You can travel from Koh Samui to Bangkok by plane, train, bus and ferry. The method of transport you choose from Koh Samui depends on the time you have available and your budget.
All buses (coaches) leave from the new terminal in Nathon on the west coast of Koh Samui to Bangkok’s southern bus terminal. Both VIP and economy class buses are available and are air-conditioned.
The main difference between the services is comfort, leg room and complimentary refreshments.
Your journey from Koh Samui to Bangkok begins with hotel transfer to the Nathon bus terminal up to 1 hour prior to departure time. The bus service to Bangkok starts with a short trip to the car ferry (Seatran in Nathon or Raja in Lipa Noi, depending on bus company). There you will disembark for the ferry crossing to Donsak which takes around 90 minutes (included in the cost of the ticket). In Donsak you will meet back up with the coach after it has come off the ferry and you’ll be on your way to Bangkok.
The journey time from Koh Samui takes 10-12 hours in total and there is usually 2 stops along the way at Thai service stations, where you can expect traditional Thai restroom facilities, restaurants & shops. A movie is usually put on at the beginning of the journey from Donsak but it is usually in Thai.
More recently some of the services have started to install video on demand services that have a range of English movies and games to play to keep you occupied during the trip. Please ask us about this when you book.
Bus departure times are as follows but please contact us for availability:
|No Hotel Transfer – Only Private transfer: 600 baht /Minivan – Maxi 6 people|
|Hotel Transfer 1 and 1/2 hour before departure|
Operated by the ferry companies that do transfers between Koh Samui, Koh Phangan & Koh Tao, this option involves an extra stop after Koh Tao to the mainland town of Chumphon, which is approximately half way to Bangkok. From there a coach is provided to take you all the way to Bangkok via a short stop for passengers travelling to Hua Hin.
As you are on board a ferry for half the journey, it is a little slower at 15 hours for the whole trip from Koh Samui to Bangkok. The trade off is you have freedom to move around the boat, there are bathroom facilities, a small snack shop on board and English movies are played both on the boat and the bus from Chumphon. On your arrival to Chumphon, you have a waiting time of 30-60 minutes which is plenty of time to get yourself sorted and grab some food from the restaurant. Hotel transfers in Koh Samui to the ferry pier are included and will pick you up, up to 1 hour before departure.
Unlike the other ferry-bus combo service, you will arrive at Khao San Road, Bangkok’s infamous tourist hot spot popular with backpackers and close to many hotels. There will be a taxi rank near to where the bus stops to continue your journey in Bangkok. As a word of caution, taxi drivers often take advantage of tired & clueless tourists arriving early in the morning, so make sure you stipulate they use the meter or negotiate the price down: not more than 500 baht to Suvarnabhumi Airport or 200 baht to anywhere in Bangkok.
There are 2 services from Koh Samui to Bangkok each day by ferry. You will be picked up around 1 hour before the departure time:
|Hotel Transfer 1 hour before departure|
Taking the train to get from Koh Samui to Bangkok is a 16 hour trip, which is slightly longer than bus & ferry travel options but affords additional comforts depending on the class you choose. The journey starts with a hotel transfer to Nathon pier where you take the 90 minute ferry crossing to Donsak. Once you arrive on the mainland, you’ll catch a mini bus shuttle to the nearby city of Surat Thani, where the train station is located. From there the train will travel all the way to Hualamphong Station in Bangkok.
There are several class options, including 1st class sleeper, 2nd class sleeper and 2nd class seating. Trains are hugely a popular with travelers, so ensure you book your ticket a few days in advance, especially over holidays and festival periods, such as Full Moon, Xmas, New Year, Songkran (Thai New Year) and Loy Krathong.
1st class sleeper carriages are the most comfortable and secure, with air conditioning and lockable 2 berth sleeping compartments. Each compartment has a wash basin, soap and towels, and fresh bedding for each berth. Bathroom facilities are at the end of the car, featuring a fresh water shower. Passengers traveling alone must share with others passengers of the same sex, unless they pay an additional 500 THB for single occupancy. Each berth converts to a sofa for evening & morning use. 1st class sleepers are an excellent option if you value privacy and space.
2nd class sleepers are popular with backpackers & young travelers due the low cost and saving on hotel, and are quite comfortable. Berths are arranged dormitory style along the coach walls either side of a central aisle, with the upper berths 100 THB cheaper than the lower but a bit narrower. There’s plenty of luggage room in the carriage, which can either be air conditioned or not (200 THB cheaper) depending on your choice. The security of your belongings aren’t much of an issue but for peace of mind we recommend locking your bags. At the start of the journey there are pairs of seats facing each other on each side of the aisle that pull together to form the bottom bunk, with an upper bunk folding out from the wall. The train attendant will make up your bed with fresh linen and will hook up the curtains for privacy.
2nd class seating is a cheaper option for those on a budget. In a modern and air conditioned carriage, the seats are comfortable and recline enough for you to get some sleep. A service of light meals and refreshments is provided.
|Hotel transfer to Nathon pier in Koh Samui||13:00||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 Bangkok||18:37||06:30|
1st Class Sleeper
2nd Class Sleeper
We offer competitive prices on Koh Samui to Bangkok flights. Flights are available with Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways and run every hour from 6am until 10pm, 7 days a week. As the quickest mode of transport to Koh Samui, the journey time is either 55 minutes or 90 minutes depending on the aircraft type (a jet plane or propeller plane), so it is one of the things you should ask when booking a flight. There is a certain novelty appeal of travelling by propeller aircraft; it might be slower but all Bangkok Airways aircraft are wonderfully decorated, making a great first holiday snap when you disembark in Koh Samui.
Air fares, like with any other booking agent, depend on the demand for the flight and how far in advance you make your booking. With our local connections at Koh Samui Airport, we can find and reserve the lowest priced seats available within your time frame for departure, on any given day. The first and last flights of the day are usually have the cheapest seats available, so if you are able to plan your itinerary to those times you can make quite a saving. Fares typically range from 3500 THB to 5500 THB.
You will need to allow at least 45 minutes for check-in and going through security to the gate. One of the added bonuses of flights with Bangkok Airways, Thailand’s boutique airline, is there is a lounge to wait and relax before your flight, which offers snacks, beverages, internet and newspapers, all free of charge.
There are a cheaper flight routes to Bangkok via flights from Surat Thani or Air Asia’s service from Nakhon Si Tammarat. Both require a journey by bus and ferry to these airports on the mainland which can add 4-5 hours on to your journey, but at a price of 1,300 THB to 2,500 THB, is considerably cheaper to cut the journey time in Bangkok by half.