The second largest of Thailand’s islands, Koh Samui is a tropical haven with a cosmopolitan atmosphere, beautiful white sandy beaches, lush rainforest, electric nightlife and an all round chilled vibe.
No wonder that it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country, and why so many expats and tourists wonder how to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui.
Nestling like a glittering jewel in the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand just east of the mainland, Koh Samui has everything holidaymakers could wish for, whether travelling on a budget or indulging in a luxury getaway.
If you’re looking to experience this magnificent island’s delights, there are many different ways to get there from Bangkok including direct or transfer flights, by bus, or by rail.
Here’s the lowdown on everything you need to know about getting from Bangkok to Koh Samui…
Flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui
At around 700 kilometers distant from the capital city of Bangkok, there’s a lot of ground to cover to get to Koh Samui.
The fastest and most straightforward way to travel there is by air.
Direct flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui are marginally less frequent than transfer flights as there are fewer carriers that operate on the direct route.
That said, direct flights nevertheless still depart daily from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, although ticket prices are considerably higher than for indirect flights.
Flights arrive at Samui International Airport, which is located in the northern part of the island near Bo Phut Beach, and this small but perfectly formed airport is reputed to be one of the most attractive airports in the world.
There are multiple daily flights departing from Bangkok, with the earliest being at around 6 am and the latest at about 8 pm.
Here’s a video look at the Bangkok Air flight:
Flying From Bangkok to Koh Samui (The Cheaper Way)
Island Transfer is a new easy all-in-one travel plan created for travellers that includes flights, land and sea transfers to the beautiful islands of Thailand.
These combined tickets fly you from Bangkok to the nearby mainland cities of either Chumpon, Surat Thani or Nakhon Si Thammarat, and then give you a coach transfer to the pier plus a ferry transfer across to the island of Koh Samui.
The benefit of an island transfer ticket is that there’s no need for you to worry about arranging complicated transfers yourself, as everything is already taken care of.
Journey times vary depending on the route taken, but the average is around 6 hours, including all transfers and layovers.
There are multiple flights daily, from 8 in the morning to around 4 in the afternoon. The average price of an island transfer ticket is about 3000 THB for a round trip.
Bangkok to Koh Samui Train
It’s also possible to travel to the island of Koh Samui from Bangkok by train.
You can choose between either an overnight sleeper service train or a day train for the trip.
Trains depart from Bangkok’s Hua Lamphong station, and the journey takes between 8 and a half and 12 hours depending on which of the services you choose.
Day train departures leave Bangkok at 8 am in the morning onwards, with the earliest service arriving at around 5 pm in the afternoon.
The more popular sleeper trains start departing from Bangkok during the afternoon, with the latest departure at 11pm arriving at Surat Thani train station on the mainland near Koh Samui at about 8 am the following morning.
From Surat Thani train station, it’s necessary to take a bus to Donsak ferry pier (about 40 kilometers distant) and then catch a ferry across to Koh Samui island.
It’s possible to buy combination tickets, which include the bus fare and ferry over to the island as part of the price (around 1000 THB all inclusive), or alternatively make your own transfers and buy a ferry ticket directly at the pier.
Bangkok to Koh Samui Bus
Many people making the journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui choose to make the trip by bus — especially if you’re a fan of slow travel and watching the Thai countryside pass you by.
Buses depart from Khao San Lomprayah and Khao San Songserm stations not far from Khao San Road in the heart of the city, or from Mo Chit bus terminal or the Southern Terminal.
Buses either arrive directly at Chumprn Pier or at Surat Thani train station, the latter from where it’s necessary to make bus and ferry transfers across to the island in exactly the same way as if you were travelling by train.
Anticipate between 12 and 13 hours for the journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui by bus, excluding ferry transfers.
It’s possible to buy combination tickets that include ferry transfers, and tickets cost anything from 800 to 1500 THB depending on the class of bus you choose.
What’s your favourite way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui?