Bangkok and Koh Samui: Four Travel Options
Regardless of your budget and method of travel, there’s many ways to reach the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Reaching the paradise known as Koh Samui is the end game afterall, right?
Fly Bangkok (BKK) to Koh Samui (USM) nonstop
This is the most expensive option, but is also the fastest and most practical for many western tourists. Both Thai Airways (TG) and Bangkok Airways (PG) operate non-stop flights from Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). At the moment, no flights from the low cost hub at Don Mueang Airport exist, but there are alternatives as you read on.
Bangkok Airways actually developed, built, and owns the airport on Koh Samui. As the owner, they’re the primary player in the market, but allow Thai Airways to operate in exchange for a landing fee. The airport itself is beautiful and easy to use, which is a big plus.
At the moment, Bangkok Airways offers 19 daily flights while Thai Airways operates two. Search around for the lowest fares, prices may vary based on point of sale (country in which ticket is purchased) and whether you book through a travel agency or directly with the airline. Regardless, advance purchase is the way to go.
Fly Bangkok Don Mueang (DMK) to Surat Thani (URT) and Enjoy Ferry
Low cost airlines such as Nok Air (DD) and Thai AirAsia (FD) will fly you from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport (DMK) to either Surat Thani (URT) or Nakhon Si Thammarat (NST). From either of these two cities, it’s a short bus ride followed by a ferry service out to Koh Samui.
Airlines such as Nok Air actually sell “through” packages to Koh Samui which include flight, bus, and ferry. This option takes a bit more time and gives you the opportunity to see more of Thailand. We like to call it “The Scenic Route” to Koh Samui.
Overnight Train Adventure or Bus plus Ferry
This is certainly the most adventurous, but isn’t the most convenient for most travelers. If you wish to give either of these two choices a go, here’s the scoop:
Overnight Train via Surat Thani to Koh Samui
Catch the overnight train from Hualumphong Train Station in Bangkok to Surat Thani. Many may find this to be an enjoyable yet interesting alternative to flying. Plus it helps to add an injection of adventure to the journey. Upon arrival in Surat Thani, make your way to the pier and take the ferry to Koh Samui.
The Bus via Surat Thani to Ko Samui
All roads lead to Koh Samui, right? This is the least expensive way to reach the island, but probably ranks up there among the least enjoyable. If you truly have a sense of roughing it, you may catch a bus from Southern Bus Terminal (Sai Tai Mai) in Bangkok to Surat Thani. Once in Surat Thani, you must still get to the pier and take a ferry over to Koh Samui.
Yes, it’s cheap, but it doesn’t sound the most desirable between the length of time it takes plus lack of comfort.
As a consumer, you have many choices, but we’d suggest you look back at options one and two, or number three if you’re seeking adventure.