GET TO KOH SAMUI

How To Get To Koh Samui – Your Perfect Guide In 2024

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Koh Samui is a tropical island located in the Gulf of Thailand and has everything a traveller desires. Tropical rain forests, white sandy beaches, and turquoise clear waters are just a few things this beautiful island offers. 

BUT

How do you get to Koh Samui? 

The answer depends on where you are coming from, and if you want to get there as fast as possible or not. 

Access to Koh Samui is simple. You fly there or you get the ferry, these are your only options when you want to get to Koh Samui. Flights are direct to the island whereas to get the ferry, you’ll likely have to get a bus followed by a ferry depending on where you are coming from.

This guide on how to get to Koh Samui will include transport from various popular destinations in Thailand. This guide will show you the cheapest prices, where you travel from, the most common routes and how to book your tickets in advance to avoid missing out on the day.

So read on and find out how to get to Koh Samui today!

Oh and check out the ‘Alternate Option’ section for a bonus tip!

Get To Koh Samui From Bangkok

To get to Koh Samui from Bangkok there are two main ways:

  1. Take a fight
  2. Get a bus and ferry combined ticket

You can also get a train journey followed by a bus and a ferry but I do not think this is the best use of your time.

From Bangkok train station the train ride will last approximately 10 hours and finish at Surat Thani Train station.

Take A Flight

Bangkok’s got two airports so it is important you make sure you turn up at the right one:

  1. BKK – Bangkok Suvarnabhumi (usually with Bangkok Airways)
  2. DMK – Don Mueang

The flight time varies between an hour to an hour and a half. This is significantly faster than any other form of transport going from Bangkok, as a result, there is a premium to pay.

If you book over a month in advance prices can be as low as £80 however if you book on the day prices can exceed £120. So by pre-planning, you can save yourself nearly £50 so make sure you check Skyscanner as soon as possible to get the best deal!

A lot of travellers will stay at Chaweng Beach at places like SocialTel. Travel from Koh Samui Airport to Chaweng Beach takes around 8 minutes, taxis can all be booked via Grab or Bolt for the best rates possible.

Bus & Ferry Combined Ticket

If you have a bit more time on your hands and want to save a bit of money, why not consider a bus and ferry combined ticket?

This is the most popular way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok.

6 options are running from Bangkok between 18:50 to 21:00. The two stations they depart from are:

  1. Khao San Road (Khao San Montanatip)
  2. Southern Bus Terminal Bangkok

I believe additional bus times can be booked from the Southern Bus Terminal but this will not be a combined ticket, just your bus journey.

As you would not be pre-booking your ferry ticket this way there is no guarantee you will make the ferry on arrival as it may be fully booked.

Once you have purchased your ticket through 12go Asia, the exact pickup locations will be visible through a Google Maps tab. I believe you will arrive at the ferry terminal in Surat Thani.

The transfer from bus to ferry is seamless and taken care of for you. The bus driver will send you into the waiting bay and present you with your tickets on arrival. This is certainly the cheapest way from Bangkok.

Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up (Drop Off Point)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
18:50 – 09:30Southern Bus Terminal (Lipa Noi Koh Samui)14 Hours 40 Minutes£30
19:00 – 10:00Khao San (Lipa Noi Koh Samui)15 Hours£25 to £31
19:00 – 09:30Khao San (Lipa Noi Koh Samui)14 Hours 30 Minutes£30
19:00 – 19:30Southern Bus Terminal (Lipa Noi Koh Samui)14 Hours 30 Minutes£34
19:00 – 09:30Southern Bus Terminal (Na Thon Pier)14 Hours 30 Minutes£34
21:00 – 11:30Khao San (Maenam Samui)14 Hours 30 Minutes£39
Get To Koh Samui From Bangkok Via Bus and Ferry

From here you wait for your ferry to Koh Samui, excited for the adventures ahead! You can again book your Grab or Bolt from the pier to your accommodation. Avoid the local taxis as they come at a premium.

Get To Koh Samui To From Phuket

Just like Bangkok, you have two options when you want to get to Koh Samui from Phuket. Depending on your budget you may want to…

  1. Take a fight
  2. Get a bus and ferry combined ticket

Take A Flight

By far the most convenient way is to go from Phuket International Airport (HKT) to Samui Airport. Several airlines operate this route, providing you with an extremely quick and efficient way to reach Koh Samui.

The flight duration is typically around one hour to get to Koh Samui, making it a time-saving alternative compared to other transportation options.

Prices are usually between £80 to £100 when booked on the cheapest travel day (Tuesday!). But prices may vary.

Flight options will run throughout the day so make sure to check Skyscanner for all the best prices.

Bus & Ferry Combined Ticket

Why not book a ferry and combined ticket from Phuket Bus Terminal 2 and save some money?

Departing from 06:00 – 09:30 many buses depart for Koh Samui all arriving in the afternoon after departure from the mainland.

Most of you will be staying near Patong Beach, the Bus Terminal is 22 minutes away from Patong Beach without traffic. 

