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How to move around on the island, vehicles hiring, motorbike, car, jeep, four wheel drive vehicles, songthaews. Koh Samui, Thailand
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To move around on the island, you can either take the local taxis or you hire your own vehicle, motorbike, car or bicycle.

Local taxis
The local taxis (songthaews) are cars pick-up style fitted out so as to welcome passengers behind. It is practical and cheap. There are no timetables, you stand by the roadside and as soon as you catch sight of one of them, you make a sign to it and the driver will take you where you want to go, provided naturally to be on the right road, because they make the round trip of the island, otherwise you can negotiate a "diversion"..The songthaew, local fashion taxi

They leave from Nathon and go to two directions, Lamai or Chaweng. You can also connect Lamai with Chaweng for 30 baht.

They begin at about 6 o'clock in the morning and stop at about 6 o'clock in the evening. Notice that after 6 pm, fares are not any more the same, negotiate them before getting up.

Journey Nathon-Chaweng Journey Nathon-Lamai
Nathon - Maenam 15 baht Nathon - Hin Laad (waterfall) 7 baht
Nathon - Bophut 20 baht Nathon - Lipanoi; 10 baht
Nathon - Bangrak 25 baht Nathon - Ban Taling Ngam 20 baht
Nathon - Choeng Mon 30 baht Nathon - Huathanon 20 baht
Nathon - Chaweng 70 baht Nathon - Lamai 30 baht
Journey Chaweng-Nathon Other journeys
Chaweng - Bophut 40 baht Chaweng - Lamai 15 baht
Chaweng - Big Bouddha 50 baht Chaweng - Huathanon 60 baht
Chaweng - Maenam 50 baht Lamai - Huathanon 40 baht
Short journeys inside villages 10 baht   

These fares are given by the Samui tourism association, for information,
and are not necessarily practised by the taxi drivers.

To see the map of the island, click here.

Trick: so as to pay correct fare, do not ask the driver for the amount, consult the list of rates above and prepare the amount of your journey, give it to the driver while getting out without saying a word, and that way you will normally pay exact fare. It is sometimes necessary to act as an "habitué"...


There are now also taxis-meter (the same that you will find everywhere in Bangkok) yellow and black, air-conditioning, comfortable, which circulate on the island, but more expensive than the local taxi, the fare should be negotiated before getting on, because the "meter" is rather there as a decoration.
Normally, the departure fare is of 50 baht + km gone through.

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Car, motorbike or bicycle?
If you hire a vehicle several days, try to negotiate the rate. For example, you can hire a motorbike (Honda Dream 100cc) for 2'800 baht per month. There also are bigger motorbikes for hire.
You can hire bicycles (mountain bike) as well.

If you ride motorbikes, wear sunglasses (even though the weather is not sunny), because they will protect you from some dust or mosquitoes which could get into your eyes.

The law
Honda Dream to hire outNotice that helmet wearing is compulsory in Thailand, in case of control, it will cost you from 200 to 500 baht fine, ask for a helmet your hirer. If you hire a car, the safety belt is compulsory as well.

To hire a car, you must "in theory" possess an international driving licence.

Generally in Samui, controls are made only going to Nathon town, but we never know. Even if you see that the residents do not wear a helmet, not to imitate them, because it will be easier for them to come to an agreement with the police.

The motorbikes hiring (Honda Dream 100 cc type) starts at 100-150 baht for 24 hours.

Various Jeep kinds to hire out
Jeeps or four wheel drive pick-ups can be hired starting from 600-700 baht for 24 hours for the cheapests, some are insurance included and the others without, to you to control.
There is also a Budget rental agency, you will be very well insured, in the event of an accident you will pay at most 5'000 baht, count from about 1'000 baht by 24 hours slice, moreover with Budget you can hire your vehicle in Phuket and drop it off on Samui for example, practical, isn't it?

The hiring rates depend as well on the (tourist) season, that is as if you come on July, on August or late in the year, it is more difficult to negotiate.

Advice: when you hire a vehicle, turn around it and point out to the hirer possible problems, scratches, broken headlight, control brakes, etc...

Be careful when driving, because "as a rule" you are responsible for every damage which could arise on your vehicle and possibly to another one, especially if you are involved in an accident with a local.

During a vehicle hiring, you should generally let your passport in deposit and fill out a brief rental agreement form, apart if you hire the vehicle from your hotel. On the other hand, if you need your passport in order to go to the bank for example, you will be able to easily get it back, while on the journey.

Roads here are not designed to go fast, because you can find yourselves in front of a hen, a dog, a buffalo, a child who runs accross the road and sometimes even an elephant! Or when there is some wind, coconut palm trees branches as well as their nuts fall on the road.
The main and secondary roads are tarred but if you take out beaten tracks, there is only mud floor and sometimes in very bad state, especially during the rainy season (from October to December).
Well, finished mom's recommendations, it is necessary to say that hiring your vehicle is the most practical means and that it is very pleasant to drive around the island in search of deserted beaches or to explore its jungle by motorbike or by car and to be able to stop wherever you want.

On Samui island, there are large gas stations such as Shell, Caltex, PTT, etc. (not to make any advertisement...), prefer them if you have to fill in your tank, because price is shown. Otherwise, there are small petrol pumps on roadsides, but price can "vary", on the other hand they are practical to help out, because they are often opened late in the evening, even all night long.

The super gasoline is about 18 baht per liter and the diesel 14 baht per liter on the island and about 1 baht less per liter on the mainland (February 20th, 2003).

P.S. We are anxious to clarify that prices and schedules are given as a rough guide and that kohsamui-info.com is on no account responsible for changes or cancellations.

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