Getting to Koh Samui & Samahita Retreat
Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways fly directly to Koh Samui from Bangkok. They operate flights every hour daily, and you can book your flights directly online. The first flight out is around 6 am and last flight is around 10 pm daily. One-way is around 4000 THB. Travel time is approximately one hour from Bangkok.
There are direct also flights from Phuket, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Penang, and Hong Kong.
Phuket – 2 daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Singapore – daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Hong Kong – daily flights http://www.bangkokair.com
Kuala Lumpur – 3 x week http://www.berjaya-air.com
By Train and Ferry
Bangkok to Samui: Trains for Surathani (which actually stop in Phun Phin, 14 kilometers west of Surathani) leave from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station. The 6:20 pm (rapid) and the 7:15 pm (express) trains are most convenient, as they arrive at 5:28 am and 7 am, allowing you plenty of time to catch an 8 am boat to Koh Samui. The bus/ferry journey will be an additional three hours once you’ve arrived in Surathani. Songserm offers a joint ticket (train + bus + boat) for around THB B1,300, which lands you in Koh Samui by 11 am.
The ferry journey from Donsak pier is 1 1/2 hours. Donsak is 30 minutes from Surathani.
Tickets for the train can be booked at Bangkok Airport, Bangkok Railway Station, and many travel agencies in Bangkok. To purchase your train tickets in advance, Asia Discover Thailand can arrange for the tickets to be mailed or to be picked up at your Bangkok hotel. Allow at least one month before your departure date to arrange for train tickets.
Samui to Bangkok: Take the 2 pm boat from Nathon to the mainland, and a connecting bus will take you from the pier to the train station in Surathani. Tickets purchased from agents in Samui normally include the boat, bus, and train fares. The ticket is cheaper if you go to the station yourself, but there is a good chance the train will be fully booked as much as a week in advance.
Extending your stay
Without a visa in advance, foreigners are allowed to stay 30 days in Thailand. If you have a tourist visa, generally you can stay for 60 days, with the opportunity to extend to 90 days. Visa extensions cost about THB B1900. Overstaying your visa costs THB B500 per day, with a maximum fine of THB B20,000. You can extend your visa at the immigration office in Koh Samui. They are open Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to noon and 1 pm to 4:30 pm. Bring one passport photo with you.
Koh Samui websites:
Weather (from www.kohsamui.org)
Thailand’s climate is tropical, and high in both temperature and humidity (though most people find it pleasant). The average temperature is about 30 degrees Celsius, or 86 degrees Fahrenheit. When it is getting too hot, just enter an air-conditioned room or shop for a while, and you will begin to feel better. Also, remember to drink a lot of water.
Even if it is more or less “summer” here year-round, one might say that we have three seasons:
Dry Season, from December to February: Refreshing wind and cool air on the islands at this time of year, with very little rain and lots of sun.
Hot Season, from March to August: The weather is dry and hot, with a little bit of rain beginning in May. This is a good time to visit Samui if you don’t mind 30 to 35 degrees Celsius in the daytime.
Rain Season, from September to November: Also known as the monsoon season, it’s typically still hot in this season and days are still mostly sunny. You might find yourself in a refreshing monsoon shower (or downpour) for a moment, but it almost always passes quickly.
Note! Samui’s seasons are not the same as in Krabi and Phuket, as these destinations are located in the Andaman Sea, while Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, and Koh Tao are located in the Thailand Gulf.