When it comes to transports on the island. We are talking about the one of most expensive Taxis in Thailand. There are mainly 3 types of taxis.
1. Hotel shuttle bus
The 1st one is hotel shuttle. Some hotels (not many) offer shuttle bus for their guests with normal rate or cheaper. Normally, you cannot order the shuttle anytime you want. Because the hotels have set the schedule of it. For example on every Friday and Montag the shuttle of hotel “A” is on service to Fisherman Village only at 17:00 and will head back to hotel at 21:00.
The fee is only 100 Bath per person per a trip. While to the Normal Taxi will cost 400 Bath. So, you will save 300 person. But as mentioned not every hotel has shuttle bus. You might need clarify it before. Even some Hotels do have shuttle buses but with same price as a normal taxi or even higher because of the additional take care and insurance during the trip.
Same Hotels do not offer shuttle buses, they will call a taxi for you, you just tell the reception and wait there. These hotels have strong contact with those taxis, so the price could be cheaper comparing to normal taxis. It sound nice. But disadvantage of this is that the price that hotel tell you is the final price. You are not able to make a negotiation.
The last option are taxi which you need to make a deal with the driver anytime before you get on. This can be advantage to try a your negotiation skill or your good luck for discount. The disadvantage is that you have too long on street with hot weather if you don’t get deal easily with a driver and want to wait for another one. Mainly, there are 2 types of taxis here.
2. normal taxis or sometime we call privat taxis
Normal taxis here will calculate the rate in different way from other areas in Thailand. In Bangkok, the taxi price is calculated with distance by meter equipment but not in Samui. Here the price will be calculated by driver head rapidly. The price of normal taxi will always cost per car(trip), not per person. It means no matter how many people you are (max 3-4) it will cost the same price.
The process looks like this.
You: wave a normal taxi by the road.
Driver: where please?
You: Chaweng, Central Festival
Drive: xxxx Bath per drive please sir.
(Important! Clarify first that it costs per car not per person)
You: Could it be just xx Bath per car please
Driver: fine let go! (Wenn not ok, then try new one).
If you are in Maenam area ( area within hotel Bandara, hotel Explorer) and want to get Fisherman Village. ( around 2 – 5 km) it should cost 300 Bath per a taxi. To Chaweng, it can start from 400 – 500 Bath per car. To Lamai, should be 700 Bath.
3. Song Taew (Two rows)
The second type of taxi is called “ Song Taew” it is a red pick up truck and modified to transport people on back. With metal roof and 2 row seats in the back. This one will cost the cheapest price if you are just one or two persons. Because it will cost person not per trip. If you are many people, it will cost more. That means this Song Taew will suit for small group of 1 – 2 persons. During Normal taxi will suit for bigger group because it cost per trip.
If you are in Maenam (area within hotel explorer to hotel Bandara) and want to get Fisherman Village. The Song Taew costs 100 Bath per person (200 Bath if you are 2 persons) during normal taxi you will pay 300 Bath for)
But if you are 4 persons, that means 400 Bath with Song Taew but 300 Bath with Normal Taxi. Hmmm it really depends on how many persons your group are. The Song Taew taxi does not have station, it run all time on the roads. You just wait by the road and wave your hand. It will stop at you.