There are various transport options for getting to Samui. The most obvious and easiest is by plane, but flying can be an expensive option for some, basically the options are limited with carriers and routes. Flights arrive from Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur only.
Below is a list of options.
The cheapest option for travelling to Samui is by bus. It is also the least comfortable and longest route to the island. There are standard and VIP bus options, all are air-conditioned except the local buses. We’d recommend the VIP option, limited to 24 passengers. It’s a 12 hour journey to Nathon town on Samui and you’ll want to be as comfortable as possible, for a few extra Baht it’s worth it.
Always purchase your ticket inclusive of your ferry journey. Most tickets include your ferry ticket, but do check as you don’t want to be left at the dock in Surat Thani with Samui literally on the horizon. You can book your tickets at any travel agent in Bangkok, but your best bet is to go to the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok and book direct.
The buses generally leave Bangkok in the early evening, arriving the next morning in Koh Samui. If you’re going to Bangkok, the buses depart in the afternoon from Nathon.
- One-way on the standard bus: 600-700 Baht (approx)
- One-way on the VIP bus: 700-1000 Baht (approx)
Don’t forget to carry a warm jumper with you, the air-conditioning on the bus is ice cold!
There are two companies we’d recommend for this trip;
- 999 "The Transport Co": BBK +66 2 435 1200, Samui +66 77 231 833
- Sombat Tour: BBK +66 2 936 3256
Unfortunately the websites for both companies have only Thai versions.
If you have the time, Thailand's rail system is a great option for getting around and seeing the country. It's inexpensive, relaxed and you can stretch out in relative comfort. The journey from Bangkok to Samui takes about 14 hours including the ferry, and in our opinion the best option over land.
You can take the overnight sleeper train and snooze the entire journey in relative comfort. Or you can take the morning train and enjoy the scenery for the entire journey, a great experience.
The train departs from Bangkok at the Hualamphong Train Station and terminates on the mainland at Surat Thani Train Station at Phu Phin. Once arrived shuttle buses transport you to the ferry in Don Sak, it’s about a 45 minute drive. Depending on your train schedule the ferry will arrive in Samui at the Raja Ferry terminal on the west of the Island at Lipa Noi or at the Lomprayah Pier in Mae Nam on the north side of the island. The ferry journey takes about 1.5 hours.
Make sure you book your ferry trip with your train ticket.
The approximate prices:
- Second-class seat - 800 Baht
- Second-class sleeper - 1000 Baht
- First-class sleeper - 1550 Baht
All above are air-conditioned.
For online ticket reservations: State Railway of Thailand
Ferries from the mainland at Surat Thani and Don Sak piers to Koh Samui are run on a daily basis. The trip takes about an hour and half. Aside passenger ferry or catamaran there is also a vehicle ferry. Some ferries actually do transfers direct from Bangkok. Travelling by bus via Hua Hin then boarding the ferry at Chumpon with stops at Koh Tao and Phangan before terminating at Samui.
Timetables for both Ferries and Catamarans can be found here
In our opinion your better off going by VIP bus or even better take the train and taking the short ferry trip direct to Samui. If you are heading to other islands, this is still a better option if you plan ahead.
Ferries from the mainland leave every hour and the same in reverse.
- One-way price: 150 Baht (approx)
Some companies that operate this service are as follows;
The easiest route to your Samui holiday is by airplane.
Samui International Airport is owned by Bangkok Airways, they built the airport here in Samui. Essentially this is why almost all flights to Samui are with Bangkok Airways from Bangkok. If you book your International flight inclusive of your Bangkok to Samui flight it will be cheaper than booking it separate.
The only other airline to fly direct from Bangkok to Samui is Thai Air, but their flights are limited twice daily.
Bangkok Airways also fly to and from Phuket, and direct to and from Singapore.
There are cheaper options from Bangkok to Surat Thani airport, where you can board a ferry to complete your journey to Samui. It’s an extra 2 hours including transfer to the pier and ferry journey. Nok Air and Air Asia operate daily between Surat Thani and Bangkok.
Coming from Malaysia, FireFly fly direct to and from Kuala Lumpur daily.
Useful websites: Samui Airport, Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways, FireFly, AirAsia, Nok Air