This trip, we took short vacation during end of March 2021 to take a break at one of the world most famous island in the Gulf of Thailand, KOH PHANGAN (Thai : เกาะพะงัน). We have checked the various ways to get there in the internet sources and discovered that the way what budget and time are met is to take morning flight from Bangkok to Surat Thani airport (URT) and connect with ferry to the paradise island. This way, it may spend as low as 1,500 THB (48 USD) for one-way and we can reach the destination within half day.
Fortunately, during we plan the trip, we can find affordable ticket from Thai Smile which is only 990 THB/trip (32 USD). This airline is subsidized to Thai Airways, Thailand’s national flag carrier. It is full service airline. Next, we can book “Online bundle tickets of shuttle van from Airport to Donsak pier and ferry to Koh Phangan” from Raja Ferry (Thai : ราชาเฟอรี่). The cost is only 470 THB/trip (16 USD). We can summarize the trip overview as below.
Flight from Bangkok – Suvarnabhumi (BKK) to Surat Thani (URT)
- Flight : WE 251 (Thai Smile)
- Departure : 07.30am
- Arrival : 08.55am
- Duration : 1 hour 25 minutes
- Aircraft : Airbus – A320
Van and Ferry from Surat Thani airport to Koh Phangan
- Van from Surat Thani Airport to Donsak Pier (95 km) / 09.15am – 10.45am / 1 hour 30 minutes
- Ferry from Donsak pier to Koh Phangan / 11.00am – 14.00pm / 3 hours
We started the trip by taking morning sky-train (Airport Rail Links) to Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The train took about 40 minutes from Phyatai Station. It means we shall get the sky train station 2 hours prior flight time for domestic in order to play safe.
The train delivered us to the airport on-time, 6.20am. Then, we went to the departure hall on 4th floor. Thai Smile had check-in counter at Row B and C.But we used the more convenient way to avoid the queue by using automatic check-in kiosk to get boating pass and drop our stuffs at Baggage drop channel. It was as quick as we like 🙂
After check-in and baggage drop finished, we had passed through ticket checking. Today, we will be boarding at Gate No. A9. The security and body scanning will be done at the gate. We still had time for our morning coffee to keep our eyes open.
We arrived the gate just 30 minutes before departure time. We sat for 5 minutes and the boarding voice has been announced. We had boarded through the bus gate.
As soon as we embark the aircraft, we seeked for our seat. The seats are arranged as 3-3 as general single isle equipment.
When boarding finished, captain has pushed back on-time. Then, the crews have served us with refreshment , “Chicken satay with rice vermicelli”. In my opinion, it was not really appreciated. It just the hot meal what you can finish within 3 bites ! It would be better to serve baked snack.
After main course (I thought), beverage (juice, tea or coffee) was served. We requested for orange juice to sip along with the skyline view.
We have relaxed for a while, captain has descended us and approached for landing at Surat Thani Airport. We would arrived 20 minutes before expected. Excellent Capt 🙂
After we were safely landed, we walked to arrival hall and claim our stuffs at Belt No.1.
Now, we get Surat Thani but it was just half-way complete. The next step is to transfer to Koh Phangan. After we did exit the arrival hall, we seeked for the counter of Raja Ferry to check-in and get van and ferry tickets. The counter is just few steps away from exit gate. We just shew the voucher what we get via online booking to the staff. They gave us 2 tickets, one for van from airport to Donsak pier and another one for ferry. Next, the staff will instruct us to get in the van in front of the airport exit door. The van was departed from The airport around 09.15am.
Normally, Raja Ferry has own coach from airport to the pier. But during COVID and less passenger, they combine the transfer service with local company, Phantip. That is why today we get the van instead of coach.
The van took 1 hour 30 minutes to reach Donsak Pier, 15 minutes before ferry departure. We had some minute to stretch up before taking 3 hours journey on the water. On 11.00am, it had announcement to call the passenger to Koh Phangan to board the ferry at Pier No.3.
The Ferry has 3 decks. The lower deck is for vehicle. The middle and upper decks are passenger lounge with air-conditioned. We can choose the seat as we like, no fix seat number in the ticket. The ferry has equipped lavatory and small grocery shop for snack and drink, but it would be better to not expect too much (The toilet was not really cleaned but just acceptable and the snack shop had only few of choices).
The boarding was taken 15 minutes. Then, the ferry was started sailing to Phangan Island. On the way, we can see the view of Koh Samui. We could enjoy the panorama view of the sea during traveling and took a nap for a while. Three hours was not so long 🙂
About 14.30pm, we could see Koh Phangan from The window and the ferry had attempted to make the port. It was arrived on-time and safe.
After the ferry stopped at the pier, we disembarked and walk straight the street from the pier to the village near to the port. Our Best Way to get around the island is to rent the motorbike and enjoy anywhere we desire. It had plenty of motorbike rental shops. The rental cost is similar for each shop, about 200 – 350 THB/day (7.00 – 10.00 USD) depended on model & type. As soon as we get the motorbike, we are “The tiger-with-wings” and ready enjoy our trip. Welcome to Koh Phangan and have a wonderful stay 😛
Written By : Shipy Siwarit Tiasuwattiseth