Taxis – the cost of transport in Koh Samui, Thailand

How much does it really cost

in taxis and transport to get around the

island of Koh Samui in Thailand?

Updated March 2018

We have now travelled to Koh Samui, Thailand 7 times and have got to know the island well. In this post we have looked at the cost of taxis and other forms of transport in Koh Samui, information that we wished we had known on our first visit.

The island is not huge and measures some 25 km at its widest point. A single 51 km road, runs mostly along the coastline and circles the bulk of the island.

Taxis

We have always used taxis during our visits to Koh Samui, taxis are easy to see as they are all yellow and burgundy. We have rarely had to wait long for a taxi as they are constantly circling the island. We often chose a private taxi as they all have air conditioning which gives you a welcoming break from the heat.

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NaviGo App

On this trip in March 2018 we have discovered NaviGo which is an app that is being used now to order taxis in Koh Samui. To explain, it is like a Thai version of Uber. We downloaded the app available on Google play or App store and followed the instructions. It was so easy to use and much cheaper than conventional taxis, in fact it worked about 30% cheaper! Once booked you can track the car to see when it arrives and you know the cost before the car arrives so their are no hidden surprises. You are also sent an electronic receipt. We were very impressed with their service and would recommend using this app. However, there were times when Navigo did not have cars available so see below for the conventional taxi fares you will expect to pay to get around the island.



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Taxi outside the many 7:11’s found in Thailand

We have seen a steep increase in the price of taxis particularly in the last year. On previous visits you could barter with the taxi drivers but we found that is not always the case. All the taxis should use their meters but they are often broken (!!) and rarely used, always agree a price before you get in. When you ask how much the fare is it will always be inflated, sometimes double what you should pay. Taxi and tuk tuk drivers are notorious in Thailand for scamming tourists so if you are quoted ridiculous prices and they won’t budge, just smile, say no thank you walk down the road and ask another, we have done this numerous times and always found a taxi that charges a price we are happy to pay. Our post What to do and not to do in Bangkok explains this and other scams that you should be aware of in Thailand.

Here is a list of prices we were happy to pay, taking into consideration the distance travelled. Prices as currency exchange rate March 2018

Airport to Fisherman’s Village 500 (£11.50)

Chaweng Noi to Airport 500 (£11.50)

Bangrak to Maenam 400 baht (£9.20)

Bangrak to Lamai 700 baht (£16.25) but did get 600 baht (£13.90) once

Chaweng to Bangrak 300 baht (£6.90)

Maenam to Fisherman’s Village 100 baht (£2.32)

Fisherman’s Village to Bangrak 300 baht (£6.90) but did get it 200 baht (£4.60) once

Fisherman’s Village to Bang Por 500 (£11.50)

Fisherman’s Village to Choeng Mon 400 (£9.30)

Choeng Mon to Bangrak 300 (£6.90)

Choeng Mon to Lamai 600 (£13.90)

Secret Garden, Bangrak to Big Buddha 200 baht (£4.60)

Chaweng to Lamai 400 baht (£9.30)

Chaweng to Bangrak 400 (£9.30)

Bang por to Nathon 200 baht (£4.60)

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Taxis in Koh Samui

Songtheaw

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Songthaew

Songthaews are basically converted pick up trucks with bench seats in the back. This public transport network circles the island on fixed routes all day where they go to and from is written on the roof.

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Songtheaw Sign showing you the route

There are no fixed stops and you can hop on and off by ringing the bell, fares start at 50 baht (£1.20) and obviously increase the further you go. After dark many of the Songthaews operate as private taxi’s so negotiate a fare before getting aboard.

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Travelling in the back of a Songthaew

We have used these plenty of times, they are a great, cheap, fun mode of transport for getting around Koh Samui. There doesn’t seem to be a maximum number allowed on one Songthaew and you will often see individuals hanging off the back holding on for dear life.  There are no seat belts either so for those thinking of safety the option of a private taxi may be preferable.



Hiring a moped/motorbike

The roads in Thailand are notoriously dangerous and few rules apply. Infact, on our last trip we witnessed two accidents involving mopeds. Mopeds are really cheap to hire 200-250 baht (£4.60-£5.80) for 24 hours. We are always amazed that tourists who have never rode a moped or motorbike think it is acceptable to ride one in Thailand without a helmet on and after drinking alcohol. You will often see individuals with scabs and grazes, their limbs bandaged that have come from motorbike accidents, these are the lucky ones, as unfortunately fatalities happen often.

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Moped’s for rent

Petrol is easily found on the sides of the road in old alcohol bottles and cost less than £1.

