How To Get To Koh Samui From Bangkok
There are 4 ways you can travel from Bangkok to Koh Samui:
Flight only: Fly from Bangkok (Suvarnabhumi Airport) to Koh Samui (Koh Samui Airport). This is the fastest but most expensive way to get to Koh Samui. The only airline that offers direct flights is Bangkok Airways, with 15 direct flights per day.
Flight + Ferry: A cheaper
You can fly from either Don Mueang International Airport or Suvarnabhumi Airport to Surat Thani International Airport. Airlines Nok Air and Air Asia have flights every day to the airport. Purchase a bus and ferry transportation at Surat Thani Airport as you will need to take a bus to the pier, followed by a ferry to Koh Samui.
Train + Ferry: Take an overnight train to get some rest from Bangkok to Surat Thani. You can take the train from Bang Sue Junction or Hua Lamphong. The trains are pretty comfortable for their value. Once you arrive at Surat Thani Train Station, there are a few bus and ferry packages to Koh Samui you can choose from.
Bus + Ferry: The cheapest and simplest way to get to Koh Samui. There are around 22 bus departures from Bangkok heading to Surat Thani daily. You can go to the bus station, purchase a bus and ferry package to Koh Samui and hop on to the bus to the ferry pier within hours!
How To Get Around Koh Samui
Once you are in Koh Samui, you will have many transportation options to get around this picturesque island. Here are the 7 ways you can get around Koh Samui:
1. Taking The Songthaew
Songthaews are similar to mini buses, vans, and pick-up trucks: they are passenger vehicles found mainly in Thailand that can accommodate up to 17 passengers. You can sit on either of the two benches or stand on their mini platform.
Public Songthaews with fixed routes have fixed prices that are non-negotiable and can start from 10 baht ($ 0.30) in rural areas. If you are planning to travel to a non-standard route (stating your destination like a taxi), the price will go higher and you can negotiate before you ride.
2. Hailing A Taxi
The most comfortable and fastest way to travel in Koh Samui. Taxis in Koh Samui are a monopolized market so expect high prices. To order a taxi from the airport, you will have to go to their Taxi Desk as taxis are not allowed to queue there. You will have to hail a taxi from the road.
Some popular places like Chaweng Beach will have taxi queues but rates are much higher. You can spot a Koh Samui taxi with its contrasting yellow and maroon colors. Make sure you barter with the taxi driver before going to your destination as taxi meters are rarely used.
Taxi prices start from 50 baht ($1) for a short distance.
3. Taking A Motorbike Taxi
If you are a solo traveler on a budget and do not mind holding onto your rider, it is worth an experience. The price starts from 50 baht ($1) per trip and is reasonably priced. You can spot the riders with their colorful vests.
4. Using Ride-Hailing Apps
If you are a frequent ride-hailing app user, there are Grab and NaviGo rides to get around. However, it is not easy to get an available ride in Koh Samui without going for premium prices.
5. Renting A Motorbike / Car / Bicycle
Renting a motorbike: This is the most common way most travelers get around. Stay cautious of motorbike scams as most rental services require your passport as collateral and will extort money to pay for “damages” they found. Opt to leave money instead of your passport and always take photos of your motorbike before riding. The price is around $ 3 – $ 6 per day.
Renting a car: Most comfortable and expensive option. You can rent vehicles from local service providers or international companies like Hertz or Kayak. An international or Thai driving license is required. The price starts at around $ 20 per day.
Renting a bike: This cheaper alternative is useful if you are a solo traveler. You can choose a road bike, a mountain bike, or an electric bike to get around Koh Samui. Some roads may be a bit steep so choose the right bike for your travels. The price can go from 80 to 200 baht ($ 2 – 6) per day.
6. Following A Guided Tour
If you want a convenient option, take a guided tour of the best tourist attractions in Koh Samui. You will be picked up from your accommodation for your excursion and you can get a hassle-free experience. Prices vary depending on tour packages.
Traveling by foot is the best option, especially hiking up steep and slippery routes. It will ease your wallet although it may take a longer time to get around the island. Do note that some of the pavements are blocked by other transportation that may disrupt your pathway.
Where To Stay In Koh Samui
The best part of Koh Samui to stay in is at Chaweng Beach, Lamai, and Maenam Beach. Chaweng Beach is for the energetic, Maenam Beach is for the romantic, and Lamai is for those who want the best of both worlds. Koh Samui is 25 km long and 21 km wide, hence you are never too far from the hottest party in town.
If you are looking for a range of hotels from budget to luxury, here are some of the best Koh Samui hotels:
Luxury Hotels: Four Season Koh Samui, W Koh Samui, Conrad Koh Samui, Melia Koh Samui, Anantara Koh Samui, Samudra Villa
Hotels On The Beach: Koh Samui Chaweng Regent, Sheraton Samui Resort, Samui Paradise
Koh Samui Hostels: P & T Hostel, At Hostel Samui, Lub D Koh Samui Chaweng Beach
Are there any Koh Samui travel restrictions?
There are minimal travel restrictions to enter Koh Samui based on Thailand’s latest traveling policy. Vaccinated travelers are required to show their certificate of vaccination. Unvaccinated travelers are required to show a negative RT-PCR or professional ATK test 72 hours before departure.
Travel insurance is no longer mandatory but highly recommended.
How Many Days should I stay on Koh Samui?
At least 3 days to get the most out of Koh Samui. This will give you plenty of time to visit the best tourist attractions, enjoy a time-out under the sun, and savor Thai’s unique cuisine. You can also take this opportunity to beach hop to other islands like Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.
The list is endless when it comes to the many unique things to do in Koh Samui. If you have time to spare and want to beach hop to the other sister islands, check out our articles about Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.