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So much easier
A recently introduced service provided by Bangkok air & particapating international airlines (except Qantas ) is the option of checking your bags through to your next destination when leaving Koh Samui.
There is a sign next to the check in desk listing particapating airlines, most times Bangkok air staff will offer you this option but if they don`t, ask them. Then you are given a sticker & you become a CIQ passenger which means that you go through customs at Samui instead of BKK , it also means that you only have to pay the one departure tax 500THB same as you would in BKK this saves you having to pay that lovely? 300 THB Samui departure tax.
You then proceed to the international terminal (NO 2 it`s called ) check your bags through customs & wait till your picked up seperate from the other people not using this option.When your plane lands in Bkk you are taken to a seperate bus and ferried to the international tterminal for check in to your next destination,the only requirement is that you have to stay in the transit area as you have already cleared & been stamped by customs in Samui.
This option is excellant as you don`t see your main luggage till your at your next destination (very handy after a holiday of shopping )
One of the coolest things about flying into Samui is that the airport is done in what you would expect Thailand houses to look like. Thatch hut roofs and all-outdoor facilities, such as baggage claim, add to the allure of the island from the second you step off the plane.
There are over 40 flights per day from Bangkok and several other departure points into Samui.
TAKE AN AIRPLANE
Before this trip even started I had decided that I wasn't going to take the bus/boat ride to Koh Samui. Instead I booked a flight with Bangkok Airways for 3500bht one way.
The total time for the flight was estimated at 50 minutes, however we ended up being delayed for about 45 minutes due to heavy rain.
Once we got going on this short fight it as aready around 8:00pm and dark outside, so unfortunately no pictures. The service was very good and they provided us with a meal on the plane. The baggage area in Samui was something to see for sure. As I work for an airline in Canada, it was quite the shock to arrive in Koh Samui and see it, but whatever works.
Once again, once it was determined that I will go to Samui, I again chose to fly rather then waste the time going by bus/boat. I flew with Bangkok Airways again for about the same price. One thing I forgot to mention before was that there is an airport fee to be paid when you leave Samuis airport (500bht).
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Bangkok Airways is the airline to fly to Samui
Bangkok Airways is the only airline to fly to Ko Samui. It's a boutique airline with great service ( even provides free drinks and snacks at the airport before entering the aircraft) and nice colourful aircrafts.
Being the only airline to fly from Bangkok to Samui it , flights are rather expensive compared to other islands. A return ticket costs around $190. Sometimes they offer promotions so I advise you to subscribe to their newsletter.
KO SAMUI AIRPORT: voted the prettiest in the world
Ko Samui Airport (Code: USM –Na Thon Airport):
Samui's unique airport is located approx. 2km north of Chaweng beach. It was built in the mid 1980s. Believe whatever you've heard about this little gem: this airport really is cute, small, picturesque and pretty unusual!
As the plane starts its gradual descent you get a fantastic bird's eye view of Samui & all the other outlying islands. During landing it is worth a look out of your window, because you land in the middle of a tropical vegetation with a magnificent sight of Big Buddha (15 metres high in Lamai).
Bangkok Airways is the main airline to fly to Ko Samui and subsequently owns this airport. The flight with Bangkok Airways was typically "touristy": cramped, sweaty and too floral (Hawaiian shirts!) but pleasant enough for such a short distance. We had a slightly bumpy ride, but nothing out of the ordinary. And for that extra holiday-feeling: Nothing says *tourist* more than people applauding a pilot's landing... haha!
There are no indoor areas, merely two (2) terminals comprising of a group of thatched huts with palm leaf roofs, no walls, no "boarding gates". How do you get to and from you plane? On a small vehicle with wooden benches (plastic curtains draped on either side protected us from the rains :-) The ground staff were very friendly and helpful.
Some of my favourite memories are
> running from one roofed area to the next during sudden torrential monsoon rains.
> waiting to board out plane to Bangkok, sharing the rest of John's hot dog with 2 of the stray dogs, patiently sitting next to us.
> Sharing the rest of the hot dog bun with 5 parrots that had come to say "bon voyage".
> Enjoying some last-minute-tanning time on the grass.
Airport departure fee: 500 Baht (no charge for arrivals).
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Bangkok Air To Samui
We cought the very early flight out of Bangkok and it was "cool" to see the sun rise as the plane decended to Samui.The airport is what you expect on an Island,picturesque exotic awooden structure.Very unusual .
