Unlike other popular tourist destinations in Thailand, Koh Samui doesn’t have tuk-tuks nor a formal public bus service. But getting around the island won’t be an issue, thanks to a variety of transport options available. Check out our Koh Samui transportation guide below. We’ll share all about your options along with essential tips, information on average fares and details of transport providers.
1. Personal driver service
Hiring a personal driver is the most hassle-free way of getting around in Samui. You can book online with travel activities providers like Klook, or engage a personal driver from local providers in Samui.
If you’re staying in our villas, certain properties may offer complimentary personal driver service; otherwise, your villa manager will be happy to assist with the arrangements. If you’re making your own arrangements, we’ve included the details for a couple of providers below:
- Klook Koh Samui Private Car Charter – Half day, full day, two days and three days charter available.
- Mr Samui Transport – 110/14 Moo 5, Mae Nam, Koh Samui, p. +66 89 060 6440.
2. Vehicle rental
You’ll find a variety of vehicle rental providers in Samui – from established local and international companies, to independent stores and individuals. While the rates offered by independent stores and individuals may be considerably cheaper, this isn’t our recommended option as these providers may not be trustworthy nor do they provide insurance coverage.
If you’re thinking about renting a vehicle, here are a few important tips:
- Travelling with kids? Certain rental companies may not provide car seats, so you’ll need to rent one separately from providers like Samui Baby Concierge.
- Keep an eye on the road at all times! Samui’s traffic is known to be hectic, plus it’s not uncommon to chance upon road hazards like potholes, poor road conditions, pedestrians walking along the road due to a lack of pavements or the occasional water buffalo crossing the road.
- Planning to visit the hilltop attractions of Samui? The roads can be steep and of varying road conditions, so it’s best to rent a 4×4 for these trips.
Car Rental Koh Samui – 199/4 Moo 2, Bophut, Koh Samui, p. +66 99 303 6303. Open daily.
Raf’s Affordable Rentals – Scooters and motorbikes available for rental. 59/17 Moo 5, Bophut, Koh Samui, p. +66 81 414 0906. Open 1pm – 12am daily.
Samui Baby Concierge – Car seats, high chairs, cots and other baby equipment for rent. p. +66 98 115 7908.
3. Transportation apps
You have two option when using transportation apps in Samui: Grab and NaviGo. Better the two, NaviGo is the better option, as it offers more drivers and lower prices. Relative to taxi fares, NaviGo’s prices can be 30 percent cheaper, while Grab’s rates are often slightly higher.
Villa Finder’s tip: It’s best to order your ride in advance wherever possible. Ridesharing services are fairly new to the island, so you may not always find available rides immediately.
It’s easy to spot a taxi in Samui – these vehicles are yellow and maroon, and can often be seen circling the island. Always agree on a price before taking a ride, as the meters are usually broken or unused; prices are estimated at around 400 baht for a journey of about 10 kilometres. There are plenty of taxis around, so if you’re quoted unreasonable rates, just decline the offer politely and walk along the road to hail another ride.
5. Motorbike taxis
Motorbike taxis are a cheaper and quicker way of getting around. Fares typically start from 100 baht, and you can spot motorbike taxi riders by their fluorescent vests. Make sure that you’ve agreed on a price before your ride, and ensure that your rider fully understands where you want to go.
Songthaews are a fun and affordable way to get around, and it’s the best transport option for budget-conscious travellers. These vehicles are converted pickup trucks fitted with bench seats, and the drivers typically follow fixed routes during the day. There are no fixed bus stops, so you can flag down or alight from a songthaew anywhere along the route. When you’re ready to alight, you’ll need to ring the bell or knock against the roof to get the driver to stop. The driver may also agree to drive you to a specific destination if there’s no one else on board.
The average fares may cost as little as 50 baht, depending on how far you’re travelling. We recommend that you always agree on a price before boarding – particularly if you’re boarding the songthaews at night, as these vehicles operate as private taxis during the evenings and nights.
Villa Finder’s tip: Do note that there aren’t seat belts, nor are there restrictions on the number of passengers that are allowed on board (it’s not uncommon to see individuals hanging on to the back of a vehicle packed with passengers). If you prefer to err on the side of caution, opt for private taxis.