Get from Koh Samui to Penang in Malaysia with our low cost travel services that have your budget in mind. Book and save with Samuipedia; we have great deals on all transfers.
In our opinion, the best way to travel from Koh Samui to Penang is by bus & ferry, as it’s cheap and you get to experience some of the real Thailand along the way.
Info: Once you cross the border into Malaysia, remember the time difference is +1 hour from Thailand.
There are several ways to get from Koh Samui to Penang in Malaysia easily:
The daily bus service from Koh Samui to Penang in Malaysia takes around 12 hours. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in an air-conditioned mini bus and taken to the bus station in Nathon, where you’ll exchange your printed voucher for bus & ferry tickets at the check-in counter. From here you’ll board the bus to Hat Yai, which is the main transport hub in the south of Thailand where you’ll change bus to continue your journey over the Thai-Maylsian border at Sadao into Malasyia and onward to Penang.
The bus journey from Koh Samui will start with a short trip to the car ferry, which is required to get to the mainland. You’ll leave the bus and board the ferry separately and then get back on once you’ve arrived in the mainland port town of Donsak. The ferries themselves are quite large, stable in even the roughest sea conditions and undergo periodic rigorous safety checks by the Thai Royl Navy. On board you’ll find plenty of seats, air conditioned cabins, toilet facilities and a very reasonably prices shop to buy snacks & drinks. From Donsak, the bus will then continue to Surat Thani city around 80 minutes away, where you’ll change bus to Hat Yai. The stop will be about 30 minutes, which is enough time to visit the toilet & grab some food for the remainder of the journey.
Arriving in Hat Yai, you will have another 30 mins before catching a mini bus for the Thai-Malaysian border. It takes 45 minutes to the border and 30 minutes for everyone to leave the bus and stamp their passports through the Thai and Malaysian border controls. On the Malaysian side of the border, you will get back on the mini bus and travel for a further 3 hours to Penang.
The first part of the journey, to Surat Thani city train station, is as described above. Once in Surat Thani you’ll have several hours to kill before the train to Butterworth arrives. This is an excellent opportunity to explore a typical Thai city and experience some of the local restaurants, bars & nightlife. The train arrives early morning and only 2nd class sleeper carriages are available.
2nd class sleepers are popular for overnight journeys due the low cost and saving on hotel, and are quite comfortable. Berths are arranged dormitory style along the carriage walls either side of a central aisle, with the upper berths 100 THB cheaper than the lower but a bit narrower. At this time in the morning the beds will already be made up with with fresh linen and curtains for privacy. Later in the morning the berths convert into seats.
Once you arrive in Butterworth, the final leg of the journey is a short ferry ride across to Penang island (not included).
The are no direct flights to from Koh Samui to Penang, however for those who prefer air travel there are direct flights to Kuala Lumpur and then a connecting flight to Penang. Please get in touch with us or call us for availability and pricing.
|Hotel Transfer 1 hour before departure|
|Hotel transfer to Nathon pier in Koh Samui||12:30||14:00|
|Ferry from Koh Samui to Donsak||14:00||16:00|
|Donsak to Surat Thani Train Station||16:00||17:20|
|Surat Thani to Butterworth (for Penang by ferry)||01:26||13:30|
2nd Class Sleeper