MOVING AROUND ON THE ISLAND
To move around on the island, you can either take the local taxis or you hire your own vehicle, motorbike, car or bicycle.
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"..
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.
These fares are given by the Samui tourism association, for information,
|LOCAL TAXIS FARES
|Nathon - Maenam
||Nathon - Hin Laad (waterfall)
|Nathon - Bophut
||Nathon - Lipanoi;
|Nathon - Bangrak
||Nathon - Ban Taling Ngam
|Nathon - Choeng Mon
||Nathon - Huathanon
|Nathon - Chaweng
||Nathon - Lamai
|Chaweng - Bophut
||Chaweng - Lamai
|Chaweng - Big Bouddha
||Chaweng - Huathanon
|Chaweng - Maenam
||Lamai - Huathanon
|Short journeys inside villages
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.
Back to top
TO HIRE A VEHICLE
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.
Advice: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.
Notice 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.
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.
TO FILL IN YOUR TANK!
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.