Ferry Guide for Koh Samui

12 Mar 2024
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Although Koh Samui is lucky enough to have its own airport, often described as the most beautiful airport in the world, many people still choose to take a ferry for the last leg of their trip. No matter where you're coming from, you can save money and enjoy a unique experience by arriving on the island by ferry. The journey itself is always spectacular, especially at sunset. Ferries to Koh Samui typically depart from several locations on the Thai mainland or nearby islands. The most common departure points are Surat Thani, which serves as a convenient connector from the mainland due to its proximity and transportation links, including train and bus options from Bangkok. Additionally, ferries also operate from Don Sak Pier, offering regular services that cater to both passengers and vehicles. For those exploring the Gulf of Thailand's island chain, there are also routes from neighboring islands like Koh Phangan and Koh Tao, allowing for easy island hopping. This accessibility and the scenic voyage make the ferry a preferred mode of transportation to Koh Samui, blending convenience with the adventure of sea travel.

Koh Samui Pig Island Guide

Koh Samui Pier

Ferry Companies on Koh Samui

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 over 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.

Phuket to Koh Samui - High Speed Catamaran

Travel easily between Phuket and Koh Samui (Nathon Pier) aboard a high-speed catamaran. Travel at ease with Lomprayah, a trusted ferry operator that provides fast and safe ferry services in Thailand. Watch the crystal clear waters of the ocean from the comfort of an air-conditioned and modern cabin. Sit back and relax inside the spacious cabin and watch the vast ocean from the comfort of your seat. The five-hour journey will have you discover some of the beautiful islands along the way. Once you reach Koh Samui, make sure to spend a day in Angthong National Park — a protected area that houses exotic marine life.

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Ferries Out of Koh Samui

Koh Samui is serviced by several ferry piers, each offering routes to various destinations that cater to the needs of travelers and locals alike. The most prominent of these is Nathon Pier, located on the island's west coast, which primarily operates ferries to the mainland at Surat Thani, facilitating access to Thailand's southern region and beyond. On the northeastern tip of the island, Maenam Pier offers a direct connection to Koh Phangan, making it a popular choice for those attending the Full Moon Party or exploring its serene beaches. Further south, Bangrak Pier (also known as Big Buddha Pier) provides services to Koh Phangan as well, and to a lesser extent, Koh Tao, known for its world-class diving spots. Additionally, Lipa Noi Pier, situated close to Nathon on the western coast, offers an alternative route to Surat Thani, focusing on both passenger and vehicle transport. These piers not only facilitate travel between Koh Samui and the surrounding islands and the mainland but also support the island's economy by enabling the flow of goods and tourists, making them vital hubs of activity and connectivity in the region.

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.

