Taking the coach and ferry combination from Bangkok to Samui is cheaper but a much longer journey than flying direct to Samui. Flying time is about 1 hour, while the coach and ferry journey is around 12 to 15 hours.
It’s easy to buy a combined ticket for a coach and ferry trip from Bangkok to Samui. The combined tickets are available at virtually any travel agent in Bangkok. It’s worth buying the day before especially in high season (December to January, June to August). Be prepared for ferry times to change, occasionally be cancelled and extra ones to be added, all depending on the weather and demand.
There are several ferry companies that offer joint coach and ferry tickets to Samui. We recommend the Lomprayah catamaran which is the fastest and safest ferry to Koh Samui from Surat Thani. It’s a 45 minute journey. The Lomprayah ticket covers your coach from Bangkok to Surat Thani, your transfer from the coach to the ferry, and then your ferry trip to Samui – all without you having to figure it out on your own.
The FerrySamui.com website is probably the best way to see a complete overview of all the other Koh Samui ferry departure times and prices, it’s regularly updated and you can also book joint tickets for the coach and ferry online from Bangkok to Samui if you wish.
Most coaches depart in the early evening from Bangkok and travel overnight to the port of Surat Thani, arriving in the early morning. After a couple of hours waiting, passengers will then be taken to the dock to go on to the ferry from Surat Thani to Koh Samui. There are usually vendors selling food and water at the waiting point, but it’s always wise to carry plenty of water and some snacks yourself, just in case.
Hundreds of people use the coach and ferry service from Bangkok to Koh Samui every week, so it’s a well-organised route, but expect a lot of waiting around rather than super-fast service.
Most importantly, there have been occasional reports of backpacks being pilfered from en route – make sure you are carrying all your valuables (passport, money, phone, camera etc). securely on your person rather than leaving them in your luggage.