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Overwhelming feelings may overcome any traveller when in Thailand; there’s just so much to do that the explorable ends up feeling limitless. One route that almost everyone has heard of is the path from Bangkok to Koh Samui. After spending time in the bustling capital city, you may want an island escape that packs a punch. Read below and find out everything you’ll need about the two cities, and about getting from one place to the other.
This small trading post evolved into a metropolis that holds the best of everything Thailand has to offer. 8 million people live in Bangkok, and what is more surprising is that 20 million people visit the city per year.
The name of Bangkok has a wonderful meaning: “a village on a stream”. It is interesting to reflect on the great growth Bangkok experienced through time, as now you can expect to be swallowed up by the most extravagantly colorful Bangkok urbanism. Visit between February and April in order to catch the most wonderful weather possible.
Buddhism is the majority religion, and this city is a great place to visit in order to entrench yourself in the epicenter of Thai religious life. Come to Bangkok to see the Buddhist temples like Wat Pho, which holds the largest collection of Buddha images in Thailand.
Thailand is home to a constitutional monarchy, and a King rules over the country. The current King’s name is Vajiralongkorn, or Rama X, who has taken the throne after his father (who was the longest ruling monarch in Thai history). When in Bangkok, it’s highly recommended to visit the Grand Palace, which has housed Thai kings since the 18th century.
Bangkok has something to offer for every interest. See modern Thai artists at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center, or a Muay Thai show at the Rajadamnern stadium. Roam the streets by foot or by “Tuk Tuk” (rickshaw). . The 8 million population of Bangkok is bound to enchant you with delicious street food and unforgettable experiences.
Speaking of street food, prepare your tastebuds for a crazy journey when in Bangkok. The state of current Thai cuisine stems from the colonial influences and modern food stuffs. For example, the Columbian Exchange in the 17th century, brought peanuts and cashews from the Americas to Thailand. Nowadays, “Instagrammable” food is all the rage, like crepes and waffles. Eat your way through Bangkok - make sure to try all of the pad thai, fried meats, coconut soups that you can get your hands on.
Considered to be Thailand’s largest island, Koh Samui is the ultimate destination of Thailand. It’s typically known for its sparkling beaches, dazzling views and high-end hotels. You’ll find different types of travelers on this island, from the typical backpacker to a Hollywood celebrity. There’s something to do for every type of person, read further to find out more!
Are you sporty and want your Koh Samui vacation to be filled with sick moves? There’s tons to do when you’re looking for the extreme. The waters are a stunning turquoise, so pack tons of swimwear in order to dive deep. You can go snorkelling, diving, or kayaking in order to explore the beautiful waters, which are filled with wonders in the form of corals and tropical fish.
Are you a beach bum and just want to bask under the sun? Koh Samui beaches, like Lamai or Ko Taen, are world renowned. You don’t need much to find the shore; lay out your towel, and kick back under the warm sun.
It’s important to note that you should bring a lot of sunscreen with you, as prices for this liquid gold are steep in Thailand, and the Koh Samui sun can leave you with a sunburn if not being cautious. Of course, there’s nothing better than picking up a cold drink and a good book on the beach.
Or maybe Koh Samui is a romantic getaway for you and your partner? The white sands and towering palm trees create a special atmosphere for any couple to explore. After a walk on the beach at sunset, there’s nothing more intimate than an amazing spa experience, with a magical Thai massage. All that’s left after such a “tiring” day is heading to a candlelit dinner, one that overlooks waters glittering under the moonlight.
Are you travelling with your loving family? Then, it’s a great time to learn something new and spend the day soaking in the history of the island. Visit temples like Wat Plai Laem, or Wat Phra Yai, to surround yourself with sparkling, gold Buddhist imagery that can surely enchant any age group. During your temple excursions make sure to dress in clothes that are airy but modest.
After reading all the above, surely you’re already packing your bags for this Thai adventure. The most important information to gain, though, is how to get from the first place to the other.
Koh Samui is accessible from Bangkok mainly with the service option of a bus-ferry combo. It’s great that these combinations are pre-arranged, and you won’t have to worry about connecting the dots between pick up and drop off times.
Keep in mind, this journey is quite long, ranging from 12 to 15 hours of travel. Fortunately enough, when booking a bus-ferry combo, the accommodations and cabins are super comfortable. Bus cabins are often newly updated with cushy reclining seats.
If you’re travelling in the warmer season, air conditioning is important, and the bus and ferry services both provide ample cooling. There are bathrooms on the buses and the drivers make rest stops. During the rest stops, you’ll be able to stretch your legs. As a pro tip, make sure to bring along toilet paper rolls and hand sanitizer. The service is quite simple to use and comes with many benefits, like luggage allowances and free cancellation policies.
When travelling, food and water may not always be provided. Pack a lunch bag for you and your squad, as snacks are always a great passing-the-time tool. One meal to pack with you might be mango sticky rice, an unforgettable and easily found delicacy. Potato chips are also quite popular in Thailand, come in the most exotic of flavors, are and easy to find in Bangkok supermarkets. If you’re in the market for some asian candies, you can’t miss Hi-Chew.
Buses depart from various points in Bangkok, at many time frames during the day. Great flexibility is provided as you can depart to Koh Samui from a point close to your hotel. Buses drive to the port, which takes about an hour or two, and from there you will board a ferry (which takes up the bulk of the trip). While drivers of ferries and buses are very knowledgeable, motion or sea sickness may hit even the unsuspecting, so be sure to have some anti-motion sickness remedies on hand.
The ferry leg portion of the trip from Bangkok to Koh Samui is equally as enjoyable. Seating is inside of the cabin. Make sure to order in a timely manner, as this route is very popular and easily gets overbooked. The trip provides a great replacement for overnight accommodations. On board the ferry, you’ll be in close proximity to other travellers and can easily create new friendships.
When the journey from Bangkok is over, you’ll arrive, most likely, on Nathon Beach. From there, it’s quite easy to dive into your Koh Samui adventures.