stations, and bus stations to docks. It is not fun dealing with pushy tuk-tuk drivers at 5:00 in the morning.
  • Make sure your agent has given you a bed number for the boat. Try to get a bed on the top. The picture above is of the bottom part of the boat. people with no bed numbers must fight for a space in the middle which is actually the walkway passengers use to get to the bathroom. No one is allowed to sleep in the middle on the top part of the boat, so the people there can easily get to the bathroom.
  • I also recommend bringing a pillow and a blanket. People tend to hoard the pillows and there are no blankets even though it does get cold on the boat. Mark and I had sleeping bags and inflatable pillows that we travel with. Make sure to take things to keep you warm, along with your valuables, out of your backpack before the crew stores all the luggage below.
  • There are no trains to Krabi.

Map:

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Posted in Koh Phi Phi Don, Koh Tao, Suratthani, Thailand | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Speak Your Language

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 10, 2010

April 5 – 7, 2010

All Pictures

Poking sea cucumbers

Wade in the Water

The beach at Koh Tao is great for kids. It’s not very deep. In fact you can walk right past most of the docked boats and not even get your knees wet.

There were plenty of fish and corral to look at so, needless to say, snorkeling is big on Koh Tao. Because I have claustrophobia and the water here is very calm and shallow, I used my time here to get comfortable with a mask and snorkel on in the water.

The last time I went snorkeling was in Vietnam. I jumped into deep water then put on my mask. I felt so enclosed that I ripped it off before I could even look at some fish. I had to change the diving mask for some swimming goggles. Goggles aren’t that great when it comes to looking into salt water.

While I spent most of my time swimming and snorkeling by myself, Mark was off in his class. He was earning his Open Water PADI diving license. Koh Tao is a great place to learn to dive. There are hundreds of dive resorts and the prices aren’t very expensive. Most places will give you a discount on room rates when you sign up for a course.

sunset on Koh Tao

Ethnic Ambiguity

Mark would leave early in the mornings with his fellow dive-mates and come back late in the afternoon. I entertained myself with swimming, eating, sleeping, and talking to other backpackers.

One question I get asked a lot is, “Where are you from?” I know that because I haven’t lived in the states for a while my accent has changed. So most English speakers will guess from the fact that I speak English very well, that I at lease come from an English-speaking country, though they might not know which one.

For those whose first language isn’t English, they might not be able to hear an accent, since I don’t have a strong accent pointed in any particular direction. They try to look at me to make their guess. They are always wrong. Sometimes, amusingly so.

“Are you Thai?”

“Your mom is from Vietnam!”

“You definitely look Cuban.”

“Filipina?”

“Your from somewhere in Africa!”

“Seychelles! You look just like a lady I knew once, and she was from Seychelles.”

“Are you part Mexican?”

They are all wrong! 😉

Getting used to a snorkel mask

Can you tell where I’m from?

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Chumphon
(ชุมพร)

How to get there:

  • 10°30’10.8″N 99°10’33.4″E

From Hua Lamphong Train Station (หัวลำโพง) –

  • Take any of the southern line trains.
    • Remember Chumphon is not the last stop.
    • The train might not get there on time so don’t get off unless you see signs saying Chumphon.
  • Many stations do not have a sign clearly saying the name of the station, but Champhon has many signs clearly written in Roman script.

Download:

Cost:

  • 272 – 1,134 THB depending on the class and type of ticket

Hours:

  • About 6 hours, more or less, depending on the speed of the train.

Notes:

  • If you are riding in from Bangkok you DO NOT want to take a 3rd class seat for this journey.
  • It can be spelled Chumphon or Chumporn. Just a little way to help you get lost.

Koh Tao
Ko Tao
(เกาะเต่า)

How to get there:

  • 10°04’58.1″N 99°49’25.9″E

From the Chumphon train station:

  • You can buy tickets on the ferry to Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and some other nearby islands.
  • The prices are 450THB for a 3.5 hour ride on the slow boat and 550THB for a “2.5 hour” ride on the fast boat.

My ride on the fast boat was actually more like 3.5 hours, but it was a very fast boat. It did leave later that advertised. I don’t know if this means that both boats are slower than advertised or the same speed.

Cost:

  • Slow boat (3.5 hour-ride) 450THB
  • Fast boat (2.5 hour-ride) 550THB

Hours:

Well theoretically it should take about 3 hours to get to Koh Tao from the Chumphon station, but… We arrived late at the station at 5:15 in the morning and we didn’t reach Koh Tao until 11:00 in the morning.

