You are visiting Koh Samui soon and you are looking at how to get around the island ?

In this article, I will give you the different alternatives to the car rental on Koh Samui in order to move around the island. I have summarized each category, and I hope you will find answers to your questions.

Rent a car

It is one of the best option if you are traveling with a family, or if you do not want to take too many risks by riding a motorbike, you can rent a car. Although it is hard to find parking places everywhere around the island, it will be very useful to have a car on rainy days, and to have the air-conditioning when you want to move all around to explore the different places on the island. Also, the price of the gasoline is not expensive compared to the western countries.

Check the best places to visit in Koh Samui in 2020

Price ? 850 – 1,200 baht per day

BE CAREFUL ! In Thailand, we drive on the left side of the road and the car wheel will be on the ride side.

Driving license ? It is better to have an international driving license in case anything happen such as an accident.

What should I know ? They will always ask for your passport as a guarantee during the rent period. I will recommend you to select the tour desk of your hotel or the one next to your accommodation if you do not trust 100% the independent renting companies.

Rent a motorbike

Probably the cheapest and easiest option if you are traveling alone or with your partner, you can rent a motorbike. The price of the gasoline is also much cheaper than in western countries. Motorbikes are automatic and very easy to drive.

Price ? 150 – 300 baht per day

BE CAREFUL ! It is necessary to wear a helmet on the road for your safety and to avoid being caught by the police and pay a fine (300 baht if you do not wear a helmet).

Driving license ? Although it is better to have an international driving license in case of any accident, no one will ask for your driving license. You can rent a motorbike without having it. However, they will ask you if you have already driven a motorbike in your life. If you answer “no” to that question, they might not give you the right to rent it.

What should I know ? They will always ask for your passport as a guarantee during the rent period. I will recommend you to select the tour desk of your hotel or the one next to your accommodation if you do not trust 100% the independent renting companies.

Pick-Up Taxis (“Songthaews”)

You will not find any tuk-tuk in Koh Samui. However, you will find the songthaews which are bigger and red. On the island, the songthaews will be accessible from the back and are equipped with two benches.

I need to inform you that those types of transportation can be found mostly in Chaweng and Bophut, and after the night market. The rest of the time, during the day, you will see more yellow taxi than songthaews.

Price ? Not too expensive. Most of the time, it is cheaper than a regular yellow taxi.

For example, you can negotiate your trip from Fisherman’s Village to one of the hotel in Bophut for 150 baht (4-5 persons or more, as long as you fit in the back of the pick-up taxi).

What to do ? Agree on the price BEFORE getting into the pick-up taxi. Do not say yes to the first price the driver will ask for. The drivers of red pick-up taxi will try to negotiate for the highest price, especially with “Farang” (western people). It is highly recommended negotiating for a better price whenever you need to go somewhere with a “private driver” (yellow taxi or pick-up taxi). Most of the time, you will come to a better deal, which will be accepted.

Yellow taxi

Don’t be surprised if they are asking you : “TAXI ?” every time in the street or next to the commercial centers, for every step you take. They will try to make money as much as they can per day with you.

It can be a good option if you want to go somewhere on the island, to Central Festival, for example, and you don’t want or cannot rent a motorbike or car.

Price ? From good deals to expensive.

For example, for 4 persons, a taxi ride Bophut – Chaweng is about 400 baht, but it can be influenced by the time of the day, the different events on the island, etc.

What to do ? Agree on the price BEFORE getting into the car. Do not say yes to the first price they will ask for. The taxi drivers, as well as the tuk-tuk drivers, want to get the best and highest rate from you. You can negotiate for a better price whenever you need to use their service.

Advice : Be careful, most of the time, especially at the airport, if you are more than 3 or 4 persons, they will ask you to take 2 different taxis because of the luggage. In that case and especially if you have never been to Koh Samui before, I recommend you to contact your accommodation reception staff on the island to ask the alternatives (free shuttle included, price for one pre-booked shuttle, average price for a taxi).

Note that pre-booked shuttle are more expensive as it is managed by private companies. The positive point is that you will not waste any time with a pre-booked shuttle (taxi or van) to go to your hotel or accommodation place, especially if you arrive late at night and the negotiation with regular taxi drivers may be more difficult.

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GRAB application

Grab application is the “South-Asia Uber”. Indeed, as Uber does not exist in the country anymore, the most famous and used application is Grab. It is based on the same simple location-sharing system : you just have to enter the address or the name of the place where you want to go. Then, the driver will come to pick you up and will drop you at the address you mentioned on the application.

Check the complete review of Grab app in Thailand

In Samui, you will be able to order only the “GrabCar”, while in Bangkok you can order different types of transportation such as motorbikes, cars, van, VIP cars, etc.

Why should I use Grab in Samui ? If you don’t have any shuttle pre-booked at the airport to go to your accommodation and you think that the price asked from the regular yellow taxi drivers are too high, then I will highly recommend you to check Grab app. You will be able to make a choice between regular taxis and Grab app.

I highly recommend you to read the complete review of Grab app to better understand the application before using it. If I had to summarize one positive aspect and one negative aspect I would say :

  • Positive : No need to communicate with the driver and no need to negotiate, it is a fixed price.
  • Negative : You need to have an Internet access (3G or WiFi) because of the location-sharing system.

Walking

You can still select the walking option, but the weather during day time is very hot. But, after 5:00 pm, the weather is usually quite nice and you can walk on the beach or next to the main road.

For example, if you are staying in one of the hotels on Bophut beach, I may recommend you go to the Fisherman’s Village in the late afternoon or evening by walk (10-20 min walking). You will be able to come back with a tuk-tuk or taxi if you are too tired for the way back.

 

 

If you have ever been on Koh Samui island, what kind of transport did you select to move around ? Tell us everything in comments.