Bangkok Airways own this little private airport on Koh Samui so they are the only airline to provide flights to and from Koh Samui.The prices vary depending on season .The cheaper flights are usually early in the morning 6am and late at night 10pm.The flight from Bangkok to Samui takes about 45 minutes and the sevice is very good.
Remember there is a 400 baht tax per person when you leave.
Bangkok Air Departure Lounge
The Bangkok Airways departure lounge is a comfortable place to while away the time whilst waiting to board your flight to Koh Samui
The Bangkok Air departure lounge at Bangkok Airport offers you a nice range of free pastries & drinks/juices & also free internet use,they ask you to limit your use to 15 mins at a time this is not really enforced but I have found most people generally adhere to this request.There is also a travel & information desk if you need to know somemore about your destination or you haven`t yet booked your accomodation.
To access this area you need to locate gates 1-4 (easy)go through a hand luggage & person screening then show your passport & boarding pass but be aware that once inside you can`t leave.
Bangkok Air normally start boarding 30 mins before your flight time so if you enter this area about 1 hour you`ll be fine.
Located 2km north of chaweng beach Samui airport is one of the most beautiful and graphic airports I have seen so far,with no indoor areas, two terminals (domestic and international) and rise palm roofs
I have visited Ko Samui 6 times and have flown 5 times.1st & 2nd times Sydney- Bangkok then Pattaya (Utapeo) to Samui.Last time SYD-BKK-Samui.I have flown , internationally with Thai airways , internally with Bangkok air & highly recommend both of these airlines to Thailand & around this lovely country.
Flights to Koh Samui
Koh samui Airport is served manly by flights of Bangkok Airways, also known as Bangkok Air.
Bangkok Airways operate flights to Koh Samui from Bangkok, Pattaya / U-tapao and Phuket, within Thailand, and international flights to Koh Samui from Singapore and Hong Kong.
Thai Airways operate just 2 flights per day between bangkok and Koh Samui.
Berjaya Airways of Malaysia have 2 flights per week between Kuala Lumpur and Koh Samui, currently Thursday and Sunday.
Firefly Malaysia have flights between Penang and Koh Samui.
Do check with airline websites as flights do change, so do check the most recent information.
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The quikest way to Samui is by plane and mostly this is done by flying into Bangkok then changing to a small domestic flight...........it takes about 1 hour.
Remember when you leave Samui on your journey home there is a tax of 500 TB
Bangkok Air and Samui Airport
There is just one airline that services the island of Koh Samui and that is Bangkok Airways.
They mostly run Boeng 717's but have some smaller planes that fly to Pattaya (U-Tapio)once a day.
The airport at Samui is no more than a group of grass thatched huts all joined together without walls.
The transport from the plane to the terminal hut is nothing more than a luggage cart with benchseats.
Very funny to see but very practical.
Samui International Airport
Samui International Airport - The airport was built and is owned by Bangkok Airlines.
I have already said this elsewhere, but this is the coolest airport ever. All the buildings are simple thatch roofs with no walls. The staff is all dressed in big bright island shirts and the whole airport experience is a fresh breeze compared to anywhere else.
We arrived in fair weather and I suppose it could get interesting during a good monsoon downpour with a bit of wind to whip the rain under the roofs.
I include photographs of the main arrivals terminal, the duty free shop in the international departures lounge and the tram-like carts used as apron transport.
From what I have read it is considerably more expensive to fly directly here as compared to a flight to Surat Thani due to Bangkok Airlines' monopoly on the airport. We have no complaints about Bangkok Airlines and enjoyed the Samui Airport experience.
If you budget is a bit tighter you could fly to Surat Thani and catch a hour and a half long ferry ride to Koh Samui
If you are into airports and aviation it will be worth your while to go and check it out even if you don't fly into Koh Samui.
I saw a Cessna Grand Caravan equipped with pontoons for hire on the apron. This will be a novel and enjoyable way to see the islands but will probably cost and arm and a leg.
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This is a picture from Samui's airport. The airport "hall" doesn't have any walls - just a roof. It is a really nice and small airport with friendly staff. It's so different and unique than any other airports in the world where I've ever been.
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CONNECTING FLIGHT VIA BANGKOK AIRPORT
If you are travelling through Bangkok Airport and they do not check you right through at Samui Airport ( ie. they only give you a boarding pass to Bangkok) then you MUST go to the International Transfer desk on arrival at Bangkok and collect your onward boarding pass for your next flight.
If you do not collect this, you will be turned away from the boarding gate and that could get messy!
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