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Phuket To Don Sak


Marksamui

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3 hours is the normal time to Surat. Add another hour to get to Donsak, especially if you go the usual way. However, it will go faster if you take that new highway, and go via Krabi instead. That new highway is pretty quiet and you can get some speed up.

Keep in mind, once you get to Donsak, if you don't already have a reservation, you could add many hours sitting waiting for an available ferry.

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If you could actually average 140 klicks then 3 hours is possible. But some roads have 90 klicks limit and overtaking slow traffic is not easy. On the dual highways 110 klicks limit (I think ??), but 140 is possible, especially on the long 100 K from Krabi past Surat ending almost at the left turn to Don Sak. Don't take the left turn to Surat, head for Krabi, and just 10 K before Krabi take the left turn to Surat. Quiet big dual highway, all the way to near Don Sak. Fill up with gas before you leave Phuket.

PS.. Once on the big dual highway DO NOT follow Surat signs, just head straight until the end of the dual highway. Join with the dual highway coming out of Surat and very soon you will see the signs to Don Sak.

Edited by LivinginKata
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If you could actually average 140 klicks then 3 hours is possible. But some roads have 90 klicks limit and overtaking slow traffic is not easy. On the dual highways 110 klicks limit (I think ??), but 140 is possible, especially on the long 100 K from Krabi past Surat ending almost at the left turn to Don Sak. Don't take the left turn to Surat, head for Krabi, and just 10 K before Krabi take the left turn to Surat. Quiet big dual highway, all the way to near Don Sak. Fill up with gas before you leave Phuket.

Four hours from Kata with a nice coffee and orange juice at the big petrol stop at Phang Na,

provided you use the highway and make speed on it. Plus a couple of shortcuts between Phang Na and the highway to avoid mad bus drivers who will cheerfully run you off the road on that still unfinished stretch.

When that bit of the road is fully open I reckon knocking 20 mins off the time.

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Plus a couple of shortcuts between Phang Na and the highway to avoid mad bus drivers who will cheerfully run you off the road on that still unfinished stretch.

Please tell me about those shortcuts .... ??? I thought it was a direct route from Phang Na to Krabi ...

Edited by LivinginKata
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Keep in mind, once you get to Donsak, if you don't already have a reservation, you could add many hours sitting waiting for an available ferry.

Really? The ferry is going every hour. Last time I went to Samui was in February 2005 (high season), and there was place for my car at the first ferry leaving. But maybe that was just good luck.

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Plus a couple of shortcuts between Phang Na and the highway to avoid mad bus drivers who will cheerfully run you off the road on that still unfinished stretch.

Please tell me about those shortcuts .... ??? I thought it was a direct route from Phang Na to Krabi ...

There is a right fork,going north about ten miles past the Phang Na coffee stop.

I think it is unmarked but you see many cars taking that turn.If you follow the road straight you emerge on the main krabi road again where you turn right and go straight again 'till the left onto the highway.

We find it avoids lorries and buses.

The other cut is an alternative to the above and a little difficult to describe. It brings you out a quarter of the way up the Highway, more scenic and maybe not quicker.

Hope this helps. :o

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There is a right fork,going north about ten miles past the Phang Na coffee stop.

I think it is unmarked but you see many cars taking that turn.If you follow the road straight you emerge on the main krabi road again where you turn right and go straight again 'till the left onto the highway.

I know that way, but I think it adds Kms, and is not that fast a road. Can't think it would be quicker time wise... I guess it's just a matter of personal experience.

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Really? The ferry is going every hour. Last time I went to Samui was in February 2005 (high season), and there was place for my car at the first ferry leaving. But maybe that was just good luck.

Have to agree, I have always caught the first ferry to leave for Samui. No probs.

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Thanks for the replys.

I know the way because I drive regular from Phuket to Trang and know the new bit of road just beofre Krabi to take, just I never have driven this route before and thought about 3 - 3.5 hours should do, just don't want to get caught out on a 5 - 5.5 hour drive.

I think it might be about the same as getting to Trang which is great.

We always book the Ferry beforehand, been stuck there before. Sometimes have been lucky but once arrived about 1pm and were told that it was full for the rest of the day. That was seatrans, got around to the other and they said the same thing! Never again.....

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Keep in mind, once you get to Donsak, if you don't already have a reservation, you could add many hours sitting waiting for an available ferry.

Really? The ferry is going every hour. Last time I went to Samui was in February 2005 (high season), and there was place for my car at the first ferry leaving. But maybe that was just good luck.

I've done that trip about 5 times over the past years, and I've gotten lucky on some occasions and not so lucky on others. Everybody queues up in advance of the next available car ferry.

Anyway, last few times, I couldn't get the first available ferry because it was full and had to wait for the next one. But, I digress. Two of those times were to KPN, and not Samui. I think maybe the KPN ferry was the problem, not the Samui ferry. Probably the samui ferry is no problem because of the frequency.

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next one. But, I digress. Two of those times were to KPN, and not Samui. I think maybe the KPN ferry was the problem, not the Samui ferry. Probably the samui ferry is no problem because of the frequency.

KPN is every 2 hours service. Going out to KPN the queue was long and I did not expect to get on, but we did as it was quite a large boat. Coming back we aimed for second ferry in morning. Arrived early enough, but smaller boat and we had to wait another 2 hours..... :o

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next one. But, I digress. Two of those times were to KPN, and not Samui. I think maybe the KPN ferry was the problem, not the Samui ferry. Probably the samui ferry is no problem because of the frequency.

