Samui Transportation and transfer guide
is an island located about 80 kilometers from Suratthani, the nearest
mainland city. You can fly here with Bangkok Airways directly from Bangkok.
They also have direct flights from Phuket, Krabi and Singapore. Pelangi
Airlines now offers 2 charter flights per week direct from Kuala Lumpur,
with availability subject to demand.
Those on a budget can take the trains from any of the above cities for
as little as 1/10 the cost of flying. Many people book sleeping berths
in the overnight trains from Bangkok. You will disembark at Suratthani
station very early in the morning, from where you are taken by bus to
the ferry for the 1 to 2 hour crossing from the mainland.
Buses are the least expensive option for those on a tight budget. They
also travel to Suratthani from all major cities in the region. If you
have a car or motorcycle that you wish to bring to Samui, you can drive
to Donsak Ferry Terminal and put your vehicle on board.
The direct flight from Don Muang airport in Bangkok to Samui is by far
the most convenient way to come. Samui Airport is privately owned and
operated by Bangkok Airways and the price of the ticket is high by comparison
to other comparable destinations throughout the country, however the airport
is a sight for sore eyes (and sore bodies.) This delightful little facility
has won International awards for its environmentally friendly design and
Note: Bear in mind you will be required to pay a 450 baht per person
surcharge upon your departure from Samui airport, payable in baht.
An economical option to consider is a flight from Bangkok to Suratthani
with Thai Airways. The cost of the ticket is substantially less than the
Bangkok Airways direct flight to Samui. However from Suratthani you will
still have to take a bus from the airport to the ferry for the 1 hour
20 minute boat ride across. Because of the ferry and flight schedules,
this itinerary seems more practical going than coming.
Tel: (662) 229-3434
While it has certain drawbacks, the bus is easily the most economical
way to travel, and an adventure in itself. You can buy tickets and board
at the major Bangkok public bus stations, or if you are stopping at Khao
San Road, you can catch an overnight bus departing in the evening, to
all southern destinations including Samui. You will stop very early in
the morning at Suratthani, which is the mainland access city to Samui,
where you will transfer to another bus for the trip to the ferry that
crosses to the island.
Be aware that not all buses are the same. Spending a few baht more can
make a significant difference in comfort. The most comfortable are probably
the overnight "Super VIPs." These air-conditioned double decker
vehicles have toilets, seats that lean back quite far with leg rests at
the bottom, and they also supply blankets for the journey. All buses stop
at least once for refreshment, but little or no food or drink is served
on board. An evening video is almost always shown on an overhead TV, and
played at volumes that may make sleep difficult. However once the film
ends around 10:00 pm, if you're lucky, you may sleep through much of the
Khao San Road Known to readers of every budget traveler's guide,
this little corner of the city is the first stop for many first-time travelers
to Thailand who wish to spend a little time in Bangkok before continuing
their journey. Catering especially to "backpackers", most find
Khao San Road a very hospitable place, and the easiest way to ease into
the country with a minimum of culture shock. All the merchants and travel
agents speak English, there are second-hand bookshops, coffee shops and
inexpensive guesthouses, and many spend a few very comfortable days there
chatting with travelers from all over the world before moving on to their
Tour buses run directly from Bangkok to Samui, and Samui to Bangkok via
the vehicle ferry from Donsak in Suratthani Province.
Southern Bus Terminal :
Boromratchchonnani Rd, Bangkok Tel: (662) 435-1200, 434-7192
You can economize by making the trip from Bangkok (or elsewhere) to Samui
by taking the train, and if you have the time, it can be good fun. Most
people opt for a second-class berth in a fan-cooled or air-conditioned
compartment, while a private first-class cabin for two can be very romantic!
Either way, the cabin service is usually quite good
While the trip is long and the noise of the train may wake you up often,
new friendships are sometimes made during the journey. Don't forget to
take a bottle of water and tissue paper on board with you. The conductor
will waken you prior to your early morning arrival in Suratthani, but
you might want to take a small alarm clock with you in case.
NOTE: If no sleeping berths or (reclining) seats in second class carriages
are available, think very carefully before buying a third class train
ticket. The seats are straight backed and fairly rigid, and the carriages
can get very full and warm. It might be the longest journey of your life.
When you disembark at Suratthani, employees of the bus company will be
waiting to stow your bags in the correct bus that will take you to the
ferry pier for the boat ride to Samui.
When you board the ferry, if you're still sleepy, you can buy a seat
in the "VIP" aircon lounge for 40 baht. The seats recline and
are very comfortable.
These Rail-Bus-Ferry tickets can be purchased at the train station in
Bangkok. For the return trip from Samui, you can buy them on the island
at Songserm and other travel agents.
STATE RAILWAY OF THAILAND
Thon Buri Station Southern Line
Advance tickets are available at all principal stations or the Bangkok
Advance Booking Office.
Tel.(662) 225-0300 ext 5200-3.
If you are planning to drive to Donsak Ferry pier and put your vehicle
on board, plan to arrive at least 45 minutes prior to the departure of
the boat you wish to take, so that you are not too far back in the queue.
Samui is an explorer's dream. It is just big enough to offer a wealth
of diversity of landscape, vistas, flora and fauna, and yet small enough
to seek adventure in its many out-of-the-way places, while hardly ever
losing sight of sea. Below are some ways in which you can do this.
For many reasons, the least suitable for exploring, but the safest and
easiest way to get from point A to B if you don't know where B is! Drivers
of public (red) taxis have operated uncontrolled for years. Regrettably
they have been the source of many complaints. These have included rudeness,
overcharging, and occasionally worse. Efforts are now being made to address
all these problems. In the meantime however: obtain a copy of our TAKS
"Getting the Most from Samui" guide booklet when you arrive.
Use the instructions and the chart inside to ensure that you pay fair
rates and avoid confrontation.
If you rent a Jeep
Available from many family-owned agencies and some large companies whose
names you will recognize, the rental of a 4 wheel drive vehicle will allow
you a lot of freedom. It will serve as your basic transport, but you can
also use it to circumnavigate the entire main ring road of the island
(about 1 hour) and more. You can visit many hillside natural and man-made
attractions which are easily accessible from the ring road. You can stop
at them all, going at your own pace. If you are especially adventurous
and have experience in off-road driving, you may head up unto the mountains.
(Rented dirt bikes are another option for those who want to go off-road.)
There, if you can negotiate the ruts and sometimes seemingly impossibly
steep inclines, you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the surrounding
islands, as well as flora and fauna that is overwhelmingly beautiful.
If Samui is paradise, its mountains are its Shangrilah.
Some of these vehicles come with insurance, but the coverage is limited.
You had better ask for the details.
Many of those who remain down on earth, seem to opt for motor bikes to
get around town, go to the beach and go out for the evening; making these
inexpensive rentals the most popular option by far. They are fast, fun
and easy to park. But BEWARE. Many local drivers have not received proper
instruction in traffic safety, and tourists are often riding these bikes
for the first times in their lives. Many SERIOUS ACCIDENTS happen. People
are killed, and the statistics are alarming. However a prudent person
need not panic. These accidents are almost always due to a serious lapse
in judgement. Remember that while Samui may be a paradise you are still
a mortal. Upon your arrival, see the TAKS Guide Booket for the safe driving
tips you will need.