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Tin V.

Norway, April 9, 2013

My stay here was good, we book this hotel to relax and to get some good night sleep. The place was clean, good service and even with a open pool on the top floor.

 

Samui Transfer

Samui Airport located in the North East of the Island, blend seamlessly with the tropical gardens and coconut groves of Koh Samui. Koh Samui Boutique Airport provides transportations thru out domestic and international flights. Airport in Koh Samui is a privately owns and operates by Bangkok Airways. Bangkok Airways has opted to build its own airports. The airline currently maintains one customs airport, and two domestic airports.

On arrival at Samui International Airport, our representative will greet you with that famous smile-and-hospitality combination thatís found only in Thailand then whisk you off to your hotel. No hassles, no confusion, no stress. You want comfort and safety (and hey, a little style doesnít hurt either), and we provide the best. Our fleet of Economy & Luxury Cars makes this probably the most pleasurable leg of your journey. If your group is larger than three, or you need extra room for golf clubs, we also have Luxury Minivans. We can make sure that your relaxing island holiday starts the moment you arrive in Samui.

Airport Transfer
We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Airport Transfer Service. Our Transfer Services is convenient, reliable and safe, providing a comfortable ride to the airport as well as to other major destinations in Samui.

By plane
Ko Samui Airport (USM) is a private airport originally built by Bangkok Airways [1], which is still the main operator and was for a long time the only airline with services to Ko Samui. They have near-hourly departures to/from Bangkok and tickets are expensive by Thai standards, with advance bookings costing 3,000-4,500 baht one-way, while a walk-in booking may be twice as much. There are also daily flights to/from Phuket for 2,000-3,000 baht. Two daily flights from Chiang Mai (but only one direct flight in the opposite direction).


A feature of the international departure gate is a courtesy corner which provides food and drinks for all passengers in a cosy sitting area. Awaiting boarding becomes rather comfortable with food, drinks, and Wi-Fi provided.
In addition to Bangkok Air, Ko Samui is served by two flights a day from Bangkok with Thai Airways as well as by Berjaya Air [2] and Firefly [3] from Subang airport (a small city airport 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur city centre), and Penang International Airport in Malaysia.
Visa-on-Arrival and Visa-Free entries are available at Samui Airport for some nationalities. See Thailand for more information.
Ground transportation from the airport is readily available. A seat on a mini-bus for the 20-minute ride to Chaweng costs 120 baht/person; a faster taxi will cost 400 baht upwards. Be sure to negotiate the rate to your destination before you get into the taxi since many drivers refuse to use their meters.
If you're a couple or a family, you'll probably be approached by some young women holding up signs for some of the higher-end hotels. They will ask you where you're staying, and based on the answer, offer you a free taxi ride if you promise to attend a presentation for their hotel's time share during your stay.
A cheaper but less convenient option is to fly to Surat Thani via Thai Airways and low-cost airlines, Air Asia and Nok Air (depart from Don Muang Airport), and connect by road and then ferry. Or fly to Nakhon Si Thammarat by Air Asia or Nok Air and then take a bus and catamaran.

By Boat
From Surat Thani train station and Surat Thani Airport (URT), there are combined bus/ferry services to Ko Samui for 200-300 baht. Some entail a 60-minute bus ride to Donsak pier followed by a 90-minute ferry crossing. Others a 30-minute bus ride, but the ferry takes extra time. Tickets are sold by numerous agents that meet each train and airport. The cost should certainly be less than 300 baht, even if bought this way


From Donsak pier, there are 2 ferry companies (departures every 30-60 mins) which terminate at Nathon Pier: Songserm Travel [4] and Seatran ([5]. The first one is what you more often get if booking via the travel agency. It's a rather small ferry with two decks, often very crowded so you can't get the seat on the lower one if you come late. The upper deck, while air-conditioned, costs extra, so you may end up sitting around the pile of backpacks on the back of the boat under the sun if you do not want to pay). There is a small on-board shop on the lower deck, but the prices are grossly inflated (instant noodles, which cost 15 baht in a 7-11, are sold for 50 baht on-board). If you choose this boat, bring your own snacks. The people aboard Songserm ferry are mostly, if not all, foreigners.


Seatran ferry
is much bigger, and has several decks (entrance to most of the those, including air-conditioned areas, is free), much less packed just because of size (still can be at peak times of high season), and is equipped with numerous TVs (Thai channels). It has a big cafeteria (with much friendlier prices, such as 20 baht for the same cup of noodles), and the passengers are mostly Thai, as well as some expats and tourists. Their schedule can be found here [6] (the first list is departures from Donsak to Samui, the second is return).


