bangkok to koh samui

How to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui

The island of Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island, after Phuket, and it’s located in the Gulf of Thailand.  Samui is known for its beaches, but also the forest in the interior.  Koh Samui manages to combine a reputation for posh and glitzy resorts as well as being a destination for budget backpackers too.  This guide covers you whether you’re going from Bangkok to Koh Samui or Koh Samui to Bangkok as you’ll need to know the best way to travel between these two destinations.  There are several options for transport between Bangkok and Koh Samui, but what’s the best way to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui?  And what are the options for traveling to Koh Samui from Bangkok?  Here’s our guide on how to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok.

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Where is Koh Samui

Koh Samui is off the east coast of Thailand in the body of water called the Gulf of Thailand.   Koh Samui is about 650 kilometers (403 miles) as the crow flies from Bangkok and about 750 kilometers (460 miles) overland, via Surat Thani, from Bangkok.  Koh Samui is in the Chumphon Archipelago group of islands that includes Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.  (Our guide to getting to Koh Tao is here)

The capital of Koh Samui is Nathon, which is the main port for Koh Samui, on its west coast.  It’s from here that you connect to the Thai mainland to Surat Thani.

Where to Stay in Koh Samui

There are a host of places to stay in Koh Samui – here’s our pick of the luxury places to stay in Koh Samui, mid-range places to stay in Koh Samui, and budget accommodation in Koh Samui.

Hansar Samui Resort (SHA Extra Plus), Koh Samui, Thailand: The Hansar Samui Resort (SHA Extra Plus) is a luxury resort located in a great location on Koh Samui. All of the rooms in this luxurious resort in Koh Samui have air conditioning, internet access, and a balcony as well as a refrigerator. This top Koh Samui resort also offers soundproofed rooms and has blackout curtains for a great night’s sleep. Rooms here also have coffee/tea machines and complimentary drinks, as well as a desk, a lock box, a private bathroom, and a hair dryer for your needs. They also include free toiletries and slippers for your use. And finally, enjoy your drinks from the mini bar during a fabulous luxury stay on Koh Samui. Check availability here.

Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort, Koh Samui, Thailand: The Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort is a mid-range resort on Koh Samui. All the rooms here at the Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort in Koh Samui include air conditioning, internet access, complimentary drinking water, and a coffee/tea machine.  Rooms at this great Koh Samui resort have balconies, a seating area, and a refrigerator; as well as free toiletries.  Crystal Bay Resort’s facilities include restaurants and bars; a playground and a swimming area for kids.  It’s a fabulous place to stay in Koh Samui. Want to see more about Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort? 

Bang Po Hut, Koh Samui, Thailand: The Bang Po Hut is a budget hotel located in the heart of Bang Por part of Koh Samui. All of the rooms offered in this budget hotel in Koh Samui have free WiFi and air conditioning in all public areas.  Some rooms offer A/C, others have fans.  Beds here are extra-long and there’s a full (shared) kitchen here too. This is a perfect budget hotel with high score reviews for your stay on Koh Samui. Want more information on the Bang Po Hut?

How to Go from Bangkok to Koh Samui – Transport Options

In this guide on how to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui, we’ll cover the fastest way to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui, the easiest way to go to Koh Samui from Bangkok, and the cheapest way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok.  Our guide on Koh Samui is here.

How to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok

For transport from Koh Samui to Bangkok, then you have several options.  You can fly to Koh Samui from Bangkok, there is an airport on the island.  If you choose to go to Koh Samui overland, then you must go from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then take a ferry from Surat Thani to Nathon.

You can book through trips overland from Bangkok to Koh Samui here.  If you book a through ticket from Bangkok to Koh Samui then the connections are guaranteed.

Check your through ticket options from Bangkok to Koh Samui here.

If you want to look at the individual parts of the overland trip to Koh Samui from Bangkok then keep reading.  If you do not buy a through ticket, then you’ll be responsible for getting from the train or bus station in Surat Thani to the ferry port. There are multiple bus stations in Surat Thani, but the city of Surat Thani is about 80km from the ferry port.

You can see the various bus and train stations as well as the ferry ports in our map later in this article.

Bangkok to Surat Thani

You can take a bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then catch the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui or you can take the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani or you can take a taxi to Surat Thani from Bangkok.  Note that if you buy individual tickets then you’ll need to get from the Surat Thani Train/Bus station to the pier, which is about 80 kilometers away.

Surat Thani to Koh Samui

The pier where boats go to Koh Samui is in Surat Thani.  There is a train station here and also large buses from Bangkok (and other locations in Thailand) arrive here in time to meet the ferries that travel to Koh Samui from Surat Thani.

Train & Bus & Boat from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Taking the train to Koh Samui from Bangkok is, for me, the best way of traveling to Koh Samui and this is also the cheapest way to go to Koh Samui from Bangkok.  You take the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then from Surat Thani to the ferry port by bus.  Most through tickets will finish when you arrive at the port in Koh Samui.

If you book a train and ferry ticket at the train station BE SURE to book it directly at the train ticket windows.  The vendors at the stalls here in Hua Lamphong will charge you a markup for no extra service.

Trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani

There are usually 9 direct trains a day from Bangkok to Surat Thani.  Trains to Surat Thani from Bangkok usually leave from Hua Lamphong train station in Bangkok.  There are seat seats on the trains to Surat Thani from Bangkok, and also sleeper trains too.

