Summer’s here, and most beach lovers may have settled for one of Thailand’s most famous islands like Koh Samui. Koh Samui is a third biggest island in Thailand. It has beautiful and sandy beaches, swaying coconut trees as well as picturesque waterfalls.
While it is important to find out where to stay in Koh Samui and make advance bookings on hotels, it is also recommended to have transport arrangements ready before traveling. What follows is a detailed account of how one can get around Koh Samui with respect to convenience, affordability as well as comfort.
Hiring a car is an ingenious way of getting around Koh Samui as it is cost-effective and time-saving. Negotiating prices with taxi or tuk-tuk drivers can be challenging and frustrating, therefore; settling on a rental car solves the dilemma perfectly.
Hiring an insured car could cost you as little as 1200 to 1500 THB a day while an uninsured one goes for a mere 900 THB a day. However, it is recommended to hire insured cars as settling claims in cases of theft or accidents is easier as compared to uninsured cars.
Unfortunately, driving on Koh Samui can be quite challenging for tourists due to the different driving regulation as well as reckless drivers. Caution should be highly practiced, and foreign drivers should possess a Thai Driving License or a Driving Permit from the relevant authorities.
These are rental cars that come with a chauffeur or a personal driver. There are varieties of companies that offer limousine services on arrival to the airport, mainly charging 2000 to 2500 THB a day. While they may seem a little more expensive, the benefits that come with these services cannot be overlooked.
English-speaking drivers are provided and cruising around Koh Samui becomes even more convenient when you don’t have to deal with unfamiliar roads or reckless drivers. Limousines can range from small cars, mini-vans to stretch limos depending on the size of family you’re traveling with, and level of luxury desired.
Metered-taxi is one of the most convenient ways of getting around the island as they charge a negotiable price with a personal driver. The prices are usually around 400 to 600 THB a day from Chaweng to Lamai beach (which is about 25-30km).
However, private taxis are known to exploit tourists, especially those that lurk around the airport or touristy areas. It is of paramount importance to ensure that before hopping into that taxi, a price has been agreed to. Or better yet, ensure the taxi you settle for uses a meter to charge the fare. Airport taxis are also preferred as they charge a consistent rate and can be booked online on their respective websites.
This mode of transport is the most common in almost every part of Koh Samui and the most affordable in all aspects. Hiring a 100-125cc Scooter will only cost you 150 THB a day with larger and heavier motorcycles being charged an exorbitant rate of 2500 THB a day! While settling for this choice, it is important to ensure that the motorbike is insured, and the dealer is reputable as cases of theft and exploitation of tourists are very common.
Tourists are categorically advised to avoid dealers that ask passports as collateral as this has been used severally as a base for exploitation. It is common sense that one should acquire a good helmet and Driver’s permit to reduce brushes with the law.
Commonly known as Songtaew, these are truck-based mini-buses that have a pair of bench seats in the back with the most popular being the pick-up truck. The larger types, usually lorries, have an additional bench seat in between the bench seats that are on either side of the back of the van.They are convenient for lone tourists as they are economical for shorter distances and are a good way of interacting with the locals.
Tourists should particularly be careful when approaching Songtaews with no passengers as drivers may take advantage of the situation to charge exorbitant fares.
Image sources: excursionsonsamui.com, samui.thaivisa.com, livingincmajor.com, samuidays.ru, kohsamui.com, kohsamuiluxuryairporttransfers.com