A Passenger’s Guide to Samui Airport (Thailand)

Samui Airport is an airport serving Koh Samui, a popular tourist destination in Southern Thailand. The airport is the busiest air field in Surit Thani province and the seventh busiest airport in Thailand. There are flights to several domestic and foreign travel destinations.

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The sign welcoming airline passengers to the world’s cutest airport. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

Samui Airport (USM) in a hub for Bangkok Airways, which flies from the airport to both domestic and regional travel destinations.

Domestic travel destinations include Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Chiang Mai International Airport, Krabi International Airport,  Pattaya-U-Tapao International Airport, and Phuket International Airport.

There are 28 flights a day to Bangkok, including 26 flights on Bangkok Airways and two on Thai Airways International Thailand’s flag carrier.

There are also five flights a day to Phuket and one each to Krabi and U-Tapao, which is the closest airport to the Thai beach resort of Pattaya.

International travel destinations include a handful of cities in China as well as Hong Kong; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and Singapore.

Bangkok Airways has one daily flight to Guangzhou, China; two daily flights to Hong Kong; one daily flight to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and two daily flights to Singapore.

Budget air carrier Silk Air has two daily flights linking Koh Samui with Singapore.

Located in Southern Thailand, Koh Samui is Thailand’s second largest island after Phuket. It is a a popular beach resort.

Arrival

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The approach to Samui Airport has “welcome to paradise” written all over it. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

One of the nice things about flying into Samui Airport is the approach.

Try to get a window seat on the left-hand side of the aircraft for dramatic views of the island as your plane approaches its destination.

But the real fun comes after touchdown, when your aircraft taxis up to  your gate.

The airport’s picturesque, open-air terminals are surely among  the cutest airport terminals in the world, featuring a traditional Thai-inspired design complete with  thatched roofs!

Changing Money

You can change money at the airport at currency exchange counters or ATMs.

You will usually get a better rate if you exchange money away from the airport.

If you need cash to get to get your hotel, exchange only enough to get there and then exchange the rest of your cash at your destination.

Ground Transportation

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Upon my arrival at Koh Samui Airport in Thailand, a greeter is waiting for me outside the baggage claim area to escort me to a shuttle bus that will take me my hotel, Hansar Samui. Photo Credit: Accidental Travel Writer.

If you are staying at a hotel, your hotel might provide a complimentary or a paid shuttle service to and from the airport.

If it does, there will probably be someone waiting for you outside the terminal holding a sign with your named imprinted on it.

Other transport options include private taxis, private minivan taxis, shared minivans, and rental cars.

Airport Location

Samui Airport is located on the Northern part of the island, approximately two kilometres east  of the township of Bophut and two kilometres north of Chaweng Beach, where most of the island’s hotels are located.

Samui  Airport is close to the Big Buddha Pier, where ferries depart to Ko Pha Ngan. The airport is 6 kilometres southeast of Maenam Beach Pier, where high-speed ferries depart for Ko Tao and Chumpton.

Pre-departure Tip

When you depart Koh Samui, try get to the airport a bit early. After checking in for your flight, resist the temptation to take the shuttle bus from the check-in terminal to your gate.

Instead stroll down Samui Park Avenue, an  outdoor pedestrian mall lined with boutiques, day spas, a bookstore, a post office, restaurants, cafes, and coffee houses.

Unlike most airports, Samui Airport (USM) is privately owned. As a result, airline ticket prices to and from the airport tend to be higher than those to and from other airports in Thailand.

Samui Airport is owned by Bangkok Airlines, the airport’s dominant air carrier.

A Passenger’s Guide to Samui Airport (Thailand) is the fifth in a series of passengers’ guides to the Airports of Thailand (AOT).

 

 

 

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