Ko Samui is the premier island destination in the Gulf of Thailand. Samui is easily accessible, features beautiful beaches and a variety of activities, and caters to visitors on any budget.
Where to Go
Things to do
Food & Drink
How to go
Numerous busses from throughout Thailand, including Bangkok and Phuket, service Surat Thani town, the capital of the mainland province that includes Koh Samui. From Bangkok it is an 11 hour bus ride. From Surat Thani minibus or songtaew transfer to the boat pier is required to get a ferry to Koh Samui, although some tour operators will provide transfers in a bus-boat package. Busses arriving late at night may miss the last ferry to Koh Samui so it is often preferable to take an overnight bus to Surat Thani and then catch a morning ferry to Koh Samui.
The train station in Surat Thani is serviced by trains from cities to the north and south, including Bangkok and Hat Yai. From Surat Thani minibus or songtaew transfer to the boat pier is required to get a ferry to Koh Samui.
Bangkok Airways offers direct, non-stop air services between Koh Samui (USM) and Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Pattaya (U-Tapao), Phuket, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Flying time between Koh Samui and Bangkok is under an hour; flights between Samui and Phuket or Pattaya are under 45 minutes.
Thai Airways offers limited domestic service to and from Koh Samui; Berjaya Air connects Koh Samui and Kuala Lumpur; and Firefly provides service from Penang and Kuala Lumpur to Koh Samui.
For individuals from qualifying nations there is Visa-on-Arrival service available at Samui Airport.
From Samui Airport to the various beaches there are numerous ground transportation options. Minibuses offer seats for around 100 baht/person. A private taxi will cost between 150 and 300 baht depending on distance and negotiation, as most taxis on the island are unmetered (despite external appearances advertising Taxi-Meter).
It is also possible to fly to Surat Thani, which is serviced by budget air carrier Thai AirAsia. While fares are considerably more inexpensive, the flight, transfer to the pier, boat ride to Koh Samui, and final transfer to your hotel can take upwards of a full day.
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