Updated: February 2024
To experience the best of Thailand on your holiday, we wholeheartedly recommend you visit both sides of Southern Thailand to see some of Thailand’s most beautiful sights. While Phuket, off the west coast, is the greatest spot to observe the Andaman Coast’s spectacular karst formations, the gorgeous island of Koh Samui, off the east coast and within the Gulf of Thailand, has even nicer turquoise blue beaches. So, how easy is it to get to Koh Samui if you are coming from Phuket? It’s quite simple! There are a variety of ways to go from Phuket to Koh Samui, so keep reading to learn more.
Ways to Get to Koh Samui from Phuket
Because this is a well-traveled tourist route, there are a variety of ways to get between these two popular Thai holiday destinations. If you need to go a long distance (over 300 kilometers), a flight is by far the quickest option, however it is also the most expensive. Driving is fun because you get to view beautiful scenery along the route, but keep in mind that Koh Samui is an island that is not connected to the mainland, so you’ll need to take a ferry to get there.
Of course, if you’re travelling by bus, there are companies that provide all-inclusive tickets that include both the bus and the ferry voyage. Let’s look at the many options for getting from Phuket to Koh Samui.
Bangkok Air is the only airline that operates flights from Phuket to Koh Samui. The good news is that there are numerous flights per day, so you can pick the one that best fits your schedule and budget. Unfortunately, because Bangkok Air has a monopoly on this route, there is no competition from other airlines, resulting in exorbitant fares.
However, when comparing the duration of a trip to that of a bus or a ferry, flying saves a significant amount of time. The flight duration between Phuket Airport and Koh Samui Airport is less than an hour, especially when you factor in extra time for check-in and security. With this in mind, flights from Phuket to Koh Samui are by far the most convenient alternative for anyone on a tight schedule. Therefore, flying from Phuket to Koh Samui is by far the most convenient alternative for anyone on a tight schedule.
If you’re not in a rush and want to take your time, stopping along the way to take in more of Thailand’s stunning countryside, driving from Phuket to Koh Samui is a perfect option for you. A rental car allows you significantly more freedom, and if you split the cost and drive with a group of people, it’s actually not that expensive. The distance by car is approximately 350 kilometers (219 miles), and driving directly there would take approximately 6 hours.
The advantage of this route is that you can take your time, so plan on taking two days with an overnight stop somewhere along the way, such as Surat Thani, before catching an early ferry the next morning. Private cars can be driven onto the ships at the Raja Ferry Port, so you can drive your rental car all the way to Koh Samui and use it to go about the island.
By Bus and Ferry
A bus and boat to Koh Samui might be an excellent idea if you prefer to let someone else drive while you enjoy the views. Believe it or not, there are a variety of bus and boat combo ticket options available, allowing you to choose the best option for your budget. A bus from Phuket Bus Terminal 2 is the cheapest alternative, but because it is the cheapest option, the comfort levels are not as good as other options. Although the bus is air-conditioned, there are no restrooms on board. It will, however, make two stops along the trip so that you can disembark and use the restroom.
The bus will transport you to the ferry for the transfer to Koh Samui, and you will be on your own until you reach Na Thon on the island. The bus leaves Phuket early in the morning and takes around 8 and 9 hours to complete the journey.
If comfort is your priority throughout the journey, you may need to pay extra for the bus and ferry. The buses from the Lomprayah office are nicer and the high-speed ferry to Koh Samui has a little café where you can buy refreshments before relaxing on the sundeck and taking in the sights. These routes take about 6 hours and 45 minutes to complete.
If you spend a little more, you can also opt for a hotel transfer by van from Koh Samui’s port. This is excellent if you want a more personalized service without having to worry about finding a taxi or getting to your hotel, and the price is quite affordable because everything is included in one ticket.
So there you are, three popular and recommended ways to go to Koh Samui from Phuket. If you’re travelling on a budget, you can take your time, speed along, experience more luxury, or choose affordable transportation!