Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Getting Around Koh Samui Guide – Transport, Taxis, Songtaew and Rentals

With Koh Samui’s main ring road measuring a total of only 50km, getting around Koh Samui isn’t much of a problem as you are never more than 40 minutes’ drive from any other point on the island with several transport options for visiting tourists including taxis, public transport in the form of songtaew trucks, minibuses and the rental of cars or motorbikes.

Without a doubt car rental or motorbike rental is recommended as the best option, giving you complete freedom and independence to explore the island on your own terms. Of course, renting a car or motorbike means that you will need to navigate the chaotic roads of Samui which, understandably, is something that many visiting tourists are not willing to do. The roads are dangerous on Koh Samui but by driving slowly and always defensively, driving around should be problem free. Make sure that your car rental is insured and be aware that motorcycle rentals are not insured on Koh Samui. Scooter rentals are generally around the 200-350 THB per day mark, depending on age and model, with available car rentals ranging from around 800-2,300 THB per day. But, if renting a vehicle is not for you, there are several other options to get around.

The infamous taxis of Koh Samui are known for their refusal to use their fare meters with customers and for overcharging. The drivers cite high costs of living as the reason for their refusal to use meters and generally it costs about 200 THB to get into a cab with fares anything from 500-1,000THB for any journey on the island. Just be sure to confirm the cost of the taxi ride with the driver before setting off. There are also motorcycle taxis around in all the busy areas of the island and they will take 1 (or 2!) passengers for 50-150 THB depending on the length of journey.

Motorbike taxi drivers wear colourful vests and are good for short journeys

Songtaew trucks are the closest thing to s public transport bus system on Koh Samui. These converted pickup trucks have been fitted with 2 benches on the back and a roof added, allowing them to sit about 10 passengers. These songtaew trucks drive around the island picking up and dropping off passengers with fares of about 20-50 THB per person, depending on the distance covered. On hailing down a songteaw, speak with the driver to find out where he is going and agree a price. When you want off the truck, just ring the bell on the back and the driver drops you off and asks for your fare.

Songtaew truck

Another option is to rent a minibus with driver for short journeys, by the day or half-day. Several companies offer minibus rental and taxi services with the cost usually working out cheaper than car rental.

However you decide to get around Koh Samui, enjoy the scenery, stay safe and have a great time.

Samui Holiday Villa Rental is your portal to Koh Samui villa rental on Thailand’s definitive island destination.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing ur blog.......it is very informative.

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