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Moped’s and bottles of gasoline

If you are going to hire a moped or motorbike in Thailand read this by World Nomads a really useful article, on why you need your wits about you when you are riding a motorbike.

Hiring a car

Is possible and easy to do, costs start at around 1000-1250 baht (£23.20-£29). You can hire a car at the airport or your hotel can arrange this. It is always worth shopping around for the best price. You have to have your wits about you at all times as mopeds will appear from nowhere.

Walking

It’s free, a good form of exercise and something we do a lot of when we are travelling.  On our first trip we decided that we would walk from Bangrak to Fisherman’s village, we soon discovered this was not a wise choice as the ring road is extremely busy and does not have pavements all the way along. We were both relieved when we eventually reached Fisherman’s village in one piece! We would advice using one of the above options rather than walking between the resort areas.

Koh Samui is one of our favourite places to visit, we hope you find this information useful. Is there anything regarding transport in Koh Samui that you would add? Do let us know in the comments below.

Now you know how to get around, click here to see what hotels are available in Koh Samui.

Thanks for reading!

Pin it for future reference!

Koh Samui Thailand check out the cost of transport including taxi songthaew and navigo  learn how to save money on getting around the island #thailand #samui #cost #save #money #navigo #taxi #songthaew #paulandcarole #travel #information #guide

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78 Responses to Taxis – the cost of transport in Koh Samui, Thailand

  1. Pingback: Hotel review - Our stay at Baan Sijan Villa Resort

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  4. Shona says:

    Great info for newbies to Koh Samui and very good advice re the mopeds/ scooters, those things are dangerous!
    Shona recently posted…Dubai: Join Us For A Night At The Opera!My Profile

  5. Annalise says:

    Thanks for sharing this! I’ll be there in a few days so this is all good information to know! I’ve saved the link to read again nearer the time.

  6. useful post! if we head that way I am printing those prices out for reference!! I couldn’t think of anything worse than going on a scooter – the last time i did i was 12 and drove into a wall!!! So not planning to try that again even 38 years later!! #feetdotravel
    Tracy McConnachie Collins recently posted…80 things to do in South Africa Part 1My Profile

  7. Travel Lexx says:

    Very useful post – I am surprised how much taxis cost on Koh Samui, We have only rented mopeds so never have taken a taxi and at those prices, wouldn’t dream of it! Also, I would always recommend to fill up at petrol stations rather than buying bottles from the side of the road. The petrol can be diluted and is normally more expensive.

    • Thanks! We were only discussing recently how many different shades of petrol there was in the bottles on the side of the road, as the colours were all slightly different, that would explain it!

  8. Really good post here guys, and I love that you have included the prices you were prepared to pay for taxis! I, personally, would never hire a moped in Thailand as I have seen/heard of too many accidents (but that’s just my choice) and I do think it’s crazy that people do even though they have never driven one before – of all the places to start!?? I hired a car when I was in Koh Samui as it was great to just drive around 🙂 Thanks for sharing all this information! #feetdotravel

  9. Great tips! While we were in Patong we negotiated a price with the ‘taxi service promoter’. Not sure what else to call them but it wasn’t the driver, it was the person that you dealt with and then they would call over one of the many drivers waiting on the side of the road and tell him the details. After getting in the taxi, the driver was told us that the negotiator person told him 400 baht. But we had agreed on 300 baht and he kept complaining and didn’t want to budge so we told him to pull over and let us out because we weren’t going to pay 400 baht. He finally accepted our price and took us to our destination. I have read on things like the taxi mafia in Phuket so I much rather walk everyone if possible to save myself a headache. I’m much too scared to ride a moped too haha
    ThriftyTrails recently posted…Best Travel Credit Card in 2017 [Infographic]My Profile

    • Unfortunately there are lots of ripping of with taxis around the world, setting a price before is key. I think as long as you pay what you are happy to and walk away when not then that always works for us. Thanks for your comment.

  10. Sarah says:

    This is such a great post! I always look for info like this when I’m trying to budget a trip and there’s just not enough of it around! Thanks for sharing! definitely going to save it for if I ever make it to Koh Samui!

  11. Oana says:

    Love this post, brings back some memories. We also used both taxis and Songthaew during our trip to Thailand. First time we took a Songthaew, the back was full so the driver put us in the front – wasn’t comfortable at all. We didn’t had the courage to rent a moped after seeing how traffic is there.

