I booked two trips with Lomprayah: A one-day snorkelling trip to Ko Tao and Ko Nangyuan from Ko Samui, and transfer to Bangkok from Ko Pha Ngan.
I booked with Lomprayah because…their boat looks good. Yeah, I think that’s it.
Seriously though, I picked them because I thought the boats look good, can stand swelling waves and doesn’t look too old.
Aside from their craft, I was won over by their package trips, promo fares and yes, they take web reservations, bookings and my credit card. Bear in mind that this was way back in April, when I’ve just gotten my first credit card and antsy to use it. Plus, booking online would mean that I don’t have to go around Bangkok buying tickets. This, unfortunately, mean that there’s no room for sponteneity, as you’d have to strictly follow your itinerary.
From the outside, the vessel looks short and small. Inside, however, you’d be surprised at how roomy it is. As soon as you board the craft, the Lomprayah staff will take your luggage and it will be stored at the front, where everybody can keep an eye on their stuff. If you have any breakables in your bag, make sure it’s padded very well as they just stack the bags on top of each other.
There are about 5 or more televisions inside the catamaran. They usually show Hollywood movies with subtitles in Thai. I was able to watch the intro of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith a couple of times on the ride out to Ko Nangyuan (I got seasick and barfed out my breakfast of orange Strepsils), The Mask of Zorro on the trip back to Ko Samui (I was able to take Bonamine this time and was happily munching on Pringles), and most of The Island on the way to Chumporn from Ko Pha Ngan.
Lomprayah has their own pier at Mae Nam beach in Ko Samui. From Ko Samui, the craft goes to Ko Pha Ngan, then to Ko Tao, then to Ko Nangyuan, then lastly, to Chumporn. In Chumporn, those bound to Hua Hin or Bangkok will board the Lomprayah bus.
This lovely hunk of metal you see on the left is the double decker Lomprayah bus that goes from Chumporn to Bangkok and vice versa. There are seats in the lower deck, though limited. Most of the seats are on the 2nd deck. There’s a TV on both decks, and it’s another movie marathon courtesy of Lomprayah. The movies this time were The Legend of Zorro (whee, I watched part 1 in the catamaran, now I get to watch part 2 in the bus!), and Into the Blue (which I slept through most of the time but the other backpackers in the bus were engrossed with the movie). Legroom was okay enough, and the air conditioning working VERY well. We were given towels to use as blankets. The bus has its own toilet, but if you’re riding in the 2nd deck, it’s pretty hard to go down the steep stairs with its small steps while the bus is moving.
When you check in at their office, you are given a color-coded sticker so that the staff can identify who should be going down in a particular stop. Passengers who are joining the day tour are given a color-coded ribbon tied to the wrist, a pack of bread for your breakfast or if you prefer, for the fishies, and a coupon good for 2 drinks at the snack bar onboard.
Another great thing about Lomprayah is that they offer free pick up and transfers from your resort in Samui to the docks and back if you’re with the packaged tour, and pick up within Samui if you’re taking the catamaran to any of their destinations.
The snorkelling trip was okay, though a bit hurried. The rain delayed our departure from Samui and the voyage to Ko Pha Ngan, though with all the stops it made to and from Ko Nangyuan, it’s really hard to tell. The ride from Ko Pha Ngan to Bangkok took almost 12 hours, with a 30-minute stop at Ko Tao and two 30-minute stop at Chumporn to wait for the bus and for dinner.
All in all, I am satisfied with Lomprayah’s service. If I find myself in Ko Samui, Pha Ngan, Tao or Nangyuan, I’ll definitely book with Lomprayah again!
Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran
Website (English Version): http://www.lomprayah.com/E/index.htm