Getting Around Koh Samui

   
 

Songthaew

   
 

Songthaews have fixed routes. They ply the main roads going around the island. There are many Songthaews on the roads during the day. They don't run late at night. To catch a Songthaew simply stand by the side of the road and raise your hand when you see one coming. You pay when you get off. Just press the button or bang the roof to get the driver to stop. It is a fixed price. It is a good idea to see what the Thais pay so you are not cheated. The average cost for a ride is 30 to 60 THB.

 
Songthaew
 
 

Taxi

   
 

Although the yellow taxis in Koh Samui all proudly announce 'meter' none of the taxi drivers will go on the meter. They are an unpleasant and avaricious bunch who are happy to turn down a customer. You must agree a price before you get in the taxi. A typical fare is 300 Thai Baht from Samui Airport to Chaweng. You can often hire taxis by the day for about 2,000 Thai Baht. At the airport you can pre-pay for a minibus. Often hotel transfer prices are per head and work out more expensive than just flagging down a taxi. They charge more at night.

 
Samui taxi
 
 

Moped Taxi

   
 

If you are traveling lightly then it is possible to get a moped taxi. Again negotiate before you get on the back of the moped. Sometimes they say 'pay what you want'. This is a scam as they kick up a fuss when you give them 20 THB for a short journey. For a ten-minute journey you shouldn't pay anymore than 100 Thai Baht. Estimate that the price they quote is inflated by 30%.

 
Moped taxi
 
 

Hiring Vehicles

   
 

If you are staying on one of the more remote beaches in the south west or south east of Koh Samui. It might be worth your while renting transport for your stay. Remember that you will have to leave your passport (sometimes a photocopy is accepted) when you rent a motorbike or car. Be sure to check the bike for scratches before you agree to rent as too many people are scammed by the rental company charging thousands of Baht for damage you didn't do. Also check the breaks on a bike before renting. It is easy to tighten them. Only use reputable places to rent bikes. Motorbikes range from no gear Hondas to more expensive scrambler bikes. Here are some typical daily prices:

Moped for the day: 250 Thai Baht a day
Small car for the day: 1,200 Thai a day

 

 
Hire car in Koh Samui
 

Getting to Koh Samui

 

Samui Airport

   
 

Koh Samui is the only island in the Samui Archipelago with an airport. It is a private airport located in the north east of the island, not far from the major tourist hubs of Chaweng, Bophut and Maenam. Until recently the airport only had Bangkok Airways flights. This situation has now changed slightly. EVA Air code share with Bangkok Airways and Firefly have a few scheduled flights to Koh Samui Airport. Typically the Bangkok Airways flight between Suvarnabhumi Bangkok Airport and Koh Samui costs about 3,500 THB. There are direct flights from Koh Samui to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Abu Dhabi and Singapore and many more connecting flights. Use the links below to find out flight schedules and prices.

Bangkok Airways (Bangkok, Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Chengdu, Chiang Mai, Dhaka, Hong Kong, Krabi, Kuming, Luang Prabang, Mumbai, Phnom Penh, Shanghai, Siam Reap, Singapore)
Eva Airways (Taiwan) code shares with Bangkok Airways - This means at Bangkok passengers are transferred to a Bangkok Airways flight.
Firefly (Kuala Lumpur via Subang)

 
Koh Samui airport
 
 

Other Airports

   
 

For those people who want to fly down the Koh Samui but want to find cheaper flights. There are three options: Chumphon Airport (Solar Air), Nakhon Si Thammarat (Nok Air) and Suratthani Airport (Air Asia). All these airports are on the mainland and have boat connections to Koh Samui. These companies fly from Bangkok and cost 2,000 Thai Baht or less for a one way ticket. For more information click th links below.

Solar Air / Nok Air / Air Asia

 

 
Nok Air
 
 

Boat Connections

   
 

There are several boat companies that connect Koh Samui with the other islands in the area (Koh Phangan, Koh Tao and Nang Yuan) and with the mainland (Suratthani, Donsak and Chumphon).

Lomprayah has a high speed catamaran service that goes from Chumphon to Koh Tao / Nang Yuan to Koh Phangan and then to Koh Samui. It also does the journey in reverse. Lomprayah goes from Maenam in Koh Samui, Thongsala in Koh Phangan and Mae Haad in Koh Tao
Seatran has medium sized boats that go between Donsak on the mainland, Thongsala on Koh Phangan, Nathon in Koh Samui and Mae Haad in Koh Tao.
Songserm has medium sized boats that do a wide sweep of the Gulf: Suratthani to Nathon in Koh Samui to Thongsala in Koh Phangan to Mae Haad in Koh Samui to Chumphon.
Haad Rin Queen is a popular boat for those wanting to go to the Full Moon Party. It is a small boat that takes 30 minutes to travel between Big Buddha Pier and Haad Rin in Koh Phangan.
Thong Nai Pan Express goes once a day between Maenam in Koh Samui and stops at Haad Rin, Haad Thian, Than Sadet and finishes at Thong Nai Pan Noi in Koh Phangan.

 
Lomprayah
 
 

Bus

   
 

Lomprayah, Seatran and Songserm all offer joint bus/boat tickets between Koh Samui and Bangkok. These cost between 600 and 1,500 THB. The quickest is Lomprayah.

You can buy combined bus/boat tickets directly from the pier or from any travel agent. The journey between Koh Samui and Bangkok is done during the day. From Bangkok the buses leave early evening and get to Koh Samui the following day at around 11am. There is also a government bus you can catch from Nathon in Koh Samui to Bangkok. Lomprayah, Seatran and Songserm will also organize transfers from the their ports in the mainland to Krabi.

 
Lomprayah bus
 
 

Train

  There are cheap second class sleeper tickets available between Bangkok and Suratthani. The train journey is over-night. The advantage of the train journey is that it is cheap and you get a better night's sleep than on a bus. The downside is that once you arrive at Suratthani Train Station you still have an hour's travel to get to the ferry port and another hour's travel getting a boat to Koh Samui. Check the train timetable and buy tickets here.
Lomprayah bus