Sitting in Chiang Mai and dreaming of white sand beaches, palm trees, drinks in coconuts and something else to listen to?
So the small idyllic island of Koh Samet, is a good bet for a place to go.
Koh Samet is a short 2 to 3 hours’ drive south of Bangkok, making it the perfect choice to go to on a weekend, when there is not a lot of time for travelling.
From Chiang Mai to Koh Samet
The two most obvious choices to take from Chiang Mai to Koh Samet are:
- By bus
- By plane + bus or taxi
This is by far the cheapest of the methods and although there are lots of buses making runs several times daily from Chiang Mai to Bangkok, there is only one company that runs directly from Chiang Mai to Koh Samet, or rather, to the city of Rayong, a ferry city, from where you can sail to the island.
The company is called Nakhon Chai Air and it has daily trips from Chiang Mai to Koh Samet.
There are different classes that you can travel on, but I definitely recommend taking the “Gold” class, for the most pleasant trip down there – the trip still takes well over 11 hours, but this class has sofa seats on the buses, and they travel overnight, so fortunately you can sleep most of the way. Being comfortable on the bus is rather important so here Gold-Class is definitely the best choice.
A ticket in Gold-Class costs about 25 USD.
To fly from Chiang Mai to Bangkok takes only an hour and there are many airlines with several daily departures to choose from. You should go for the cheapest, and I recommend Air Asia. On here you can get a single ticket for about 45 USD.
When you get to Bangkok, you can either take a minibus, where you sit along with 10 to 16 others who are going the same way. A ticket for mini bus costs about 40 kr.
If you prefer to take a ride in a taxi, you must expect to pay about 60 USD.
When you get to Rayong, you can choose whether to take the ferry, which costs just under 2 USD. The ferry is the best choice if you want to enjoy the views on the way to the island. The trip takes about 30 min.
Alternatively, you can hop on a boat and be on one of the islands in 10 minutes. Speedboats cost 7-8 USD per person.