Flight Koh Samui - Phuket ฿ 6,460–6,995 4h 55m – 9h 45m
  •   Business 07:00, 09:15, 11:45, 15:00
Taxi Koh Samui - Phuket ฿ 6,950–13,200 8h
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Van 10pax
  •   Luxury VIP Van
  •   Luxury SUV
  •   Comfort Car
  •   Comfort
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
Flight Koh Samui - Krabi ฿ 5,060–6,995 3h 50m – 8h 20m
  •   Economy 10:50, 11:45, 14:00, 14:35, 15:00
  •   Business 11:45, 15:00
Taxi Koh Samui - Krabi ฿ 7,040–10,450 5h – 6h
  •   Comfort
  •   Economy
  •   VIP Van 9pax
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Van 10pax
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Luxury VIP Van
  •   Comfort Car
Flight Koh Samui - Bangkok ฿ 6,460–9,727 1h 15m – 11h 45m
  •   Business 07:00, 09:15, 11:45, 15:00, 19:30, 19:45
  •   Economy 10:55
Bus Koh Samui - Bangkok ฿ 1,270 17h
  •   Taxi + Ferry + Van + Bus 13:00
Taxi Koh Samui - Bangkok ฿ 12,500–18,500 12h – 13h
  •   Luxury VIP Van
  •   Luxury SUV
  •   Comfort Car
  •   Van 9pax
Ferry Koh Samui - Donsak ฿ 220–590 1h – 1h 30m
  •   Ferry 05:00, 06:00, 07:00, 08:00, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00, 18:00, 19:00
  •   Car + driver 07:30, 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 17:00, 19:00
  •   Speedboat 08:30, 11:45
Ferry Koh Samui - Koh Tao ฿ 600–700 1h 30m – 4h
  •   Catamaran 08:00, 12:30, 15:30
  •   Speedboat 12:15, 14:30
  •   High Speed Ferry 10:30
Ferry Koh Samui - Koh Phangan ฿ 250–20,800 20m – 3h 15m
  •   Speedboat 06:45, 08:00, 10:30, 12:00, 12:15, 12:30, 14:30, 15:00, 16:30
  •   Catamaran 15:30
  •   High Speed Ferry 08:00, 09:00, 09:30, 10:30, 13:00, 14:00, 14:30, 16:30
  •   Taxi + Private Speedboat 4 Pax + Taxi 00:00
  •   Taxi + Private Speedboat 10 Pax + Taxi 00:00
  •   Taxi + Private Speedboat 20 Pax + Taxi 00:00
  •   Private Speedboat + Taxi 00:00
  •   Express 08:15, 14:15
  •   Ferry 10:30, 17:00
  •   Private Speedboat 4pax 00:00
  •   Private Speedboat 10pax 00:00
  •   Private Speedboat 20pax 00:00
Taxi Koh Samui - Surat Thani ฿ 650–6,600 30m – 3h 30m
  •   Van 9pax
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Economy 2pax
  •   Van 10pax
Ferry Koh Samui - Surat Thani ฿ 600–700 1h 30m – 2h 30m
  •   Speedboat 08:30, 11:45
Taxi Koh Samui - Ao Nang ฿ 7,590–9,130 6h
  •   Comfort
  •   Economy
  •   VIP Van 9pax
Taxi Koh Samui - Hat Yai ฿ 9,350–14,190 7h
  •   Economy
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Van 10pax
  •   Van 9pax
Taxi Koh Samui - Khao Sok ฿ 6,930–8,690 8h
  •   Comfort
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
  •   SUV 4pax
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Samui ฿ 450–2,300 15m – 1h
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Economy 2pax
  •   Van 10pax
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
  •   VIP Van 9pax
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Economy 2pax
  •   Van 10pax
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
  •   VIP Van 9pax
Van Koh Samui - Koh Samui ฿ 300 2h
  •   Van 04:00, 07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
  •   Van 04:00, 07:00, 09:00, 11:00, 11:30, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00, 16:00, 17:00
Ferry Koh Samui - Koh Phi Phi ฿ 1,220–2,100 7h – 13h
  •   Ferry 05:00, 05:30
  •   Express 06:15, 08:00, 08:30
  •   Taxi + Ferry + Bus 04:00
  •   Speedboat + Express Bus + Ferry 08:30
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Lanta ฿ 8,415–10,450 8h
  •   Comfort
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
  •   SUV 4pax
Ferry Koh Samui - Railay ฿ 1,600 6h
  •   Speedboat + Van + Long Tail Boat 08:30
Flight Koh Samui - Pattaya ฿ 4,460 1h 20m
  •   Economy 11:10
Taxi Koh Samui - Pattaya ฿ 13,500–18,500 13h 15m
  •   Luxury VIP Van
  •   Luxury SUV
  •   Comfort Car
Taxi Koh Samui - Chumphon ฿ 8,800 7h
  •   Van 9pax
Ferry Koh Samui - Chumphon ฿ 1,200 3h 45m – 4h
  •   Speedboat 08:00, 12:30
Taxi Koh Samui - Hua Hin ฿ 9,250–18,590 9h 15m – 11h
  •   Luxury VIP Van
  •   Luxury SUV
  •   Comfort Car
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Van 10pax
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Kradan ฿ 10,005–11,182 8h
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Muk ฿ 9,416–10,593 7h
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Libong ฿ 9,416–10,593 7h
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
Taxi Koh Samui - Koh Ngai ฿ 10,005–11,182 8h
  •   Van 9pax
  •   Economy
Taxi Koh Samui - Big Buddha ฿ 700–900 10m
  •   Van 9pax
  •   SUV 4pax
Taxi Koh Samui - Udon Thani ฿ 1,050–2,000 30m
  •   Economy
  •   SUV 4pax
  •   Van 10pax

Alternate Ferry Routes


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