This blog will explain how we took the Lompraya Speed Ferry Boat from Surat Thani to Koh Tao, Thailand.
Note: The following also applies if you are going by ferry to Koh Samui or Koh Phangan.
Surat Thani – moving onward to paradise or hell? We arrived in Surat Thani following our wonderful stay in Chiang Mai, via Bangkok.
At 11:10 am we arrived at the small airport in Surat Thani, which seems like it is in the middle of nowhere. After topping up our?SIM cards, upstairs at departures, we went to book our bus & boat tickets to Koh Tao. According to one of the booths, the next bus to the Ferry leaves at 1:30 PM and the ticket office does not open until 1 pm, so we head outside for a cheaper drink (very expensive inside) and wait.
We purchased our tickets for 950 baht (USD$27.50) each, without complication, and were on the bus and leaving by 1:35 PM.
Note: There are a lot of booths selling tickets, make sure you are given the above price which includes your bus to the port as well as the Ferry.
The coach stinks like hell ? and the windows do not open; I guess they have never cleaned out the porta potty behind the door which no one dares to open.
Our stinky transport arrived at the pier at 3 pm, for a total transfer time of 1.5 hours, from airport to ferry. Thank goodness we finally arrived, because I was ready to vomit. The toilets at the first part of the pier are dirty and smelly. I am starting to feel like I have gone from heaven to hell.
For those that have arrived at the pier on their own, now is the time to buy your ticket, everyone with a ticket can walk the pier to the next waiting area.
The good news is there are beautiful views from here. The bad news is, if it is Saturday and you didn’t go to the toilet before walking the pier, the toilets here are closed.? Tip: Make sure you use the washroom facilities BEFORE walking the pier. Lots of backpackers sitting on backpacks (no chairs here!) and smoking, and a few families young families are wandering around, waiting for the Lompraya High Speed Ferry Boat.
At 3:45 PM people started moving very quickly towards the catamaran and we followed suit. The lineup was long and many crass people tried jumping the cue, some successfully- how rude – you know who you are! What a great representation of your country you are!?Can you tell it upset me? Anyone else hate this behaviour, or are you one of them???
Eventually everyone was loaded on, we untied and slowly pulled out; time 4:10 pm and I believe the boat was full. Backpacks were stored inside at the front, suitcases outside with a tarp tied over top. It was very cold inside, the air-conditioning was running full blast. The views out the window, were gorgeous. It cost an astronomical 350 baht (USD$10.00) for a sandwich and a coke from the onboard Lompraya concession booth, which we split.
We had been told the regular ferry boat goes to Koh Samui and Koh Pangan while the speed boat leaves from a different pier and goes straight to Koh Tao. NOT?. Our first stop was Koh Samui at 5:15 pm, where we let off most of our occupants, but reloaded almost as many. Lots of stinky, sweaty bodies. (Probably by now ourselves included). At this point in time all I could think is that I will have to do this hell tour back again to leave. Not a romantic getaway for sure.
At 5:40 pm we made our next stop at Koh Pangan where more people were dropped off and picked up. Finally by 6 pm we are once again fully loaded and on our way. Young men were popping open beers, cheering each other, and trying to heat up a party, or maybe still in Full Moon Party mode?! Thank goodness they lost interest quickly when they couldn’t animate anyone and disappeared into their phones.
Techno music crackles through the crappy sound system and by now I wonder how the hell I got myself into this mess and you are probably wondering how to get yourself INTO this dream… perspective?. As if to lighten my deteriorating mood, a beautiful sun sets on the horizon. The speed boat continues to drudge along; it was dark when we went to get a taxi this morning and here it is almost dark again and still we are traveling.
At 6:38 PM people start scrambling around and rummaging through the pile up front, trying to find their backpacks ?. I guess they know we are getting close; I could not see anything from my position, so I remained seated.
Our final destination, Mae Haad, Koh Tao, arrival 7:06 pm. We have been instructed to remain in our seats for about 10 minutes while they unload the luggage. Exactly 10 minutes later and let’s go! Chaos has once again reared it’s ugly head!
Next: Did we arrive in Heaven or Hell? Find out
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