Ferries run from Don Sak to Koh Samui tens of times a day, with the schedule starting in the early morning and ending around 19:30 in the evening. This is quite a short journey and this factor reflects on the low price of the boat ride.
Discovering the islands of Thailand is a real treat for the soul, and Koh Samui is dreamy. There are still plenty of tiny out-of-the-way fishing villages as well as a whole host of wellness retreats, luxury resorts and affordable places to stay. So, let’s find out more…
Koh Samui, just off the southeast coast in the Gulf of Thailand, is one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic islands. This is where you can get away from it all on vacation for a few weeks or simply dip in and dip out during an island-hopping trip from the mainland.
Getting there isn’t hard at all. The ferry from Don Sak to Koh Samui is basically the only form of transport. It takes around 90-minutes, and there are three different service providers: Seatran Ferry, Seatran Discovery and Raja Ferry. They’re all established and safe options.
If you really don’t want to take the ferry, you can book flight tickets to Koh Samui from Surat Thani airport. However, the airport is 68 kilometers (42 miles) from Dan Sak and, therefore, will take a couple of hours of driving time. Plus, ferries are the only way you’ll get to most islands, so they are pretty unavoidable.
Ferries are very frequent and tend to run from the early morning until the early evening. There are no nighttime crossings on this route. As the distance from Don Sak to Koh Samui is just 22 kilometers (13 miles), you’ll have just enough time to enjoy some sunshine.
Amenities onboard the ferries are fairly basic. You’re looking at a washroom, air-conditioned seating area and a sundeck. It’s not fancy, but tickets are affordable and start from as little as US$5 for the high-speed vessel run by Raja Ferry. This is the most popular choice for backpackers.
Although there are numerous crossings throughout the day, it’s still best practice to purchase a ticket in advance just to make sure you’re guaranteed a seat. Arriving at least an hour early before the designated departure time is also a very good idea.
Once you arrive at Nathon Pier in Koh Samui, you’ll be met by lots of hotel and hostel touts, as well as cab drivers. Or, if you’ve booked accommodation in advance, you might see someone holding up a card with your name on it. Which would you prefer? It’s your choice.
So, if you’re wondering, how do I get from Don Sak to Koh Samui? There’s just one answer— take the ferry. Not only is this an efficient and relatively modern mode of transport, but it’s also where you’ll be able to walk around and see lots of lovely views over the Gulf of Thailand.
Sunbathing on the open-top deck is a great way to spend your time. However, take care out there as the heat can really creep up on you, particularly around midday. Always wear sunscreen, shades and a sun hat if you’re sitting in the sun for the whole journey.
If you prefer to chill out on the Don Sak to Koh Samui ferry, best advice is to stay in the air-conditioned lounge down below deck. You can still see plenty of ocean waves from the window. It’s just that you won’t be completely open to the elements.
Wherever you choose to sit, the chances are you’ll get chatting with some of your fellow passengers. This might well be the first port of call for some travelers who’ve just arrived from Bangkok. So, be friendly, and these could be lifelong friends you simply haven’t met yet.
During the crossing, there’s plenty to see, from industrious luggage handlers and fishermen in traditional boats to tiny slithers of sand in mysterious offshore islands. This is one trip that you can really get excited about. Have fun!
Taking a ferry from Don Sak to Koh Samui
The best way to travel from Don Sak to Koh Samui is by ferry. There are lots of crossings throughout the day, and if you miss one, you can jump on the next. Tickets are cheap, and there’s a luggage allowance of 20kg plus 7kg hand luggage, though, most of the time, no one really checks!
Although it’s a speedy trip, there’s still plenty of time to rest or stretch your legs. In addition, many passengers will have been traveling through the night, so they’ll probably appreciate the chance to roam around or get some sleep.
And that’s how to get from Don Sak to Koh Samui. It’s a straightforward route but one that has to be done if you want to escape to that oh-so-tempting island of dreams. Enjoy!