From Bangkok to Koh Samui
This is how you get to Samui
Duration: approx. 70 min.
Price: Between €134-270 per person.
Flying to Koh Samui is clearly the fastest way, but also the most expensive.
If you have specific times you want to fly, it will be wise to book well in advance (affiliate link). Despite the many flights, several flights in the daytime can easily be sold out and especially during the holiday periods.
It’s said that the sooner you book the cheaper it becomes – I personally haven’t experienced that, but now the rumor has passed on.
You can easily book your domestic tickets through Momondo (affiliate link) while booking your other airline tickets.
2. From Bangkok to Koh Samui by air via Surat Thani
Duration: By plane approx. 70 min. From the airport i Surat Thani to Donsak pier approx. 2 hours. Boat from Don Sak to Nathon, Koh Samui approx. 1.5 hours.
Price: approx. €70 per person (plane)
Alternatively and far cheaper is to fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani, and from here by boat to Koh Samui. About 5 times a day, Air Asia and Nok Air fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani – a flight of approx. 70 min.
From Surat Thani airport you go by bus or taxi to Donsak Pier, a trip of approx. 90 min. From here you will continue with a ferry that’ll take you to Nathon Pier on Koh Samui which is also a trip of approx. 90 min.
There are several different companies offering the trip all the way from the airport to Samui, one of the cheapest is this:
You can also go by a catamaran (fast boat), this trip takes approx. 45 min. and is a little more expensive.
Make sure you buy a bus ticket where the boat ticket is included. Tickets can be purchased at the airport.
3. From Bangkok to Koh Samui by train and ferry
Duration: Between 8 and 12 hours
Price: Between € 23-54 depending on whether it’s a regular train or a night train.
From Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong train station, you can go by train to Surat Thani. 10 trains depart for Surat Thani throughout the day.
It’s definitely recommended to travel by night train. If you choose the train at 19pm, you will arrive approx. 7am the next morning at Surat Thani train station.
Going by the “sleeper train” (as it’s called), you save a hotel overnight and you can sleep the many hours away. A very pleasant trip.
When you arrive at the Surat Thani station, there will be buses ready to drive you to Donsak Pier, from where you will arrive by boat to Koh Samui. The bus and boat trip takes approx. 4 hours.
It’s recommended that you book your train tickets a few days in advance – the tickets are attractive, especially in high season.
Tickets can be purchased at the Hua Lamphong station, but you cannot be sure that there are seats available if you arrive at the last minute.
The difference between first and second class trains:
1st class – you get your very own train cabin.
2nd class – you get your own bed with curtain (The backpacker model).
NOTE Whatever train you choose, avoid a train where you arrive at night. Surat Thani train station is approx. 15 km out of town so it’s wise to arrive at the station while there are buses, taxis or tuk-tuk’s which can drive you to the pier or your hotel.
4. From Bangkok to Koh Samui by bus and ferry
The cheapest way to go to Surat Thani and Koh Samui is by bus.
Duration: approx. 10-11 hours.
Price: From €16 depending on whether it’s a regular bus or a VIP.
The buses depart from Bangkok’s southern bus terminal, Sai Tai Mai, and depart either early in the morning or after 5 pm. There are no buses in between.
The buses are equipped with a / c, seats that can be pushed back and you can buy drinks and snacks on board.
Be aware that the regular (and cheapest) bus has several stops along the way.
If you choose a VIP bus, there will be fewer stops along the way and the comfort will be much better. You get more room for the legs and the seats can be pushed back. In some VIP buses you can buy food.
Tickets for both regular buses and for VIP buses can be purchased online or at the station. Again, it’s recommended to buy tickets well in advance if you want a specific bus.
There are 3 stations to which the buses arrive in Surat Thani, Talad Kaset 1, Talad Kaset 2 and Bor Kor Sor Main. The vast majority arrive at Bor Kor Sor Main. When purchasing a ticket, be aware of which station the bus arrives at.
At Bor Kor Sor Main station, local (orange) buses run into the town center. A relatively short ride. You can also go by a Thai taxi (sangthaew) which is even faster.
As with the train, from here you go to Donsak Pier and by ferry.
Travel Tips for your transport to Koh Samui:
- If you are going by train or bus, buy combo tickets where the boat trip is included.
- Book well in advance online, whether by plane, train or bus. Then you are guaranteed to leave at the time that suits you best.
- Bring earplugs on the trip
- Bring a flashlight
- Pack the things you need on the trip in a small separate bag so you don’t have to access your suitcase along the way.
- Just in case, bring something to eat and drink for the trip
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