Notes:

  • The cost of the ferry includes a ride to the dock from Chumphon station.
  • There is no need to buy tickets before you get to Chumphon.
  • The ferry dock is not on my map because I have no idea where is it. But once you get to the Chumphon railway station people selling ferry tickets will find you, take your money, stamp your hand or put a sticker on your t-shirt, and make sure you get to Koh Tao or whatever island you want.

Crystal Dive Resort

How to get there:

  • Once you get to the dock on Koh Tao, head left along the beach.
  • Go until you see a giant cement turtle.
    • It’s about a 5 minute walk from the dock.

Address:

Crystal Dive Resort
Padi Career Development Center
Mae Haad, Koh Tao, Thailand

Phone:

  • +66 (0) 77 456106

Website

e-mail: info@crystaldive.com

Cost:

  • The cost of a bungalow by it self? …I’m not sure. But the price gets cheaper when take diving lessons here.
  • Cost of the courses depends on which course you take. The one that Mark took was the beginner PADI open water course for 9,800THB it came with 200THB accommodations.

Notes:

  • Crystal Dive Resort owns 2 sets of bungalows, one near the dock and another one that’s about a 20 minute drive away.
  • The dive classes are at the one near the dock, but the other resort is nicer.
  • If you stay at the one that is not near the resort there is a free taxi, provided by the resort, that will take you back and forth.
    • They always come in time to take anyone that needs it to get to their dive  class.

Map:

Posted in Koh Tao, Thailand | Tagged: | 3 Comments »

3rd Class Citizen

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 6, 2010

April 4, 2010

All  Pictures

3rd class seated compartment on a Thai train = HELL

That’s my seat!

I would not recommend 3rd class seat tickets for a long train ride, ever. For the 9 hours we were aboard the train, it was torture. A third class seat means no a/c, stinkier than normal bathrooms, lights that never get dimmed, and people ready to take your seat if you haven’t occupied it for the last 10 minutes. They will get up if you can prove that you do have tickets for the seat, but you need good proof!

It’s not so much that the seats are uncomfortable, because they aren’t. …well not for sitting. For sitting the seats are more than adequate. They recline pretty far back. In fact the person in front of you can recline right into your lap!

They just do not make very good beds. It may not seem that way when half the car is snoring like a choir of chainsaws. But, I had a hard time sleeping without parts of my body going numb.

Then there are the flies. They dance around your head and sing in your ears. The more you swat at them the more resilient they get. All of this is not so bad, because it gets worse.

Whenever I did manage to fall asleep the train would eventually pull into a station. Then wretched vendors would get on board and yell out their wares.

“I’M SELLING SOUP! SOUP! GET YOUR HOT SOUP OF SIN HERE!”

They wouldn’t just wake me up. No! I would be startled awake. I would wake up terrified and my heart would be racing in my chest. Looking around in a panic, to find the shrieking screams coming from a little old lady or man selling horrible soup. I think this is one of the stages of hell.

Do people really need to eat at 1:00 in the morning?

I firmly recommend planning ahead of time so that you can get sleeping compartment tickets before they are sold out.

Would I have been better off in one of those luxurious tourist buses? Hmmm. I would still be woken up several times during the night. I would still have been offered sin soup. But, I would not have had to deal with the flies or the seat stealing. So, maybe.

All Pictures


 

Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Chumphon
(ชุมพร)

How to get there:

  • 10°30’10.8″N 99°10’33.4″E

From Hua Lamphong Train Station (หัวลำโพง) –

  • Take any of the southern line trains.
    • Remember Chumphon is not the last stop.
    • The train might not get there on time so don’t get off unless you see signs saying Chumphon.
  • Many stations do not have a sign clearly saying the name of the station, but Champhon has many signs clearly written in Roman script.

Download:

Cost:

  • 272 – 1,134 THB depending on the class and type of ticket

Hours:

  • About 6 hours, more or less, depending on the speed of the train.

Notes:

  • If you are riding in from Bangkok you DO NOT want to take a 3rd class seat for this journey.
  • It can be spelled Chumphon or Chumporn. Just a little way to help you get lost.

Koh Tao
Ko Tao
(เกาะเต่า)

How to get there:

  • 10°04’58.1″N 99°49’25.9″E

From the Chumphon train station:

  • You can buy tickets on the ferry to Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and some other nearby islands.
  • The prices are 450THB for a 3.5 hour ride on the slow boat and 550THB for a “2.5 hour” ride on the fast boat.

