Airports in Koh Samui - Details About Samui International Airport

Koh Samui soon gained international recognition as yet another tourist destination in Thailand apart from Bangkok, Pattaya, etc.  With a growing tourist influx into this beautiful exotic city, a fine airport adds to its cause. When it comes to the airports in Koh Samui, there is only one, the Samui International Airport. 

This airport is owned and operated by Bangkok Airways. Started out in 1989 with a bamboo thatched structure it is now a full-fledged modern airport. It still retains its eco-friendly design language with lots of open-air areas. Thailand Greenhouse Gas management awarded it with Carbon Footprint title in 2016 and '17. All the famous beach resorts in Chaweng and Bophut lie near to this airport. It is one of the busiest airports in the country, handling over six million passengers every year. The airport has a runway of two kilometres length capable of serving medium-sized commercial aircraft like the Boeing 737 and the Airbus A320. The Civil Aviation Authority of Thailand has plans for overhauling the entire airport in recent years to handle the growing traffic.

Koh Samui International Airport

The airport in Koh Samui has undergone significant renovations to keep up uninterrupted service and improve on it. Spanning over an area of over seven kilometres this airport has six different terminals with four for domestic passengers and two for the international traffic. It initiated its international services in 1996 with customs and immigration facilities.

Operating Airlines: Bangkok Air, Berjaya Air, Chengdu Airlines, Lucky Air, Silk Air, and Tibet Airlines.

Services and Facilities

1. Shopping and Eateries

Apart from the usual facilities in an airport, this one packs in an entire shopping plaza with a whole host of retail shops, showrooms, restaurants and coffee shops. There are some international labels, including some renowned local ones like Jim Thompson and Bookazine. Coffee stops like Whittard Coffee and Tea has a laid-back environment for you to chill out. Taste Internet café offers a fast internet connection along with some light snacks. There is also a food court and The Blue Elephant offering scrumptious Thai, Japanese, and other South-Asian dishes. Other notable shops are Harn Skincare, an electronics shop, cheap souvenir shops and some gift shops scattered throughout the plaza.

2. Airport Lounges

There are three lounges at Koh Samui airport with the same name as the Blue Ribbon Club Lounge. The one beside gate 6 is for international passengers. Entrance one and two lounges are for domestic passengers. For reserving a seat in these lounges you will have to purchase a lounge pass which cost around 880 Baht i.e USD 28. You can get that pass online and refunds can only be availed prior to 24 hours of arrival. All the necessary facilities like air conditioning, flight information monitor and Wi-Fi connectivity are present.
Open Timings: 4:30 P.M. to 10:00 P.M
3. Airport Garden
With the presence of a garden, Koh Samui Airport still retains the nature-friendly attitude of the past. Varieties of trees and plantations dispersed throughout the garden area make up an excellent backdrop for the airport. The dazzling flowers like the orchids, frangipani dotted with magnificent trees like the cannonball makes this airport worth a visit. The garden is tidy and well-maintained by the managing staff.

Distance and Transport

Distance from Koh Samui Town: 4.5 kilometres (15-minute drive)

1. Private Taxis
These private taxis can be booked from the arrival counter in the terminal building or online.
Standard taxi rates to main points in Koh Samui:
  • Seatran Ferry Bangrak – 400 THB
  • Bophut – 400 THB
  • Chaweng – 400 THB
  • Lamai – 700 THB
  • Lipanoi – 1000 THB
  • Nathon Ferry – 800 THB
  • Maenam – 600 THB
  • Bangpor – 700 THB
2. Private Minivan Taxis
Private Minivans are suitable for carrying a group of people (6 to 8). They can be booked from Koh Samui airport's terminal area or by submitting an online form.
The standard rates to some of the popular locations to the airport are given below:
  • Seatran Ferry Bangrak - 600 THB
  • Bophut – 700 THB
  • Chaweng – 700 THB
  • Lamai – 1000 THB
  • Lipanoi – 1200 THB
  • Nathon Ferry – 1000 THB
  • Maenam – 800 THB
  • Conrad Hotel – 1500 THB
3. Shared Minivan Taxis
These taxis can also be booked in the same way as private minivans. But they will not depart instantly; they would wait to catch up at least 5 to 6 passengers before taking off. They are not ideal if you are in a hurry as they may take up an hour.
The standard rates to some of the important locations from the airport are given below:
  • Seatran Ferry Bangrak -  100 THB
  • Bophut – 100 THB
  • Chaweng – 100 THB
  • Lamai – 150 THB  
  • Lipanoi – 600 THB
  • Nathon Ferry – 200 THB
  • Maenam – 150 THB
  • Lamset – 1200 THB
4. Booking rental cars online
If you have the permit to drive internationally, then you can opt for renting a car online. Renowned companies like Avis, Hertz, Sixt, and Budget offer their service at Koh Samui airport.

5. Ferry and speedboats

Ferries and speedboats are the best options to reach your destination from the airport. It is comfortable, cheap, and thrilling at the same time. You can book them online. You can book it for the neighbouring islands like Koh Phangan and Koh Tao from the Thong Sala Pier and the Mae Haad Pier respectively.
The rates for Koh Phangan and Koh Tao from the airport are given below:
  • Koh Phangan – 373.17 THB
  • Koh Tao – 622.55 THB

Future Plans for Koh Samui Airport

Bangkok Airways has some significant plans to upgrade the airport for handling more number of international flights. Direct international flights to famous cities like Dubai and Bangkok are also in the action plan. The airline service will add six mid-sized carriers like the Airbus A320 in their fleet for the international services. Some barriers to the project include air pollution and late delivery of the aeroplanes. The runways and terminal buildings will also be upgraded to manage the increasing number of passengers efficiently.

In spite of there being only one airport in Koh Samui, it is flooded with tourists every year and this airport plays a vital role in sustaining the tourism industry of the island. It efficiently manages the expats, as more international flights will be taking off in the near future this airport has a huge role to play.

This post was published by Shaif Ahmad

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