08/JUNE/2017 – Ao Nang to Surat Thani Airport for 410baht (6.5hrs)

Now, this is one that I didn’t look into too much. I don’t look into anything I do hardly enough so I guess that statement is pointless.

The travel agents in Ao Nang didn’t have Surat Thani listed on their transport lists and I couldn’t be bothered asking if there was a direct minibus or how much a taxi would be to get there because I assumed it would be expensive as Surat Thani Airport is about 2 hours from Ao Nang. But in hindsight I totally should of asked because this was 3 transfers and 6 and a half hours worth of travel and not really that much of a bargain.

Assuming it would be have really expensive and I found the cheapest route, let me get into it.

Side note three : Ao Nang to Surat Thani Airport for 410 baht.

The mission around 10:00am on the Sorng-taa-ou from Ao Nang Road headed for Krabi Bus Terminal. They run every 10-20 minutes. Be patient and wait, don’t give up and listen to bus drivers going in to opposite direction who tell you they’re going to Krabi. Yeah sure they are, but they won’t be getting there for a hell of a long time. I got impatient and made the mistake of getting on and then got off about a minute later only to see the Sorng-taa-ou I was waiting for go past. Annoying. Eye-roll. Cross the road. 60 baht and about half a hour and you’ll be in Krabi.

From Krabi Bus Terminal I bought a ticket to Surat Thani for 150 baht. Tell someone where you want to go and they’ll point you to the right counter. I think this bus runs every hour to two hours starting at 7:00am and ending at 4:00pm according to the timetable on the ticket I received. The time timetable says that there’s a bus at 11:00am and the next at 12:30pm yet I caught the 11:30am bus. Just get to Bus Terminal and wait for the next bus, timetables aren’t a strict thing in Thailand. Always be prepared to wait and it’s a bonus if you don’t have to.

This was the annoying part. There’s no direct bus from Krabi to Surat Thani. That’s fine. The Surat Thani bus is supposed to end at bus terminal and from there there’s a 110baht bus to the Airport, supposedly. My last stop was in the opposite direction of the Terminal, a good couple of kms away and just at a random spot on the side of the road. A man grabbed my suitcase, crossed the road with me and took me to a counter where they told me a taxi was 600baht and a minibus 200baht. By this stage, I was hot, had been travelling for 6 hours and was over it. Yeah alright just give me your 200baht minibus ticket, please. Still a good option as it rocked up about 5 minutes later and took me straight to the airport and I had arrived within half an hour.

My flight wasn’t this same day, I was meeting my guesthouse host at the airport who then drove me to my accommodation. I always try to get to a local accom the day before my flight so I have time to chill, I don’t like having to rush. I wouldn’t recommended this route though if you’re flying out the same day or if you find a direct route that isn’t much more expensive.

Overall this route was pretty easy and everyone was friendly and helpful along the way. I don’t think it’s possible to get lost in Thailand, there’s always someone who can point you in the right direction if you smile while you talk.

RB

 

 

 

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04/JUNE/17 – Transport between Krabi and Ao Nang

Sŏrng•tăa•ou

Every time I say it in my head, I say Songkran. Which is wrong. That’s the water festival in Thailand. Sorng-taa-ous are simply pick up trucks with two seating rows. You pay either at the start or the end of your ride and press the buzzer when you want to get off. They’re generally labelled with their route.

Side note two : Krabi Bus Terminal to Ao Nang for 60baht

Arriving at Krabi bus terminal you will be rushed to a taxi but if you want to travel to your accommodation cheaply, politely** decline all the offers saying, “Mai Ka/Kup. (no thanks) I would like to catch the bus” and you will be directed to the right Sorng-taa-ou.

Sorng-taa-ous run between Krabi and Ao Nang, each trip costs 60baht and takes about half an hour. The ride is beautiful, make sure you look up and out so you don’t miss the scenery. Much better than a 500baht taxi ride.

I recommend to always have your destinations pinned on Google Maps so you can access them offline. This will make your life easier when it comes to navigating, asking for help or to show your driver where you want to go.  Trust your driver. If you have told them where you want to go and they have confirmed that’s the route you’re on, they will take you there. Maybe not to your exact destination if you’re using public transport, but that’s why you’ve pinned it on Google Maps. A real map also works in this situation.

So a 110baht bus ride from Phuket Bus Terminal 2, a 60baht Sorng-taa-ou to Ao Nang and a total of 4 hours travel time, that’s a pretty damn good deal.

The same Sorng-taa-ou gets you between Ao Nang and the Krabi Weekend Walking Market. There’s advertised shuttles for 200baht return to your accommodation at all the travel agents as well as taxis for 400-550baht one way. I’m sure there’s heaps of good transport options here in Krabi, but in the 24 hours I’ve been here the Sorng-taa-ou is my vibe.

RB

** – Always be polite and smile. Thai’s are so beautiful and are good-natured people who really value keeping good face. They can be cheeky, especially with getting you to take the taxi instead of cheaper options. So again, politely decline, smile and don’t get flustered. Be rude and you lessen your chances of getting the help you want. This extends passed your behaviour in Thailand. Be kind, things become easier and your soul less cold.

03/JUNE/17 – Minibus Phuket to Krabi

I was sitting on the minibus at Phuket Bus Terminal 2 this morning waiting for my bus to depart thinking about how I couldn’t find the information for this travel route anywhere on the internet the night before. Well, I’m pretty shit when it comes to researching so I’m sure the info is out there but my impatient eyes couldn’t find it. 

With 4 hours on a bus and no social media, I started this travel notes blog for other homies like me; broke ass travellers with little money and a lot of time. 

Side note one : Phuket to Krabi for 110baht

There’s a “minibus” (totally a regular bus just slightly smaller and more comfortable) that departs from Phuket Bus Terminal 2 that goes directly to Krabi and takes about 4 hours. I think there’s one every hour starting from 8:20am but I’m not 100% sure because I just glanced at the sign and got on the earliest one. You buy the ticket at the Bus Terminal. There’s heaps of people around to ask for help but they’ll most likely look at you and direct you to the Krabi counter. That’s what happened to me at least, I must stink of white tourist. 

The minibus ticket is 110baht which is about $4AUD. All I could find online were private taxis and ferry boat prices. The private taxis cost 5000baht+ and the ferries didn’t run on Saturdays durning low season and cost around  1000baht not including getting to the pier from your accommodation. The ferries all had pretty shit reviews saying they were hot, gross and uncomfortable. Some took 2 hours and some took 8. Yeah nah, I’ll catch the bus.

I’ve found the bus to be the best form of transport in Thailand. It’s cheap, it’s comfortable and if you’ve got time, it’s chill. I’ve booked tickets through http://www.go12.asia.com, my hostels and directly at the bus terminal. One thing I’ve learnt through travelling alone is that you just gotta do it. Especially in Thailand, everything is easily doable if you try. 

Skimp where you can. Eat local, catch the bus, stay in hostels etc. Doing this has reduced stress for me so on the occasion I can afford to stay in a budget one room hotel near where I have to be and catch a taxi to the terminal instead of lugging all my shit around (which I have way too much of) in the heat stressing out about making it to somewhere in time. 

RB