Koh Samui, a large island in the Gulf of Thailand, south of Bangkok, is the second most popular island tourist destination in Thailand. Every year, several million tourists from all over the world descend on Koh Samui to enjoy its pristine beaches, world-class scuba diving, famous tourist attractions, fun nightlife and fresh seafood. Getting to Koh Samui from Bangkok used to be difficult but has become much easier in recent years as the island’s popularity has grown. There are now several different ways to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok – each with pros and cons, depending on what your needs are.
Go to Koh Samui From Bangkok by Plane – The easiest and fastest way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok is to fly. Two airlines currently fly into Koh Samui Airport – Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways. Bangkok Airways is usually the much cheaper option, with return flights as low as $100 if you book ahead. Thai Airways is one of the most expensive airlines in Thailand so, for me, it’s always the last resort unless they are running a large promotion. With around 40 flights daily from Bangkok to Koh Samui, basically every half hour to hour, this is the most convenient way to get to Koh Samui.Plus, Koh Samui Airport is cool as it’s very tropical, with no indoor area, just a small gift shop.
Go to Koh Samui From Bangkok by Train – You can take a train from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong Station down to Surat Thani, in southern Thailand. I love doing it this way as Hua Lamphong’s art deco train station is such a wonderful way to start off your vacation, with lots of little restaurants and snack bars and cool photo opportunities. Once in Surat Thani, take a boat to Koh Samui’s Na Thon. Express boats take about three hours and slower boats between five and six hours. Great way to see the sights though and cheaper than the plane. You can also get a sleeper berth on the overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, so you sleep most of the way anyway. Takes up to 16 hours by train plus 3-6 hours by boat. Prices run from 200 baht to around 800($5.50 to around $28) depending on what type of train you take and if you get a private berth or not.
Go to Koh Samui From Bangkok by Bus – The least comfortable way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok is by bus. It’s the cheapest way though and easy to get a bus from the Southern Bus Station. VIP buses are air-conditioned, express buses that rarely stop and, with a movie, snacks and bottled water included in the price, plus ferry fair from Tha Thong Pier in Surat Thani, at around 800 baht (around $28) they’re a good deal. Time-wise, they’re in the middle taking about 11 hours from Bangkok to Surat Thani. I just don’t like being cramped up for so long, so buses in Thailand are always my last option.
Whichever transportation you decide to use to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok, you shouldn’t miss it. Koh Samui is a world-famous island paradise and a must-see for any visitor to Thailand.