Koh Samui is the perfect getaway for a tropical holiday filled with bliss. Thailand’s second-largest island is scattered with idyllic beaches, lush jungles and ritzy resorts and spas. It is a sophisticated destination, and you can choose the way you spend your days. There is so much to discover on the island if you love to explore. Alternatively, you can simply enjoy a luxurious holiday with lots of beach days and pampering. In this short guide, we discuss how to get to Koh Samui and get around while you are there.
How to get to Koh Samui by Air
Koh Samui International Airport is located just 2 km away from Chaweng, where you can find lots of luxury Koh Samui family resorts. Bangkok Airways own the airport, and they fly directly to and fro from the airport. If you are flying from the USA, Canada or UK, you will have a quick stopover at Suvarnabhumi airport before you get to Koh Samui. You will reach there in under an hour from Bangkok. As Bangkok Airways codeshares with other airlines, you can get a direct flight to Koh Samui from Chiang Mai, Pattaya, Krabi and even Phuket. You could also fly directly from other Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Chongqing. Once you land, you can either get a private airport transfer or a taxi. Check with hotels such as the Anantara Lawana Koh Samui Resort, they sometimes offer complimentary airport pickups.
How to get to Koh Samui by Boat
You have to go to Donsak Pier from Phuket or Krabi to catch a ferry bound to Koh Samui. Two ferry companies manage ferries on this route. The ferries operate about 14 times per week. So, you will definitely be able to catch a ferry. Your normal ferry ride will take about one and a half hours. But, if you take the high-speed ferry, you can get to the island within 45 minutes. Incidentally, Donsak is also on the border of Surat Thani and Nakhon Si Thammarat.
How to get to Koh Samui by bus
Buses leave for Koh Samui through Surat Thani from Sai Tai Mai (Bangkok’s Southern Terminal). The travel time, inclusive of a ferry crossing, is about 13 hours. The journey can be tough. But the bus journey from Krabi or Phuket is more manageable. But prepare for a lot of waiting.
How to get around Koh Samui – songthaews and motorbikes
Catch a Songthaew
There is no real public transport system in Samui, except for the songthaew. Thailand’s iconic songthaews are two benches stretched in a pickup truck with a roof. These are inexpensive and readily available. It is also a great way to look around and enjoy a fun ride.
Rent a motorbike
The island is large, and cycling and walking are not really options. You could, however, rent a motorbike. But the island’s roads are busy, so only get a motorbike if you are an experienced rider. Don’t forget to wear a helmet, protective clothing and watch where you are going.
How to get around Koh Samui – Taxis and private cars
There is only one Taxi Company that runs in Koh Samui. Admittedly, taxi rides are expensive. But taxi rides are much more comfortable than songthaews and motorbikes. You could use songthaews or a motorbike for short rides, and switch to taxis for longer journeys. However, there are no meters in taxis. You will have to negotiate with drivers.
Hire a private car or van
Hiring a private vehicle is perhaps the best way to get around Koh Samui. You can rent a car or van with a private guide. Taking a local guide plus driver along will make your holiday that much easier.