Theo Courant


Daily chronicles of cultural information, tips and tricks for travelers in South East Asia: Thailand, Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos.


Koh Samet: how to go there

All the information you need to get to and leave Koh Samet. Koh Samet is easy to get to from the capital and is an ideal destination for a break from the bustle of the city.

The main advantage of this island is that it is very close to Bangkok. It is thus rather easy to get to and to come back from. There are still a few things the traveller needs to be careful about though. The bus journey is said to last from 3 and a half hours to 4 hours but if you leave at the beginning of the weekend, expect to spend two more hours on the road.

You have three options to travel to Koh Samet.

By bus

To take the bus, you need to go the Ekkamai bus terminal (right next to the Ekkamai BTS station). They sell a bus/boat combo ticket (open return ticket with slow boat) for 251 bahts. The bus ticket alone costs 151 bahts. It takes about 4 hours to travel from Bangkok to Banphe, the nearest port to Koh Samet. You can walk to the pier from the bus terminal in Banphe. It’s only about 200 m away.
On the way back to Bangkok, simply buy a ticket at the bus terminal in Ban Phe. No need to book.

Bangkok – Banphe Pier
05h00 01h00
07h00 02h00
08h00 03h00
09h00 04h30
10h00 06h00
11h00 07h00


The return bus to Bangkok

For the return of Koh Samet to Bangkok:

  • With reservation, simply go to the ticket office leaving the pier to simply reserve a specific place in the bus.
  • Without a reservation, you must buy your ticket at the counter: there is an agency coming out of the pier on the left. The return bus ticket costs 151 baht. The bus takes about 4 hours to return to the capital (depending on traffic). Bottle of water offered.
Banphe Pier- Bangkok
07h00 01h00
09h00 02h00
11h00 04h00


By minivan

The minivan is one the quickest way to travel. You will need to go to the Ekkamai bus terminal (right next to the Ekkamai BTS station). The journey by minivan costs around 250 bahts one way and is about 3 and a half hours long.  Unlike the regular bus, it doesn’t stop on the way or at the gas station and takes the motorway.

It will drop you right next to the pier in BanPhe.You can buy your return ticket at the pier on the way back to Bangkok.
Minivans leave Bangkok and Banphe every hour from 6 am till 5 pm.

Van Bangkok - Rayong ฿ 230 3h 15m
  •   Regional 14pax 07:30, 10:30, 12:30, 14:30, 17:30, 19:30, 20:30
  •   Regional 14pax 05:30, 08:30, 11:30, 13:30, 15:20, 15:40


By taxi

This is the quickest way to travel but it is not cheap: 2000 baths one way. The taxi will leave you at the pier in Ban Phe. A few agencies offer this service around Kao San Road in Bangkok. In Koh Samet, it is rather easy to book a taxi in hotels and guesthouses.

Bus Bangkok - Koh Samet ฿ 550 5h
  •   Minivan 08:00
Van Bangkok - Koh Samet ฿ 520 4h 30m
  •   Regional 14pax 07:30


By boat

Once in Ban Phe, you will need to take a boat to cross over. Two options are available: the ferry or the speedboat.
The journey to Koh Samet by ferry takes about 30 minutes.  Advantage, the ticket is cheap and will cost you only 50 baths. The ferry leaves you at the Nadan pier. They run all day from 8 am till 6 pm and leave every hour.

The speedboat is not a very ecological option but it is fast (10 minutes) and will drop you at the beach of your choice. The fare is 250 baths. For your return journey, just book the speedboat at your hotel or ask on the beach. It will come and pick you up. The schedule is similar to that of the ferries.

Ferry Koh Samet - Rayong ฿ 180 40m
  •   ferry 08:15, 10:30, 12:00, 15:45, 17:30
  •   ferry 07:30, 09:30, 11:30, 14:15, 17:00


Entry fee

Koh Samet is part of a national park and you will have to pay an entry fee of 200 baths in Ban Phe.
Once in Kho Samet, there will be another 20 baths to pay (another entry fee). This last fee is included in the fare for the speedboat.

This payment gives access to the park for 5 days. Beyond that, we normally have to make a new entry. This is purely theoretical because it is rare that you are asked for proof.

The workpermit does not give derogation. You have to pay 200 baht. 
Thais must pay a fee of 40 Baht.

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