Any other way to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui without spending a small fortune on flights?
Also this is my first trip to Thailand and I only have 8-9 days--should I skip Bangkok completely? I will stay there at minimum one night.
#1 wenbryant has been a member since 3/3/2008. Posts: 1
There is a well-researched article on getting from Bangkok to Samui in the feature articles section of Travelfish. You'll find it at http://www.travelfish.org/feature/57.
If budget is an issue, you can always catch the overnight sleeper train to Surat Thani and take the ferry boat to the island from there. I like taking the ferry because the journey across the water is so stunningly beautiful. You can also fly to Surat Thani from Bangkok on Air Asia, which is typically quite a bit less expensive than flying Bangkok Airways directly to the island, and then take the bus/ferry combo from the Surat airport. In any case, see the article in the features section for details.
As for skipping Bangkok or not, I guess it depends on what you want your focus to be: culture, food, rest and relaxation, etc as well as which other places you want to visit. Are you just heading to Samui or will you be doing other places like Kanchanaburi and Ayutthaya as well?
One thing to keep in mind is the jet lag factor. Depending on how long your flight is to reach Bangers and how used to air travel you are, you might need at least a day to recover and get your bearings. Plus, chatting up other travellers in the Khao San Road area can gives you lots of up-to-the-minute tips on where to go and what to see. Have fun. Cheers.
Samui is about 850 km from Bkk plus the ferry etc....so you need a day to get there by road....you can take the bus/minibus or hire a car but that will be more than the plane.
I would think the train offers a chance to get over jetlag and arrive in Suratthani in a fit state to get over to Samui for the duration.
I drive it in about 10 hours, but usually stop overnight along the coast which is really nice down that way.
If you really want to save time though, the only way is to fly direct from Bkk with Bangkok Air who have a monopoly on that route----they own the airfield.
#3 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560
THAI are now flying the route as well, I need to update the story referenced by exacto to reflect it -- but fares remain inflated...
the Thai airways flight is little more than window dressing. successive govts have been embarrassed by Bkk Air's policy of building airfields and then refusing to let anyone else use them.
they pressured Bkk Air to offer discounts on the Bkk/Samui route, which they grudgingly did on the least convenient flights, and now Thai Airways are probably delighted to get a piece of the Bkk Air cake. You can bet it's cost them too!
#5 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560