My ride on the fast boat was actually more like 3.5 hours, but it was a very fast boat. It did leave later that advertised. I don’t know if this means that both boats are slower than advertised or the same speed.

Cost:

  • Slow boat (3.5 hour-ride) 450THB
  • Fast boat (2.5 hour-ride) 550THB

Hours:

Well theoretically it should take about 3 hours to get to Koh Tao from the Chumphon station, but… We arrived late at the station at 5:15 in the morning and we didn’t reach Koh Tao until 11:00 in the morning.

Notes:

  • The cost of the ferry includes a ride to the dock from Chumphon station.
  • There is no need to buy tickets before you get to Chumphon.
  • The ferry dock is not on my map because I have no idea where is it. But once you get to the Chumphon railway station people selling ferry tickets will find you, take your money, stamp your hand or put a sticker on your t-shirt, and make sure you get to Koh Tao or whatever island you want.

Map:

Posted in Chumphon, Koh Tao, Thailand | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

I just want train tickets

Posted by Heliocentrism on April 6, 2010

April 3, 2010

All Pictures

Hua Lamphong Train Station

Better Off Without Help

If you ever need to buy tickets for a train leaving the Hua Lamphon train station, it’s best to go online first and write down the train, class, and type of seat/sleeper you need. If you forget to do this, it’s no big deal. There are some helpful people, seated right at the entrance nearest the Hau Lamphan MRT (subway) station exit.

You can just walk up to them, tell them where you want to go, and ask for a train schedule. They’ll even point you in the right direction to buy your ticket. My mistake came when one of them asked me if I wanted to buy bus and boat tickets from Chumphon to Koh Tao too. At first I said, “Sure, why not?” The lady that asked me the question then beckoned me to follow her.

As I made my way into the station I remembered that in my experience with Thai trains, I have not known any of them to get to their destination at the time stated on my ticket. In fact once, the train never made it all the way there and passengers were told to “take taxi”. No refunds or apologies were ever given.

I stopped the lady and told her that I had a change of heart and why. “I just want to buy the train ticket.” She told me that it was okay, and that I should follow her. She then proceeded in a direction opposite to the ticket counter for the trains.

Me – “But Ma’am, isn’t it over there where I buy the ticket?” I pointed where I thought I should go.

Lady – “No. Please follow me.”

Me – “But I’ve been here before, and I bought my ticket over there.”

Lady – “No. Please follow me.”

Me – “I don’t want a boat ticket. I just want a train ticket.”

Lady – “It’s okay. Follow me.”

Then I thought, maybe the ticket counter I had pointed to was where you buy tickets for trains going north, and I had to go upstairs for tickets on southbound trains. When we entered a travel agency I realized that it didn’t matter what I said to the lady. She would always reply that it was okay and I should follow her.

Hypothetical Me – “Ma’am, I think I’ve just been shot,”

Hypothetical Lady – “It’s okay, follow me.”

Before things got even more out of hand, I told the travel agent that I had changed my mind and I only wanted to buy train tickets.

Ticket Man – “Oh you can buy those here. Same price as downstairs. But you cannot buy boat ticket there.”

This guy had clearly missed the point.

Me – “I don’t want boat tickets.” This comment made no sense to him.

Ticket Man – “How you get to Koh Tao. It Island you know?”

Me – “Can’t I buy the ticket there?”

Ticket Man – “Yes. But I give you special deal. How many ticket you want?”

Me – “What if the train is late?”

Ticket Man – “You take 19:30 train. Get to Chumporn 3:37. Train can’t be late. But, if train late, no problem. Boat leave 7:00. No way to be late for boat.” He started the call to get me train tickets. “Oh it full. Why you don’t take bus?” He then pulled out a laminated flier for a bus company.

Me – “I don’t want a bus. I don’t like them.”

My last bus-company bus was not too pleasant. The driver drove like the devil was chasing him. Every time I fell asleep, the bus attendant woke me up asking if I wanted something to drink. At midnight the bus pulled into a side-of-the-road diner, turned on the lights, and played loud horrible music to get everyone up and out of the bus to eat some nasty soup that tasted like sin.

I explained all this to the agent, only leaving out the sin-soup.

Ticket Man – “No. This bus quiet. No one bother you. You have fun! Also at 1:00am, bus stop for dinner. You have soup!” (Okay, he didn’t mention soup especially, but I’m sure that it was on the menu.)

Me – “I just want train tickets.”

