Date : 29th September 2008
Time : 8.30am – 9pm
Destination : Hadyai – Koh Samui
Distance : About 350KM + 2 hours Ferry Ride
After a nice breakfast, we proceed to Donsak Ferry Pier via Highway 43 to Phattalung and Highway 41/401 Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Driving at Thailand is very comfortable as the highway is well maintained and the facilities such as Petrol Kiosk, Toilet and convenient store is readily available. Standard Male Toilet along Thailand Highway.
We arrive Nakhom Si Thammarat at about 12.30pm, visited the old ancient wall as well as Tourism Board of Thailand (TAT) office. There are a lot of shops selling silverware behind TAT office which is one of the popular attraction among the locals.
We proceed to have lunch at Nakhon Si Thamarrat, TAT office recommended us a popular Thai restaurant in town, A & A restaurant. The food is very delicious and price very afforbable.
As you approch the Ferry Pier, you can see a large car park area divided into 2 section, on the right to Koh PhaNgan and on the left to Koh Samui. You need to queue according to the line. Once you park your car according the the queue, you can proceed to the ticket office to check out the next ferry departure time ( I will advise the passenger to stay in the car first, just in case you are ready to catch the next departure ferry ).
The procedure is the driver will need to wait for the coupon by the car at the car park ( others passenger can wait at the ticketing office with a small air conditional cafe and convenient store. ), the coupon will be issue about half an hour before the departure time.
Once you receive the coupon, you may proceed to the ticketing office to purchase the ticket. The price of ticket for vehicle with driver is 420Baht, adult 130Baht, children age 6-12 60Baht. So if you have 4 adults and 1 children age 8 travel in 1 car, you need to purchase 1 ticket for vehicle + driver, 3 tickets for adult and 1 ticket for children ( 420+390+60baht ).
Update June 2013 : Information provide by Mark Chow who travel to Koh Samui via Seatran Ferry
vehicle + driver = 470bht
adult – 150bht
child -75 bht
ferry service each hours from 7am to 8 pm
eatran ferry bigger and have thai massage on the deck
coming back time seatran ferry can carry up 40- 50 vehicles
Please do check with the ticketing office if you can buy return ticket so that you don’t need to queue for coupon when your return from Koh Samui. In our case, all the return ticket are sold out.
With the ticket and coupon in hand, you may now drive to the ferry pier where the worker there will direct you to the designated lane before boarding the ferry.
We managed to catch the ferry at 6pm, that means a long 2 hours wait. We are considered lucky as it could take about 4-6 hours queue in a busy day. Please take note the last ferry service is 17.00 and it may be extended subject to ferry availability.
How big is the ferry ? I understand there are different sizes available. The one that we took carry four 44 seaters bus, four 40 ft container truck and about 30+ various size of vehicle . The ferry travel at 18KM per hour and it took about 2 hours to reach Koh Samui.
The ferry has seating for passenger, so once you park your car, all the passenger may get down from the car and proceed to the passenger area ( similar to Penang ferry)
Air Conditional Room with TV.
Sunset on Ferry.
Finally, we reach Koh Samui at 8pm. We drove to Als Resort located at the other side of the island and arrive at 9pm. ( There are some changes on the road at Chaweng beach as compare to the GPS we have, but we managed to sort it out with another GPS with newer map).
As you can see at the photo below, Chaweng beach is the hot spot at Koh Samui with kilometers of sandt beach, commercial and entertainment along the beach. Als Resort is located in the central of Chaweng beach.