Make sure you leave enough time to get to the Bus Terminal 2 – minimum 30 minutes before departure recommended.

Just like with the combined ticket from Bangkok, the handover process from bus to ferry is made smooth by the helpful staff working the route. You’re guaranteed a spot on the next ferry that leaves the port.

All there is left to do is catch the ferry!

Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up (Drop Off Point)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
06:00 – 16:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)10 Hours 30 Minutes£15
07:30 – 17:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)10 Hours£15
07:30 – 16:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Lipa Noi)9 Hours£15
07:30 – 16:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)9 Hours£15
08:00 – 15:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)7 Hours 30 Minutes£14
08:30 – 19:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)11 Hours£15
09:00 – 15:15Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)6 Hours 15 Minutes£29
09:30 – 19:30Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (Nathon Pier)10 Hours£15
Get To Koh Samui From Phuket Via Bus and Ferry

How To Get To Koh Samui From Krabi

Just like the previous you have two options when you want to get to Koh Samui from Phuket:

  1. Take a fight
  2. Get a bus and ferry combined ticket

Take A Fight

Prices will vary but on the day bookings can be £150+ whereas booking at least a month in advance will cost you around £80.

For this premium, you will get to Koh Samui from Krabi in around 50 minutes.

Not many direct flights operate from Krabi to Koh Samui so make sure you pre-check before booking to go to Koh Samui.

Bus & Ferry Combined Ticket

With a range of times and options available to you booking a combined ticket to get to Koh Samui from Krabi is a simple process.

The Krabi bus will take you directly to Donsak pier where the workers will ensure a smooth transition from the bus to the ferry.

Here are the departure schedules for some, not all, of the most popular times to take a ferry to Koh Samui:

Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up (Drop Off Point)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
08:00 – 11:45Krabi Lomprayah Office (Na Thon Pier)3 Hours 45 Minutes£24
10:00 – 16:30Krabi Bus Terminal (Na Thon Pier)6 Hours 30 Minutes£15
11:00 – 15:15Krabi Lomprayah Office (Na Thon Pier)4 Hours 15 Minutes£24
11:30 – 18:30Krabi Sea Pearl Travel (Na Thon Pier)7 Hours£15
Get To Koh Samui From Krabi

Koh Samui has a range of ports for arrival so make sure you check where you will arrive before pre-booking taxis.

How To Get To Koh Samui From Chiang Mai

To get to Koh Samui you have two options:

  1. Direct flight to Koh Samui from Chiang Mai
  2. Fly to my alternate airport which we will discuss later!

To save money it is possible to book a flight with 1 stop, routinely stopping in Bangkok but direct flights from Chiang Mai booked a few months in advance will cost you £100+. 

Getting a bus/sleeper train could also be an option but you would be bypassing SO many cool destinations en route to Koh Samui, I do not think this would be a good use of your time or money.

How To Get To Koh Samui From Koh Phangan Or Koh Tao

The most common way people will get to Koh Samui is from its neighbouring islands Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. 

The only way to reach Koh Samui from these islands is via a ferry ride and this is how you do it.

How To Get To Koh Samui From Koh Phangan

The majority of ferry crossings are operated from the Thong Sala Pier. Unless stated otherwise on 12go Asia you should arrive at this pier for departure.

Unless your ticket says Phangan Haad Rin Queen Pier go to the Thong Sala Pier for departure.

Arrive at the pier at least 30 minutes before departure to avoid the disappointment of the ferry leaving without you! Upon arrival at the pier show your ferry confirmation to the friendly Thai staff who will show you where to go next. 

They will point you in the direction of the relevant ferry company you are booked with, this will be one of three:

  1. Lomprayah
  2. Songserm
  3. Seatran Discovery

From my experience of this route, the Lomprayah is the fastest way to travel for your trip to Koh Samui taking approximately 30 minutes in travel time.

Ferries run from 07:00 till 17:30 and will cost between £5-£7.

How To Get To Koh Samui From Koh Tao

Unlike Koh Phangan, the pier you enter Koh Tao is the same one you’ll leave from and this is the Mae Haad Pier.

Getting transport from your accommodation, likely at Sairee Beach, can be a bit of a nightmare so make sure if you book a ferry ticket you leave between an hour and 45 minutes to get to the pier.

Upon arrival at Mae Haad Pier, the staff will point you in the relevant direction depending on the company you book through. These are:

  1. Lomprayah
  2. Songserm

Again Lomprayah offer faster service and is therefore the BEST way to get to Koh Samui, for the extra £2 it is more than worth it.

