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).
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) 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.
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)
Zone 2: 530 THB ($14.50)
Zone 3: 685 THB ($19)
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), while a 6-seater van starts from 580 THB ($16).
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.
If you’re looking for a fun and social atmosphere, this is the perfect hostel! On-site swimming pool, bar and lounge area for socializing with other travelers. Extremely close to the beach, restaurants, bars and all amenities. The hostel offers very comfortable beds and is extremely clean. The hostel staff is very friendly and will assist with arranging tours and forward travel plans.
If you’re traveling alone but prefer a little more luxury and a quiet place then The Rock Hostel is a perfect choice. This hostel offers private beach access with lounge chairs, a swimming pool, and stunning sea views. The location is perfect, the hostel is quiet and relaxing and the staff is amazing. Treat yourself to a few days of luxury and relaxation here.
This adults-only beach house located in Taling Ngam Beach comes with countless recommendations. The beds are extremely comfortable, the hostel is very clean and a small breakfast of fruit with bread and jam is provided daily. There is an on-site bar, lounge and bbq area and the beach is right next door. The host is known to be exceptionally friendly, even taking guests on tours or dropping them off at the pier on departure day.
Located on a hill, this hotel offers amazing sea views from your private balcony and room. The outdoor pool is the perfect place to relax and enjoy a drink from the on-site bar. The restaurant offers a variety of western and Thai food to choose from. This hotel is the perfect getaway for rest, relaxation and rejuvenation.
These beautiful beachfront bungalows, located at the Bophut area of Koh Samui, are an absolute luxury! Relish in the privacy these bungalows offer while still being just steps from the beach. There is an on-site swimming pool, bar, beachfront restaurant and a lovely terrace for guests to enjoy. Soak up the luxury, stunning views and comforts this resort has to offer.