How to Get from Surat Thani to Koh Samui: 100% Everything You Need to Know

From Surat Thani to Koh Samui

Traveling from Surat Thani to Koh Samui is a journey that both tourists and locals in Thailand frequently embark on. This picturesque route forms a crucial link between the mainland and one of Thailand’s most enchanting islands. Before delving into the specifics of this journey, it’s important to know how one can reach Surat Thani, a gateway to the southern islands of Thailand.

Surat Thani is well-connected and accessible from various parts of Thailand. For international travelers and those coming from distant Thai cities, flying into Surat Thani International Airport is the most time-efficient method. The airport welcomes flights from major cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Kuala Lumpur, making it a convenient hub.

Alternatively, for those who enjoy scenic land routes, taking a train to Surat Thani Railway Station is an excellent option. Thailand’s railway network is well-developed, offering an enjoyable and comfortable journey from major cities such as Bangkok. The train journey, while longer than flying, offers a unique glimpse into the rural landscapes and lifestyles of Thailand.

For travelers on a budget or those seeking an adventure, buses to Surat Thani are available from various locations. Buses in Thailand are cost-effective and comfortable, providing a more immersive experience as you travel through different provinces.

Once in Surat Thani, the adventure to Koh Samui begins. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to navigate this part of your journey, detailing various modes of transportation from different starting points like the airport and train station. It delves into the available options for land transportation to the piers, and provides insights into the ferry services, including the popular “Ferry to Koh Samui.” This guide aims to simplify your travel planning, ensuring a smooth transition from the mainland to the island’s tropical paradise.

Why Travelers Choose Surat Thani Over Direct Flight to Samui

Travelers often choose to fly to Surat Thani and then ferry to Koh Samui instead of flying directly to the island due to cost considerations. The primary reason for this is that Koh Samui Airport is predominantly operated by Bangkok Airways, which maintains a virtual monopoly on flights to and from the island. This unique position allows Bangkok Airways to set higher airfare prices for these direct flights. In contrast, flying to Surat Thani, a larger and more competitively served airport, and then taking a ferry to Koh Samui is generally a more budget-friendly option. This route is particularly appealing to travelers seeking to reduce travel costs while still enjoying the scenic beauty of the Gulf of Thailand.

Starting Your Journey From Surat Thani To Koh Samui

From Surat Thani Airport to Koh Samui

If you’re arriving at Surat Thani Airport, the journey to Koh Samui generally involves two main stages: land transport to the pier and a sea crossing. The airport offers bus and taxi services to Donsak Pier, where you can catch the ferry to Koh Samui. The bus is more economical, costing around THB 150-200 per person, and it takes about 1.5 hours. A private taxi, offering more comfort, will cost approximately THB 1,500-2,000, with a similar travel time.

From Surat Thani Train Station to Koh Samui

For travelers arriving by train, the process is similar. Outside the train station, you can find buses and taxis ready to transport you to Donsak Pier. The bus fare is about THB 150-200, and the taxi fare is around THB 1,500-2,000, with travel times being roughly 1.5 hours.

Booking in Advance vs Buying on the Spot

When planning your journey from Surat Thani to Koh Samui, one critical consideration is whether to book your transportation in advance or purchase tickets on the spot. For ferries, especially during peak tourist seasons or Thai holidays, it is advisable to book in advance to ensure availability. This can be done online through the ferry companies’ websites or through travel agents. For land transportation like taxis, buses, and vans, while you can generally find these services available upon arrival, booking in advance can offer peace of mind and potentially better rates. It also guarantees a spot during busy times.

Locating Vans and Buses at Surat Thani

At Surat Thani Airport, the vans and bus services to Donsak Pier are typically located right outside the arrival hall. Signage is usually clear, and there are often staff available to direct you to the right vehicle. At Surat Thani Train Station, the buses and vans can be found just outside the main exit of the station. There are designated areas for different services, and local staff can usually assist in guiding you to the correct spot. There you can also buy a combined ticket for the bus or van and the ferry to Samui.

Online Booking: Van + Ferry and Bus + Ferry Packages

Several websites offer convenient packages that combine van or bus transportation with the ferry ride to Koh Samui. These packages simplify the booking process and often provide a cost-effective solution. Some reputable websites to consider include:

  1. Lomprayah: Known for their high-speed ferry services, Lomprayah also offers combined tickets that include van transfers from Surat Thani to Donsak Pier, followed by a ferry ride to Koh Samui.
  2. Ferrysamui: This website provides a variety of options for combined bus or van and ferry tickets. They offer packages with different ferry companies, allowing you to choose based on your preferences and schedule.
  3. A popular travel booking website in Southeast Asia, offers combined tickets for bus or van and ferry services from Surat Thani to Koh Samui. The site provides clear information on travel durations, prices, and company ratings.

Booking through these websites is straightforward. You select your preferred date and time of travel, choose the combination of van/bus and ferry that suits your needs, and make the payment online. E-tickets are usually sent via email, which you can present at the boarding points.

The Sea Crossing: Ferry to Koh Samui

Once at Donsak Pier, you have several options for the sea crossing. The “Ferry to Koh Samui” is available in different types: standard ferries and speed boats, each offering a unique experience.

Ferry Options

Ferry CompanyTypePrice (THB)Duration
Raja FerryStandard130-15090 mins
Seatran FerryStandard150-17090 mins
LomprayahHigh-Speed600-80045 mins
SongsermStandard250-30090 mins

Standard ferries are a budget-friendly option and usually take about 90 minutes to reach Koh Samui. Speed boats, while more expensive, can get you to the island in roughly half the time and you can enjoy beautiful Samui beaches much quicker.

Other Transportation from Surat Thani to Donsak Pier

Besides buses and taxis, you can opt for a shared van service, combining affordability and comfort. The cost is about THB 300-500 per person, with a journey time of around 1.5 hours from both the airport and train station.

Journey Duration Breakdown

The total journey duration from Surat Thani to Koh Samui can vary based on your chosen modes of transport:

  • From Surat Thani Airport: Land transport (1.5 hours) + Ferry (45-90 mins) = 2.25-3 hours
  • From Surat Thani Train Station: Land transport (1.5 hours) + Ferry (45-90 mins) = 2.25-3 hours
Koh Samui

Fastest and Most Comfortable Ways

The Fastest Way

The quickest route from Surat Thani to Koh Samui involves a taxi from the airport or train station to Donsak Pier, followed by a high-speed ferry like Lomprayah. This combination minimizes land travel time and reduces the sea crossing duration significantly.

The Most Comfortable Way

For comfort, consider a private taxi to Donsak Pier and a standard ferry like Raja or Seatran. The taxi provides a relaxed, private space, and the standard ferries offer amenities like air-conditioned seating and refreshments.


Traveling from Surat Thani to Koh Samui offers various options to suit different preferences and budgets. Whether prioritizing speed or comfort, there’s a combination that works for everyone. Remember to check the latest schedules and prices as they can vary seasonally. This comprehensive guide aims to make your journey from Surat Thani to Koh Samui seamless and enjoyable.

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