You can check the times of trains to Surat Thani from Bangkok here.

Hua Lamphong is the central railway station in Bangkok.  You can get to Hua Lamphong on the blue line of the Bangkok MRT, and this is often easier to use rather than getting stuck in the above-ground traffic in Bangkok.

Bangkok train station

The train from Bangkok to Surat Thani takes between 11 hours and 13.25 hours.  You will need to buy a ticket ahead of time, especially if you want to have a sleeper seat.  Tickets for the train from Bangkok to Surat Thani cost from around 220 THB upwards. 

Bangkok to Surat Thani Train sleeper seats in sitting position

The first train from Bangkok to Surat Thani is at 07:50 and the last train to Surat Thani from Bangkok is at 22:05.  It is a great way to save on accommodation costs and time to take the sleeper trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then to get the ferry to Koh Samui.

Dinner on the sleeper train in Thailand

Ferries from Surat Thani to Koh Samui

When your train (or bus) arrives in Surat Thani, you’ll then need to transfer to the ferry port. It’s 80 km away.

transfer bus from Surat Thani to ferry

The ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui only takes from 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours and 15 minutes, as Koh Samui is only 79 kilometers (49 miles) from the Thai mainland at this location.

You can book the ferry to Koh Samui from Surat Thani here.

ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui
Surat thani to Koh Samui ferry

Bus + Ferry from Bangkok to Koh Samui

You can also take the bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani and then get the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui.  The benefit of the bus to Surat Thani is that it goes directly to the pier in Surat Thani.  This is the cheapest option for going to Koh Samui from Bangkok.

The bus + ferry from Bangkok to Koh Samui takes from 11 hours to 15.5 hours.  You’ll need to check in for your bus at least 30 minutes before bus departure time in Bangkok.  It’s about 750 kilometers (466 miles) by road from Bangkok to Surat Thani Koh Samui and the bus from Bangkok to Koh Samui is one of the easiest ways to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui. 

Buses from Bangkok to Surat Thani leave from either Khaosan, Mochit Bus Terminal, or the Southern Bus Terminal in Bangkok. There are 7 buses that run from Bangkok to Surat Thani each day.  The first bus to Koh Samui from Bangkok leaves at 5 pm and the last bus from Bangkok to Koh Samui leaves at 9 pm.

These buses to Surat Thani from Bangkok are air-conditioned and by booking online here you can select your seats.  There are a variety of different seats available, from standard bus seats to semi-sleeper seats.  The bus from Bangkok to Surat Thani is not as comfortable as a train sleeper to Surat Thani.

Check availability, prices, and book seats on buses from Bangkok to Koh Samui here.

Taxi from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Taking a private taxi to Koh Samui from Bangkok is comfortable and will cost upwards of US$360 for a car.  Taxis will take you directly to the Surat Thani pier for the ferry to Koh Samui. It is the most comfortable way to travel. It takes about 11 hours to drive to Surat Thani from Bangkok, you will have to factor in break times for the driver.  You can check prices for Bangkok to Koh Samui taxis here.

Map of Bus Stops and Train Stations for going from Bangkok to Koh Samui

map of bus train airports bkk to koh samui

You can also see the train station and bus stops from Bangkok to Koh Samui here

Flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Flying to Koh Samui from Bangkok is the quickest way to get to the island.  Flights to Koh Samui from Bangkok take just over one hour.  This is also the easiest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui.  You can fly from Don Mueang Airport to Koh Samui or from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Koh Samui.  A one-way flight costs from around US$70. Check prices of flights to Koh Samui here.

There are usually 24 flights a day from Bangkok to Koh Samui International Airport.  The first flight from Bangkok to Koh Samui is at 7:30 am and the last flight to Koh Samui from Bangkok is at 7 pm.

There are four airlines that fly from Bangkok to Koh Samui, Bangkok Air, Thai Airways, Lion Air, and Nok Air. 

The quickest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui

The quickest way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok is to fly.  Flying to Koh Samui from Bangkok takes about 65 minutes.  A train and ferry to Koh Samui from Bangkok takes around 13.5 hours, and a bus and ferry to Koh Samui takes around 14.5 hours. You can book tickets from Bangkok to Koh Samui here.

The easiest way to go to Koh Samui from Bangkok

The easiest way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui depends on where you are staying in Bangkok.  It is easiest to get a door-to-door transfer, (you can check the rates here), but this takes a long time.  Flying is the easiest way to go to Koh Samui, but you will also have to get to the airport.  I prefer to take the overnight train, and this is how we traveled when we went from Bangkok to Koh Samui.

The cheapest way to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui

The cheapest way to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok is to take the bus and ferry – reserve your seats here.

The best way to go from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Well, now this depends.  I love traveling on trains, and this trip, for me is best by overnight train, but if you’re short of time, then you should fly to Koh Samui.  We took the train from Bangkok to Koh Samui.

Popular Routes in Thailand

Want to know more about different forms of transport in Thailand? Our guide to Thailand transport is here. And here’s how to travel some of the popular routes around Thailand, your options, and how we did it.

Travel Tips for Exploring Thailand

Final Words on How to Go from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Visiting Koh Samui from Bangkok is an easy trip to take.  Koh Samui is well connected by trains, buses, ferries, and flights and this is an easy journey.  You can take a bus and ferry combination,  or a train and ferry combination, or a flight to Koh Samui.

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