How to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui

Are you in Bangkok wondering how to get to Koh Samui? Look no further. We break down your Bangkok to Koh Samui travel options.

Koh Samui feature

Once a sleepy fisher island, Koh Samui is now well-known for its palm-fringed beaches, breezy nightlife, and posh spas. But there’s much more to Koh Samui, and there are a number of ways to get to this paradise island in the Gulf of Thailand.

If you’re in Thailand’s capital and wondering how to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui, you’ve come to the right place. We break down all your options and give you a flavor of transportation from Bangkok to Koh Samui.

Travel options from Bangkok to Koh Samui

chairs and umbrellas on the beach n Koh Samui

Want to know the best way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui? If traveling quickly from Bangkok to Koh Samui is your priority, you can fly direct, although only with Bangkok Airways. 

While there is no direct Bangkok to Koh Samui ferry, you can certainly opt for slow travel by riding the train or bus to Suratthani. Watch Thailand’s scenery roll past, then hop on a ferry and enjoy the fresh ocean breeze disheveling your hair on the last leg of your journey.  

Either way, let’s take a closer look at the options.

Flying to Koh Samui

plane flying over Bangkok at twilight

Flying to Thailand’s second-largest island is the fastest travel method. The Bangkok to Koh Samui flight time is only one hour and ten minutes. The thing is, Bangkok Airways has a monopoly on flights to this popular island in Thailand, and that means there’s a scarcity of cheap flights from Bangkok to Koh Samui. 

Brace yourself if you were going to ask, “How much does it cost to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui by plane?” Flights may cost more than double what you’d pay for a route of a similar distance in the region. 

Bangkok Airways built Samui’s tiny airport (USM) in 1989 and has run it ever since. Hardly double the size of a bamboo hut. With its lack of buses and gates, many travelers consider Samui’s airport the cutest in the world. Airport staff collects you from the plane in a sea life-themed sightseeing cart to foster your vacation mood.

Transiting at USM is possible today. There used to be flights to many destinations, but now it’s limited to major tourist spots like Phuket and Chiang Mai. Hopefully, that’s temporary, and there will be more destinations in the future. 

But how do you get from Bangkok to Koh Samui if you’re traveling on a shoestring? 

Keep reading. 

Riding a bus or train (plus taking a ferry ride) to Koh Samui

ferry to Koh Samui

Jumping on a Bangkok to Koh Samui bus is quite an adventure and much cheaper than flying. You can recline your seat, sit back, watch the rubber and palm tree-dominated landscape roll past, and then drift off to sleep. The Bangkok to Koh Samui distance is about 750 kilometers, so it’s usually a 16-hour journey overnight. But, the good news is it only costs around $38.

You’ll get a snuggly blanket, and there’s a gogglebox and restroom on board the air-conditioned vehicle. Besides, there’ll be breaks so you can get stretch your legs. 

Then depending on who you choose, the bus will board the ferry, or you will grab your luggage and walk onboard for the final leg of the trip.

While there is no Bangkok to Koh Samui train, rail buffs get their money’s worth on the train ride from Bangkok to Suratthani. Bangkok’s iconic station Hua Lamphong is still operating, but there has been talk of it shutting down. So, be sure to check your departure station because there is more than one. 

Once your train arrives in Suratthani, you’ll need to catch a bus to Don Sak Pier, the closest one to Koh Samui. And then catch a ferry to the island.

Whether you choose an hour flight south from vibrant Bangkok or an adventurous but slow bus (or train) and ferry ride, getting to Koh Samui is undoubtedly part of the fun. You will surely find a ride to suit your fancy and budget.


How long is the ferry from Suratthani to Koh Samui?

Depending on the company you choose, it’s usually between 45 minutes and one hour and 30 minutes.

What is the best time of year to visit Koh Samui?

For sunshine and warm weather, go from December to February. It’s the dry season and also the high season, so it will also be busy.

Posted October 12, 2022
image of blog writer Phil
Philipp Meier
Philipp Meier is a Phuket-based travel writer passionate about Thai culture and wandering off Thailand’s well-trodden tourist trail. His work has been published on the Nat Geo Traveller India, South China Morning Post, Culture Trip, BootsnAll, GoNOMAD, and elsewhere. You can find him at Writer Philipp Meier and LinkedIn.
image of blog writer Phil