Samui Guide Magazine Online Version. "Koh Samui. "Koh" is Thai for Island and Koh Samui is Thailand's favorite island getaway location. Located in the south of The Gulf of Thailand just offshore from Surat Thani. The island is surrounded by white sand beaches and coral reefs. The Angthong Marine National Park lies just a few kilometers away. Samui is a favorite with young and old, singles and families, Thais and International visitors. Features and attractions include natural beauty, waterfalls, national parks, inland mountains, coral reefs, extensive white sand beaches, scuba diving, four-wheel-driving, elephant trekking, mountain tours, island tours, national park tours, accomodation, night life, zoos, parks, gardens, temples, wats, restaurants, markets, fishing villages, buffalo fights, working monkeys, snake farms, butterfly farms, bungalows, 5-Star accomodations, PADI & BSAC dive courses, land & house rentals and purchase. Samui is the place to be for the holiday of your lifetime." 
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If you don't want to spend all your holiday lounging on a single beach, then Samui is remarkably easy to get around. In fact, a round trip by car can be done in about an hour. Of course, it makes much more sense to take a little longer and see some of the sights along the way.

Getting About

If you don't want to spend all your holiday lounging on a single beach, then Samui is remarkably easy to get around. In fact, a round trip by car can be done in about an hour. Of course, it makes much more sense to take a little longer and see some of the sights along the way.


Covered red pick-up trucks called songthaews serve as local buses during daylight hours. Each songthaew's destination is clearly marked in English on the front and sides of the vehicle. Songthaews follow fixed routes around the island but there are no official stops. Just flag down the first one you see, and confirm that the drivers going in your direction. Press the button or bang on the roof to signal when you want to get off and pay when you exit the vehicle. Fares range between 10 and 50 baht. At night songthaews also operate as private taxis and can be chartered to go anywhere, but fares can increase sharply. Should you wish to charter a vehicle late at night from Chaweng or Lamai to outlying areas such as Maenam, the fare could run as high as several hundred baht. If there are already people on board, it should still be operating as a bus and be correspondingly cheaper.

Car Rentals 

Renting your own vehicle is an excellent way to get around as it allows you to explore the many small roads and tracks that lead off into the jungle-clad interior or down to one of the islands many little coves and deserted beaches. Prices vary from 800-2000 baht according to type and condition of the vehicle. Local operators generally rent manual shift Suzuki jeeps, while the major car rental companies like Avis and Budget now rent both manual and automatic sedans and air-conditioned cars and jeeps. Smaller companies will ask you to leave your passport as collateral on the vehicle. Make sure that full insurance is included, or you will be held responsible for the potentially ruinous expense of any damage to the car in an accident and compensation for others involved.

Motorbike Rentals 

Most visitors to Samui rent 100cc four gear Honda Dream's and Wave's, for between 120-250 baht per day. Be careful that you don't get a 'Samui tattoo' - burning your right calf on the exhaust when changing gear. Fully automatic Yamaha Neuvo's are slightly more expensive (200-300 baht) but are much easier to handle. Don't forget that Samui has the highest rate of driving fatalities in the kingdom, and motorcyclists are much more vulnerable than other road users. So try and stay sober and be especially careful of sand on the road. Motorbikes do not come insured, so you will be responsible for anything that happens in an accident.

Fuel is available around the island at modern petrol stations or from roadside stands. You can spot these by the pumps attached to 55-gallon oil drums; the price is higher than in stations though. If you get a flat tyre, don't panic. You are seldom more than 100 metres from someone who can repair it or knows a neighbour who can. This takes about 30 minutes and costs about 50-100 baht - more if your whole inner tube needs to be replaced or you had to wake someone in the middle of the night. Large off-road dirt motorbikes can also be rented around the island. Prices are around 500 baht per day.


Samui has dozens of yellow metered taxis for those who prefer to travel in air-conditioned comfort. They can be found at the airport and cruising the islands major roads throughout the day and night. The downside is that it's virtually impossible to get drivers to actually turn on their meters and prices can be high, so try to negotiate a reasonable fare before departing.


With a little asking around, you can find reasonably high quality bikes to rent around the island for around 80 baht a day. Don't ride at night if you can avoid it as you'll be the most vulnerable person on the road, and bear in mind that the hills between Chaweng and Lamai and between Maenam and Nathon are very steep.