I’ts been my 4th time in Thailand and I thought I was travel savy enough not to fall for a scam.
Surat Thani taught me different:-)
11.02.2020 On arrival at the train station my parents and I joined a pick-up along with 7 other people, to take us to the hotels in the city centre. We were charged 150 Baht each for the 20 min journey.
On the way there the very charming driver spoke to the elderly passengers sitting in front with him, asking them where they were heading next and offering to sell them fair priced bus tickets. My mum fell for it and arranged for the three of us to go on an A/C bus to Khao Lak the next day at 11 o’clock.
We had to pay 550 baht each straight up, were given a receipt on which our room n umbers were noted. Next morning at 11 a nice english speaking lady turns up in a Limousine with a copy of our receipt, saying she was to take us to the bus station. Unfortunately the bus was running almost four hours late due to government difficulties. Even though i did not believe a word of it the bus station is not a place I wanted my parents to be stranded at.
We asked for alternative transport and were then offered to be driven to Khao Lak in this very Limousine for 6.000 baht (3 hrs drive). My parents were easy pray. Our limousine driver, called Mrs. Chilli, promised to reimburse us the bus money in the next couple of days when she would be in Khao Lak again. needless to say that never happened. When calling her on the day and time agreed we were just given excuses.
My advice: Never pay anything in advance, as far as private bus or transfer services are concerned.