Koh Samui, Thailand

Getting Around


By Taxi
There is a taxi counter after the arrival hall at Samui Airport. However, queuing and waiting for the service is quite annoying. There are other taxis waiting behind the counter, but the price is either the same or mostly higher. It is probably best to book your taxi or minibus in advance online. There is a reliable provider such as Samui Taxi (www.SamuiTaxi.com) which charges 440 baht to Chaweng and they wait for their clients at the meeting point.

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Taxi drivers on Koh Samui are generally reluctant to use their meters, especially at popular beaches or entry points such as Nathon Pier - tend to ask foreigners more than the normal fare. Drivers may even show you official-looking papers with "fixed" prices like 600-800 baht for a 25-30 km trip to Chaweng or Lamai Beach. This is not true and once they know you're aware, it's usually possible to bargain. For this distance, you should bargain to 300-400 baht. On the popular beaches it may be impossible to get a reasonable fare. If so, just walk to a quiet area and far away from the luxury hotels for cheaper taxis.

Street in Chaweng by jetalone

By Car
There are many car hire options on Koh Samui including local and international companies such as Budget and Avis. Prices are fairly expensive at 1,200-1,500 baht per day for a small car. However, the convenience of a small air-conditioned car may be worth the money to access almost all areas of the island. Driving is easy on the island as long as you are not in a hurry and you can pick up and drop off the car at the airport or some other location. 

By Motorbike
Motorbikes can be rented virtually anywhere on Koh Samui between 120-700 baht per day depending on the size and season (a small 125 cc scooter should cost no more than 200 baht even during New Year). It is recommended that you hire only from a reputable company as there have been reports of scams. 
Motorbike shops will likely want you to leave your passport as a collateral. This is a common practice in Thailand but most government travel advisory services advise against leaving your passport anywhere as a deposit for obvious reasons. Combined with the scams and bad practices mentioned above, however, it may lead to a situation where your passport is held as "hostage" until you pay what they want. If the shop's demands are clearly illegitimate, call the tourist police.

By Motorbike Taxis
If hiring a motorbike doesn't appeal to you, then there are the motorbike-taxis willing to take you around for a fee. Negotiate in advance, as foreigners are commonly asked an exorbitant price.

Motorbike taxis at Chaweng Beach by moaksey

By Bus
Public passenger pickup trucks called songthaews also serve as group taxis. To get from the Nathon Pier to Bophut (area includes Chaweng) take a brown songthaew which runs at regular intervals and will cost 50 baht to or from Bophut (do NOT negotiate a fare unless you want to hire the whole taxi). Just ask the driver if he is going your way and get on board. If you want to go to a particular place, then hire a taxi or the whole songthaew and negotiate the price.

By Bicycle
Bicycles can be hired very cheaply on Koh Samui. One shouldn't cost more than a 200 baht per day.

Guide to
Koh Samui
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