Raja Ferry Port operates services between Donsak pier and Lipa Noi Pier on the western side of Samui (several kilometres south of Nathon). It includes a free air conditioned deck and comfortable seats. This ferry also transport cars, so can be used should you decide to come with your own transport. Songthaew transfer from the pier at Lipa Noi on Samui to either Chaweng or Lamai will cost 100 baht per person. Taxis will be more expensive, with initial asking prices of up to 1000 baht.
Numerous ferry services are direct from mainland Surat Thani including an express boat (3 departures daily, taking around 3 hours and costing 150 baht) and slow night boats (taking 6-7 hours). Call operator Songserm Travel (+66 25 29 654 in Bangkok)[8] for the latest schedules, which varies according to the season.
Lomprayah [9] offers a combined bus/high speed catamaran ferry service from Bangkok to Ko Samui which takes about 11 hours (5.5 of them by boat) and costs around 1,250 baht (1,000 baht in the opposite direction). The bus pauses in Hua Hin and then stops at Chumphon, where it connects with the ferry, which calls at Ko Nang Yuan, Ko Tao and Ko Pha Ngan on its way to Ko Samui. While the route may be more scenic (as includes the longboat trip via 2 islands), and the ferry itself is comparable to Seatran, the entire trip to Samui will take more time, and will cost more too.
Lomprayah is a good (if not exactly cheap) option to get to Samui from Ko Tao or Ko Phangan, as well as a reasonable one to get to those islands from Bangkok. There are also regular speedboats and ferries of other operators.
[edit]Get around

As on many islands in Thailand, motorbikes are available for rent. Compared to other nearby islands, Samui's road system is very developed and there are plenty of taxis cruising about, although it's a challenge to get them to use their meters.

Taxi
The Ko Samui Taxi Service is a public taxi service. The drivers, however, are very reluctant to use their meters (unlike in Bangkok), and, especially on popular beaches or entry points to the island, tend to ask foreigners much more than normal fare. Some, say on Nathon pier, will even show you official-looking papers with "fixed" prices like 600-800 baht for a 25-30 km trip to Chaweng or Lamai beach. This is not true, and once they know you're aware of that, it's usually possible to bargain (for this distance, you should bargain to at least 400 baht, or even better, 300 baht, which is still higher than Bangkok metered taxi prices). On the popular beaches it may be impossible at all to get a reasonable fare sometimes. If so, just walk to some area which is more quiet and far away from luxurious hotels.
[edit]Airport taxi & transfer

There is a taxi counter after the arrival hall at Samui Airport. However, queuing and waiting for the service is quite annoying. There are other taxis waiting behind the counter, but the price is either the same or mostly higher. It is probably best to book your taxi or minibus in advance online. There is a reliable provider such as Samui Taxi which charges 440 baht to Chaweng and they wait for their clients at the meeting point.

By Bus
Pickup trucks/public passenger pick-up vehicles (songthaews) also serve as group taxis. To get from the Nathon Pier to Bophut/Chaweng take a brown one which runs at regular intervals and will cost 50 baht to or from Bophut (do NOT negotiate a fare unless you want a taxi situation as these are the way in which the locals get around. Just ask if he is going that way and get on board. If you want to go to a particular place, then hire a taxi or songthaew and negotiate the price with them first.

Motor Bike
Motorbikes can be rented virtually anywhere on Ko Samui for between 120-700 baht per day depending on the size and season (a small 125 cc scooter should cost no more than 200 baht even during New Year). It is recommended that you hire only from a reputable company as there have been reports of scams. Some places deliberately steal bikes that they have rented out. Also the motorbikes don't have insurance. If they say they have insurance, it's not true. If something happens, you can't claim for it. Read the rental agreement very carefully, as too many (not typical in other parts of Thailand, e.g., Chiang Mai) will state that you may not replace any broken/damaged parts yourself. This is a scam, as they will replace the part for you for a price several times higher (sometimes also stated in the agreement) than it actually costs. They will check any old scratches and/or serial numbers, if noted in the agreement, and demand that price even if you have already replaced the part yourself! For the same reason, inspect the motorbike carefully and be sure any existing scratches/damages are written into the agreement before you have taken the motorbike.

Bicycle
Bicycles can be hired very cheaply on Ko Samui. One shouldn't cost more than a 200 baht per day.

Car Rent
There are many car hire options on Ko Samui, including the local arms of international companies such as Budget and Avis. Prices are fairly expensive (800-1,500 baht/day for a small car), but the convenience of a small air-conditioned car may be worth it. You can pick up and drop off at the airport or some other location. Driving is easy on the island as long as you are not in a hurry. Having a car gives you easy access to almost all areas of the island.