If your looking for beautiful beaches, jungle treks, waterfalls, buzzing nightlife, water sports, activities or a bit of tropical island life then Koh Samui is the perfect holiday destination or a must stop on your traveling itinerary.
Koh Samui is known as one of the big party islands for good reason, the coastal areas of Chaweng and Lamai are absolutely buzzing and the perfect place to be if you want to party. However, Koh Samui also has more relaxed and chilled out areas too, such as Meanam, Bophut or Choeng Mon, at the northern part of the island.
Koh Samui really is a good all-rounder, offering a fantastic experience for all types of traveler whether your on a backpacking trip, on a family holiday, looking to party or seeking a peaceful, tranquil place to chill out and relax.
So where exactly is Koh Samui and how do you get there?
The Island of Koh Samui is located just off the east coast of Thailand’s Kra Isthmas in the gulf of Thailand, in the province of Surat Thani. Koh Samui is surrounded by the amazing Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park to the west and the islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Tao to the north.
Koh Samui is the second largest island in Thailand, second only to Phuket and receives over 2.5 million foreign tourists each year, all relying on Thailand’s transport network of planes, buses, ferries and taxis to get them there.
Keep reading to find out how to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok, types of transport available, times & schedules, departure and arrival points, booking information and buying tickets.
Bangkok to Koh Samui by Plane
Getting a flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui is by far the most easiest and convenient way to get there. The distance between Bangkok and Koh Samui is around 770 kilometres, so it’s a long journey if you’re not flying. For this reason, taking a flight is a very popular choice of transport for foreign tourists.
Flights to Koh Samui are operated by Bangkok Air (who are the only carrier) and leave from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport. Because of its popularity, there are now 20+ flights to Koh Samui from the capital everyday.
The flight time from Bangkok to Koh Samui is just 1 hour and 10 minutes, but with getting to the Airport, checking in, going through security and collecting your baggage once you’ve landed your realistically looking at a total travel time of around 4-5 hours or so. However, this is still much quicker than taking the bus or train along with the ferry. Flight times do vary depending on the plane, the Airbus A319 takes 1 hour 10 minutes (sometimes quicker) and the ATR 72 propeller plane takes around 1 hour and 30 minutes.
As Bangkok Air are the only airline to fly to Koh Samui, there is no direct competition from other airline carriers. This makes the cost of flying to Koh Samui quite expensive if compared to other domestic routes in Thailand. You will be looking at spending $300-$400 for a return ticket.
If you are looking to save some money you can fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then get a bus to the ferry port and take the ferry to Koh Samui. Flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani are much cheaper, with airlines such as Air Asia, Nok Air, Thai Smile and Lion Air all covering this route. Ticket prices are as low as $60 for a return ticket, if your flexible with times and dates.
Use our search feature below to check availability, compare prices and booking information.
Bangkok to Koh Samui by Bus and Ferry
For those who favor taking the bus, you have two options. The first option is to take the Bus from Bangkok to Chumphon, then take the high-speed catamaran to Koh Samui. The second option is to take Bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani, then take the ferry to Koh Samui.
Buses to both Chumphon and Surat Thani leave from Bangkok’s Bangkok Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) on the Borommaratchachonnani Road, in Bangkok’s Thonburi district on the western side of the Chao Phraya River.
If your taking the bus from Bangkok to Chumphon, you’ll need to look for the bus operator called Suwannatee Tour, which again leave throughout the day from 9am through to 10pm. The Bus journey from Bangkok to Chumphon takes around 6 and a half hours.
There are various bus operators which cover the route between Bangkok to Surat Thani including: Bangkok Busline, Choke Anan Tour, Krung Siam Tour, Nakhon Si Racha Tour, Sombat Tour and Sri Suthep Tour. There are a total of 15 buses leaving throughout the day from 7am through to 9pm. The bus journey from Bangkok to Surat Thani takes around to 12 hours.
By far, the most popular way to travel to Koh Samui is by the Lomprayah Bus and Ferry service which leaves from Khao San Road in Bangkok. The bus first makes a stop in Hua Hin to pick up more passengers then takes you to Thung Makham Noi Pier in Chumphon. From there you will board the high-speed catamaran to Pralarn Pier in Koh Samui, via the islands of Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. To check availability, compare bus prices and booking information use our search feature below.
Bangkok to Koh Samui by Train, Bus and Ferry
Taking the train from Bangkok to Koh Samui is a very worthwhile experience in itself, yes it does take a little longer than other methods of transport but it gives you a chance to travel though this beautiful part of the country and take in Thailand’s amazing scenery.
You will need to get to Bangkok’s Hualompong Train Station where you can catch the train to either Chumphon or Surat Thani. From there you can get the ferry to Koh Samui. The train journey to Chumphon takes 6 hours and 30 minutes and the train journey to Surat Thani take 11 hours and 40 minutes.
Taking the train is also more comfortable and gives you a little more space to walk around, compared to taking the bus. The best way to travel is to get either a 1st class, 2nd class or 3rd class sleeper ticket, which gives you a comfortable seat which folds out into a bed. Opting for a higher class will give you a better quality seat and bed as well as little more privacy. You also have the choice between air conditioning or Fan if you opt for the cheaper 2nd and 3rd class tickets.
If you going to Surat Thani and not too bothered about taking in the scenery, the best option is to take the overnight sleeper train. You’ll be able to get some sleep and arrive in Surat Thani early in the morning. From there you can arrange your onward bus journey to Don Sak Pier and get the ferry to Koh Samui.
The most convenient way to book your transport to Koh Samui is by getting a joint ticket, which includes the train, bus and ferry tickets all in one. The cost for a 2nd class sleeper + bus + ferry joint ticket is $56 and 1st class sleeper + bus + ferry joint ticket is $72. You can check availability, departure times and ticket information by using our search feature below.
Bangkok to Koh Samui by Taxi and Ferry
Getting a private taxi or minivan from Bangkok to Koh Samui is pretty expensive. However, if you’re traveling as a group or as a family it maybe the perfect option for you. The journey is quite long and will take roughly 11 hours to get from Bangkok to Don Sak pier.
Another alternative is take a shared minivan from Khao San Road, these can be very cramped though and you’ll likely need to wait around until the van is full. There are lots of travel agents in Khao San who will gladly sell you a minivan + ferry joint ticket.