About the journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui
After exploring the bustling capital of Bangkok, a great way to unwind is in the cultural melting pot of Thailand’s second biggest island: Koh Samui. The island is part of the Chumphon Archipelago which is made up of many highly recommended islands to visit such as Koh Tao and Koh Phangan, making it the perfect place to start an island-hopping trip.
The 475 kilometer (295 mile) journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui can be traveled by a train-boat service, bus/minivan-ferry service or just a bus service which requires you to book your own boat trip. There are also flight options available. If traveling by land, taking part of the journey by ferry is unavoidable as Koh Samui is an island that is not connected by a bridge.
There are lots of travel operators to choose from when taking the journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui. The journey in total takes between approximately 12 and 16 hours including rest stops. It is also likely that you will have a gap in between your arrival at the pier and boarding the ferry. Booking a bus and ferry ride as one ticket ensures your bus will arrive within a reasonable time before the next ferry departure.
Whichever way you decide to make your journey from Bangkok to Koh Samui, both on the route itself and when you arrive at your destination, you can expect to enjoy meeting a rich variety of people, learn about Thai culture, party the night away or laze around on the picturesque sandy beaches.
What to see when traveling from Bangkok to Koh Samui
The road from Bangkok to Koh Samui travels down the coast of the country. You may not see much of the ocean though, as due to the long journey, many operators choose to provide overnight travel. Rather than gazing out of the window, hopefully you can use a lot of this journey to get some sleep.
Arriving early at the pier provides a nice opportunity to enjoy the morning sun and make the most of the ocean views. And as you make the ferry crossing, the Gulf of Thailand is full of little islands for you to spot on your journey, whether from inside the cabin or out on the deck working on that tan.
How to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui
Taking a bus and ferry service
Or just a direct bus service from Bangkok to Koh Samui. A direct bus service therefore takes you to a pier where you can book a ferry ride of your choice.
It is advisable to book your trip in advance, especially in the months of the high season. The bus and ferry service offers a more inclusive package meaning you do not have to worry about booking the bus and ferry trip separately.
The whole journey consists of a bus or minivan pick up in Bangkok, a drop off at one of the three possible piers on the mainland of Thailand where you will be boarding the ferry, and a final drop off in Koh Samui.
Due to the long drive, bus operators are likely to take rest stops which will often be at areas with toilets and food facilities. Check with your operator about rest stops as some buses will stop regularly while others may stop for one long break.
The operators that take you from Bangkok to Koh Samui offer different travel times, prices, and class options including Express, VIP, High speed or Standard depending on the operator. Air conditioning and reclining seats are standard on buses and ferries.
Buses are more luxurious than minivans as some offer blankets, water, a meal, toilet facilities or even TV’s on the back of the seat. If luggage allowance is your priority, some minivan operators offer space for 2 large suitcases and hand luggage instead of the standard 1 bag and 1 hand luggage on buses.
The piers on Koh Samui are located on the west and north of the island, so make sure to research where your ferry arrives. Thankfully, all ferries arrive in towns with places to eat and relax if you want to rest before finding your accommodation. Some travel operators also offer hotel pick ups once you arrive on the island. Traveling around Koh Samui is easy by taxi, scooter, or car hire.
When is the best time of year to visit Bangkok?
The best time of year to visit Bangkok is between December and February which will provide you the driest and most comfortable weather.
When is the best time of year to visit Koh Samui?
The high season in Koh Samui is between January and March. This is the best time to visit as the weather is dry and the islands enjoy the best nightlife.