(Series) To get from Bangkok to Koh Samui with Option 3 : Train – Bus – Ferry (3 steps). [farparants tip]

The train is the winner of most time consumption compared to other options. It takes about 12 hours from Bangkok to Surat Thani by train.

But the train is much more convenient than the bus which would take 10 hours. The reason is, that there are trains with sleeper cabinets with air conditioners (You can search on Google for more pictures, how what it looks like).

But I would like to inform you first that the train platform in Thailand is not so smooth, it can make a bit of noise or shake you while you are sleeping.

You won’t have a deep sleep like at home for sure, but at least you can lay with your straight back position entire these 12 hours.

While traveling by bus, you can sleep only in the sitting position. Tough, the seat can be inclined backward.

But since there are people sitting behind, it is still sleeping in a sitting position.

If you want to experience the train in Thailand and choose this travel option, firstly let’s know about trains in Thailand.

There are several trains from Bangkok to Surat Thani (Samui belongs to Surat Thani Province). The trains that have sleepers are

  1. The rapid train and
  2. The express train and
  3. Special express train

These have slightly less time consumption and better features from 1 – 3 respectively.

A common train consists of several classes or cabinet types as below

  • Air-conditioned 1st class: sleeper
  • Air-conditioned 2nd class: sleeper
  • Air-conditioned 2nd class
  • 3rd class: fan, Seat cannot be inclined.

So, types (c) and (d) would be fine for less than a 1 or 3-hour route. But here we are talking about the 12-hour route so definitely not for classes c and d.

So, Both Air-conditioned 1st class or Air-conditioned 2nd class are most suitable for the traveling to Samui


Cabinet type

Ticket price / person

1.      2nd class

800 – 900 Bath

2.      1st class

900 – 1100 Bath


Or if you have no idea about the types of trains, Just tell the ticket officer that you want to go to Surat Thani with a sleeper cabinet.

They will provide you whether class 1st or 2nd, depending on what time you prefer. (they head out not at the same time)

Since in Surat Thani, there are several train stations to get off, the Samui nearest train station is Pun Pin station.

Then he/she will ask your departure time, bed above or bed below (it is the bunk bed).

After your replies, he/she will show you the available trains with additional questions if you want 1st or 2nd class.

Whether a rapid train or express train, it will depend on your departure time.

If you buy the ticket on the same day you are about to depart and you want to choose the type of train (rapid, express or special express), sometimes you have to wait for that.

 Normally people are okay with getting the train that arrives first, no matter a rapid or express train, as long as that train has a sleeper cabinet available.

Very important, just bear in mind to eliminate buying the sleeper ticket on the same day you depart. There is only a small chance that the cabinet is not full.

Because many people even the local Thai people love to choose a 1st or 2nd (sleeper) class because of its convenience when they travel about 10 hours.

And these kinds of trains depart only 3 – 4 times a day. Especially in the festival period.

So, buy it 1 – 2 days early, in case you want to cancel the bought ticket, you will get only a 50% refund in 24 hours after you have bought it (This policy can be changed at any time).

Destination train station  

The train can be 20 – 30 min, late with the arrival in Surat Thani (not usual). For the 1st class cabinet, there is a monitor that lively informs passengers about the next stations.

However, you won’t get up from your bet to see the monitor in every 20 minutes in the early morning.

No, worry about it because the train staff have your travel itinerary, they know where you destinate.

The staff in 1st and 2nd class cabinets will remind you 10 -20 minutes before the train arrives at your destination to let you prepare for leaving.  

Minibus or Van

So, when you arrive at Pun Pin train station, usually in the early morning ( should be around 5 – 8 am.). At the train station, there are transport services to take people to Don Sak Pier (ferry pier).

The minibus or van to the ferry pier will cost about 200 baths per person (last update). It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Pun Pin train station to the ferry pier.

There is also the combo ticket of van and ferry that normally costs 400 – 500 bath/person.

The first minibus departs from the train station at X a.m.  (time can change depending on season) and the other bus will depart every 2 hours until 22:00 hours.


At the Don Sak pier, there are 2 ferry companies offering the ferry service. Seatran and Raja Ferry. These 2 companies will deliver you in different locations on Koh Samui.

Also, Seatran will destinate at Nathon Pier while Raja Ferry at Taling Ngam Pier. Now the point is that, for the Van – Ferry combo ticket, a van company will be fixed to a ferry company, for example.

The ticket of Van company Panthip (Van, bus service company) will be connected to Seatran Ferry. That means if you buy the combo ticket from Panthip at the train station, you will be delivered to Nathon Pier on Koh Samui automatically.

This combo ticket costs 400 Bath per person (none-festival days)

The ferries of Seatran will depart every hour from 06:00 to 19:00 every day (the timetable can be changed at any time).

So, the connection/transition time at Don Sak Pier will definitely be less than an hour (for the van–ferry combo ticket).

The ferry of Seatran takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes from Don Sak to Nathon Pier (Samui).

In case you want to buy a separate ticket for just the van, the van ticket costs ca. 250 Bath per person and the ticket of ferry costs ca. 150 Bath per person.

Notice please check the weather first if there will be a monsoon that day you depart, the ferries will be out of service to be safe.

That means you have to stay in Surat Thani City as long as the monsoon stops. The possible season of monsoon at Koh Samui begins from October to November or later.

(As I am writing this article now 31.10.23, it is heavily raining outside)




Ticket price

Time consumption

Train, 1st or 2nd class (sleepers)

800 -1100 B

10 – 12 hours



30 min.

Minibus or van

250 B

1 hour and 30 min.



20 min – 1 hour


150 B

1 hour and 30 min.


1200 – 1500 B

~ 14 – 16 hours

If you have a specific question, please leave a message in the chat widget. The next article to Get from Bangkok to Koh Samui


Let’s remind it again

Overall, there are 4+1 choices to get from Bangkok to Koh Samui sorted by price and convenience descending. Option 1 has the fellow time consumption and convenience. Option 4 has the most time consumption. The options are as follows.

Fast travel

  1. Direct Fly: from Bangkok to Koh Samui (1 step)
  2. Fly – Bus – Ferry (3 steps)

Slow and chill travel

  1. Train – Bus, minibus or van – Ferry (3 steps)
  2. Bus – Ferry (2 steps)

Other Issues

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