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2 February 2013

Day 4: Train travel and Surat Thani to Krabi still en route

Date : 26th Dec and 27th Dec 2012

Partly Day 3 and Fully Day 4

 Continuing from my last post I was in a train headed to Surat Thani.

Plan : To go to Ao Nang

The route I took :

 Bangkok ==> Surat Thani (By train)
Surat Thani ==> Krabi ( Bus )
Krabi ==> Ao nang ( Shared van)

This route could be considered as the second costliest method to reach ao nang, first costliest being the flight.
This route can be a bit time consuming because


 Bangkok ==> Surat Thani (By train) - ETA* ( 7:06hrs) - ATA* (9:55hrs) - 15 hours
Surat Thani ==> Krabi ( Bus ) - no delays - 3.5 hours
Krabi ==> Ao nang ( Shared van) - no delays except for some waiting time - 45 min


ETA*: Expected Time of Arrival
ATA*:  Actual Time of arrival

This is how a railway ticket looks in Thailand


It cost me about THB 650 for one way from Bangkok to Surat thani in a second class Non-AC coach.
I was a bit worried if it would be safe and comfortable for a solo female traveller. The truth it was very comfortable and safe.
You get sheets, pillows and curtain too for your berth. You can compare the facilities to 2nd class A/c of Indian trains.
 There is a separate space allotted for luggage storage near your seat and is quite safe. Just in case you are not sure you can always take a steel tag and tie it with your seat.

And Bonus there is a decent pantry car inside the train and dinner/break fast menu with vegetarian option all ranging from THB 150 ~ THB 250. I am not sure about the food quality as I did not taste it.

I would have woken up so many times in the night just to make sure that I didn't miss Surat Thani and go somewhere else. There were coaches which travelled only up to Surat Thani and there were also coaches which travelled up to Nakhon Si Thammarat. Unfortunately I was in the coach which travelled all the way up to Nakhon Si Thammarat. So I had to keep checking.
There were not many foreigners in my coach as most of them preferred taking the A/C coaches. The local people understood very little english but somehow tried to help.
There is a common notion that trains in Thailand never run on time and yes, It did not run on time was about 3 hours delayed.

Once I got down at Surat thani station I was not sure how to proceed further. I followed most of the tourists and went outside. When I just thought how I would find my way out of Surat thani, I saw foreigners flocking towards 2/3 desk arranged outside the station. You can easily spot these desks just outside the station as you walk towards the left. Travel agents were selling tickets to all the possible destination Krabi, Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh phangan, Ko phi phi etc.

I queued in the line and got myself a bus ticket to Krabi from Phathip travel company which costed around THB 200~250. Phanthip travels company is a reliable travel service company as said by many others and my experience says.

 I felt hungry again... Sorry If I talk a lot about eating, but I love eating..
There are small shops on the road which can serve food and water at a very steep price when you compare what is on offer at Bangkok's streets.

I could purchase fried rice at THB 20 at Bangkok for which I paid THB 50 here. Same goes with the water bottles too.
I was eating my fried rice so intently that I failed to hear the conductor lady screaming at the top of her voice asking passengers going to Krabi to get into a bus. As I said Food first others later.

Yes, you guessed it right the bus to krabi departed without me and I didn't realise this until I finished eating. :) hehe.

I then got into an argument with the travel company and somehow got to board bus that went to the main Surat Thani station and from there I was taken in a songthaew to the place where bus was waiting.
As we reached near the point where the Krabi bus was waiting for us. I was approached by a man who told that I could book my onward transfer from Krabi to Ao Nang in a shared van. It is basically like
they can drop me off just near my hotel. I thought it was good enough and paid THB 200 for that.

Loaded myself and my bag in the bus should say it was a comfy bus and I slept my way through the journey. Reached Krabi in about 3.5 hours. And not they do not drop you off at the krabi bus station and instead take somewhere near their office 10 kms from the bus station. You could buy tickets to ao nang once you reach Krabi. Coz It cost only THB 150. I felt so cheated then. But I didn't have the energy to argue with them. I got into the shared van reached my hotel Baan taveesree. It was the moment of relief.

22 hours of journey at a stretch was too much for this new-bee. The hotel was small but looked good from outside. Checked-in and hit the bed straight.

Woke up very late in the evening and cleaned myself and walked up to the beach. As I was strolling around the area I felt like I was in Goa only a little less noisier.

Ao Nang


I went out basically to find a place to eat my dinner. Yes, I found a small restaurant called " The patain's place restaurant" where they understood my vegetarian issue and cooked for me.


Yumm food.... @ patain's place restaurant

To end the day I wanted to try one last thing.
And that was.


Fish Spa

I paid THB 200 just for 15 minutes and failed bargaining with the owner. But then it was a tickly experience.

And thus the day came to an end. I had to get ready early next morning for my phi phi isalnds  daytrip.

Will write  a review about my hotel in the next post.

Till then rest.

~Kei