White sand beaches, clear waters, lush tropical forest, and fresh coconut water are only a few of the things you will find in the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Located on the Gulf of Thailand, this holiday destination has everything a traveler could hope for an unforgettable beach holiday. But before enjoying the sunny days and warm sea, you must discover how to get to Koh Samui and plan the best route for your trip.
Compared to the other islands in Thailand, getting to Koh Samui is reasonably easy. Koh Samui Airport is well connected, receiving national and international flights. You can also travel to Koh Samui by ferry or a combination of bus/train + ferry, it all depends on where in Thailand you are traveling from.
To help you plan your journey to paradise, we created a detailed guide about how to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok and other destinations in Thailand. We covered the most common routes with timetables, prices, and how to book your tickets in advance and have a hassle-free trip to Samui Island.
How to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok
There are a couple of options to travel from Bangkok to Koh Samui, ranging from being super-quick to long and scenic. You can fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui or travel by a combination of bus/train plus ferry. It all depends on your time, budget, and style of travel.
The most efficient way to travel from Bangkok to Koh Samui is by flight. There are an average of twenty daily flights to Koh Samui between 6:00 AM – 8:30 PM. The journey from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Koh Samui Airport takes 75 – 90 minutes. The fast journey comes with a higher price tag, flying to Koh Samui is usually the most expensive way to get to the island.
If the direct flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui are too costly but you don’t want to spend 15 – 17 hours on the road, you can buy flight + bus + ferry tickets. Nok Air, Air Asia, and Thai Lion Air offer combo tickets, departing from Don Muang Airport at regular intervals between 6:00 AM and 10:30 AM. Journey length ranges between 6 – 10 hours, and you will be dropped off at Koh Samui pier. Choose Koh Samui as the final destination when booking your ticket, and the flight company will organize all the transportation from Bangkok to Koh Samui without any extra booking or charge.
Another option is to take a bus from Bangkok to Koh Samui, it will be a combination of bus + ferry. To travel to Koh Samui by bus, you can choose between public buses that leave from Sai Tai Mai Terminal in Bangkok from 5 AM to 8 PM. Or you can get one of the tourist buses that depart from the Khao San Road area at 8:00 PM.
This trip has two legs. The first one is the bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani pier (12 to 14 hours), then the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui that can take from 2 to 4 hours. For this journey, you will spend something in between 850 to 1400 bahts.
If you have the time to spare, you can take a combination of a train + bus/van + ferry to Koh Samui. This combo of tickets is available to take you from Bangkok to Koh Samui in roughly 14 to 16 hours.
The trains from Bangkok to Koh Samui can take from 8 and a half hours to 12 hours, depending on the train. For such a long trip, the best option is to book an overnight sleeper train that departs from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok. The train arrives at Surat Thani station, where a bus/van will take you to Donsak pier to catch a ferry to Koh Samui. The bus plus the ferry trip takes about 4 hours. This combination of ticket costs around 1400 bath and includes all the transportation from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
It is important to note that you should book your tickets to Koh Samui in advance, especially the ones that combine different transportations. This is to ensure that your seats are secured and you do not end up being stranded.
Don’t forget to buy your Travel Insurance!
How to get from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui
The city of Chiang Mai [read our guide here] is in the north of Thailand, 1440 KM away from the island of Koh Samui. You can travel directly from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui with a direct flight from Bangkok Airways. The flight departs Chiang Mai Airport daily at 9:00 AM and at 12:50 PM, arriving at Koh Samui Airport by 10:45 AM and 2:35 PM, respectively. While the journey is fast, it’s most certainly not the cheapest option to travel to Samui Island.
If you still want to save time and fly from Chiang Mai to Koh Samui, you can get connecting flights through Bangkok. As mentioned above, multiple flights are departing from Bangkok to Koh Samui under different airlines that are more affordable. Alternatively, you can fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and then get a combined bus + ferry ticket for the onward journey to Koh Samui. This is still much faster than making an overland journey.
If you are not averse to making the trip overland, you will definitely enjoy the views along the way. However, you will have to make a stop through Bangkok, regardless of the method of transportation you choose.
One option is to combine train with ferry. The train from Chiang Mai to Bangkok departs 9 times in the day and costs between 600 baht – 1800 baht for a ticket. The journey takes about 10 – 14 hours and ends at Hua Lamphong train station. From there, you can immediately get on another train to Surat Thani, as we mentioned above.
