Located in the Gulf of Thailand is the second-largest Thai island of Koh Samui. Its beautiful beaches, tropical jungle, warm climate, good infrastructure and well-developed hotel industry have made it a big draw for tourists from all over the world. Here are four popular ways to get to this destination which is 600 kilometres from Bangkok. Its closest mainland city is Surat Thani which is about 80 kilometres southwest.
Direct Flight to Koh Samui
This is the most direct and shortest way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok. It is also the most expensive option that does not discourage many thanks to the convenience. The two main airlines that fly this route are Thai Airways and Bangkok Airways. The flights depart from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. The flights take just about an hour.
Flight to Surat Thani, Ferry to Koh Samui
There are one-hour direct flights from Bangkok to Surat Thani that are more affordable than flying direct to Koh Samui. There are no flights that go from Surat Thani to Koh Samui. These flights depart from Bangkok’s Don Muang Airport and are offered by airlines such as AirAsia, and Nok Air.
On arrival, you can then buy a combined bus and ferry ticket to Koh Samui. There is an hour and a half bus ride to the pier and another hour and a half ferry ride that will land you on Koh Samui. The ferry operators also run the bus service so once you pay for your ticket at the airport terminal, it covers the bus journey and ferry trip. Altogether this journey should take at least four hours from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
Train Journey to Surat Thani, Ferry Ride to Koh Samui
For those that love a lengthy scenic route, this is a popular option. You can travel by train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, followed by a bus ride to the pier for a final trip by ferry. The train journey can take anywhere between 8 to 12 hours, departing from Hualamphong Station. There can be as many as 10 departure times a day.
Once in Surat Thani, the bus journey to the pier can be less than 2 hours. The ferry journey from the piers takes about an hour and a half. This route is certainly longer but is very economical. You can opt for more comfort by paying extra for an air-conditioned sleeper carriage in 1st class.
Bus Travel to Surat Thani, Ferry Ride to Koh Samui
This is the most affordable option but not as comfortable. Several bus companies travel to Surat Thani, with those from Sai Tai Mai at the Southern Bus Terminal offering the most direct service. You may also consider travelling by bus to neighbouring Chumphon and travelling by catamaran to Koh Samui. Some providers also have combined tickets that cover the bus journey and ferry or catamaran ride to Koh Samui.
You can book bus tickets online or simply visit the bus station ticket office. Some bus journeys can be fairly fast, allowing you to arrive in Surat Thani within 10 hours. You can make the journey more comfortable by choosing an air-conditioned bus, some of which have toilets.