Koh Samui Travel & Info
Flights to Bangkok, Thailand
Many airlines fly to Bangkok and we find that shopping around about three months in advance will usually produce the best option. From the United States we have flown on Korean Airlines, China Airlines, and Cathay Pacific (from Los Angeles or New York). These airlines had the best rates and good service, but its routes included stopovers in either Hong Kong, Seoul, or Taipei.
If you are in Europe, there are also many choices. Some airlines, like British Airways, fly direct, with daily service. For those based in Australia/New Zealand or Asia, flying over is no more than a hop, skip, and a jump. Best to check prices online before working with your travel agent for promotional fares.
For those in the United States, check www.orbitz.com or www.expedia.com. You can expect to pay between USD $1000 and USD $2000, depending on your location & season. Expect to pay more during high season summer months.
Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways fly directly to Koh Samui from Bangkok. They operate flights every hour daily, and you can book your flights directly online. The first flight out is around 6 am and last flight is around 10 pm daily. One-way is around 4000 THB. Travel time is approximately one hour from Bangkok.
There are direct also flights from Phuket, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Hong Kong.
Phuket – 2 daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Singapore – daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Hong Kong – daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Kuala Lumpur – 3 x week http://www.berjaya-air.com
Budget Airlines to Koh Samui
For a more affordable route to Koh Samui fly from Don Muang Airport in Bangkok to Suratthani on the mainland and take the ferry.
Lion Air Flights from as low as 500 baht!
Air Asia Asia’s low cost airline.
Nok Air A small carrier with daily flights.
From Suratthani Airport there are plenty of transfers (approx 1 hour) to bring you by coach to the Ferry (1.5 hours). You arrive in Nathon, Koh Samui.
By Train and Ferry
Bangkok to Samui: Trains for Surathani (which actually stop in Phun Phin, 14 kilometers west of Surathani) leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station. The 6:20 pm (rapid) and the 7:15 pm (express) trains are most convenient, as they arrive at 5:28 am and 7 am, allowing you plenty of time to catch an 8 am boat to Koh Samui. The bus/ferry journey will be an additional three hours once you’ve arrived in Surathani. Songserm offers a joint ticket (train + bus + boat) for around THB B1,300, which lands you in Koh Samui by 11 am.
The ferry journey from Donsak pier is 1 1/2 hours. Donsak is 30 minutes from Surathani.
Tickets for the train can be booked at Bangkok Airport, Bangkok Railway Station, and many travel agencies in Bangkok. To purchase your train tickets in advance, Asia Discover Thailand can arrange for the tickets to be mailed or to be picked up at your Bangkok hotel. Allow at least one month before your departure date to arrange for train tickets.
Samui to Bangkok: Take the 2 pm boat from Nathon to the mainland, and a connecting bus will take you from the pier to the train station in Surathani. Tickets purchased from agents in Samui normally include the boat, bus, and train fares. The ticket is cheaper if you go to the station yourself, but there is a good chance the train will be fully booked as much as a week in advance.
Passport holders of the United States, Australia, and most European countries do not require a visa if staying less than 30 days. If you are planning on staying longer, you should get a tourist visa from the Thai embassy in your resident country, which will allow you to remain in the Kingdom for a longer period. You can also extend your visa while in Thailand. Visa extensions now cost THB B1,900 for 15 to 30 days on either a 30-day or 60-day visa. Overstaying your visa costs THB B500 per day, with a maximum fine of THB B20,000.
You can extend your visa at the immigration office in Koh Samui. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to noon and 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Bring one passport photo.
For visa information, please go to http://www.thaiembdc.org/wp/ for the United States; www.thaivisa.com for all other countries.
The information we provide on our website is subject to change and we advise at all time to check with the Thai embassy of resident country and relevant websites.
Thailand uses Baht (THB) currency. You can check to see the latest exchange rate at www.xe.com. Traveler’s checks are always a safe option, but you can usually get a better exchange rate through your bank by using ATM machines. There are many ATMs and currency exchange places on Samui. Most major supermarkets, retailers accept Visa/ Mastercard credit card.
Thailand is a clean, healthy place to visit. No immunization shots are required. With the latest SARs scare in Asia (2003) and Avian Bird Flu (2004, 2005), Thailand has been even more cautious about tourist safety. You can always check the World Health Organization (WHO) for updates.
Having said that, we recommend you take precautions to keep your immune system strong. Drink bottled water, wash your hands regularly, eat clean, healthy foods (do not eat street food), and take vitamin supplements if necessary.
Weather on Koh Samui
January – February. Highs of around 30 ℃
March – April. Things start to heat up and can reach a steamy 40 ℃ – perfect for sun worshippers.
May – June. The temp starts to dip again, with a few tropical rainstorms thrown in to clear the air.
July – September. Highs of around 35 ℃ , with some bouts of rain, usually only lasting a few hours.
October – November. The favourite time of the year for many Samui expats , when the temperatures drop to a balmy 25 ℃ with some stunning thunderstorms thrown in for good measure.
December – Highs of around 30 ℃ with occasional rain to keep the island lush, green and tropical.