It is not necessary to have such vehicle to tour this tropical island, but it is certainly cool and comfortable to tour around. Get to see the few trails and waterfalls around this island, take an elephant safari and relax is some deserted beach.
From Samui to Koh Phangan
I bougth a boat ticket which takes off from Big Buddha pier to Hat Rin beach in Koh Phangan inclusive of the songteaw ride for 170 bht.
Check the website below for more information:-
Suratthani - Gateway to Ko Samui
If you are not flying into Ko Samui, you will probably get there through Suratthani.
There are overnight backpacker buses that you can get to Suratthani from Bangkok or by mnivans from the south from Haadyai or Penang island, Malaysia or from Phuket and Krabi.
Another route is by railway from Bangkok or Butterworth, Malaysia or Haadyai and Sungai Kolok.
The ferry terminal is not walking distance from the town center and so you get on a van or tuk tuk to get there from the transport arrangement made when you buy your boat ticket to Ko Samui.
Other ways to Samui
You can also catch a train, a bus or drive.........the train and bus takes about 14 hours from Bangkok you then have to catch a long boat journey from Surat Thani ............cheap and an adventure but i'll leave this for now
Ko Samui's airport is so cute!
Bangkok Airways built its first airport at Koh Samui and it owns it so it's the only airline to fly there. The airport is the custest I ever saw. Very tropical with coconut trees and nice gardens, very colourful.
Located within the airport, passengers can dine on delicious traditional Thai cuisine at its open-air Thai restaurant. The latest additional to Samui Airport is the “Soul to Sole” spa where passengers can loosen up to a traditional Thai massage before boarding their flight.
Tour Bus for Cruise Passengers
The major debate when taking a vacation on a cruise ship is whether you can find your own activities, and risk not making it back to the ship on time, or just taking the organized tour bus, paying a little more, but ensuring you are there to leave (or they wait).
On this occassion, I was fairly happy with our tour. It included bus transfers, a elephant trekking excursion, monkey show, and thai cooking display. In addition it had some time to go enjoy Chaweng Beach Road (or we could have gone to the beach itself).
The bus tour was definitely worth it in Koh Samui, even though taxis are cheap. It was worth it to not have to fight or negotiate price on the taxi, wait in between stops, and we then did not have to pay to get into all the adventure stops.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
Local publice transportation
This kind of red car can be flagged down on the main road as it loops around the island. Establish the price beforehand or ask about from your guesthouse so you'll not be overcharged. Press a ring if you want to get off.Related to:
- Budget Travel
This is the best form of transport i have seen around thailand!! The entire floor of this ferry is made into a huge bed, with lots of pillows everywhere and even bag racks so you keep your bag. The ferry goes through the night and you can even stay on it until about 7am, so you can get a good night sleep on it. The windows are normally open so you can smell the sea breeze coming into cabin so it brings a nice smell :) Saves on a night in a hotel. Also cool because you go to sleep on the mainland and wake up on the islands :)
These ferrys are on the east coast of thailand and go daily to both koh samui and koh pha ngan. I think a bunk for the night is about 120 baht which is about US$3Related to:
- Budget Travel
Bangkok Air - to Ko Samui
At the domestic departures terminal at the int'l airport. Tickets cost around $110 US each way, if memory serves. The food was sketchy, but the flight is short. I love the Ko Samui airport... all lush grounds, all wood and open air... the cutest airport I've ever been in...
Rent a scooter - they're a great way to get around. We rented on Ko Samui, but you can rent on Ko Phangnan as well (although it is super dangerous as the roads are pretty treacherous, so be safe). I think they cost about 300 BHT a day? Well, worth it, but wear your helmets - many people have been injured or killed screwing around on these things.
The buses in Koh Samui are good fun. They are basically pick up trucks with the back converted to accommodate people.
There are two bench seats running down either side of the truck and they can carry about 10 people seated and a couple of mad people hanging onto the back.
You know when a bus is near because they sound their horn at everyone walking down the road. For this reason its so easy to turn around and put your hand out and tell them where you are going.
From outside our hotel (Imperial Samui) to central Chaweng it cost us 50bht per person. You could haggle with the driver but we couldnt be bothered over less than a pound each.Related to:
- School Holidays
V I P bus Bangkok - Suratthani
This is the first time I have not flown to Koh Samui and it will be the last time. I caught the VIP bus from the road behind the train station. The bus was full and a friendly tip is keep a jacket with you as they don`t turn the A/C off at any stage. The trip took 10hrs with a 40 min stop at Chumphon then you get dropped in the dark at a place called the Sun and Sand Resort which is a bus station with food & tiolet facilities another tip is make sure you have mosquito repellant as there are lots of them until the sun comes up.
You then wait approx 1hr 30 min to catch another bus to Donsak ferry pier which is about 30 mins away.
tuk tuk or bike?
Lots of tourists rent bikes and scooters to get around the island. Which is great if you are a careful and good rider cos it offers a flexibility no other form of transport can provide. But not so great if you're not a experienced rider because samui's roads are often pot-holed (you can't see them in the night), dark (street lamps line only some streets and not all vehicles turn on their lights in the night) and dangerous (people drive recklessly there). My cousin got hurt in a scooter accident that kept us out of the water for the rest of our holiday. At the hospital, we were told by the doctor that traffic accidents involving tourists form the vast majority of cases every day. The Tuk-tuk or the pickup taxi are good forms of public transportation. there are also scooter/bike taxis but we refused to take any after one taxi rider insisted that my cousin and i (both grown women) squeeze the bike behind him!
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