Koh Samui and Koh Phangan info guide, everything you need to know about sunbathing, dinning, partying and all other activities and interrest.
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Koh Phangan Koh Samui

Koh Samui is an island located in the Gulf of Thailand.
You can reach it by plane from many places around Thailand and from abroad. Alternatively, you'll have the option to go down to Suratthani by bus or train and then take a boat from there or Donsak piers. You also have connections from Koh tao.

You won't find a highway or an expressway on Koh Samui. Instead, there is only one main road that follows the coastline around the island in an inner circle, with many smaller roads branching out towards the main beaches. These roads are tarred, so they are generally in good condition, with some damage here and there to be expected.

They are quite safe, but if you rent a vehicle you need to remember that driving is on the left-hand side. Drive carefully as it is so easy on a holiday to forget the rules. We have seen many foreigners in some pretty serious accidents.

How to get to Koh Samui and leave it
From Bangkok To Koh Samui or Back From the South To Koh Samui or Back
By Airplane                       + ½ hour Boat
By Plane via Suratthani + 1 to 2 hours Boat
By Train via Suratthani  + 1 to 2 hours Boat
By Bus via Suratthani    + 1 to 2 hours Boat
By Bus from Pukhet     + 1 to 2 hours Boat
By Bus from Malaysia  + 1 to 2 hours Boat
How to move around while on Koh Samui
Renting a vehicule  |  With Taxis  |  By Speed Boat
HOW TO GET TO KOH SAMUI AND LEAVE IT

click here and check Bangkok Airways website for domestic and international flights to Thailand or all over Asia. click here and check Thai Airways website for domestic and international flights to Thailand or all over the world. click here and check Air Asia website for domestic and international flights to Thailand or all over the world.
Click on the logo of the airlines to visit their web site for flight timetables...
There is an International airport in Koh Samui, it is located between Bophut and Chaweng north. You can arrive directly from abroad, from an airport in Asia, like Hong-Kong or Singapore or via Bangkok from western airports. And it also means that you can make the check-in for you international flight leaving from Bangkok straight from Samui, if you have a domestic flight from Samui to Bangkok to catch your international flight.

Airport tax for international flights.
The airport tax in Thailand for international flights is now included in the price of your ticket, wherever you bought it. If it is not the case (for some low cost carrier, may be), it costs a standard 700 Bahts per person and you’ll pay it at check in point at the airport when leaving Thailand.
If you take an international flight from Samui you will have to pay these 700 Bahts there.

Airport tax for domestic flights.
You won´t have to pay this tax anymore on departure from Koh Samui airport, as it is included in the price of your ticket since 2008. It's 50 bahts in other airports in Thailand.
Bangkok Airways, the owner of Samui airport, is not anymore the only company that offers direct flight to the island, as some routes are opened now for Thai Airways.
Thai Airways or Air Asia also offer much cheaper flight to and from Suratthani, still on the mainland. You will then have to take a boat to Koh Samui.

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If you don’t fly direct, the shortest way to get to Samui is via Suratthani, on the mainland. You can reach Suratthani by plane, train or bus and then take a boat.
If you stay in Malaysia or already in Thailand, apart from the plane, many minibus services also run to and from Suratthani from/to many different places.

Do it the smoothest way, if you can afford it... the plan only takes 1 hour from bangkok to Samui, against 14 hours by bus or train.

PLANE TO SURATTHANI

Instead of arriving straight in Samui, you can save money and fly direct to Suratthani, on the mainland.
Thai Airways and Air Asia have daily flights.

To reach Samui, you will then have to take the boat for a 1h00 to 2h00 trip, depending on the company. check here for timetables for boat to koh samui.

TRAIN TO SURATTHANI.

Trains leave Bangkok frequently and you have bus to bring you to the pier to Koh Samui. The best way is to take a sleeper on an overnight train.
The State Railways of Thailand provide three classes of accommodation: 1st, 2nd and 3rd class. The 1st class is expensive, with a private room, the 2nd class is very comfortable, definetly the best deal, and the 3rd class is clean and acceptable but really tiring for the longer journeys.
You can buy joint ticket including train and boat to Koh Samui at most travel agencies in Bangkok and in the train station. And the same tickets are offered here to go back to Bangkok. There are free buses to bring you from/to the pier to/from Suratthani town, airport or train station.

Click here for the Train Time Table to and from Bangkok

If you stay in the South or in Malaysia, you can come straight with the train that links the border to Bangkok, via Hat Yaï and Suratthani.

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Local rythm, food and people, a great local life experience, the best you can expect from a journey in a thai train to Suratthani on your way to Koh Phangan. Sleeper Bus 24 seats, for a real VIP trip... straight down to Koh Samui.

BUS TO SURATTHANI.

The public buses are slower and much more tiring than the private air-conditioned coaches run by numerous companies, especially for long distance travel. To go to Suratthani from Bangkok it is better to choose between two types of buses: the Luxury buses with toilets and air con and the VIP buses with two floors, a toilet and air con, you'll get here much more relaxed than with the cheap bus. You can buy joined tickets for the bus and the boat to Koh Samui at most travel agencies.

Click here for the "VIP Bus timetable Koh Samui to and from Bangkok.

This VIP half-sleepers bus leaves straight from Koh Samui Raja ferry pier in Lipa Noi. This is the best deal but the most expensive as well (around 1000 bahts meal included).
Alternatively, there are so many other private luxury bus companies, each running a different schedule that you’ll be better off checking with your travel agent for the time tables of the "luxury" buses they work with. Try anyway to take Raja ferry pier to reach Suratthani, as it allows you to leave at 03:00pm at the earliest, compared to 12:30pm for other boat companies...

BUS TO PUKHET AND KRABI.

