My second visa-run in Thailand was from Koh Samui to Malaysian border. Travel agencies suggest to take you there and back for 1600 Bath what is too expensive. But I have to mention that 2 meals included and you will be back to your place at Koh Samui the same day – what’s impossible when you go by yourself with public buses.
But still… The route was like this: by motorbike to Nathon pier, then a ferry to the mainland and then by bus: first Donsak – Hat Yai and next Hat Yai – Sadao. And back =)
Visa-run took us 24 hours. Tickets were bought at the travel agency in Nathon for 450 Bath per person. It includes ferry and bus to Hat Yai.
So, at 7.30 a.m. we were in the bus near the pier. It drove us for hundred meters or so and then we had to leave it and go to the ferry (they give you a ticket for it when you enter the bus). The ferry left at 8.00 a.m. It took us hour and a half to get to Donsak (port at the mainland). And then we got back into the bus and moved to Hat Yai. We arrived at 3 p.m. (exactly as it was promised).
Next we bought tickets to the border. You can buy them at the ticket office number 24 and 26. I wrote details and difference in my post about visa-run from Krabi to Malaysia. So, this time we got tickets at #26 to Sadao for 57 Bath per person. Then we had to stay at the bus station for another hour waiting for our mini-van to the border. So, we arrived to our destination at 5.30 p.m. It took us around half of an hour to slowly go there and back through the check-points.
To find a mini-van back to Hat Yai for the same price you need to walk a bit along the main street on the left side (you face road to Hat Yai and the check-point is behind you) to Seven-Eleven store – mini-vans are just in front of it and ticket office as well. No schedule, so you have to wait until the mini-van is full. Another hour and a half – and you are back to Hat Yai.
First, we thought that we have to stay overnight in Hat Yai, but good news – there is a night bus to Koh Samui (and Koh Phangan). The price (bus + ferry) is the same – 450 Bath. It leaves Hat Yai at 9.30 p.m.
But surely we left later =) around 10 p.m. But it’s not the worst. The bad thing was that the bus arrived to the bus station half-packed. We squeezed before rest people, so were lucky enough to get seats, some others had to stay!
The bus went very slowly with plenty of stops on the way, so we got to the pier only at 4.30 a.m. And the ferry left in half of an hour – at 5 a.m. They asked to leave the bus and take your luggage with you to the ferry, so we thought that the bus itself won’t go to the ferry, but it didn’t matter because our bike was near the pier anyway. But then, when we arrived, we realized that it’s another pier! We arrived to Raja Ferry Port which is way more to the south from Nathon.
Luckily, the bus did enter the ferry – and Koh Samui as well (but later we figured out that they don’t do it all the time. Have no idea why, but still… If you don’t see your bus then just try to get to any other – they goes to the main bus station which is in walking distance from Nathon pier). It took 20 minutes to get to Nathon from Raja Ferry Port where we find our bike.
So, it total we spent 24 hours and 1014 Bath per person for visa-run from Koh Samui to the Malaysian border.
If you haven’t got any accommodation for your next trip booked yet, try it here: Airbnb.
You will get $25 discount for your first booking
and would be able to stay in a nice room or apartment rented from locals and not just in a dorm!