Currently, Koh Samui can be accessed by air, by ferry, or using a combined ferry/bus service from Bangkok and other major centres in Thailand. Below, we’ve listed the most popular ways to get to Koh Samui.
Koh Samui Airport © ijammin
Getting to Koh Samui by Air
- Koh Samui has its own international airport, making it easy to reach by air from within Thailand and abroad. Flights to Samui International Airport are available on Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, Chiang Mai, Phuket, Krabi and Pattaya U-Tapao. Compare flight prices and departure times using flight comparison website 12Go.
- Read our full guide to Samui International Airport for more information on facilities available at the airport, as well as visa information for travellers.
- International flights to Koh Samui are available from Malaysia on Berjaya Air and Firefly, and from Singapore on SilkAir. These airlines codeshare with many international airlines, allowing passengers to fly into Samui from further abroad by transferring through Singapore or Malaysia. Check 12Go for more details.
- From Koh Samui Airport, it’s a short taxi or minivan transfer to popular beach resort areas such as Chaweng, Bophut and Lamai.
- Because Koh Samui Airport is privately owned and operated, low-cost carriers can’t offer direct flights to Samui. Most low-cost carriers, such as Nok Air and AirAsia, instead fly to Surat Thani Airport, which is a short distance from Koh Samui on the Thai mainland. See 12Go for prices and departure times.
- From Surat Thani Airport, you can reach Koh Samui within two to three hours using a bus and ferry transfer. Flights to Surat Thani Airport are available on AirAsia, Nok Air and Thai Smile from Bangkok (Don Muang Airport) and Chiang Mai.
Getting to Koh Samui by Ferry
Getting on the boat. © ironypoisoning
- Koh Samui is only a short distance from the Thai mainland, making it easy to access the island by ferry from Donsak in nearby Surat Thani, and from further afield destinations like Chumphon.
- The most popular way to reach Koh Samui by ferry is from Donsak. Donsak Pier is located 60 minutes from Surat Thani Airport by road and has two ferry operators, Songserm and Seatran, that travel to Koh Samui.
- You can book ferry tickets to Koh Samui online through travel website 12Go, as well as checking current ferry timetables and prices.
- Ferries depart every 30 to 90 minutes during high season. Most tickets are sold as combined bus and tour transfers from Surat Thani and cost 300 to 600 baht. It takes 60 minutes to reach Koh Samui from Donsak Pier, although the trip can take slightly longer in bad weather.
- Donsak Pier itself is a fairly basic facility with little to do, other than watch Thai TV shows in the waiting area. There is a small restaurant serving Thai food and a convenience store. Snacks are available onboard the ferry, although pricing is quite high and selection is limited.
- Ferries to Koh Samui from Donsak Pier arrive at Nathon, a small town that is the island’s main administrative centre. Taxis, minivans and songthaews (pick-up trucks with bench seating) are available to offer transport to Chaweng, Lamai and other beach areas.
- It’s also possible to reach Koh Samui by ferry from Chumphon, although it takes far longer than the ferry from Donsak. This is only a convenient option if you are travelling to Southern Thailand by road from Hua Hin or other resort cities close to Bangkok.
- The Lomprayah ferry from Chumphon takes around five hours to reach Koh Samui, stopping at Koh Tao and Koh Phangan on the way. Some of the ferries from Chumphon arrive at Maenam Pier in the north of Samui, instead of at Nathon Pier on the island’s western coast.
Getting to Koh Samui by Bus
- Although it’s a long journey, it’s possible to travel to Surat Thani by bus from Bangkok, and then onward to Koh Samui by ferry. The public bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani leaves Sai Tai Mai station in Bangkok on a frequent schedule from 5am until 8pm. No bookings are required. You can book bus tickets to Koh Samui online with 12Go, as well as checking prices and departure times.
- Air conditioned and standard buses are both available, as well as a VIP bus service. Since it’s a long journey (on average, 10 to 12 hours), it’s worth spending slightly more for the extra comfort of the VIP or air conditioned bus.
- Although it’s possible to take buses from Khao San Road to Surat Thani, most of these private buses are best avoided. Prices are higher than the public bus service and theft, particularly of valuables left in bags and suitcases, is common.
- Most buses arrive at Surat Thani Bus Station, which is located five kilometres from the city. If you have a joint bus and ferry ticket, you’ll be transferred onto a bus travelling to Donsak Pier, where you can catch the ferry to Koh Samui.
Getting to Koh Samui by Train
- Finally, it’s possible to travel most of the way to Koh Samui by train. There is a train station in Phun Phin, a regional district about 15 kilometres west of Surat Thani. Trains depart frequently from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station and take nine to 12 hours to reach Surat Thani.
- The best option for reaching Surat Thani by train is to book an overnight sleeper ticket, which provides a comfortable bed and a much more pleasant journey. Tickets can be booked from Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok or through most travel agencies, and online with 12Go.
- From Surat Thani station, it takes about three hours to reach Koh Samui: two hours to get to Donsak Pier from the station, and slightly over one hour to travel from the pier to Koh Samui using the ferry.
Travelling Between Koh Samui and Other Islands
- Koh Samui is the main ‘hub’ island of the Samui Archipelago, making it easy to travel between Samui and other nearby islands such as Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
Getting to Koh Samui from Koh Phangan
Ferries from Koh Phangan to Koh Samui depart from Thongsala Pier and take 30 minutes to get to Koh Samui’s Bang Rak Pier. There is also a high speed ferry operated by Lomprayah from Koh Phangan’s Thongsala Pier to Nathon Pier on Koh Samui. Check times and prices on 12Go.
Getting to Koh Samui from Koh Tao
The Seatran Discovery ferry leaves Koh Tao three times daily at 6:30am, 9:00am, and 3:00pm, reaching Bang Rak Pier on Koh Samui in two hours. All Seatran ferries from Koh Tao to Koh Samui stop at Koh Phangan on the way. Check pricing and timetables on 12Go.
Buy Ferry Tickets To Koh SamuiYou can buy bus and ferry tickets to Koh Samui online. Use the search box below to find out departure times, prices and to book online. Enter a different starting point if you're not coming from Bangkok
Koh Samui Travel Guide:
- Koh Samui – A Very Quick Travel Guide
- How To Get To Koh Samui
- Things To Do On Koh Samui
- Places To Eat On Koh Samui
- Koh Samui Airport
- Where To Stay On Koh Samui
- Koh Samui Villas For Rent
- Koh Samui Nightlife
- Koh Samui Day Trips
- Koh Samui Weather
- Koh Samui Beaches