So getting from Hat Yai to Koh Tao isn’t the most simple thing… it’s a long way for starters, also there doesn’t seem to be any easy way to do it all at once.
My first thought was getting the train back up north to either Surat Thani or Chumphon, and then getting the ferry over to Koh Tao, however the timings for these 2 things do not align in your favour…most trains arrive too late, so you then have to spend a night rough, or get a nights acommodation which is more expense. Only a few ferries leave each day, some at 7am some in the afternoon and there is a night ferry which from what I read is not a fun experience.
then we read about these multiple tickets, where you get coach and ferry combo tickets.
So we went to one of the travel agency people in town and asked her, she told us to go to the bus station, so off we went, we found a window at the station which said to Chumphon (Koh Tao) so we asked about the tickets, they said yes to Koh Tao, so we asked about the ferry then they told us this wasn’t included. we looked around the station some more and couldn’t find anything, so back into town we went. This time we decided to ask another agency, the lady phoned up some people and came back with a price 1250Bhat per person.
This would include pick up from our hostel, coach, from wherever we got dropped off in Chumphon (or so we thought) and the ferry. We gave the lady our money and in return we recieved a reciept… Part of us was worried that this would all fall through. We get back to the hostel with time to spare before we were picked up, only to find someone waiting for us, so we get in his car and he drives us to near the station currently 7pm, we wait at his until 8:30pm. someone out of nowehere then produces some bus tickets for us and shows us where to go, another half an hour wait, then we’re on the coach, it’s a decent coach journey, reclining chairs, a movie on the TV (Death Race) and air con. we arrive at our destination at 4am. Some guy in a tuk tuk mentions the pier and we assume its our guy, so we show him our ticket/ piece of paper, and he informs us he’s not with us and we need to walk to the train station, it’s only a five minute walk so not so bad.
Once at the station we have to wait another 1 hour 30 mins for the ticket window to open, once open the lady informs us there is another 100bhat per person charge to get too the pier. we then have another 30 minute wait and we finally board the coach to the ferry, not a long coach, but it had some very nice views. Once here we yet again showed them our little slip of paper, and she produced our tickets, it’s now 7am and we’re boarding the ferry, I hadn’t really slept by this point so I was extremely tired. I managed to get some sleep on the ferry, but not much…It was very tiring…
So there you have it, that’s our journey from Hat Yai to Koh Tao, the moral is you can actually trust the travel angency people, even if it does some highly unlikely you’ll actually recieve any kind of valid ticket, it all worked out fine, despite the lack of sleep.