Getting to Koh Samui

Koh Samui By Bus & Ferry

Koh Samui Ferry Tickets Unless you plan on flying to Koh Samui, your travel will need to be a 2-step process. First, you need to travel to either Chumphon or Surat Thani. Surat Thani will suit most travelers better as it saves a much longer boat ride.

The first leg of your trip will usually be by bus. When you buy your bus ticket you should be given a ferry ticket as well. When the bus drops you at the ferry terminal you'll need to present your ticket so keep hold of it! The ferry ride is about 75 - 90 minutes.

Ferry arrival on Koh Samui is at Na Thon (West coast). If you're going on to Koh Tao or Koh Pha-Ngan you can catch a ferry here.

Accommodation is available in Na Thon but most people stay on the East side of the island. Private / shared taxis are available. You can also get a motorbike taxi at Na Thon.

Train to Surat Thani

There are several trains every day from Bangkok to Suratthani. Seats available are:

  • First Class double cabin (air con)
  • Second Class bunk (air con)
  • Second Class bunk (fan)

Food and drinks are sold on board. If you're feeling lazy just wait for the vendors who walk up and down the train! Baggage is safe in the luggage racks, but make sure you keep valuables with you when you sleep.

The train takes around 12 hours and the type of ticket to buy is train-bus-ferry - this will see you all the way through to Samui.

Once you arrive at Suratthani there will be employees from the bus company waiting to take you to the ferry. If you've bought a train-only ticket you can buy bus and ferry tickets here.

Southern Thailand Buses

If you're on a budget, the cheapest way to get there is by bus. It's also a great way to meet fellow travelers. Travel agents are plentiful in Thailand, just visit one in one of the following areas and you will be able to buy a ticket:

  • Bangkok (13 hours)
  • Krabi (7 hours)
  • Phuket (8 hours)
  • Had Yai (9 hours)

Buses from Bangkok normally run overnight, arriving early morning. If you're leaving from Krabi, Phuket and Had Yai you'll depart early morning, arriving late afternoon. Make sure you arrive in plenty of time, but also be prepared for a wait. Buses can (and do) run on "Thai time"!

Be aware that different travel agents book seats on different buses. If you want to travel with friends make sure you book at the same place.

Also buses can vary in size and comfort level. The cheapest way to get there by bus is a mini-van. This will normally be crammed full of people. Luggage is squeezed in wherever it will fit. It's not the most comfortable way to spend 7 hours or more, but it's cheap.

Ferry to Koh Samui, Thailand

If you want more legroom and style ask for a seat on an air con coach. It's a few extra baht but definitely worth it. The seats are much more comfortable, they recline and often have footrests. Some coaches have toilets and show movies.

All buses will stop once or more for refreshments. This is usually at a roadside restaurant where you can buy a cooked meal, snacks and drinks. Make sure you stock up because there's no food served on board. Don't forget to take valuables with you when you leave the bus.

Depending on which bus you're on, you may have to change at Suratthani. This is perfectly normal, so if the bus stops here you'll be given a sticker and told to wait (with your bags) inside the travel agent's office.

There is usually somewhere to sit and wait, and it's only about 30 minutes until the final leg begins!

When you buy your bus ticket you should be given a ferry ticket as well. When the bus drops you at the ferry terminal you'll need to present your ticket so keep hold of it! The ferry ride is about 75 - 90 minutes.

Ferry arrival on Koh Samui is at Na Thon (West coast). If you're going on to Koh Tao or Koh Pha-Ngan you can catch a ferry here.

Accommodation is available in Na Thon but most people stay on the East side of the island. Private / shared taxis are available. You can also get a motorbike taxi at Na Thon.

Flying to Koh Samui

Getting to Koh Samui there is quick and easy now that it has an airport. Bangkok Airways run over 40 flights a day from Bangkok (1 hour), Phuket, Pattaya and Krabi (all around 45 minutes). You can also fly direct from Singapore.

If you're flying to Bangkok from another country you need to collect your luggage from the international terminal and check it in again before boarding your Samui flight - it is not automatically forwarded.

Taxis are available when you arrive at Koh Samui airport. Your hotel may run a complimentary shuttle - check this information before you leave Bangkok.

 

Route map Bangkok Air