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Jesse McLaughlan

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Backpacked across Thailand in spring 2019

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Asia > Thailand > Koh Samui > Useful Info
Updated on Nov 06, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to Koh Samui from Phuket, Thailand

  • Koh Samui is located 260km northeast of Phuket, on the opposite side of the country

  • There are 2 ways to travel to Koh Samui from Phuket: flight, or bus + ferry
  • Flying is best and most common way to travel, because it's very quick. The bus + ferry option is less popular among tourists because it takes an entire day to travel, but if you're tight on budget it is significantly cheaper than flying


  • Option 1) Flight
  • There are four daily direct flights from Phuket International Airport to Koh Samui International Airport, all operated by Bangkok AirwaysUser submitted photo of Koh Samui
  • I've flown Bangkok Airways quite a number of times throughout Thailand and it's in my opinion not a bad airline. It has 4/5 stars on Tripadvisor, which is the same rating as Thai Airways
  • Price (excluding taxi to and from airports): $90USD each way, it doesn't look like you get better price if you buy a round trip ticket
  • Flight time: 55 minutes
  • Schedule: 9:35am -> 10:30am, 11:25am -> 12:20pm, 4:00pm -> 4:55pm, 7:10pm -> 8:05pm
  • To get to the Phuket airport, you have a number of options to choose from with the cheapest being the shuttle bus that costs 150 baht ($5USD) but takes 1.5 hours, or with a taxi that costs 600 baht ($20USD) but takes only 40 minutes
  • To get from the Samui airport, the most common transportation option is minivan which costs 150-200 baht ($5-$6.6USD) to get to most parts of the island. Taxi is also a popular option, but will cost you a lot more at 400-800 baht ($13-$26USD) to get to various places on the island
  • The best way to book your flight is through Bangkok Airways' website directly: https://www.bangkokair.com. You might want to use Expedia or Skycanner to check if other airlines are flying this route


  • Option 2) Bus + ferry
  • If you don't want to pay $90USD for a flight to Koh Samui, your only other option is to travel buy bus to Donsak Pier (located here), and then take a ferry to Koh Samui
  • Total price (excluding taxi to and from the bus and ferry terminals): 450-680 baht ($15-$22.5USD) each way
  • Travel time: 7-8 hours
  • The bus from Phuket to Donsak Pier takes 5 hours. Transfer takes about 30-60 minute. The ferry from Donsak Pier to Koh Samui takes 1.5 hours
  • Note that all the travel options are day travels (i.e. not overnight travels)
  • Schedule: departure is at 9am from Phuket, ferry boarding is at 2:30pm or 3pm at Donsak Pier, and arrival is 4pm or 4:30pm in Koh Samui
  • Bus and ferry companies operating on this route:
  • Bus between Phuket and Donsak Pier: the only bus company currently operating on this route is Phantip (https://www.phantiptravel.com, rated 2.5/5 on Tripadvisor)User submitted photo of Koh Samui
  • Ferry between Donsak Pier and Koh Samui: there are 2 companies you can choose from:
  • Seatran: https://www.seatrandiscovery.com, rated 3.5/5 on TripadvisorUser submitted photo of Koh Samui
  • Raja: https://www.rajaferryport.com, rated 2.5/5 on TripadvisorUser submitted photo of Koh Samui
  • Departure bus station in Phuket: Phuket Bus Terminal 2 (located here). The best
  • Arrival pier on Koh Samui: if you use Seatran, it'll get you to Bangrak Pier (located here on the north shore of Samui). If you use Raja, it'll get you to Nathon Pier (located here on the west shore of Samui). The two piers are sufficiently far apart that you need to decide which ones it the closest to your hotel and pick the ferry company based on that
  • How to book: you cannot book the bus and ferry separately, but rather you must book both the bus and ferry at the same time. You can book this combined ticket through the website of either one of the 3 transportation companies involved
  1. Book through Phantip Travel on https://www.phantiptravel.com (450 baht, gets you to Nathon Pier). Note that Phantip Travel uses Raja ferry.
  2. Book through Seatran: https://www.seatrandiscovery.com (680 baht, gets you to Bangrak Pier)
  3. Book through Raja: https://www.rajaferryport.com (510 baht, gets you to Nathon Pier)