Train, plane, bus, ferry. Is there any mode of transportation we didn’t take? Getting from Chiang Mai in the north of Thailand to Koh Samui in the south was quite a trek, but we were absolutely thrilled to get on the islands for some beach time. A friend of mine said she found the trek from Phuket to Koh Lanta just as thrilling, and it was well worth it.
Apparently everyone else had the same idea. At the same exact time. It was actually because we were heading down right before this month’s full moon party – probably the most popular event for Thailand. Maggie and I booked a contiki tour, the East Thai Island Hopper, a long time ago and just decided to get the Thailand a bit early.
We figured if our flight to Thailand was so expensive, why not spend a week or so before the tour exploring a few other cities. I’m so glad we had some time to explore on our own but we have been looking forward to these next 9 days that are entirely planned for us.
We woke up in Chiang Mai the morning after the Elephant Nature Park and checked out of our hostel. A songthaew drove us to the train station so we could book our tickets. We were hoping to get on the 5:30 PM train so we could pass the time with the boys but it was full so we had to get the 5:00 train. For some reason, the conductor thought we needed a bucket of beer.
We arrived in Bangkok around 7 AM the next morning and had to get back on another commuter train around 8 AM to take us to the airport.
From there we caught a 12:40 flight to Surat Thani. We booked our tickets with Nok Air and they kindly included the bus and ferry tickets to Koh Samui from Surat Thani in the flight price. At the airport it was very easy to find our bus. They had given us stickers to wear so the workers could easily point us in the right direction for transportation to our island destination.
The bus ride was about an hour long and from there we hopped directly on a high speed catamaran (operated by Lomprayah) that stops at all three islands, Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Tao. Luckily our stop at Koh Samui was first. We had been traveling for more than 24 hours when we arrived and hopped into a taxi to our hotel. From the port it was another long drive, about 30 minutes, to our hotel.
We arrived just 3 minutes before our Contiki tour meeting began but had to run upstairs to drop our bags in our room. We ended up walking in late but because our tour guide is awesome it wasn’t a big deal.
I can’t wait to share all the exciting things we do in the islands, especially since we will have a guide, local tours and pre-planned activities. We are hopping around the islands here in Thailand through June 17. Make sure to keep in touch with comments on the blog or on facebook!!