Getting from Phuket to Koh Samui – transport and fares

Phuket – Koh Samui is a popular route for travelers from around the world, because it is the most popular islands in Thailand. No one can prove that Phuket better than Koh Samui. And no one can not to say that Koh Samui is better than Phuket. Because each of these islands have something that is not have on the other. But it is this factor largely determines which of the two islands as a result will be for you favorite holiday destination in Thailand. Overcoming the route Phuket – Koh Samui or Koh Samui – Phuket, which will be discussed on this page, no different complexity and high cost. Therefore, anyone can get from Phuket to Koh Samui and back, even during a one trip to Thailand and have nice rest on both islands.

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The islands of Phuket and Koh Samui are different from each other in many ways, because these islands are located in the waters of the various oceans. This means that to get from one island to the other only by sea impossible (unless, of course, you do not own a big yacht, which can overcome the route Phuket Samui, around Thailand and mainland Malaysia and Singapore). More than a simple and affordable way for the average tourist – flights by plane or a combination of land and sea transport, which will be discussed in the article. Immediately warn that during of planning this route you should be serious, otherwise the road may take a whole day.

Flights from Phuket to Koh Samui

By long tradition, air travel  “Koh Samui – Phuket” and “Phuket – Koh Samui” are the fastest and most expensive way to get from one tropical island to another. Thanks to direct flights, an established airline Bangkok Airways, flight between the islands takes only 55 minutes. With the help of  located below the search form you can fast find and compare cost of airline tickets in all of airline companies and travel agencies and always possible to know how much this will cost airfare on your dates.  For example, in December 2016 the most affordable tickets can be purchased for $88 one way and from $184 per flight in both directions (in Thai currency – 3000 and 6450 THB respectively)


As I wrote in the article “Koh Samui Airport – detailed review”, high flight costs is primarily due to the policy of the airline Bangkok Airways, which owns Samui airport and which  does not allow to use this airport for flights to low-cost airlines. As long as the island is not to build a new airport, which will be municipal, we can hardly count on the fact that the tickets will be much cheaper. Also, does not make much sense and fly from Phuket to Surat Thani, and from there to get to Samui by ferry, because there is no direct flight, and flights with transfers, not only occupy more than half a day, but are often more expensive than a direct air flight. Therefore, my personal opinion is that the use of or direct flights from Phuket to Koh Samui, or you have to choose a different way to overcome this distance.

Travel from Phuket to Koh Samui by bus and ferry

The direct distance between the islands of Phuket and Koh Samui, just 255 km away, but due to the geographical location of this two islands, for land transport route will be longer up to 80 km. However, even 335 kilometers is quite a short distance to travel on the bus and overcoming the last stretch of the way to the ferry. In comparison with air travel, this option is more than six times cheaper, so enjoys great demand. For 500-700 baht you can immediately buy an integrated ticket for bus, which also includes the ferry to the island of Koh Samui. The price depends from what the transport company you choose and from the class of bus. If you buy tickets for the  bus in day time, do not forget about the thai hot weather and better to use buses of 1st class air-conditioned.

Bus from Koh Samui to Phuket – cheapest way

The trip from the new bus terminal in Phuket to the Nathon pier on Koh Samui takes about 7 hours, 4.5 hours of which falls on the bus transfer, 1.5 hours – the time on the ferry. Rest of the time is necessary to wait for the ferry, loading-unloading and sanitary stopover (you can eat, go to the toilet and stretch your legs a bit). As a result, even after leaving the island of Phuket in the morning, you can get to Samui, about half of the fourth day. You will have enough time to find a suitable hotel before dark and take a dip at one of the beaches of Koh Samui. By the way, to find the best hotel at the lowest price, you can use search form from Hotellook. I myself always use this service that helps you fast find the best price on hotels once all hotel reservation systems.

Overcome reverse route from Koh Samui to Phuket also is not difficult. To do this it is best to purchase an integrated ticket for the ferry + bus to Phuket. These tickets can be purchased not only at the ferry pier of Samui in the offices of ferry companies, but also in street travel agencies of the island. In the latter case, the transfer includes delivery to the pier from your hotel, but the price is a little higher – around 600 baht. On the other hand, public transport of Koh Samui and taxis on the island is not very cheap, so the overpayment will be not big or it does not exist at all.