Many companies from Suratthani run minibuses to these destinations twice daily (or more). There are so many companies you better book your ticket from a travel agent in Koh Samui and avoid arriving without ticket in Suratthani.

BUS TO HAT YAÏ, MALAYSIA (Penang, KL...) AND SINGAPORE.

You have the choice between the regular minibuses from Suratthani private companies that run the Southern routes. Once at the border, the links are automatically managed to many destinations in Malaysia and even Singapore.



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Today in Samui

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BOATS TO KOH SAMUI FROM THE MAINLAND.

There are now so many companies running boats to and from Koh Samui. Just to name a few, the main ones are Raja ferries, Seatran ferries, Songserm express and the night boat.
It will cost you between 180 and 250 bahts to go from Suratthani town to Koh Samui and same for the return ticket.
An extra charge of 100 bahts might be asked to bring you to the train station or to the airport.

Click here for a full timetable of all boat companies, Koh Samui to and from Suratthani, by destination and chronological order
.
The Raja Ferry and the Seatran Ferry (carrying vehicles and passangers) leave from Donsak pier, one hour from Suratthani center (there's a coach transfer included in the price). Both offer a good service and the journey only takes one hour to one hour and half.
Boats from Songserm Express leave from Thathong pier, thirty minutes from Suratthani center. They are supposed to be faster than ferries, but years after years, they are getting older...
The night boat leaves from Suratthani pier, right in town. You will find a mattress and a pillow to lie down whilst gazing at the stars in the sky. And if you are still not sleeping in the morning, you might catch the beautiful site of the sun rising over the islands.

BOATS LINKING KOH SAMUI TO KOH PHANGAN AND KOH TAO TO KOH SAMUI.

There are many different ways to reach Samui from Koh Phangan. The journey costs between 200 and 250 bahts depending on the company.

Click here for the timetable of all boat companies to and from Koh phangan, in chronological order

There is also a brand new company, Samui-Phangan Express that started a regular speedboat service from Bantai Pier in Phangan to Big Budha in Samui in early 2008, the trip takes 10 to 15mn and costs 450 Bahts. They have departure every hour from 8:00am to 07:00pm, from Samui and Phangan.

All the routes to Koh Tao stops in Koh Phangan before Koh Samui. The ticket costs between 350 and 450 bahts depending on the company.

Click here for the timetable of all boat companies to and from Koh Tao, in chronological order
If you tend to get sea sick, the Lompraya Catamaran is for you... As it is more quiet than other boats to reach or leave Koh Samui. To leave or reach Koh Samui, the night boat we'll take you to/from Suratthani, in old style sleepers, great souvenirs like Thailand can offer... Why not leave Koh Samui to go to Koh Tao with Thai fishermen... less fast, but so much more typical. On condition that you're able to be understood and that you love fish smell.

All boat from Songserm Express and Seatran Ferry leaving Suratthani arrive in Nathon on Koh Samui.
The Seatran Discovery and the Lomprayah are both utra-speed boat companies that link Koh Samui to Chumphorn on the mainland via Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
The Butsapakmanee boat also manage to link the three islands off the "packaged day-tours" they organise.

The Haadrin Queen makes its way there and back between Samui and Phangan four times a day. It leaves from Big Buddha pier in Samui and arrives in Haad Rin on Koh Phangan.

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HOW TO MOVE AROUND WHILE ON KOH SAMUI.


Rent your own vehicle will allow you to discover the numerous sites of Koh Samui exactly the way you want to do it and at your own rythm. Bike, in spite of its danger, is the cheapest and the most usual mean of transport, here. However, before signing the contract, it's always a good idea to check the motorbike with the owner so as to avoid getting charged for something you haven’t broken yourself when giving the bike back. The prices vary between 150 and 500 baht/day (and even more for CBR...) depending on the category and the state of the bike.

Although more expensive, renting a car is safer and if there are 3 or more of you, it could turn out to be a better financial option. Many international agencies are at the airport and around Chaweng, there are also few travel agencies and Bungalows renting Suzuki Caribbean or Pick Up trucks.
It’s also recommended that you check the car for any existing scratches on the day you rent it.

Visit our special page to Rent a car in Samui with Budget Thailand©.
The regular taxi route in Koh Samui is the road ring road, for other places, check the timetable or ask your hotel. Despite their noisy engine, taxi-boats still keep their special charm to take you to secluded beaches of Koh Samui.

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If you are not too keen on driving a motorcycle, especially if you are not too good a driver, you may prefer to travel by taxi... The case being, you'll have different choices.

COLLECTIVE TAXIS - SONGTAEWS.

There are no official stops, so you just have to waive at the taxi when you see one on the road. It is recommended to check the price before getting in. Alternatively, if you already know the price, simply hand in the exact amount to the driver on arrival at your destination...

Metered taxis are widely available on Koh Samui, you can recognize at their red and yellow cars. But be warned that they never ever use the meter, you will have to bargain the price of the course before leaving.

MOTORBIKE TAXIS.

It is a good option if you are alone and do not have bags, they go faster than car for a cheaper fare. They usually stand by near popular spots in town, and are another cheap way to move around Samui. You will find them around the TESCO-Lotus or the Makro in Chaweng and you can easily recognize them as they wear colourful tops with numbers. Here again, it is recommended to fix the price before.

TAXIS BOATS.

Most of the Taxi-boats have disappeared of Koh Samui, and the only "taxi boat service" you can find here is from speedboat... Nevertheless, you can still ask around, to locals and fichermen as they can still organize round trip or taxi courses with the old style long tail boats.

If you want to go to visit some of the nearby islands such as Koh Tao, Koh Nang Yuan or the Angthong National Marine Park, you’ll find many speedboat companies. You can contact one of the few tour counters available throughout the island to book yourself a direct trip or a special tour around these islands.


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