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If you want to take the 345km (214 mile) journey from Koh Samui to Phuket, there’s only one way to make the trip - a combined bus and ferry journey, which is offered by several different providers.
If you’re in a hurry to get to Phuket from Koh Samui - without enjoying the northeastern coast of Thailand’s mainland - this journey is a fantastic choice.
A perfect trip for those who love shoreline sands, water sports, ocean swimming and fantastic wildlife, this lengthy journey takes you between two of Thailand’s most popular beach-based destinations.
Two bustling hubs which combine laid-back ocean life with endless partying, both Koh Samui and Phuket embody why so many people choose to travel to Thailand.
If you like sands or partying (or both!), you’ll love traveling from Koh Samui to Phuket. Two of Thailand’s most exciting island destinations, they’re both big stops on the nation’s tourist trail.
Once you reach Phuket from Koh Samui, you’ll be greeted by something a little more hectic than the island you’ve left behind. Bigger and busier than Koh Samui, Phuket is popular with tourists of all descriptions. It also offers many more beaches, but that’s understandable given its much bigger size.
Your journey to Phuket from Koh Samui will typically be made up of two sections - an initial ferry from Koh Samui to the Thai mainland, followed by a bus ride from this mainland point to the island of Phuket. Because Phuket is linked to the mainland by a bridge, there’s no need for a second ferry.
With one slightly different option, you’ll board another bus before your ferry journey, which will take you from Koh Samui Bus Terminal to the island’s ferry point. From here, your journey will continue as outlined above.
For the first main leg of your journey from Koh Samui to Phuket, you’ll enjoy a short ferry ride from Koh Samui to Suratthani. This ferry ride is peaceful and panoramic, and typically lasts between 45 minutes and 1 hour. You’ll pass various boats, small waves and the other small islands which hug the shore of Thailand’s mainland.
When you arrive in Suratthani, you’ll be greeted by its pier, which is busy and beautiful, with a gorgeous hilly backdrop.
After leaving your ferry, it’s time to board your bus, which will take you across Thailand in the last leg of your journey from Koh Samui to Phuket. Though the bus journey is largely flat, it offers some pretty beautiful views, with distant mountains, roadside palm trees and small settlements.
It’s not Thailand’s most majestic journey, but it’s definitely more scenic than some of the nation’s other highway routes.
Upon reaching Phuket, you’ll be immediately assaulted by its chaotic and contagious atmosphere. Fun and frenetic, it’s an island full of energy, with tuk tuks, tourist touts and endless drinks deals.
At first a little overwhelming, you’ll quickly fall in love with Phuket’s vibe. With an enchanting old town, its iconic big Buddha and lots of ocean-filled day trips, there’s plenty here on offer beyond beers and beaches.
The fastest way to get to Phuket from Koh Samui is by High Speed Bus and Ferry from Seatran Discovery. The entire journey takes 7 hours and costs $26.
The cheapest way to get to Phuket from Koh Samui is by Standard Bus and Ferry, serviced by both Phantip Travel and Seatran Ferry. Of these, the Phantip Travel journey is currently the better option. This journey from Koh Samui to Phuket costs $19 and takes 7.5 hours.
The most popular way to get to Phuket from Koh Samui is by Standard Bus and Ferry from Lomprayah. This option, which is a little more luxurious than most, takes 7 hours and 15 minutes, and costs $38.
A combined bus and ferry ticket from Koh Samui to Phuket allows you to travel between these two fantastic destinations without the fuss or worry of having to buy multiple transport tickets. With a combined bus and ferry from Koh Samui to Phuket, you simply and easily travel from one great island to the next.
All ferries are large, and typically offer both indoor and outdoor areas. If you just want to kick back and relax while you make your way to the mainland, these indoor areas are great. But for those seeking better views and the thrills of sea air, the outdoor areas are a perfect place to hang out.
These ferries don’t vary from each other too much.
Different buses, however, offer varying levels of comfort and luxury. While all buses have AC, some even offer drinks, snacks and TVs. Similarly, all buses are comfortable and enjoyable, but some are a little more luxurious than others.
If you choose a ticket option which offers an additional small transfer to take you from the centre of Koh Samui to its port, you’ll get a small, simple, basic bus journey. It’s nothing luxurious but it’s a very convenient way of making the journey even more stress-free.
Whichever journey you choose to get you from Koh Samui to Phuket, taking a combined bus and ferry is a great way to make your whole trip very easy and accessible.
There are around 9 departures to Phuket from Koh Samui each day.