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How to Get Around Koh Samui

December 01, 2021
From the outside, Thailand's Koh Samui island looks like your archetypal tropical paradise. From the sandy beaches to the calm seas, it's no wonder this place is such a tourist destination. It's almost weird how, beyond the sandy shorelines and stunning coasts, urban cities await those who want to be comfortable here. And with such bustling districts, you can only expect that the pace's public transport would be just as busy. The good side of this whole thing is that you can easily get from one part of Koh Samui to another with no problem at all.

How to Get Around Koh Samui

Go on a Guided Tour

Since Koh Samui is a top tourist destination, expect a ton of guided tours on offer here. From the various beautiful beaches to landmarks and tourist attractions you probably didn't know existed, these tours will bring you all over the island. And this is a great way to get around too. Not only will you get to visit a lot of places and see the destination's most amazing sights, but that you'll also get to travel comfortably via air-conditioned buses or private vans. The only catch is that you'll have to stick to the tour's schedule and itinerary to get your money's worth.

Taking a Taxi

If you don't want to go on a tour of Koh Samui and you prefer you explore the place on your own, you can always get a taxi. There are tons on the island and they're mostly colored yellow or maroon. You'll find a lot of them parked along some of the busiest parts of Koh Samui, particularly its most bustling districts and neighborhoods. Once you hail one off the street, make sure to ask the driver to run the meter before heading off. If they insist not to, prepare to negotiate on a fixed rate so that you won't get cheated.

How to Get Around Koh Samui
Source: Flickr.com/ bebouchard

Hailing a Motorbike Taxi

Speaking of Koh Samui's taxis, four-wheeled vehicles aren't the only type of taxis you'll find here. Motorbike taxis are also pretty common on the island. They're great for solo travelers as well as for those who need to get to a certain place asap. Thanks to their compact-sized, motorbike taxis can easily navigate through traffic jams and crowded streets and get to your destination as quickly as possible. Prices are commonly negotiable and always insist that you wear a helmet for the ride. You can never tell how roads in Koh Samui can get pretty dangerous for motorbikes.

Riding Songthaews

Phuket isn't the only Thai island that offers Songthaews as a public transport option. Koh Samui also has its own fair share of these traditional converted pick-up trucks. As the cheapest mode of public transportation here, only costing around ฿40.00 to ฿50.00 per ride, you'll find that most locals prefer Songthaews more than all the others and they're the closes the island has for buses. Songthaews usually follow their own routes and it's up to you to ask the driver to drop you off at your destination. As for where to find one, their stops are usually long the main roads and busy streets.

How to Get Around Koh Samui
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Ilya Plekhanov

Ferries and Sailboats

Despite its size, Koh Samui is still an island through and through. So apart from the taxis and Songthaews, you can also get around the island by boat. You'll find lots by the Nathon pier, the busiest of its kind in Koh Samui. Here, not only will you get to see a ton of ferries and speedboats you can rent, but you can even catch boats that go back to mainland Thailand too. Not to mention those that travel to nearby islands as well. If you want to go island-hopping within the province of Surat Thani, taking a ferry is your best bet!

Rent a Vehicle

Now, what if you want to explore Koh Samui at your own pace? Taking a taxi or a Songthaew is all well and good but they leave you at the mercy of their own routes, schedules, meters, and more. Wouldn't you prefer to ride your own vehicle instead? Or rather, in Koh Samui's case, rent one? The island offers a ton of rental services ranging from vans and cars to motorbikes. A few international companies like Kayak and Hertz have even set up shop here. It's up to you which service to go for. But do note that some of them, especially the big companies, would require you to show your (international or local) driver's license. Make sure you have yours ready.

Using a Transportation App

Finally, perhaps one of, if not the easiest way to get around Koh Samui is to rely on a transportation app. With a few taps on your phone, you can book a ride, see the daily schedules of ferries, rent a vehicle, and more. The most common transportation app in Thailand is the Grab app, a ride-hailing program that connects you to either luxury cars, standard taxis, or even lets you carpool with others. A good alternative is also NaviGo, which has similar services to the Grab app but with more affordable rates.

How to Get Around Koh Samui

Since it's the second-largest island in Thailand, you'll need to rely on public transport to ger around Koh Samui. Fortunately, the destination offers a handful of options that are both easy and efficient. You won't have to worry about getting to where you need to be in Koh Samui!

Here's top hoping you can memorize your public transport route to your luxury home here in no time!



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