Ferry Guide for Koh Samui

26 Mar 2021

No matter where you're coming from, you may have to take a ferry for the last leg of the trip to get to Samui in the Gulf. Koh Samui is lucky enough to have its own airport which is described by many as the “most beautiful airport in the world”. The other nearby airport is Surat Thani on the mainland.
Various ferries connect Surat Thani and Koh Samui, departing from either the pier there or the nearby Donsak pier.

Koh Samui Pier

Raja Ferry

Raja Ferry is one of Thailand's most well-known ferry companies. The company, which was established in 1981, now owns and operates 13 vessels. Donsak, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan are the three key ports that the company uses for the comfort of its travellers. This is the only ferry service that allows you to bring your vehicle, such as a car or a scooter, on board. Since ferries carry vehicles and goods, they are the largest and therefore take the longest.

 

Lomprayah

Lomprayah is a fleet of high-speed catamaran ferries. They take pride in providing you with a trip that is all about pace, elegance, and service. In the Gulf of Thailand, the company operates seven high-speed ferries, which allow for easier loading than conventional ferries.
Furthermore, the company provides additional services such as flight ticket booking, bus booking, and tour trips, among others.

 

Seatran

Seatran's key objective is to offer a new and improved transportation option to Koh Samui and the islands for local and foreign citizens. The main concern was to have better service and a higher degree of protection at a good price and to promote the elimination of transportation congestion between Samui and the mainland, which was a significant setback in the development of the tourism industry in Samui. 

 

Songserm

Songserm is a shipping firm that works in the Gulf of Thailand. The company has expanded and diversified its services over the years, becoming the first and oldest ferry company to transport passengers between the Gulf of Thailand and the Andaman Sea, and one of Thailand's most important bus and ferry companies. Songserm specializes in transporting tourists to Thailand's Koh Tao, Koh Samui, and Koh Phangan islands, which are popular vacation spots.

Raja Ferry

Ferry Routes to Koh Samui

 

Surat Thani to Koh Samui

Surat Thani is a well-known travel gateway to Koh Samui; it's a popular route because people fly into Surat Thani airport from all over Thailand, so there are a variety of tour and ferry companies that offer trips from Surat Thani to Koh Samui.
By ferry, there are many choices for getting to Koh Samui from Surat Thani. You can take the ferry from Surat Thani's central ferry piers or from Donsak's larger ferry piers. Surat Thani is 60 kilometres (37.5 miles) east of Donsak, and it is a 90-minute drive north. While you can find your own route, both operators sell combined tickets that include the bus and the ferry, so if you're travelling to Samui from Surat Thani Airport, the city itself, or the train station, there are still combined tickets available to buy for your entire journey.

 

If you're a backpacker or just need to fly on a tight budget, the good news is that all ferries to the island are reasonably priced, regardless of which route you want, so it won't break the bank. However, there is one service that will save you a few dollars among the others, and that is Raja Ferry. The Raja ticket includes a bus transfer from the area, which departs three times a day, from the intersection of Si Wichan Road and Soi 16 Si Wichai, in the middle of the day until early afternoon. This is also the ferry you'll need if you're travelling in a car or scooter.

 

If you don't want to wait, the Lomprayah Highspeed Catamaran is the quickest way to get to Koh Samui from Surat Thani. This route is better if you're already in Surat Thani, particularly if you're in the Tapee neighbourhood, which is a little north-east of the city.
At Tapee, Lomprayah, a reputable travel firm, has a pier from which the high-speed ferry departs. This ferry is much newer, more compact, and faster than the Raja Ferries, with facilities such as air conditioning, snacks, restrooms, and stewards on board. It is more expensive than the Raja Ferry, but you pay more for speed, comfort, and convenience. The ferry takes about two and a half to three hours to get from Tapee Pier to Koh Samui, and because it departs from Surat Thani, you won't have to worry about long bus transfers.

 

If you're flying into Surat Thani International Airport, keep in mind that the city centre is about 30 kilometres (19 miles) by road, which could add a significant amount of time to your journey. Fortunately, a range of companies offers shared fares that will carry you all the way from the airport to Samui.

 

Seatran Discovery is a ferry choice to consider when travelling from Surat Thani airport to Samui. Seatran is a little less expensive, but the journey takes longer when departing from Donsak. Songserm is still less expensive and quicker than Seatran. 
Songserm, Lomprayah, and Raja Ferry are the options for companies travelling from Surat Thani Train Station; costs and timetables vary, but you can choose what best suits you.

Songserm Ferry Koh Samui

Speedboat from Koh Phangan

If you have more money and don’t want to ride on a ferry with hundreds of other people, a speedboat is an option. Although speedboats are more expensive than ferries, they provide the most flexibility in operating a private operation.
They will drive you to your desired place on Koh Samui from various departure points on Phangan. Of course, if you're travelling with friends, splitting the cost of a speedboat makes this option more affordable than you would think, but don't rule it out until you've calculated the cost of a speedboat charter.

Lomprayah

Chumphon to Koh Samui

The travel time from Chumphon to Koh Samui will vary depending on the mode of transportation you choose. Taking all into account, the trip will take between 5 and 8 hours to complete. People who want to visit Koh Tao normally leave from Chumphon; however, for Koh Samui, it is better to leave from Surat Thani because it is closer.
The cost of a trip to Koh Samui from Chumphon is determined by the mode of transportation you select. Songserm is the most cost-effective operator: if you commute by sea, you can expect to pay as little as 850 for your fare. If you want to travel in style, the most costly alternative is to take the Bus+ferry; a one-way Bus+ferry fare will cost up to 1150.
The boat ride from Chumphon to Koh Samui is scenic since it combines transportation and sightseeing.
Koh Samui courtesy of Lomprayah

Summary

The great thing about Koh Samui is you can fly there but fares can be expensive so you may need to take a boat or ferry; if you get seasick, we recommend taking a slower boat like the Raja, which is larger and therefore more stable. The ferry ride to the island is always spectacular, particularly if you arrive at sunset. Along the way, you can see Angthong National Marine Park and get a spectacular view of Koh Samui as you arrive from the sea.