If you are not a fan of trains and prefer to go to Koh Samui by bus and ferry, you can get a bus from Chiang Mai to Bangkok. The buses that depart from Chiang Mai will drop you off at Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal. From the Northern Terminal, you will have to make your way to the Southern Bus Terminal called Sai Tai Mai. This should take about an hour. At the Southern Bus Terminal, you will find buses heading to Surat Thani, where you will catch the ferry to Koh Samui. This combined trip will cost between 900 baht – 1300 baht and can take about 17 hours to complete.
How to get from Phuket to Koh Samui
Just like Koh Samui, the island of Phuket is an extremely popular travel destination in Thailand [read our guide to Phuket here]. As such, traveling between the Andaman Coast and the islands of the Gulf is a straightforward affair that can be done by flight, ferry, bus, and taxi.
The fastest way to travel from Phuket to Koh Samui is by direct flight. Bangkok Airways flies out of Phuket Airport six times a day between 9:45 AM and 4:35 PM. Flights arrive at Koh Samui Airport within 55 minutes of departure, ticket prices can vary a lot.
If a direct flight from Phuket to Koh Samui is ut of the table, your other option involves a combination of bus + ferry. Travel time can take anywhere from under 7 hours to an entire day, so if you want to save time, your best bet is to buy any of the bus + ferry tickets sold by Phantip 1970 or Lomprayah.
Lomprayah offers the fastest combo of bus + ferry from Phuket to Koh Samui. Their buses depart the Lomprayah office at 7:00 AM and 10:00 AM daily, connecting to Laem Thuat pier, where you will get the ferry to Koh Samui. Combined tickets cost 800 baht per person, and the entire trip takes 7 hours to complete.
For a slightly slower but cheaper journey, you can travel with Phantip 1970. Their buses depart from Phuket by 9:00 AM every day, heading for Donsak pier where you will catch their boat to Koh Samui. Tickets cost about 650 baht per person, and the entire trip takes 7 – 9 hours.
Remember to buy your tickets online, in advance, to avoid being stranded for lack of space on the buses.
How to get from Krabi to Koh Samui
If you are wondering how to travel to Koh Samui from Krabi, rest assured that options abound. Making the journey by air is easy, there are flights from Krabi to Koh Samui Airport departing every day at 1:45 PM. The flight takes 50 minutes, and it’s definitely the fastest way to go from Krabi to Koh Samui.
You can also travel from Krabi to Koh Samui by land. You can buy a combination ticket of bus + ferry, which is even more affordable. The trip takes between 4 to 7 hours to complete, and tickets cost about 700 baht. Many companies are offering this combination of bus + ferry from Krabi to Koh Samui, you can choose by the price, duration of the trip, or time of departure.
If you want to take the scenic route from Krabi to Koh Samui, but in comfort, you have the option of hiring a private taxi to pick you up at your hotel and take you to the island. BangkokTaxi24’s drivers are competent, and their vehicles are clean. Fares typically cost between 7000 baht to 8000 baht that includes the taxi ride from Krabi to the pier, the ferry to Koh Samui, and the taxi from the pier to your hotel. You can book your trip from Krabi to Koh Samui by taxi here.
How to get to Koh Samui from Koh Tao or Koh Phagnan
The islands of Koh Tao, Koh Phagnan and Koh Samui are located close to each other. They are the most famous islands in the Gulf of Thailand, and all three are worth visiting.
The distance from Koh Phagnan to Koh Samui is only 115 KM, while the distance from Koh Tao to Koh Samui is 67 KM. The journey between the three islands is typically covered by ferry service. The ferry companies that travel between the islands are Lomprayah High-Speed Catamaran, Songserm, and Seatran Discovery.
So, how to travel from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui? It’s easy, and you can choose between two companies. The ferry from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui with Songserm departs from Thong Sala Pier at 7:00 AM and arrives at Koh Samui 90 minutes later. Lomprayah has faster boats, leaving Koh Phagnan by 7:20 AM and arriving at Koh Samui in 30 minutes. The price of ferries from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui is an average of 400 Bahts.
And how to get from Koh Tao to Koh Samui? This trip takes around 1 hour and 50 minutes with Lomprayah High-Speed Catamaran, and 2 hours with Seatran Discovery. Ferries from Koh Tao to Koh Samui depart twice a day, at 9:30 AM and 3:00 PM, and tickets cost between 600 baht to 750 baht.
We covered the most common routes to travel to Koh Samui. If you are traveling to Koh Samui from different cities, you will probably need to make a connection in Bangkok, Krabi, or Surat Thani. We recommend the websites Bookaway and 12Go Asia for searching and booking transportation in Thailand. They’re easy, safe, and you travel hassle-free, which is a must for an unforgettable holiday. And don’t forget to read our posts about Thailand here, I’m sure you will find tons of useful info and travel tips.
If you need extra info, drop us a message on the comments below. Have an awesome trip to Koh Samui.
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