Koh Samui by Sea (and air… and land!)

Koh Samui to Bangkok: What’s the best way?

Let’s be honest here! There is no right answer to this question. It all depends what you are looking for? Cheapest? Fastest? Most scenic? Most fun? This article will help decide which is the best way to Koh Samui island for you.

Taking the boat; scenic and fun… but a bit slower than flying direct.

Taking the SeaTran Ferry to Koh Samui allows you to experience marvellous scenery and have more spending money when you arrive! Although slow in terms of time this route offers significant savings over flying direct to Koh Samui airport.

Koh Samui - Donsak SeaTran Ferry

Koh Samui - Donsak SeaTran Ferry

For amateur and pro photographers alike you’ll experience an eclectic selection of great photo opportunities ranging from the glorious architecture of Suvarnabhumi international airport, through the wonderful landscapes and scenery surrounding Suratthani and topping it off with the glorious island seascapes of Koh Samui island.

It’s a great way of experiencing the joys Thailand has to offer.

Flying Direct – Fast, but you miss a lot.

Air Asia flights usually offer best value

Air Asia flights usually offer best value

For beach lovers who absolutely must maximize their sunbathing time, choose the fast and expensive option of a direct flight from Bangkok. Over 75% of arrivals to Koh Samui airport come via Bangkok, but there are other options – Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Pattaya,  and Krabi all offer flights direct to Koh Samui international airport (USM). To learn which airlines are the best choice for you, please view this article on Koh Samui flight details.

Bus from Bangkok – Economical and a memorable experience.

Express Bus Good - Lucky boy!

Express Bus Good - Lucky boy!

Taking one of the excellent national bus services can offer significant savings – not only is it the cheapest way to get to Koh Samui – but it also saves you another night’s accommodation because it’s a night bus which leaves Bangkok around 6pm and arrives at the pier the next morning.

Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a lottery whether you remember your trip for the right or the wrong reasons… some drivers can be a little bit haphazard and some buses can have some seriously cool air-conditioning. I strongly recommend choosing the first class bus – these are usually all blue in colour – the blue and orange ones are second class or privately run and can take forever.

The buses leave from the southern bus terminal

Quick comparison (low season estimates):

Fly direct: Bangkok to Koh Samui: 3160 THB, 2 hours

Flight to Suratthani (1000 THB with AirAsia cheap flights) – Bus to Dongsak Pier 200 B – Boat to Nathorn Pier, Koh Samui (350 THB, 45min or 200 THB 90min)  - Total; 1400 THB, 6 hours.

Bus to Chumporn: High Speed Katamaran to Koh Samui during the night – Depart Bangkok 9pm Arrive 11:20am the next day. Total 1300 THB, 14 hours 20 min.

Bus all the way – including Ferry ticket. Leave Bangkok 7:30pm Arrive 8am the next day. 600-800 THB, 12 hours 30min.Depending on bus class and size.

Express Bus - Old but shiny!

Express Bus - Old but shiny!

Useful Koh Samui Ferry Links:


http://www.seatranferry.com/schedule.php (Thai only)



About Samui Spy

SamuiSpy is an intrepid adventurer with a thirst for travel. No alley goes unexplored when SamuiSpy is seeking the latest Koh Samui travel knowledge to share with his loyal website visitors.
This entry was posted in Driving, Floating, Flying, Frontpage-image, Getting There and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Koh Samui by Sea (and air… and land!)

  1. Tomas says:

    we came to Koh Phangan Island – Thailand for beach but we felt love with rainforest and jungle. Zip down above tropical jungle and enjoying a spectacular view with a spike of adrenaline that made us an everlasting memories. An exciting and adventurous tour which is ideal for those with a true Indiana Jones spirit and “thrill seekers” who think they have done it all with http://www.safariboat.info and we love it!


    • dominicscaife says:

      Cheers Tom, your site looks great. I’m hoping to pay Phangan a visit sometime mid-November.

      I hope I find time to take advantage of those fab looking tours you run!

      Kind of surprised to get comments so soon, just built this site a day or two ago… check back in a few days when I finished my Samui map… pants down right now 8)

  2. Pingback: Koh Samui Flight Secrets | SamuiSpy.com

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