Apparently, Sam Roi Yot is not such a visited place, but the main reason why I decided to visit was the cave temple that I have saved on my must-visit folder. After some research about the place, I found more beautiful activities to do nearby so I decided to visit the area for 3 days which was enough, because usually the people go there as a day trip from Hua Hin, but I had no idea about it.
I visited Sam Roi Yot during the pandemic, and maybe for that reason, it was harder for me to find a way to get there by myself as info on the web is not updated. I saw that there is a train station nearby, so I decided that I would go by train. That was a wrong move…
So, I went from Patong to Sam Roi Yot and the trip was way too long because I didn’t choose the best option to get there.
-First, I went from Patong to Phuket town by local bus (30 bahts) that is about 45 min trip
-then from Phuket city to Surat Thani by minivan (200 bahts)- 4 hours trip
-from Surat Thani train station to Prachuap Khiri Khan (171 bahts 3rd class no AC)- 7h30 hours trip
The problem with train travel is that you never know what to expect. They can have major delays, so they are not reliable. I ended up arriving too early for my train because I didn’t know what were the available times. My train was supposed to leave Surat Thani at 9.16 pm but it ended up leaving at 00.14 am. THAT IS A 3 HOUR DELAY! Plus, the journey lasted longer than expected too. I arrived at about 6 pm to buy the train ticket and they already didn’t have sleeping tickets available. But traveling in 3rd class ended up not being so bad cause I was the only person on my seat so I could actually lay down and have some proper sleep. It is not the most comfortable way to sleep, but it was ok until everyone decided to open all the windows between 3 and 4 am. All of a sudden the cozy temperature turned into a cold and windy one. I have no idea why did they do this because it was so uncomfortable this way. Just why!!!???
-From Prachuap Khiri Khan to Sam Roi Yot I took a minivan (50 bahts) 1hour trip
From the Prachuap Khiri Khan train station to the minivan station I walked a bit more than 30 minutes. When I don’t want any motorbike taxi, they are constantly bothering me, and this time that I could actually have used one, no one even bothered… I was tired from the train journey and still had to walk almost 3 km to get to this minivan bus station.
Surat Thani train schedule
Everything went fine and the trip was actually ending up being way cheaper than I expected. I had spent 451 bahts so far from Patong to Sam Roi Yot that is more than 600 km apart.
But, my luck changed… When I bought the minivan ticket, I said I want to go to Sam Roi Yot, but the bus driver forgot about me. I don’t know where is the bus station in Sam Roi Yot (apparently there isn’t one) so I was not very worried that we were going further cause usually bus stations are a bit far from the center. But, the minivan kept going and going, until I asked a girl next seat where is the minivan going, and she says Hua Hin. I’m like s*t we are going so far, how I am gonna go back now, etc, etc, but it got worst cause the minivan kept going further than Hua Hin. At that time I decided to ask the driver and his body language clearly shows me that he forgot about me. At this time I started to stress a bit. His English is not good, I mean, his English is zero. He does some gestures, I say go back, and he says yes. At this point, I have no idea what he has in mind, but at least he knows that he messed up and that I have to go back, so he must figure out a solution. Somewhere after Hua Hin, he stops and tells me to leave the minivan. He points to a guy on the other side of the street that speaks no English either. I understand that this guy will be the person “taking care of me” so I followed. I ended up having to pay 80 bahts to go back and it wasn’t even my fault!!! I even tried to ask what time the bus back to Sam Roi Yot was coming but he couldn’t even understand that question. So, yeah I just realized that I will have to wait, having no idea how long.
I was sitting next to the street with this guy and he was looking after me. Luckily I didn’t wait more than 30 minutes for another minivan back from wherever I was to Sam Roi Yot.
Not that much later, I faced another problem that is the fact that Sam Roi Yot doesn’t have a bus station. So, the driver decided to leave me on the main street in the middle of nowhere and where clearly I couldn’t get a motorbike to get me to my hotel. Actually, this was the reason why I haven’t told the drivers to stop at the nearest point to the hotel because I knew I would not have a way to go by myself so I need the bus to stop at the proper bus station cause usually there are cars and motorbikes overt there to help the passengers. I had been waiting for him to drop me in a place like this, but he didn’t. In the middle of nowhere, there was no Grab available and I had no idea how to get to my hotel which is 25km away. I needed to ask for help at the only restaurant nearby and I was lucky to find a young girl that spoke English and helped me through all the process. I ask her for a motorbike to my hotel. She says they don’t have. I ask her for a taxi, she says there are no taxis there. So I’m like: how I am supposed to get out of here then???
She said we should ask for help at the police station that was nearby, so we went there. There were at least 7 Thai people including officers, trying to understand where I want to go and how can I go there. They were talking between themselves and I had no option but to wait not understanding a thing or knowing if they would help me out or not. The solution she found for me was to call my hotel. They asked for 500 bahts to pick me up from where I was. THAT IS SO EXPENSIVE! I have paid less to move 600 km and they are asking me this much for 25 km!!! I knew it was too much but at this point, I saw no other solution to finally go there. I was tired from the long journey and I said yes although I knew it is a total rip-off. Anyway, I just wanted to finally arrive.
I stayed at Numpu Baandin that is this pretty hotel with a lake and little bungalows with a mountain view and surrounded by green landscapes and countless bird sounds. I loved the place.
To go back I found a way easier way thanks to a Thai guy that I met while exploring Phraya Nakhon cave. I mean, thanks to 2 guys because as the Thai gave me priceless info, the French one gave me a ride the next day from my Hotel to Hua Hin. In fact, I was so lucky to meet him cause he came on purpose from Hua Hin to Numpu Baandin to pick me up, which was a 40 min ride. And for this reason, going back to Phuket was much easier.
From Hua Hin to Sam Roi Yot you can book a Grab motorbike, but the same doesn’t happen the other way around because there isn’t much going on in Sam Roi Yot and there are no Grab services. So, this ride was priceless otherwise I would have to pay a lot to get from Sam Roi Yot to Hua Hin.
Lastly, from Hua Hin to Phuket was easy cause there is a bus station and many buses that are coming from Bangkok with Phuket as a destination. I’m sure that in normal times they have more schedules available, but I chose the last one that was at 9 pm arriving in Phuket at 7 am. The other buses were earlier with arriving schedules of 5 am or even 2 am, so this was the best option but also the most expensive one. From Hua Hin to Phuket took 10 hours and cost me 991 bahts on a VIP bus with TV, 1 free meal and a reclining seat that I confess is not comfortable at all. I don’t think that they have sleeping buses with beds in Thailand like in Vietnam, therefore the journey was not pleasant but at least the bus arrived right on time in Phuket Bus Terminal 2.