The Gulf of Thailand hosts 3 popular Islands of which Koh Samui is the largest one. It is the only island with an airport so it is often used as a hub to reach the other nearby islands, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan.
Koh Samui Airport or the Samui International Airport (USM) is privately owned by Bangkok Airways, which is also the main operator of flights to/from this airport.
2 ways to get from and to Koh Samui Airport
Koh Samui Airport (USM) is located 20 km (10 miles) from the centre of Koh Samui and is located 2 km (1 mile) north of Chaweng. In this post, we compare 2 options when travelling to and from Samui Airport: by taxi (15-45 minutes) or by shared van (10-40 minutes). Fares range from 130 THB ($3.60) to 475 THB ($13.00).
Arranging your transfer from Koh Samui Airport can be a bit tricky. That’s because regular taxis are not allowed to queue at Koh Samui Airport. This means you can’t just walk out of the airport and hop in the first taxi you see. You will need to either book a taxi through one of the travel companies at the arrival area or ask your hotel to arrange a transfer for you.
Booking a taxi in the arrival hall can be more pricey, so we suggest asking your hotel in advance to arrange your ride. Prices start at 475 THB ($13.00) when booking online. Travel time is 15-45 minutes, depending on your drop-off area.
Another option is to take a shared minivan at Koh Samui Airport. The shared minivan will save you some money, but you’ll have to wait until the van has a minimum of 5 passengers. Fares start from 130 THB ($3.60) per person, and it takes about 10-40 minutes to the two zones in Koh Samui.
Koh Samui Airport by Taxi or Private Transfer
Duration: 15-45 minutes
Cost: 475 THB ($13.00)
Duration: 15-45 minutes
Cost: 475 THB ($13.00)
Metered taxis are not permitted to queue at Koh Samui Airport. This means that you’ll either have to use the airport transport services or arrange your transport in advance.
Samui Accom Company (SmackOne) is the official transport service provider that connects Samui Airport to Koh Samui island’s resorts.
From the Arrival Hall Exit B of Samui Airport, there are three drop-off zones:
Koh Samui Zone 1: Bangrak, Bophut, Chaweng, and Choengmon
Koh Samui Zone 2: Chaweang Noi and Maenam
Koh Samui Zone 3: Lamai North, Lamai Center, Bantai, and Bangpor
The transfer time from the airport to the most popular destinations in different zones takes between 15 to 45 minutes. See here an overview of the fares:
Zone 1: 475 THB ($13.00)
Zone 2: 530 THB ($14.50)
Zone 3: 685 THB ($19.00)
SmackOne counter is located at the arrival hall inside Koh Samui airport. However, we recommend booking online through BookAway because they offer competitive rates and avoid extra bookings once arriving after your flight.
Klook also offers private transfers to take you to the nearest hotels. The driver will be waiting for you with a sign at the arrival hall of Koh Samui Airport. Fares are even a bit cheaper with a 3-seater car costing 435 THB ($12.00), while a 6-seater van starts from 580 THB ($16.00).
Note that fares still vary depending on the location of your hotel.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option, you can also take a shared minivan from Koh Samui Airport. These minivans are also operated by SmackOne, and you can buy your tickets at the transport counter at the arrival hall.
The shared minivans also depart from the Arrival Hall Exit B of Samui Airport. For this option, there are only two drop-off zones:
Koh Samui Zone 1: Big Buddha, Bophut, Chaweng
Koh Samui Zone 2: Nathon Beach, Four Seasons, Lamai Canter, Silavadee Hotel, Renaissance Hotel, Banyan Tree Hotel, Maenam
Same as the private transfer, rates vary depending on the zone, but they range between 130 THB ($3.60) and 235 THB ($6.50). Travel time is 10-40 minutes, depending on your destination.
Note that you might have to wait up to 30 minutes before the minivan leaves because it needs a minimum of 5 passengers. During peak season (January), when many travellers are looking to save a few dollars and share a ride, the waiting time will be shorter.
For destinations such as Lamset, Lipa Noi, Taling Ngam, or the Conrad Hotel, the service costs 600 THB ($16.50) for 1-2 people from Samui Airport.
Located on a hill, Palm Coco Mantra offers amazing sea views from your private balcony and room. The spectacular views continue at the swimming pool which also overlooks the beach. It’s the perfect spot to enjoy a drink from a poolside bar.
Definitely try the onsite restaurant serving delicious Western and Thai food. This hotel is the perfect getaway for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation, without having to break the bank!
Three Trees Samui Resort is located right on Lamai Beach. You can eat, drink and swim only metres from the beach and sparkling ocean. Or you can enjoy the view from your private balcony. The location is perfect!
One of the best things about the resort is that they offer free kayaks, paddle boards and snorkelling gear to explore the waters. The staff are incredible and make you feel right at home.
Baan Boom Boxes is an eco-friendly resort offering a unique stay in Koh Samui. If you want to experience a different side of the island, head to this jungle retreat. Every room has its own rooftop balcony offering spectacular views of the island’s nature. Some of them even have a bathtub on the roof!
The family who own the resort are conscious of their impact on the environment so the resort uses solar panels and reused materials to create the rooms. It’s truly a special place to visit.
Steps away from Lipa Beach, Viva Vacation Resort offers Thai-style villas set within tropical gardens. And the villas are HUGE! Everyone has its own living room, bedroom and some of the biggest bathrooms that have bathrooms which come with a view!
Outside of the luxurious villas, you’ll find a gorgeous swimming pool, a fully-stocked bar and a section of the beach for the resort. This is the place to relax!
There are a number of luxury resorts to choose from on Koh Samui, but Centara Reserve Samui is up there with the best. This is the kind of place where you don’t have to lift a finger — some of the villas actually come with your own host to help you with anything.
You’ll find multiple dreamy beachfront pools, with some of the villas having private pools too. A stay here kind of feels like a dream, it’s so beautiful and perfect!
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.
Abby is a writer who finds joy in mountains, beaches, and road trips. She considers her solo backpacking trip to the rice terraces of Bontoc one of the most fulfilling moments in her life. She’s loyal to the islands of her home country, the Philippines, but Thailand’s beaches also have a special place in her heart.