Minibus and taxi from Phuket to Koh Samui

Since the distance between Phuket and Koh Samui by the standards of a taxi rather big, the fee for a trip on this route is around 3,500 Baht, which is comparable to the cost of a direct air flight. The benefit in this case is only noticeable when you move two or three passengers. The truth should take into account the fact that the most likely route of taxi to Koh Samui from Phuket usually will be finished on the Donsak pier. Usually taxi drivers do not want to waste time on the ferry. They can be understood, because it is in general not necessary. In a similar way you will probably need to get from Koh Samui to Phuket by taxi. First you need to get by the ferry to the  mainland. And near Donsak pier or even in Surat Thani look for a taxi.

You need to use big ferry during the way from Phuket to Koh Samui

Using a taxi between the islands of Phuket and Samui will reduce the travel time in the best case for 1-1.5 hours in comparison with the regular buses. The similar time is required to travel on the route Phuket – Koh Samui (or back) on a comfortable minibus, which can go from a bus terminal in Phuket on a schedule, and to carry out a transfer from popular Phuket beaches, organized by one of the local tour companies. In the latter case, In the latter case, I advise immediately clarify the planned change transport on a route: small offices often have “sin” that make your trip very “fun”  and a long as a result of necessary several changes transport in the way from one island to the other.

Where to buy tickets for the bus from Phuket to Koh Samui online

Of course, the most famous way to purchase tickets between cities in Thailand – ticket offices at bus terminals. But if you want a guaranteed buy one or more tickets on big bus or minibus on the desired route and the right time, you should buy tickets in advance. This means that you have to visit the bus terminal twice: to buy the ticket and to board the bus for a day trip. It’s not very convenient, because Phuket is very expensive transport, especially taxis. Therefore, the purchase of tickets for the bus from Phuket to Koh Samui – a good opportunity to save money and do not spend your time on unnecessary trips to the Phuket Bus Terminal. To date, the best and trusted service for the purchase of tickets for transport in Thailand and other Asian countries is

Using the search form, located above, it easy to find and book your transport between Phuket and Koh Samui. If you choose as the point of departure of Phuket airport, the cost can be high because of the additional transfert at the bus terminal of the island. Therefore, it is better to look for a bus ticket to Koh Samui, departing from the bus station in Phuket. In the search form is already listed the points of departure and destination, so you can just enter the date and find out the cost and availability of buses on your dates. If you are interested in this service, you can also read reviews of the transport companies. I am sure that for many will be an advantage the fact that the service works on many languages. By the way, with the help of the search form can be found not only tickets for the bus, but a taxi to Koh Samui from Phuket Town or from the airport of the island.

Getting From Phuket to Koh Samui by car  

Many travelers to Southeast Asia have long appreciated the charm of the use of movement throughout the country with using the leased vehicle. The method is not always the cheapest,  but the sense of freedom that gives rental motorbike in Thailand or rent a car in this country, sometimes can not be measured by money. Roads throughout the path of good quality, but do not forget that traffic in Thailand has its own characteristics, so on the all the way you need be careful not to distract the person who is currently sitting behind the wheel.

Getting From Phuket to Koh Samui by car

The optimal route between Phuket and Samui is able today to offer any GPS navigator and a simple service Google Maps, so it does not make sense to describe it in detail. It should be noted is that for the transport of motorbike or car on the ferry will be charged the appropriate fee. You can read more about it in the article “Ferries to Koh Samui – schedule and fares.” Also you must consider the fact during using of the rental vehicle that some small car rental offices on Koh Samui are allow to use their vehicles only on the island. Therefore it is better to use a reputable international company with a wide choice of cars and with reliable insurance. Especially now that you can easily find a car rental at the best price online using a service RentalCars, which cooperates only with the best companies.

Also keep in mind that not all ferries to Koh Samui is cargo-passenger, ie can take on board the vehicle. Maybe someone from the readers, after reading the article, thought about why the article says nothing about how to get to the mainland from the island of Phuket and where to find the timetable on Phuket ferries. However, the situation is simpler than it may seem: Phuket is located close to the mainland and already long been connected with it with the help of a reliable road bridge, so the ferry on this section of the route from Phuket to Koh Samui you not need to use. I hope that the information on this page has been able to convince you that to get from Phuket to Koh Samui is not difficult and now you can easily visit both islands in Thailand. Enjoy your Thai vacation!


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4 years ago

I wanted to use the flight to Koh Samui from Phuket, but now I know that the transfer is much cheaper …