Minus trains, I am pretty sure Christy and I used almost every form of transportation we possibly could've to get to Koh Samui, and passed through neighboring cities and countries along the way. Oh, and we learned some amazing lessons too.
From Seoul, the trip started early in the morning as we took a flight with the cheapest airline possible (AirAsia-- not the nicest, but definitely the cheapest) through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and then onto Phuket. Aside from the extremely cold conditions of the airplane (causing us both to go into tourist hypothermia and hide under our blankets like fuzzy scared blobs), we also had the joy of experiencing some amazing turbulence that caused our plane full of Korean passengers to go into a screaming fit. At first, we thought this was due to the same panic we were feeling but later overheard the Korean expression for "How fun!". Some even went so far as to pretend they were on a roller coaster. In the middle of the sky. During dangerous turbulence.
Annnnnd this is why I'm going on vacation.
Once arriving in Phuket, we swam through the sea of tour agencies and cabbies to find a good deal on transportation to our hostel. A tip about transportation in Thailand: barter. Barter til you're blue in the face. Set your maximum price and stick with it, and you will find a good deal. Our hostel owner (Ananas Phuket Hostel) even bartered lower upon arrival at the hostel because she thought we were paying our young, fairly inexperienced driver too much.
The next day, we were off again on a 6-hour bus ride that finally let out on the other side of the southern arm of Phuket, namely Sura Thani. Our hostel also helped us set this up so that the bus ride was not only safe and reliable, but transferred directly to the ferry dock. From there, it was a 2-hour ferry ride to Koh Samui. Now, this is the low season for tourism because of tropical storms. We had our first encounter with a storm that night with rain so hard it forced itself through our cabbie's driver-side door. Fortunately, our next hostel is also extremely well-kept and we won't be worrying about any rain leaks while staying on the island.
The island of Koh Samui is pretty large, but the beach we are staying at, Chaweng, is made basically for tourists and will only hold our attention (and budget) for a couple days. All in all though, this place is heaven and we are thoroughly enjoying the fresh fruit, sudden rains, coconut juice, morning beaches and-- of course-- the cheaper-than-dirt shopping.
I'll keep you all updated at we continue along. Next stop-- Chiang Mai, Thailand's 2nd largest city.
-Laura and Cheengu