Thursday, 29 November 2012

Getting Around Koh Samui

This a view from the back of a Thai Tuk Tuk, one of the many types of transportation available in Koh Samui (photo courtesy of
A few decades ago, the Koh Samui beaches were visited only by a limited number of backpackers craving for a quiet and relaxing getaway. Now, Koh Samui has seen an influx of tourists, attracting all types of travelers from the posh, luxury vacationists to budget travelers staying in simple beach-side bungalows. What's unique about the Koh Samui travel experience is the way it offers comfort and privacy to its visitors through the relaxed atmosphere, which can be felt all throughout the area. 

Getting around Koh Samui is very easy. You can navigate around either by car, motorbike, boat or on foot. Koh Samui is just a small, simple place it's just 25 kilometers long and 21 kilometers wide. A circular road sits around the entire island connecting the beach to the other note-worthy Koh Samui attractions.

So if you're trying to get to a certain place, chances are you can easily reach your destination by motorbike. The good thing about this is that most of the Koh Samui local people are truly nice and hospitable people. You can always ask around if you're unsure of where you're headed.

If you want to drive around the island, there are two options available – you can either rent a car or hail a taxi. Renting a car is one good way of making the most out of your trip, offering flexibility and allowing you to visit as many Koh Samui attractions as possible. On the other hand, taxis are a good alternative when you simply want to hop from one spot to another such as to a restaurant from your hotel. However, make sure to negotiate the rates first, especially at night when rates are usually higher.

The Koh Samui travel experience will never be complete without riding a songthaew – the island's public bus system. It looks nothing like a bus, it's merely a pick-up truck with converted seats but it's your cheapest alternative to get around the island. It has a fixed route around the ring road and fares normally start at 20 baht. During the night, several songthaews also double as private taxis that tourists can rent to get from one beach to another. The fare depends on distance but it usually costs a hundred baht.

Lastly, traveling by boat is also common in Koh Samui. Some beaches cannot be reached by car or motorbike, they can only be reached by taking a boat. Depending on the location and the amount of people you are travelling with, you will probably have to pay anywhere from 200 baht to 500 baht per boat ride.


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