KPN is every 2 hours service. Going out to KPN the queue was long and I did not expect to get on, but we did as it was quite a large boat. Coming back we aimed for second ferry in morning. Arrived early enough, but smaller boat and we had to wait another 2 hours..... :o

The problem as I saw it were that there were so many large trucks and tour buses, that the ferry did not have a lot of room for private vehicles. That, and the procedure is a little screwed up, having to get a card from the office hour or more before, then, not being able to pay until shortly before departure, but putting your car in the queue, and then finally paying and driving down to another queue way down to the dock, then finally getting the green light to go. Very confusing the first time out...even if you speak good Thai.

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I used too the journey every 2 weeks, and was down to 2 and 1/2 hours from bang tao to donsak

You must take the short cut those.

GPS has all the short cuts built in, thats how i found them

With another hour to kata

that's about possible

hard driving though!

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  • 2 weeks later...

LivinginKata.

I’m driving to Don Sak next week for the ferry to Koh Phangan and are trying to get this correct.

Don't take the left turn to Surat, head for Krabi, and just 10 K before Krabi take the left turn to Surat. Quiet big dual highway, all the way to near Don Sak. Fill up with gas before you leave Phuket.

PS.. Once on the big dual highway DO NOT follow Surat signs, just head straight until the end of the dual highway. Join with the dual highway coming out of Surat and very soon you will see the signs to Don Sak.

Do you mean head for Krabi after Phang-nga and then 10k before Krabi left to Surat?

You say do not follow Surat signs, just head straight. Is there any other signs indicating where this highway heading?

Thanks :o

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LivinginKata.

I'm driving to Don Sak next week for the ferry to Koh Phangan and are trying to get this correct.

Don't take the left turn to Surat, head for Krabi, and just 10 K before Krabi take the left turn to Surat. Quiet big dual highway, all the way to near Don Sak. Fill up with gas before you leave Phuket.

PS.. Once on the big dual highway DO NOT follow Surat signs, just head straight until the end of the dual highway. Join with the dual highway coming out of Surat and very soon you will see the signs to Don Sak.

Do you mean head for Krabi after Phang-nga and then 10k before Krabi left to Surat?

You say do not follow Surat signs, just head straight. Is there any other signs indicating where this highway heading?

Thanks :D

you could always invest in a GPS system :o

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Do you mean head for Krabi after Phang-nga and then 10k before Krabi left to Surat?

You say do not follow Surat signs, just head straight. Is there any other signs indicating where this highway heading?

Yes, take the sign for Krabi, pass through Tap Put, then Ao Luk, and not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat. Don't take the Surat sign just after Tap Put.

The very long straight highway from Krabi (Route 44) completely bypasses Surat Thani and goes straight to the Route 401 highway and the the Don Sak turn-off (left) is only a few kilometers further on. Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

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Yes, take the sign for Krabi, pass through Tap Put, then Ao Luk, and not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat. Don't take the Surat sign just after Tap Put.

The very long straight highway from Krabi (Route 44) completely bypasses Surat Thani and goes straight to the Route 401 highway and the the Don Sak turn-off (left) is only a few kilometers further on. Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Great, Thanks.

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Yes, take the sign for Krabi, pass through Tap Put, then Ao Luk, and not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat. Don't take the Surat sign just after Tap Put.

The very long straight highway from Krabi (Route 44) completely bypasses Surat Thani and goes straight to the Route 401 highway and the the Don Sak turn-off (left) is only a few kilometers further on. Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

Great, Thanks.

Here's a better investment for you than a GPS system. Pick up the thinknet Thailand deluxe atlas, 2nd edition, and on page 33, it shows you exactly the way. Not expensive. Should be able to find it at any bookstore. Good to keep in the car anyway for occasional cross country trips. :o

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  • 4 weeks later...
Yes, take the sign for Krabi, pass through Tap Put, then Ao Luk, and not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat. Don't take the Surat sign just after Tap Put.

The very long straight highway from Krabi (Route 44) completely bypasses Surat Thani and goes straight to the Route 401 highway and the the Don Sak turn-off (left) is only a few kilometers further on. Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

The trip went well, included a stop by the highway Police who demanded a fee because I had been to much on the right side on a dual highway!

When I ask what was wrong with that when the left lane was busy with trucks, he went over to the speed. Of one or another reason he gave up and did not get any fee from me. Guess I was lucky there!

I avoided that long straight highway on the nightly return after advice from some good Thai friends which said it could be dangerous on that road at night.

Thanks. :o

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Here's a better investment for you than a GPS system. Pick up the thinknet Thailand deluxe atlas, 2nd edition, and on page 33, it shows you exactly the way. Not expensive. Should be able to find it at any bookstore. Good to keep in the car anyway for occasional cross country trips

I found a Thinknet atlas but not second edition. cant be same because on page 33 it is another are of Thailand. Anyway a Thinknet map over Southern Thailand did the job.

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:D route 44 is fantastic i sit at 185/200 and its done in no time, i once got booked for speeding coming back to the sarasin bridge for doing 120 having done my usual route 44 pace and felt quite cheated I told the BIB he should have seen me an hour ago and paid the 300 baht. :o
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Do you mean head for Krabi after Phang-nga and then 10k before Krabi left to Surat?

You say do not follow Surat signs, just head straight. Is there any other signs indicating where this highway heading?

Yes, take the sign for Krabi, pass through Tap Put, then Ao Luk, and not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat. Don't take the Surat sign just after Tap Put.

The very long straight highway from Krabi (Route 44) completely bypasses Surat Thani and goes straight to the Route 401 highway and the the Don Sak turn-off (left) is only a few kilometers further on. Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

not very far from Krabi take the left turn for Surat
in Ba Kan :D
Think signposts at end of Route 44 say Nakhon Si Thammarat.

It is a 'T-junction' where you have to turn left and then you will see this sign

P2180789_S_666.jpg

Do a U-trun to Don Sak near by.

Easy really now that the Route 44 has opened.

Your truly,

Kan Win :o

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