Lomprayah Ferry & Air Asia To Malaysia

Our next birding destinations were in Malaysia so after a couple lazy days on the beach at Koh Samui, we were rested up and ready to bird!  As I mentioned, flights to and from Koh Samui are not cheap and I had run out of stopovers to cram into the generous United award ticket.  So we took the Lomprayah ferry from Koh Samui to Surat Thani and Air Asia to Kuala Lumpur.  From there, a 5 hour bus ride would get us to our first Malaysian destination – Taiping.  We could have gotten up early and done it all on one day but I was wary of cutting the connections too close as ferries can be cancelled if weather is bad.

Actually if it had not been Songkran (major holiday in Thailand) we would have taken the train to Butterworth, then bus to Taiping but you can’t book Thai trains online and I didn’t want to risk not getting a sleeping car.

The Lomprayah van picked us up and took us to the jetty.  The ferry left a bit late but was a pleasant and speedy way across the sea to the mainland.

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It wasn’t full so we spread out and enjoyed the ride.

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Most people will have booked combo tickets that include a bus ride to your final destination in Thailand.  I had booked us to Surat Thani town where we were dropped at the office in town and had to get a taxi to the hotel.  They arranged it but we had to pay something ridiculous like 300-400 Baht!

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The second part of this journey was Air Asia from Surat Thani to Kuala Lumpur which I booked online well in advance (due to Songkran) and got an insanely cheap price of around $35 per person!


Lovely welcoming committee!  I don’t know if these ladies are always here or it was special for Songkran.  At this small airport you have to wait until about a hour before boarding to go through security to the gate.

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R&R In Koh Samui

Koh Samui isn’t a destination for birders but it does make a nice place to spend a couple of days resting up after your birding in Thailand!  Although flights here are normally expensive, strategic use of United awards can get you a free trip!  So here is a brief look at our R&R time.  Especially if you are traveling with a non-birder, it can be nice to work in a holiday between rainforests!


Looks enticing from the air!

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Koh Samui has a nice little tropical airport.


Ladyboy show just down the road from our hotel.


Prices at this night bazaar were at least double what they were in Chiang Mai so save your money!


Thai massage is everywhere!

IMG_0761 IMG_0759 IMG_0760 IMG_0762I got a really good deal on the Samui Laguna Resort from Hotels.com which counted as 2 nights towards a free after 10 nights.  Perfect location – on the beach and walking distance to everything in Lamai.

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Unfortunately not a real bird!

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Nice surprise to find a Moroccan Restaurant in Koh Samui – great food too!

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Not so nice to see caged Bulbuls in a shop nearby!

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Our room came with a breakfast buffet included daily, complete with freshly made omelets.

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Getting ideas for my upcoming bathroom renovation!