Getting around Koh Samui


Koh Samui is Thailand’s third largest island and measures only 25 kilometres long and 20 kilometres wide.  Getting around on Samui is very easy with a ring road which loops around the island connecting beaches and other attractions.

Songthaew on Koh SamuiSamui also has an excellent public transport network of songthaews.  These converted pick-up trucks with bench seats can be found all over Thailand and are very economical to use. Dozens of songthaews ply the island on various fixed routes all day and fares start at around 20 baht for a short trip.  To use a songthew simply flag one down as it passes. There are no fixed stops, so to get off either ring the bell or bang on the roof.

There are also yellow, metered, air-con taxis available, but as drivers are not particularly keen to turn on their meters, prices can be quite high. Motorbike taxis are cheaper, but come with obvious safety issues.

Scooter hire Koh SamuiMotorbike and jeep rental is available everywhere on Samui. Expect to pay around 200 Baht per day for a bike and around 800 Baht for a car. It’s worth remembering that Samui has some of the highest accident rates in the country though, and has many steep, sandy roads.

The local police are beginning to crack down on foreigners riding bikes without helmets and fining them accordingly. The 500 baht fine must be paid immediately at a nearby police station, whilst the police hold onto either your bike, driving license or passport as insurance.

Insurance does not exist in Thailand for motorbikes, so riders are liable for any danger and it’s almost always the foreigner’s fault. Similarly with jeep hire, ‘bargains’ will come without insurance and are therefore a risky option.  Always hire from a reputable company such as Avis or Budget which will include comprehensive insurance.

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Updated: December 18, 2010 by admin

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