  12. I would have never known they would try to scam you with the cab fares in Thailand. It always seems like such a great country to visit due to the beauty and cheap cost of travel. Now we know for when we visit. Thanks 🙂
    Scarlett Begonias recently posted…How to travel across America with your pupMy Profile

  13. Great list of transportation options on Koh Samui on that I will keep for later use. I have rented a motorbike with a helmet but the other drivers scare me. Taxis are good but if I can I try and use the Songthaw… Thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

  14. Kreete says:

    What a great article for anyone going to Koh Samui! I have never been myself, but am confident now after reading this that hiring a motorbike would be a way to go as I had one in Spain for over a year. Sure, the traffic is different, but I think accidents happen to the ones that arent careful and sometimes plain stupid ha. Walking and Songthaew are other two good options!

    • Thanks Kreete. If you are used to riding mopeds that’s great unfortunately it is the ones who are doing it for the first time and then have a few beers on top too! Hope you do get to Koh Samui it is a great island to visit.

  15. Only By Land says:

    I lived in Thailand for 10 years and I am actually back in Thailand now. I’ve not been down to Koh Samui but if I did I’d probably get around on the Songthaews, aren’t they called baht buses as well? I guess they should be called 50 baht buses in Samui! It’s true what you say about young drunken foreigners driving bikes around with no helmets, probably without insurance either!

  16. Songthaews are intriguing. They look pretty good and spacious, as long as the driver doesn’t stuff many people in! The other travelling options are really good as well.

  17. Anna says:

    Very handy! Copied the list of prices for my future trips, cause when the meter is broken and you have no clue about the real prices… it might be not very pleasant to find out later you´ve been charged three times more!
    Anna recently posted…Falling in love with SintraMy Profile

  18. Thank you so much for writing this post. Really useful. We are thinking of visiting Koh Samui. Bookmarked this page. It is helpful to have a benchmark for the travel costs.

  19. Lolo says:

    Never heard of Koh Samui, but as I’ve recently been dreaming of visiting Thailand a lot lately, will have to keep this one in mind! Thanks for linking up with #TheWeeklyPostcard!

  20. Anisa says:

    Yes you have to watch out for the taxi scams! I hate when they say the meter is broken. In NYC sometimes they tell you the credit card machine is not working so that they don’t have to pay the fee. It’s definitely something you need to watch out for. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard.

  21. Becki Svare says:

    Really useful information! Thanks for sharing! #TheWeeklyPostcard

  22. David says:

    Very useful guide for getting around Koh Samui. Pretty sure we overpaid the first few times when a group of friends and I visited in 2012. As you say, its a pretty common thing in Thailand.

  23. For some reason, I love the look of that Songthaew! I might get one of those rigs for my truck and offer rides around town. It could be a whole new Uber revenue stream! 😉
    Rob+Ann @TravelLatte(.net) recently posted…5 Great Activities for Your Day Trip in NiceMy Profile

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  26. Lynda Mason says:

    Hi and tks for info. I have been coming to Samui for 15 years. Songthaews are not as plentiful as they were in the past. I waited at Bang Po/Ban Tai 7/11 earlier today and saw none. There used to be one every 15 minutes. In 45 minutes not one. So looks like the air cond minibuses are taking over.

    • That’s a shame as you used to be pretty certain that one would pass frequently! Thanks for your comment, we are back in February so it will be interesting to see how things are then.

  27. Lynda Mason says:

    Hi again. The local travel agent wanted 400 bt to go 11 Kms Ban Tai to Bathing pier so I decided to just go early tomorrow morning and wait by the side of road. I asked at a little shop on a small soi and they said local folks go to Nathon early. I used to live at Choeng Mon and there was a songthaew everyday at 6am to Nathon. He was still running in November 2016 but things change quickly here. Choeng Mon is a construction zone now! All the best.

  28. Lynda Mason says:

    Nathon Pier. The auto correct drives me bonkers.

  29. Lynda Mason says:

    Just an update. Songhaew came at 07:40am via Mae Nam. I hopped onto it opposite Seven eleven Ban Tai beach road entrance at Bang Po. 60 bt to Nathon. If there is another person already seated in back, do not ask driver how much. Know your prices. Ask around. As a general rule it’s about 50-60 baht per person or 10kms, 100 bt for around 20 Kms. Farang prices of course. If you ask they will inflate price. Just be confident, pay when your stop comes up and walk away. You are already paying much more than Thais do. E.g. I watched how much a Thai paid from further away than me to Nathon. She paid 40 bt. I asked her where she lived and she said Mae Nam. Don’t be a crazy foreigner and throw money around. Thais respect us if we act sensibly. Learn some Thai. It’s simple and delivers lots of great experiences. My 22nd visit to Thailand this trip. I am 65.

