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THAILAND: KOH SAMUI
From Bangkok to Koh Samui

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From Bangkok to Koh Samui
4 Best Ways to Get There -

Koh Samui's palm-fringed beaches and lush rainforests attract millions of tourists every year. No other island represents everything Thailand has to offer better than this one–from sandy resorts to massive golden wats (temples) to plenty of water sports, Koh Samui is the ultimate tropical destination.

While most visitors arrive in Koh Samui to enjoy the white-sand beaches, the islands are also home to vibrant coral reefs, the Ang Thong National Marine Park, and some of the best scuba diving in Asia. There's also the 12-meter-high Big Buddha; the stunning Na Muang Waterfalls; a sculpture-filled Secret Buddha garden; and plenty of colorful, ornate temples spread throughout the island.

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1. Take a flight

Flying to Koh Samui is not only faster, but it's also the only way to land directly on the island without changing transportation along the way. Up until a few years ago, Bangkok Air was the only airline that flew directly to the island, making flights inconvenient and expensive. For the past couple of years, however, a number of other airlines (including Thai AIr) also offer daily flights. 

You can lower your cost by flying from Bangkok to Surat Thani instead, then catching a ferry to Koh Samui. Budgets airlines such as Air Asia and Nok Air fly to Surat Thani for much less than any flight you'll find that goes directly to Koh Samui. Taking the ferry will add about two hours of travel time to your journey, more if there's a long waiting time between your flight's arrival and the next ferry. On the positive side, the ferry offers great views of the islands and the emerald waters.

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2. Train and Ferry

If you're not flying to the islands, any other transportation option to Koh Samui will include some kind of boat. A cheap option that's full of character is the combination of an overnight train with a ferry.

While you could catch a daytime train, choosing an air-conditioned sleeper train will make the trip a lot more comfortable. If you choose first-class carriages, you'll get your own private two-person cabin with your own washbasin. Second class is an open carriage with seats that convert into beds at night. 

Overnight trains departing from Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Train Station arrive in Surat Thani early the next morning (depending on the train, this can be as early as 4:30am). Once here, you'll have to grab a shuttle bus to the Seatran or Raja pier in Donsak.

At Seatran pier, you have two options: a conventional 90-minute ferry ride or a high-speed catamaran that'll get you to the islands in half the time. 

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3. Bus and Ferry

Your cheapest option to get to Koh Samui from Bangkok is to catch a bus (instead of a train) to Surat Thani, then change to a ferry or catamaran at the pier for the rest of the journey. This trip can be economical, but prices go up depending on the season and the time of day (nighttime buses cost more because the journey is more convenient). While this combination can take as little as 11 hours, and the buses are air-conditioned, the travel isn't as comfortable or charming as what you get on a sleeper train.

4. VIP Bus and Ferry

If you don't want to worry about finding good land/sea travel combinations on your way to the island, a ferry and VIP Bus tour package from Bangkok to Koh Samui could be the perfect solution. Package deals combine a VIP bus ticket with a ferry ride that will take you right from the heart of Bangkok to the picturesque Nathon Pier on the shores of Koh Samui. Package deals can be bought at the Southern Bus terminal in Bangkok or at one of the many travel agents on Khao San Road.

Explore Koh Samui with Discovery Guides...

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