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  1. #1
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    Visa runs from Samui

    I have just done my 5th run this visa. Before i go any further, let it be known that i will never again do the day return 'russian roulette' trip in a mini bus.......been there done that !
    Here's a thumbnail sketch of those runs. apart from being told "get the mini bus" i could get no first hand info.

    Run one, flew from Samui to Singapore. Found Singers extremely expensive but needed to use up some Thai Air frequent flyers points, so it was free.

    Run 2. flew Samui to KL with Firefly which i found very reasonable, also was there for the Malaysian F1.

    Run 3. Drove down to Sadao staying overnight Hat Yai. That was ok but the toilets at the Thai border are the filthiest most stinking ones i have ever seen and there was a scruffy looking guy squatting by the door demanding 3bht, he was in fact quite surlyas i wanted to look inside first ( not allowed lololol). When i got inside i started to 'gag' and turned round and backed out AFASP. I then walked down the road into Malaysia to use their toilets, getting desperate by this time. However to my surprise i was greeted by 2 smiling elderly cleaning ladies and pointed into a wonderfully clean tiled floor toilet
    .
    Having filthy smelly toilets like that at the border, the Thai government should be ashamed, talk about loosing face. And lets face it, that is probably the first part of Thailand many will encounter. You all know the old saying,, "First impressions"

    Run 4. We drove from Samui to Ranong. yet another dirty scruffy town, strewn with rubbish and grotty run down looking buildings although i am told by Thai's this is because the majority of people there are Myanmars. Anyhow i caught the longtail over to Myanmar.when i stepped ashore in Kaw Thaung, i could believe it, poverty and filth everywhere.

    I could not find anybody to guide me with overnight accommodation, so booked and paid forthe first i could find that was reasonable,Its called THANSILA RESORT a 800bht bungalow on the river, but do give it a miss. When it was too late we found a beautiful clean bungalow resort , right next to the restaurant we were using. This place is called DAHLIA and is only 12 mths old,19 bungalows has a/c., kitchen, fridge, hot & cold showers, tea making facilities......what more could you want and , wait for it BHT 500 per night. The restaurant next door will deliver any time.
    I guess thats all for now except that on the way back we passed through an horrendous storm with very limited visability,just north of Suratthani, i had my driving lights plus hazards on, and slowed down to 60 klm and would you believe it, one of those Samui visa run mini busses. came past like a bat out of hell, must have been doing 80 and no lights.
    When we got to the ferry at Don Sak there he was at the front of the qeue. i spoke with one of the passengers who said that she was going to complain, but i told her that that was a waste of time.
    I have decided from now on to fly to KL with Firefly, its safe, comfortable and at the end of the day not much more expensive.
    Hope this will in a small way help someone out there.

  2. #2
    ................... sunsetter's Avatar
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    nice one dave, but erm, any pics?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetter View Post
    nice one dave, but erm, any pics?
    Sorry mate, left the camera behind, but of course that was the other halfs fault ! lololol

  4. #4
    Newbie WombleJamie's Avatar
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    I used to use Julie for my border bounces when I was living over there. The driver would go down to Malaysia border, I can't remember the name (any help?), but it was not the one directly south of Hat Yai it was a lot smaller.
    We'd get the 06:00 ferry over to Don Sak, and be back usually for the 16:00 back to Samui. The driver was alway great, not fly by the seat of your pants type, but nevertheless very quick.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by sunsetter View Post
    nice one dave, but erm, any pics?
    Forgot to mention but from the highway north south of Chumpon, the road branches west to Ranong up into the hills, and that 69 klm ( my favourite Number)
    one travels through some of the most beautiful country i have seen in Thailand its worth the drive alone, probably do it again sometime.

  6. #6
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    It's always best to make the venture on your own, not to mention safer too. The one to certainly avoid at all cost is Herberts Visa Run. The worst experience you can imagine. Not only is it the most dangerous way to make the trip, but also the worst service out there of any visa runs I've made to date. I have heard good things about Julie's visa runs, but I still prefer to make the trip through public means, Air, or by public bus is you're on a tight budget.

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat

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    I used the bus service once and vowed never again. I found a guy on Samui that has a 7 seater Toyota 4 X 4 or if there is just me or another get his Toyota Yaris which has satnav etc and do it privately. A nice steady drive down to Sadao, overnight and return the next afternoon to Samui. Sadao is a lively little border town where a good night out is guaranteed.It comes with a return ferry ticket so just the fuel to pay for. The same goes for the Ranong trip. As said I love the trip over the mountains from Chumphon to Ranong. Well worth the extra few KM,s.
    As said if you can get a couple of other people needing to go it works out far cheaper and far, far safer. But even when it is just me still worth the extra few Baht it costs to go alone.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homebrewster View Post
    It's always best to make the venture on your own, not to mention safer too. The one to certainly avoid at all cost is Herberts Visa Run. The worst experience you can imagine. Not only is it the most dangerous way to make the trip, but also the worst service out there of any visa runs I've made to date. I have heard good things about Julie's visa runs, but I still prefer to make the trip through public means, Air, or by public bus is you're on a tight budget.
    Sadao? We could not even find one bar in that god forsaken town.

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