  30. Thanks a bunch for the detailed, exceptional and practical post regarding the expenses of transport.

  31. Mark says:

    Hi, I just came back from Koh Samui and confirn that taxis are becoming ridiculously expensive; luckily I discovered the Navigo app with which it is possible to book a taxi and they apply the metered rates; usually 60% cheaper than the other taxis with the « broken » meter… so I recommend to use this service!!

    • Hi Mark thanks for this useful information will look into that. Hard bargaining has helped us a lot in the past. We are back in Koh Samui next month so will be updating the post accordingly.

  32. Erin Crosby says:

    In Samui now and prices for songthews seem to be a moving target….especially (and perhaps only) if your a tourist. We payed close to 500 EACH WAY from Maenam to Lamai for 2 people. Probably would have been cheaper to get a taxi. We’ve heard that local prices are much cheaper so try to be Confident in what you know is the “correct” price, although I’m not sure this will help. It’s unfortunate that places who rely on tourism so much also try to rip tourists off. Having said this, outside of the songthews everything else in Samui appears to be a good value and the island is beautiful.

    • Your so right doing your homework and having the confidence to barter. We prefer to get a taxi than a songthew as good to get some air con too! We are back in Koh Samui now and today just travelled from Choeng Mon to Lamai, we were quoted 600 baht but a lovely guy who we have been using his restaurant for the last few days gave us a lift and we gave him 400 baht which he was pleased with. There is an app called Navigo which we were recommended to download from the manager of one of the bars in Fishermans village he uses it all the time for his customers and he says works out 30% cheaper. we have downloaded the app but everytime we have requested a taxi it says no car available, but something to try. We will be updated this post too when we get back home. Thanks for reading and enjoy the rest of your time here, we love it too!

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  34. Tracy says:

    Wow 7 times you must really love it! I would love to visit so this is useful – I would be using taxis no scooter for me!
    Tracy recently posted…10 Australian movies to watch before you visit!My Profile

    • We do love it and even having been there 7 times there are still places to discover. No scooters for us either have seen some pretty nasty accidents that have put us off for life!

  35. Ruth says:

    I do not think I would want to rent a scooter in Thailand. We did that once but it was in Sukhothai which is pretty rural and not congested. Even with the non-existent traffic the people we were riding with fell or almost fall. They were not used to scooter or driving on the left. We had issues with taxi drivers. Like you mentioned, they wanted to charge us ridiculous prices. #feetdotravel

    • Agree we never rent a scooter, we don’t ride one at home so would not be confident to do it abroad. The main road in Koh samui is so busy and we have witnessed a fair few accidents. Scarier is that on top of never riding a moped they have a few beers too so no wonder it ends in disaster. We are much happier in a air conditioned taxi, and now we have discovered Navigo it saves all the bartering too!

  36. Those hop on hop off trucks are pretty cool! I remember driving around town as a kid in the back of my dad’s truck which he had also converted with benches and speakers but that soon became illegal, or perhaps it was always illegal but who knows, it was the 90s haha #FeetDoTravel

  37. Fantastic post and one I will save and use for my next visit to Koh Samui. Like the use of the Navigo to hire a taxi plus see that’s it is on its way to pick up. We have rented a motorcycle before but I think sitting in a cool taxi to get away from the heat sounds great. #feetdotravel

  38. Oh yeah, the taxis on the islands are rediculously expensive compared to the mainland. This app is useful though. Thanks.

  39. Travel Lexx says:

    Great tips and advice on getting around Samui. We hired bikes and even though we have never ridden them before, Koh Samui is probably the best place to practice as the roads are nice and wide and it’s easy to get around the island. We circumnavigated the island twice – it doesn’t take very long at all but there are so many stops and things to see, that you should allow a day for it.

  40. Good tip about NaviGo! We used Grab and Uber in Chiang Mai but didn’t know about this. Great info and advice here. We hired scooters and I cannot believe how silly people were to ride without helmets, and we never drove after a drink, it’s madness! We value our lives far too much, Songkran was the craziest, we had water thrown into our faces whilst driving in the dark so we didn’t ride in the centre again after that! Pinned! #feetdotravel

    • Not heard of Grab so thanks for getting that on our radar. I know drunk on a moped is not a good option. We have still haven’t experienced Songkran but hope to one day!

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  42. That is actually really useful to provide the actual taxi prices. I always forget to check prices in advance and then I think I am cheated.

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