We're finalizing the details of our Dec.07 trip and are in the midst of booking flights for the various destinations within the country. The cheapest Bangkok to Koh Samui flight I could find was $258 usd (via Bangkok Air.)
I noticed airasia.com flies to Surat Thani for much cheaper, but I understand that we would have to transfer via bus and then ferry to get to Samui. Is this a big deal? Is it worth it to save a few bucks?
Many thanks in advance. :)
#1 chrisa77 has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16
It depends. Transferring from Surat Thani airport to the boat takes a while. The airport is 30km north of town, and depending which pier your ferry goes from, it can be another hour to get to the ferry, and the ferry trip itself can take 2.5 to 6+ hours depending on the boat.
Don't know if you checked already, but the first and last flight of the day between Bangkok and Samui with Bangkok Airways is considerably cheaper than the middle of the day fares -- may be worth a look.
Like Somtam says, it depends on who you talk to, how much time you have, how you feel about travelling on ferry boat, etc. There is a pretty good feature article on getting to Samui from BKK at this link: http://www.travelfish.org/feature/57
We did the trip to Samui from BKK via Surat Thani on exactly that AirAsia flight you mention in July of last year. The flight was quick and comfy, and once we arrived in Surat Thani, the foreign tourists were herded to the transfer desk where we bought a bus/ferry combo ticket to Samui. (If I remember it was in the $10 to $15 per person range) The bus portion took about an hour, as the bus took us to the Don Sak pier south of Surat. From there it was another 2 hours or perhaps less to get to the pier at Na Thon on Samui Island. Keep in mind that it's another transfer by truck taxi (100 baht per person?) from there to wherever you'll be staying on the island.
In any case, I liked this route not so much because it saved money (plus keep in mind that it definitely takes several more hours than just flying directly to the Samui Airport) but because I really enjoy the ferry boat trip. In our case, we were on the car ferry, but it was still pretty great.
If you do take this route, please be sure that you don't leave any valuable in your pack for the bus portion, as we had some cash I had forgetfully left in my pack liberated for alternative use by bus staff.
To get back to Bangkok, we opted to splurge on the Bangkok Airways flight and are glad we did. This flight is very convenient and apart from the high departure tax (300-400 baht per person?), really not a bad deal. As Somtam recommends, we caught the last flight of the day at the special low fare. This meant that we had the entire day to spend at the beach, organizing a 6 pm check out at our hotel for half the regular rate, having a nice dinner, and then going to the airport.
It looks like there are still those special 2,000 baht fares available for the timeframe you are traveling, so check into those options if you can live with a very early or very late flight. A taxi from Chawaeng or Lamai to the airport will likely cost 500 baht or so.
I was happy with splitting the difference too, flying into Surat Thani but flying directly from Samui to BKK.
In any case, I hope that helps. Cheers.
Bkk air own the airfiled on Samui so they have a monopoly on the place - this means higher airfares. the govt. a few years back insisted they offer some discounts and so if you travel at a strange or inconvenient time, you might find there is a discount available.
And to cap it all there is a departure"fee" at the airfield of about 300 or 400 baht - I think this is still paid in cash when you leave.
however flying to Suratthani will have all the extra time it takes to get over to Samui - and so is probably still the worse deal of the 2.
#4 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
Hmm... yes, the ferry sounds like a lot of extra hassle just to save a bit of money. I did see the 2,000 Baht fares. Now that I know that Bangkok Air is the only option, I might as well just book those. (Anyone know if it ever gets cheaper than that, or is it wise to just book it now while there's space?)
#5 chrisa77 has been a member since 23/8/2007. Posts: 16
The cost will add up either way, but it is several more hours effort just to save some cash. If you've got the time, the ferry trip from the mainland is quite scenic.
December is peak tourist season for Thailand, so I'd be surprised if you can find a cheaper fare directly to Samui Island than the special 2,000 baht fare. So I suspect you'll do best to book ahead now while there is space available. Have a fun trip. Regards.
We are travelling to Koh Phangan in December after a month of travelling. Initially we were going to fly to Surat Thani and ferry over to the island because it was the least expensive. But after reading the posts, I think I will dig a little deeper and fly into Samui.
Unless anyone has any other suggestions to get over to the island from Bangkok.
#7 travelbugs has been a member since 25/9/2007. Posts: 1
I take the ferry every time....because I drive there....but if flying it really is a bit of a hassle if Samui is your destination......however if you want to see a bit of Suratthani, that's a different matter.
It all depends o your priorities
#8 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560