Summary of costs: ‘How much is a…?’ (August, 2015)
Travellers who are new to a country mostly have no idea what the costs are for the simplest things like a meal from a local restaurant. In time you will learn the prices, but we have noticed we find it useful to write these things down and to share it with others so you will definitely know if someone is charging you too much.
- Ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani 210 Baht / 5,11 Euro p.p.* (+/- 2,5 hours)
- Cheapest ”hotel” in Surat Thani 150 Baht / 3,65 Euro for a double room
- Food 30-50 Baht / 0,73-1,22 Euro p.p. depending on your order
- Noodles are around 40 Baht p.p.
- Rice with side dish is around 30-50 Baht p.p.
- Fake sunglasses at the saturday (night) market 150-200 Baht/ 3,65-4,86 Euro each
- Flannel blouse at the saturday (night) market 150 Baht / 3,65 Euro each
- Denim blouse at the saturday (night) market 200 Baht / 4,86 Euro each
- Second hand clothing at the saturday (night) market 50 Baht / 1,22 Euro
- 3 km with a ‘bus/jeep’ within Surat Thani 20 Baht / 0,49 Euro p.p.
Getting away: Koh Phangan
The ferry from Koh Phangan to Surat Thani departs early in the morning and at 1 pm. There is a possibility there is also one in the afternoon, but we have not checked that. In fact, we did not check anything and just left in the morning to bring our scooters back and get on the ferry. We arrived at 10:30 am, little did we know the ferry would depart at 1 pm (July, 2015). So we waited until noon and boarded the ferry. The trip will take about 2,5 hours. Although ours took a while longer as it suddenly started raining heavily.
Hitch-hike from Surat Thani pier to Surat Thani town
If you want to hitch-hike from any pier to a town, it is best to hurry to the road as a lot of ferry passengers are being picked up. Your chances are bigger to catch a ride if you manage to get to the road before all cars have left. The distance between Surat Thani town and the pier(s) are quite large and it is more tricky to leave the pier by a cheap jeep/taxi than getting there.
After 10 minutes a pick-up stopped and agreed to bring us to the Big-C supermarket on the way to Surat Thani town. There we took a jeep/taxi for 20-30 Baht / 0,49-0,73 Euro p.p. to our super cheap hotel.
Night market in Surat Thani town
The saturday night market in Surat Thani town is one to check out if you have time. You can find a lot of food vendors as well as (secondhand) clothing, hand-made crafts and entertainment. We checked it out and noted the prices as can be seen in the summary. Women’s clothing can be found abundantly in comparison to the one stall selling mens wear. If you are lucky, you can find treasures such as secondhand leather woven sandals, too bad they did not fit.
The market is located in the city center, not to be mistaken with the ‘regular’ night market in Surat Thani town. You can get there by walking or taking a jeep/taxi. We walked 3 km to get there and just took a taxi on the way back. After strolling around and after buying some secondhand blouses, we headed to our hotel and prepared for the next day: Hitch-hike to Khao Sok.
Hitch-hike from Surat Thani town to Khao Sok
It is tricky to hitch-hike directly from a city to another destination as there are a lot of taxi’s, tuk tuk operators or jeeps thinking you need them to bring you. People in their vehicles will also think you are signing to some public transportation service behind them and not directly to them. It is tricky, but not impossible.
The hitch-hike to the land of limestones, Khao Sok went pretty smooth. We had a total of three rides to get to our destination. The first ride took us to Surat Thani train station, the point where we also started our travel to Koh Phangan. There we choose to walk towards the country side roads. It was hard to get a ride there as many people were just heading to their homes in the neighborhood. One couple offered us a ride to the highway, which went through the rural area. They dropped us of on the highway to Khao Sok, where there was a small food terminal.
We planned to stay at Green Mountain View as our friends Sam and Chalita have already stayed there and liked it very much. We told the driver to stop as soon as we spotted the sign for Green Mountain View. The road through Khao Sok national park is not as busy as the highway near the cities, especially not if you get off the highway. So we just walked to Green Mountain View. Suddenly a pick-up came our way and we signed for it to stop. The car stopped and when it lowered its window and Sam and Chalita saw who it was behind the steer they laughed. It appeared to be the owner of Green Mountain View. He gave us a ride and offered us a place to camp.
* currency at time of traveling