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Getting to Koh Samui

Are you confused between taking the train, the bus, the plane or the ferry? No need to look any further, you are at the right place!

Know that Thailand is extremely well organized when it comes to the purpose of transport, you only have to get yourselves the ticket for the destination of your dreams and let yourself be lead!

By plane

Getting to Koh Samui

THE MOST EXPENSIVE BUT THE FASTEST!

It is by far the most expensive means to be taken to come here, but obviously the fastest, ideal for the persons who have only a little time.

The two companies that connect Koh Samui from Bangkok are Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways.

If you wish to get here rather quickly but still do not want to spend too much money, you have the following option. You can fly into Suratthani (Thai Airways), from the airport there are minibuses which shuttle (about a 1 hour drive) up to Donsak's port, and take a ferry to Samui. NOTE: Do not take evening flights because on your arrival there won't be anymore ferry's available to get you to Samui and you will be required spend a night in Suratthani.

By Train

Getting to Koh Samui

THE TRAIN, A NICE MEANS!

On trains, service is impeccable and timetables are generally respected by the minute! Well, it is true trains are not fast (for example 600 km in 12 hours), set apart it, trains remain a very pleasant and sure means of travel. There are several categories of coaches, the regional (non air-conditioning, wide opened windows), the air-conditioning and the VIP.

Car-sleepers
Car-sleepers, departure on early evening and about 2 hours after your departure, the personnel comes to make your bed (clean sheets). There is a berth at the top and one below, if you are tall, we advise you the bottom couchette (a little more expensive though) because more spacious and airier.

To have something to eat on your journey
You can have a snack in some trains, but generally it is terrible and rather expensive. We suggest you to stock up with food in stations or in the surroundings, because in any Thai city, there is always a market or itinerant stands near by to eat. When you will cross stations, there are almost always people who get on the train (with the exception of night trains) or by the window who will sell to you a wide range of delicious food, cheap and good.

All coaches are non-smoking!!!

Book your ticket
At least 2-3 days in advance if you want to be sure to be able to travel in the foreseen date. Air-conditioning car-sleepers are real "refrigerators", if you are "sensitive to the cold" prefer carriages 2nd class with fan.

By bus

Getting to Koh Samui

There are bus services to most destinations in Thailand. Bangkok to Samui buses leave from the Southern Bus Terminal. There are V.I.P, first and second-class buses available. These are all air-conditioned. For an easier and cheaper journey, buy a bus/boat combination ticket from Khao San Road.

The economic bus - The coach, local way

Here is the most economic means of transport (except for the VIP), rather fast, and it is necessary all the same to say it, relatively practical.

It stops almost every time a person holds out the hand by the roadside, no air-conditioning, wide opened windows but you could have very pleasant encounters in it with the local people, and you travel really for an absurdly low fare.

Secondly, we could even separate it in 2 categories:

  1. For "Farangs" (occidental man)
  2. For Thais
Getting to Koh Samui

For "Farangs", ticket bought on Khao San Road (Bangkok) or in an agency, a bus which you take from a tourist place, to another tourist place, generally well enough, organized with boat connections.

For the Thai one, air-conditioning, the one that we would advise you take, has a nice coach. Ticket to be bought on the departure (come at least 1 hour before departure) at the bus stations. They (almost) all travel by night. You leave Bangkok between 5.30 and 8pm and then journey lasts generally 10-12 hours until Suratthani, about 650 kilometers south of Bangkok.

On all the coaches, they put on a movie (in Thai language or sometimes in English) or the Thai TV during 2 hours after your departure.

All stop one or more times during the route at local kinds of truck stop restaurants, in the middle of the night, all the lights on the coach stay lights on. Everybody is encouraged to get some food take a visit to the bathroom. VIP buses usually have their own bathrooms.

The VIP (Very Important Person)

These coaches boast 24 luxury seats that are very comfortable. The seats fold almost flat and there is plenty of leg room, but this mode of travel can be as expensive as the car-sleepers. So the choice is yours!

By boat

FERRY-EXPRESS BOAT OR SPEED BOAT?

Getting to Koh Samui

The ferry boat

About one hour and a half of sea crossing for Samui, can contain vehicles, small snack bar inside, full of seats, wide pontoon for the sunbathing and even for the most hard to please, an "air-conditioning" cabin for a little surcharge.

Several ferry companies operate from Surat Thani to Ko Samui, including the Seatran ferry (hourly sailings, 1.5 hour crossing), the Songserm express catamaran (1 hour crossing, 2 daily sailings), and the Songserm overnight boat.

Time table

Surat Thani » Koh Samui (Seatran ferry)
Departs: Surat Thani (Don Sak pier) 06:00 And hourly until 19:00
Arrives: Koh Samui 07:30 And hourly until 20:30

Koh Samui » Suratthani (Seatran ferry)
Departs: Koh Samui 05:00 And hourly until 18:00
Arrives: Surat Thani (Don Sak pier) 06:30 And hourly until 19:30

Getting to Koh Samui

The express boat

Long rather narrow boat, lots of backpackers but which has its charm and all the transfers are easy. When the sea is choppy, it tends to pitch a little...

The night boat

First sea crossing runs to go on islands, very local but very nice, beds are available for travellers.

The sea crossing lasts approximately 5 hours, which is enough time to get some sleep...Departure is typically at the end of the day.

Seatran Express

New "express" connection (since January, 2002) from Suratthani city, only 2 hours and you will arrive directly at Nathon's pier, a little more expensive than the other boats, but air-conditioning and practical.

Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran

The speed boat, the fastest of the lot. These boats are used a lot from Koh Tao's connections to the various islands in the surroundings or by various daytrips tours and some diving schools. Very fast (Koh Tao-Koh Phan-Ngan = 45 minutes, normal boat = 2 hours), rather expensive, but worth a try!