The distance between Koh Tao and Koh Samui is slightly longer than Koh Phangan so the ride takes around two to three hours. Only four ferries leave from Koh Tao to Koh Samui, the timetable is below:

Departure & Arrival TimesPick-Up (Drop Off Point)Journey DurationPrice Per Person
07:00 – 08:30Mae Haad Pier (Maenam Pier)1 Hour 30 Minutes£18
09:30 – 13:00Mae Haad Pier (Na Thon Pier)3 Hours 30 Minutes£13
09:30 – 11:30Mae Haad Pier (Maenam Pier)2 Hours£15
15:30 – 17:30Mae Haad Pier (Maenam Pier)2 Hours£15
Get To Koh Samui From Koh Tao Via Ferry

Alternate Option – Fly To Surat Thani Instead Of Koh Samui

Not many travellers tend to use this option but this is the one I used and it helped me:

  1. Save a few quid.
  2. Get to Koh Samui in a time-effective way.

When I flew from Bangkok to Surat Thani airport instead of Koh Samui we saved over £50!

Although it cost us £10 more to fly to Surat Thani than the bus and ferry combined ticket, we saved hours of transport time which then allowed us to enjoy Koh Samui even more.

At Surat Thani Airport, buses run regularly between Donsak Pier and the airport so as long as you get to the pier before 18:00 you will be able to purchase your ferry ticket to Koh Samui for 190 Baht (£3).

It is possible to fly to Surat Thani from airports all over Thailand. If you’re booking last minute, a flight to Surat Thani instead of Koh Samui may be a better option financially. 

What Are The Best Activities To Do On Koh Samui

So you’ve arrived in Koh Samui now what?

Once you get to the island you may be wondering what is there to do. Here is a list of a few activities you could consider during your trip to Koh Samui:

  • Want to explore Koh Samui? Rent a car or motorbike and have a day trip. On your list of places to visit should be Big Buddha, Overlap Stone, Na Muang Waterfall and so on. The views from Na Muang Waterfall are among the best in South-East Asia!
  • Relax on Chaweng Beach – The most popular beach on the island of Koh Samui. Where you’ll find fellow backpackers on similar trips to you.
  • Night Market
  • Attend a Muay Thai Fight
  • Visit Ang Thong Marine Park via a day tour – The Ang Thong Marine Park day tour will take you to numerous snorkel spots to see life beneath the waves while also visiting the famous Emerald Lake!
  • Koh Samui: Ethical Elephant Home Guided Tour – Feed, stroke and wash the elephants at this ethical Elephant sanctuary. 
  • Koh Samui Golf – Koh Samui has several golf courses for you to enjoy, I would highly recommend checking some of these out for the views alone! Don’t do an Adam… The golf club has gone further than the ball lol.
  • Footgolf – Tackle the challenging footgolf course on Samui Island. Can you beat the record I set for the country of England?

Where To Stay On Koh Samui

There are many places to stay around Koh Samui but where would we recommend?

The options on Koh Samui are endless so in my concise list I’ll include options for people who prefer to relax, those who want to party, and luxury options for those who want to enjoy themselves that tiny bit more.

Budget-Friendly Options 

SocialTel Samui

Probably the most chosen hostel of them all in Koh Samui is the SocialTel. SocialTel can be found near Chaweng Beach next to one of the biggest nightclubs on the island.

It’s a party hostel so it’s not for those who want to relax but with classy common areas and clean bedrooms to match getting a bed for as low as £11 a night really is a steal at the SocialTel.

Book SocialTel Here!

Chill Inn Lamai Hostel & Beach Cafe

Situated at the quieter Lamai Beach, this hostel is for the backpacker who wants to be away from the party vibes and just relax and enjoy the natural beauty of Koh Samui.

With over 2000 reviews holding an overall 9.0+ Rating on HostelWorld, this hostel is guaranteed to provide you with comfort and the most relaxing stay in Koh Samui.

Mid-Priced

Scenery Sunrise

This property found on Chaweng Beach is managed by a private host. 

Boasting impressive views, a private pool, magnificent apartments and an airport shuttle this property is sure to meet all your needs for your stay in Koh Samui.

AMAYA Resort

This 4-star hotel offers accommodation with an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, a garden and a restaurant.

Staff are happy to help with all your needs from taxis to recommending the best tours! They have over a 9.5 rating on Booking.com with over 100 reviews made which is exceptional, all your desires will be met at the AMAYA Resort.

Luxury

Sky Dream Villa Award Winning Sea View Villa

One of the BEST places to stay in the whole of Koh Samui.

Perfect for couples or large families this property is a fully-furnished 4-bedroom villa with a private 25-metre long infinity pool.

Rooms are immaculate, Pool tables, table tennis tables, an on-site gym quite literally anything you can think of is made possible with your hosts at Sky Dream Villa.

Villa Cocoon

The design of this Villa is something from a dream. 

Villa Cocoon in Koh Samui offers a sublime blend of luxurious amenities, breathtaking sea views, and impeccable service. Its sophisticated design and relaxing atmosphere ensure an unparalleled retreat in paradise.

If you can get together with a group of 8 you can book this whole property for a steal of a price! Trust me you’ve found a gem!

Final Thoughts

So there we have it, a comprehensive guide on how to get to Koh Samui from multiple different destinations in Thailand.

With a little bit of knowledge, it makes transport in Thailand significantly easier. While you’re in the South of Thailand it would be a waste not to make the most of it. Check out my other guides in southern Thailand.