How to get from Koh Samui to Bangkok
Saying ‘goodbye’ to your paradise-like island vacation is always sad; well, at least let your journey back to the mainland and Bangkok be an easy and smooth one. Both Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery offer joint ticket for their ferry+bus journey from Samui to Bangkok with buses arriving to Khao San Road in Bangkok. The journey takes about 13 hrs with either operator, but Lomprayah is more expensive (THB 1350) compared to Seatran (THB 1000). It is an especially worthy option if you are planning to stay somewhere in the area while in Bangkok. Otherwise you can buy separate ferry and bus tickets for your journey. In Bangkok buses arrive to the Southern bus terminal. Buses for Bangkok depart regularly during the day from Suratthani and take from 9 hrs to 12 hrs to arrive.
Travelling from Koh Samui to the mainland
Lomprayah High Speed Catamaran calls to Samui’s Maenam pier twice a day at 8am and 12.30pm and three boats pick up passengers at Nathan pier (8am, 12.45pm, 3.30pm). Transit time to is about 1½ hrs.
Seatran Discovery makes two journeys a day bringing passengers from Koh Samui to Donsak pier in Suratthani in 2 hrs (9am and 11.30am).
Both Seatran and Raja Ferry shuttle hourly between Samui and Donsak Pier starting from 5am with the last ferry leaving at 7pm. They are both huge car ferries.
Travelling with your car? Book in advance!
Travel from Samui to Bangkok is easy and straightforward, but if you are travelling with your car, it is a must to book your ferry ticket in advance. In peak season it is a wise idea to do it at least a couple of days before you are planning to leave the island, otherwise you may end up making a multi-hour queue (or not getting on the ferry on the chosen day at all) for the ferry. Note that Seatran has a separate kiosk where tickets for cars are sold. It is located on the other side of the road, opposite to the passenger terminal.
From Koh Samui to Bangkok via Suratthani ferry + bus
Both Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery offer joint ticket for their ferry+bus journey to Bangkok with buses arriving to Khao San Road in Bangkok. The journey takes 12hrs with Lomprayah (THB 1250) and 14hrs with Seatran Discovery (THB 1000). It is a convenient option if you are planning to stay somewhere in the area while in Bangkok. Otherwise you can buy separate ferry and bus tickets for your journey. In Bangkok buses arrive to the Southern bus terminal. Buses for Bangkok depart regularly during the day both from Suratthani and Chumphon and take from 6½ hrs to 12 hrs to arrive.
From Koh PhanSamuigan to Bangkok via Suratthani ferry + bus + train
There are joint ferry+bus+train tickets for the journey from Samui to Bangkok. By far the most convenient connection is that of Lomprayah 12.45pm ferry and 6.37pm #86 night train from Suratthani arriving to Hua Lamphong station in Bangkok at 6.30am. The joint ticket ferry+bus+2nd class sleeper costs THB 1518; if you prefer a more plush 1st class sleeper, be ready to pay THB 2089. There is, though, three hour waiting time after you are picked up by bus at the pier and brought to Suratthani train station.
If you do not want to buy a joint ticket, there is a wide selection of trains heading to Bangkok from Suratthani, offering the full range of coaches, from the cheapest fan seats to the comfy AC 1st class sleepers leaving during the day.
Suratthani train station is located in the town of Phun Phin, some 15 km south of the provincial capital. Local buses travel between the city and the train station every 10 minutes throughout the day.
Which train from Suratthani to Bangkok to choose?
Trains from Suratthani to Bangkok arrive to Hua Lamphong Station. There is a morning 2nd class AC seats only which is also the fastest one covering the distance between Bangkok and Suratthani in 9 hours (and for THB 808). The rest of the batch are slower (up to 12 hours) and depart in the afternoon and in the evening at 4.40pm, 5.35pm, 6.37pm, 8.35pm, and 9.05pm. Even if slower than buses, trains offer the most comfortable ride, depending on which ticket you book. The top choice is an AC 1st class sleeper (the most convenient of which is #84 and #86 at 9.05pm and 6.37pm (both THB 1539). Second class sleepers are also air-conditioned and provide beds that fold out of your seating upon request or in the evening. These tickets cost from THB 948 to THB 968, and while they may not be as private as 1st class, they are still very comfortable. The fan sleeper cart works pretty much the same as a normal sleeper but excludes air conditioning and gives you an arguable opportunity to take in countryside smells along the trip. Fan sleepers cost 708 THB per person.
Tip: The lower berths are the first to sell out. Book them as much in advance as possible. They are also considerably wider than the upper ones. If you are travelling with a baby, opt for the lower berths by all means.
Have you done with the islands?
Leaving all those sandy beaches and crazy parties behind? Are you sure to have checked Samui’s neighbours before going back to Bangkok? Though all the three islands are so close to each other, the vibe and flavour of each of them differ greatly. Why not compare?
From Koh Samui to Koh Phangan
Koh Phangan lies within an easy reach from Koh Samui. Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery take sheer 20 minutes to get to the island; there are slower Songserm (30 min.) and Haad Rin Queen (50 min.) ferry boats, too. All the boats – except for Haad Rin Queen which calls on Lipa Noi– depart from Thong Sala Pier. Buy your ticket to Koh Phangan either with Lomprayah or Seatran Discovery here.
From Koh Samui to Koh Tao
Lomprayah and Seatran Discovery both take from 2 hrs to 2 ½ hr to cover the distance between Samui and Koh Tao.