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4 Transportation Options for Roaming Around Koh Samui

December 6, 2019

Koh Samui is one of the more popular islands in the Gulf of Thailand, and it is accessible by boat or plane. Unfortunately, there are no public buses or tuk-tuks on the island, but here are four modes of transportation that are available in this tropical paradise.

1. Songthaew

Songthaews may not be as popular as the tuk-tuk, but it is a common form of Thai transportation. These small converted trucks have two benches in the back and a roof to provide shade for the passengers. Meanwhile, recycled tarpaulin block rainwater from trickling inside.

This affordable form of transportation reveals their route through a signboard at the roof that may not be accurate at times. Drivers pick up passengers who stick their hand out as they approach and let them alight after pressing the buzzer.

Songthaews have different routes throughout Koh Samui, and most operate along the main roads and major paths. They are also available for charter in the evening, but you must agree with a fare before riding. Likewise, it’s easier to hail a songthaew on busy roads, and you must check the price before boarding.

2. Taxis

It seems that taxis in Koh Samui find you before you spot them. Drivers of this significant mode of transportation will slow down as you walk along the road and shout to ask if you need a ride.

Most of Koh Samui’s taxis are yellow and red, which is different from the multicolor taxis in other cities in Thailand. They rarely use the meter because they know that tourists have limited transportation options. Instead, they use their leverage to ask for a higher fare.

These taxis work with each other, and they rarely compare prices. Therefore, you can negotiate for the fare first, but the driver will most likely disagree. Always agree on a price before riding the taxi and settle within the typical taxi rates that the staff in your accommodation will suggest.

Once you find a taxi driver that gives a fair price, get his contact details so you can reach out to him every time you need to travel.

3. Motorbike taxis

Solo travelers can weave through Koh Samui’s inner streets by riding door-to-door motorbike taxis. This transportation mode can avoid vehicle congestion to bring you to your destination quickly. Just like Koh Samui’s taxis, you must find out their general price to have more bargaining power. Make sure that the driver provides you with a helmet even for short distances because Thailand’s roads rank among the most dangerous globally.

4. Rental vehicles

If the options above do not fit your needs, you can easily rent vehicles and larger motorbikes in Koh Samui. However, renting a car on the island must undergo the necessary paperwork, such as insurance and licenses before you rent a vehicle.

Cars carry more items and transport more people. However, you must shell out more money to rent them, and driving on the left side can be unsettling for individuals who are accustomed to right-hand drive. It’s also harder to find parking space for cars.

On the other hand, scooters and motorbikes are cheaper in terms of rent and fuel. It’s easier to avoid traffic congestion, but only two people can ride. Both riders must always wear a helmet, as well.

Before driving or riding them, check the vehicle for dents, scratches, and defects. Take photos of which before riding to avoid being scammed of paying for damage you did not cause.

Seek assistance from your accommodation

Manathai Koh Samui can help you transfer to nearby beaches through their complimentary transport service. If you are looking for a unique beach resort in Koh Samui, get in touch with us today to see how we can help.