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SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

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London
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SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

Arrived Koh Tao this morning and found items stolen from outer compartments of ruc-sac, luckily nothing of real value. On speaking to owner of guesthouse he immediately guessed that I had travelled with Songserm Express Bus & Boat from Bangkok via Chumpon. Apparently an almost daily occurrence with the suspects likely to be the staff on the overnight bus as they have hours to go through the bags. I am not naive to the fact the drivers of the buses are probably not employed by Songserm but the management of this company need to take note & hopefully people will seek other means of getting from BKK to the islands. You have been warned - Don't leave anything of value easily accessible - I had an expensive pair of board short & jandals taken ! I feel a beer Chang coming on.

perth
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for Ko Samui, Thailand
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1. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

Hi

Have heard the same stories many times about songserm. Well lucky nothing major they have taken. enjoy the "Chang" :-)

Windsor, United...
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for Kanchanaburi
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2. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

I advise not to travel on a Songserm ferry due to the fact they are hopelessly overcrowded (at least the ones I have been on). Where did you buy your ticket ?

London
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3. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

Tickets bought from travel agent on Rambuttri ( road that runs parallel to Khao San Road ). Office on RHS about 50 metres in on right hand side from Chakrabongse just past 7/11. Sadly cannot remember the name and when you are given bus / ferry ticket they take your receipt off you. Have since discovered that even small amounts of coffee bought from Vietnam & Kampot pepper from Cambodia also taken so looks like even 'non valuables' are safe - Hey ho "what goes around, comes around".

Zurich, Switzerland
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4. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

I booked the journey from Koh Samui to Krabi on an early Sunday morning together with my girlfriend in late April 2012.

We were first asked to pay 450 baht each but we could negotiate to 400 baht down incl. a pick up from Lamai to Nathon. Everything worked out fine including the boat ride. The boat was more than half empty and we had to store our luggage on the deck. Although the staff members were carrying big Swiss Army knifes which cost around $250 and I suspect that they stole it from some travellers backpack, the did NOT steal anything from us and other travellers (we discussed this during the boat trip).

However, in Surat Thani we were promised to change into a "big new A/C cooled bus". However, what happened is that we all shared a small mini-van which brought us in a crazy drive (Vietnamese standards :D) to Krabi. At this point the real scam begans. As their office is way out of Krabi town, they sell you there another lift to Krabi or Ao Nang/Riley which costs you around 60 baht again p. pax. So, the 50 baht we saved in Koh Samui were spent in Krabi again.

However, again, nothing was stolen and they didn't open our luggage at all.

Devon
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5. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

This must be a really common occurrence as we have just had the same thing happen to us- travelling on the bus from Krabi to Surat Thani. The driver stopped several times (presumably to let a thief into the luggage compartment & then out later). I wish I'd Googled the company before we used them! The travel agent we got the tickets from said they were one of the best companies! Unfortunately we'd left a small amount of cash in the rucksack (forgotten to move it), not much but not nice to know they are rummaging through your belongings.

Sunderland, United...
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6. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

Same thing happened to us. We took the bus from Krabi to Surat Thani and the boat from there to Samui. They had gone through our stuff probably in the bus. Both mine and my boyfriends luggage had been broken into. My boyfriend had a backpack and mine was a suit case with a combination lock. The lock on my new Samsonite didn't seem to slow them down so they probably have customs keys to open the locks. We didn't lose anything as we'd taken all the valuables with us in our small bags but it was 100% obvious they had been through our stuff. We chose absolutely never to travel with them again. They would have been the cheapest option for a couple more trips for us but we didn't want to risk losing any of our belongings and didn't want to support this criminal activity! AVOID!

Cuneo, Italy
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for Koh Tao, Bangkok, Ko Samui, Terengganu
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7. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

It's a old story..

With Lomprayah I never had any problems.

Cairns, Queensland...
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8. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

Myself and my partner recently traveled with Songserm from Koh Phanang to Phuket on the 2nd of January 2013. We purchased a combined ticket consisting of Ferry and bus transfers for 550 baht each. We were ferried from Koh phanang and bused to Surat Thani during which time I am fairly sure a scam involving your workers took place. While at Surat Thani we were divided into two groups - people with pink stickers and people with yellow stickers. Those with pink stickers got on a bus that was present at Surat Tani while those with yellow stickers were placed on a series of overcrowded pick up trucks and taken to another bus stop in the town centre. At this location there was a bus waiting, however it was quite apparent to everyone there that this didn't have the space to take all the passengers who had arrived. Over the next hour the people working for songserm spoke to all of thel passengers present and told them if they paid them 250 baht they would be allowed on the first bus, which would travel to Patong. If you refused to pay this you would not be allowed on the bus but rather just have to wait for the next one to come, at a time which they did not know and could not provide. Because we were running around 4 hours late (the eventual bus did not leave until 9pm, a time at which we were meant to arrive at the Phuket) eventually enough people paid to get on the bus (it did not leave until it was completely full), for a total cost I believe of around 12x4x250baht = 12000baht. Around 20 others aware of the situation actually paid for minivans to take them from Surat Tani to Phuket instead of continuing with your company, despite having tickets. It was quite obvious that numerous passengers were very upset at being charged for a bus they had already paid for and numerous spoke of telling their friends and posting on internet forums of not going with songserm in the future. I can only assume that this bus was actually already paid for by songserm to transport customers to Phuket but was unfortunately overbooked. I believe the workers may have taken this as an opportunity to exploit customers by making them pay for a bus they had already paid for and pocketing the extra 12000 baht into their back pockets. We eventually got into Phuket at 1am in the morning, 4 hours after the 9pm timeslot we were told. No one knew what was going on most of the way and the process was very confusing and stressful.

Frankfurt, Germany
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9. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

@ no. 4 (from Switzerland): I agree that there are lots of problems with Songserm and would never travel with them, but why in the world do you see a "real scam" in the fact that you had to pay 60 Baht (about $2.00) for a trip from their office to downtown??? Most major bus stations are located outside of town and even in Europe you have to pay for shuttle services, for example when flying to "Barcelona" with Ryan Air (the airport there is in fact in Girona, more than 100 km from Barcelona). So please, please - don't see scams everywhere - the way I see it, you have absolutely no reason to complain about your trip!

Edited: 30 January 2013, 14:21
Thailand
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1 post
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10. Re: SongSerm Express Bus / Boat - Warning re Ruc-sac Theft !!!

I always advise never to use this company. While I have never had anything from me stolen (I keep my stuff with me) I was, yesterday, shouted at by one of their main taxi drivers as I was not prepared to walk to my hotel with three bags from a busy main road. She did not want to have to turn her van around as she had missed the turning and tried to convince me that my hotel was "just there". It was not. And I spent the rest of the time in the taxi being shouted at in front of all the other tourists. Welcome to Koh Samui! Extremely rude staff and their boats are never, ever on time and uncomfortable.