Ticket Man – “Then go down stairs.” He then motions to the lady to take me away.

That’s when I noticed that there were other tourists waiting to buy tickets on a bus that came with soup. I would have felt bad, but I told the lady and the agent that I just wanted train tickets. It was them that lied to me and felt that they could change my mind.

When we got to the ticket counter, the same one I had pointed to earlier, I bought my tickets. All the decent classed seats and all the sleepers were sold out. I took what was left. The lady stood next to me the whole time.

When I was done she said, “Okay, boat ticket now?”

Me – “No. I just want train tickets.”

Then she looked at me as if I had been wasting her time all along. Her face dead and void of expression except for a small eye roll. With no emotion she said, “It’s okay.” and walked away from me in disgust.

I wanted to yell at her as she walked away, “I TOLD YOU I DIDN’T WANT BOAT TICKETS, LADY! I TOLD YOU!”

…And turns out that we were both right. The train I took was supposed to get to Champorn at 3:37 in the morning. Mark and I almost got off at the wrong stop, because at 3:45 when the train stopped, we thought it was our stop. But seeing no one else getting off made us a bit suspicious. At 5:15 we pulled into Champorn in time to catch the 6:00 bus to the dock, and in time to catch the 7:00 ferry. I could have bought the tickets in Bangkok, but Thailand has an unofficial “no refunds” policy and I didn’t want to take any chances.

All Pictures


Thailand
(ราชอาณาจักรไทย)
(Ratcha Anachak Thai)

How to get there:

  • You can enter by plane, boat, bus, or train.
  • Most citizens from many countries do not need to get a visa before going to Thailand. But, you will need a visa to stay longer than 1 month or if you been to Thailand for at least 3 months already in the past 12 months.
  • People of most nationalities will get a 30-day visa at the port of entry.
  • To be completely sure, check with the Thai embassy in your country.

Phone:

Website:

Downloads:

Videos:

Notes:

  • Do not say anything negative about the king or anyone in the Royal family. And definitely do not write anything bad about the king or royal family. This offence could land you in jail. You don’t want to go to Thai jail.
  • Don’t use the city ferries in Bangkok during the peak hours. They fill those things past capacity and sometimes they sink. Use them during non-peak hours when they are not crowded.
  • Never eat female horseshoe crabs in Thailand. The roe of the horseshoe crab has tetrodotoxin (TTX) which is toxic to humans. It makes people very sick and some people have even died as a result.

Chumphon
(ชุมพร)

How to get there:

  • 10°30’10.8″N 99°10’33.4″E

From Hua Lamphong Train Station (หัวลำโพง) –

  • Take any of the southern line trains.
    • Remember Chumphon is not the last stop.
    • The train might not get there on time so don’t get off unless you see signs saying Chumphon.
  • Many stations do not have a sign clearly saying the name of the station, but Champhon has many signs clearly written in Roman script.

Download:

Cost:

  • 272 – 1,134 THB depending on the class and type of ticket

Hours:

  • About 6 hours, more or less, depending on the speed of the train.

Notes:

  • If you are riding in from Bangkok you DO NOT want to take a 3rd class seat for this journey.
  • It can be spelled Chumphon or Chumporn. Just a little way to help you get lost.

Koh Tao
Ko Tao
(เกาะเต่า)

How to get there:

  • 10°04’58.1″N 99°49’25.9″E

From the Chumphon train station:

  • You can buy tickets on the ferry to Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and some other nearby islands.
  • The prices are 450THB for a 3.5 hour ride on the slow boat and 550THB for a “2.5 hour” ride on the fast boat.

My ride on the fast boat was actually more like 3.5 hours, but it was a very fast boat. It did leave later that advertised. I don’t know if this means that both boats are slower than advertised or the same speed.

Cost:

  • Slow boat (3.5 hour-ride) 450THB
  • Fast boat (2.5 hour-ride) 550THB

Hours:

Well theoretically it should take about 3 hours to get to Koh Tao from the Chumphon station, but… We arrived late at the station at 5:15 in the morning and we didn’t reach Koh Tao until 11:00 in the morning.

Notes:

  • The cost of the ferry includes a ride to the dock from Chumphon station.
  • There is no need to buy tickets before you get to Chumphon.
  • The ferry dock is not on my map because I have no idea where it is. But once you get to the Chumphon railway station people selling ferry tickets will find you, take your money, stamp your hand or put a sticker on your t-shirt, and make sure you get to Koh Tao or whatever island you want.

Map:

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