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Koh Samui 2008 – Day 5

Day 5
Date : 2nd Octorber 2008
Time : 8.30am – 7.30pm
Destination : Koh Samui – Hadyai
Distance : About 350KM + 2 hours Ferry Ride

Check out early, breakfast at hotel and proceed to ferry pier to catch the 10am ferry. As I mentioned earlier, it is good to purchase the return ticker if possible so you don’t need to queue up again. In our case, we did not manage to get the return ticket from Donsak but we are so lucky that the Als Resort and Raja Ferry under the same owner, we manage to get our vehicle ticket from hotel.

Arrive at ferry pier about 9pm, proceed to the ticketing office to obtain the boadring voucher by showing the ticket that we bought from hotel. After that, move to another ticketing office opposite for passenger ticket ( I wonder why they don’t have it in 1 office ? ).

We board the ferry on time at 10am. Good bye Koh Samui.

We arrived at Donsak about 12pm and proceed to Nakhon Si Thammarat for lunch. Since everyone missed the A & A restaurant, we head back there for lunch.

After lunch, we proceed to visit the oldest temple with about 1500 years of history call Wat Phra MahaThat.

After that we proceed our journey to Hadyai via Songkhla ( Highway 408/407 ). Our plan was to visit the mermaid statue at Songkhla, but one of the member’s car having a engine over heating problem. Luckily the driver dicovered the increase of temperature and stoping by the road side on time before more damage done to the engine. A quick check discovered that one of the radiator host was broken ( It was replaced with new host before the trip ), a temporary host was used in order to move the car for another 50km until we reach a town where spare host available for replacement.

Total damage, 150Baht for radiator host from Isuzu ( modified to suit Pajero ), 200Baht labour. Paid the bill happily and proceed our journey.

So lesson learn, even new parts could fail you. Bring additional spare parts. The incident delay us for 45 minutes and its too late for us to visit the mermaid. We reached Hadyai at 7.30pm, checked in to hotel and proceed for dinner.

Again, wonderful dinner and good massage.

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 1

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 2

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 3

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 4

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 6

Koh Samui 2008 – Day 2

Day 2
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.

After lunch we refuel and proceed to Donsak Ferry Pier via Highway 401 . We reached Donsak Ferry Pier about 4pm.

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 ).

Please take note you are not allow to buy ticket until you are issued with a coupon which indicated the departure time.

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.

More information about Raja ferry here. There is another ferry service call Seatran where ferry pier is located not far from Raja Ferry.

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.
Convenient Store.
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.

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 1

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 3

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 4

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 5

Drive to Koh Samui – Day 6

Drive around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 1

1 Thailand Road

Date : 18th December 2006

Time : 6.30pm – 7pm
Destination : Nakhon Si Thammarat
Distance : About 700KM

Departure at 6.30am where Zheng Hao, Zheng Ni and Zheng Yuan are still sleeping. Our destination is Nakhon Si Thammarat, about an hour drive from Hadyai where most Malaysian are familiar with. Its a quiet jourway until Tapah Rest Area where we stop for breakfast and get the kids to wash up and change.

So how do you keep kids occupied inside the car for long hours… lot of toys, their favaurite story book, drawing board, kids computer, their favourite song and off course some junk food. Not forget pillow, blanket, soft toy to make their journey comfortable. We reach Changlun border town about 12.30pm, take our lunch at one of the rest area/food court area which cater for cars, buses, lorries traveling to Thailand. The food court comes with money changer, sundry shops as well as Thailand Insurance agent where it is compulsary when your drive to Thailand.

We get all the documents done ( Insurance, entry pass/white card ) while waiting for others convoy member to arrive.

A total of 15 cars in our group and we departed at 2.30pm from the Changlun town, stop at the last petrol station to fuel up a cheaper fuel in Malaysia before travel to immigration check point at Bukit Kayu Hitam.

Going through Malaysia customer is a breeze and Thailand customer do not post any problem at all. Please make sure that you submit your insurance policy together with your original car registration card for verification and the Thailand customer will issue you a car entry permit. Keep the copy with you in the vehicle in all time and return when you are exiting Thailand.

Here we are, Sa-Wa-Dee-Krab ( Sa-Wa-Dee-Ka for if you are lady ) Welcome to Thailand.

The road towards Hadyai town is dual carriage highway and tol free. Since it is neighbouring to Malaysia border, the buildings and the environment are similar to what you see in Malaysia, except that all the advertisement signboards are in Thailand language.

The road sign in Thailand is very clear and the map produce by Thailand Tourism Board is very detail as well. Off course you still need a GPS to assists you if you do not want to waste any time figure out where you are and how to go to your destination.

An hour later, we stop by a rest area to take a pee stop. The small rest area in Thailand Highway is usually a petrol kiosk, a convenient shop like 7-Eleven and some food stall.

We finally reach Nakhon Si Thammarat at 7pm, check in to Twin Lotus Hotel and proceed to dinner at one of the unique restaurant build above a river. First night at Thailand and first Thailand food.

Back to hotel rest after the dinner, we need a rest after a long day drive. I did a short walk to Tesco right in front of the hotel to refill some food and drinks for tomorrow drive. Basically it is not much different from Tesco in Malaysia in terms of size and variety.

We do not have time to explore Nakhon Si Thammarat and we arrive late. For what my understading and what I see during a short distance from Hotel to the restaurant this is an ancient town and I saw an ancient wall in the city – Old City Wall The wall is 460 metre wide and 2,230 metre long. It was first constructed during the period of Phraya Si Thamma Sokarat and later renewed twice during the Ayutthaya Period.

Information and Photo from Wikipedia.The city of Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of the oldest towns of southern Thailand. Its origins are not fully known. Most historians recognize the Tambralinga kingdom of Chinese records as a precursor of Nakhon Si Thammarat. The town chronicles of this time are hardly separable from legend, but they do tell of an abandonment and refounding of the town, which would explain the break in history between Tambralinga and Nakhon Si Thammarat.References to a country named Poling appear in Chinese chronicles from the Tang dynasty period down to the early Ming dynasty. Many scholars identify Poling with Maling and Danmaling was one of the member-states of Sanfoqi (mean Srivijaya in Chinese language) in the central part of the Malayu Peninsula or now a day the southern Thailand. Consequently, Poling may also be equated to the Tambralingarat (Tambralinga state) that appear in Indian sources. By the end of the 12th century, Tambralinga had become independent of Srivijaya kingdom. Its rapid rise to prominence since the 13th century till the beginning of 14th century, Tambralinga had occupied the entire Malay Peninsula and become one of the dominant Southeast Asian states. By the end of the 14th century, Tambralinga had become a part of Siam (now Thailand) named Nakhon Si Thammaraj.At the time of the Sukhothai kingdom, the Nakhon Si Thammarat kingdom was already listed as one of the kingdoms under control of the Thai, which it has remained during most of its history. It was usually known as Ligor to European merchants in the 16th century. At the end of the 19th century, the kingdom was finally fully absorbed into Siam by converting it into the Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat. With the abolishment of the monthon system in 1932, the town now is simply a provincial capital.

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 1

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 2

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 3

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 4

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 5

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 6

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 7

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 8

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 9

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 10

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 11

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 12

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 13

Drive Around Thailand in 14 Days – Day 14