Travelers who are visiting Surat Thani and its nearby islands drop off at the Surat Thani International Airport as the most convenient way to start their journey. Here’s a general traveler’s guide to and around Surat Thani airport.
A Traveler’s Guide to Surat Thani Airport
Surat Thani International airport (URT) is the largest airport in the province of Surat Thani that serves as the gateway to islands like Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh Tao. In all of Thailand, Surat Thani is the eighth-largest city with a population of more than 132,000.
It sits 21 kilometers west of the main Surat Thani city, located in Amphoe Phunphin in southern Thailand. It only has one terminal serving both local and foreign travelers who are traveling to and from the business district, national parks, and famous islands.
2. Flight information
Flights in Surat Thani airport caters to tourists to and from Bangkok. Travelers can book a flight via budget airlines such as AirAsia, Thai Lion Air, Nok Air, and Thai Smile to go to Surat Thani in the cheapest and fastest way possible. An average of fifteen flights is departing the airport daily.
There are two airports that allow passengers to leave Bangkok and head for Surat Thani: Bangkok Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) and Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). While DMK is the largest low-cost carrier airport in the world, BKK serves more international flights that foreigners can easily enter.
For first-time travelers to Thailand and are bound for Surat Thani, dropping off at BKK then transferring to Surat Thani airport would be a great option, especially for those who are chasing time.
3. Terminal Facilities
Upon arriving at URT, travelers can take their time to freshen up, eat, and shop before heading to their next destination. There are coffee shops and restaurants available in the airport, serving a variety of cuisines–particularly a good selection of Thai food.
Small shops may also be found on the first floor where tourists on-the-go can purchase packed goodies and bring along with them as they travel. ATMs are also available to serve the financial needs of foreigners. Souvenir shops and a small duty-free center may also be found in the terminal.
4. Airport Facilities
URT offers free Wi-Fi services to tourists who will be leaving or arriving in the terminal. There are available landlines for customers’ use as well, should there be any emergencies.
As Thailand prioritizes the care for the elderly and disabled individuals, the airport also offers specialized assistance like wheelchairs. Car rental services and money exchange booths are available as well.
5. Public Transport
Travelers who have already booked a hotel may request transport assistance like shuttle service to save on costs and avoid the hassle. For backpackers who want to try the local transportation, they can easily go around by land transfers via a shuttle bus, a private car, taxi, or minivan.
6. Transport service to Koh Samui
Traveling from Surat Thani airport to Koh Samui can book a seat on a shuttle bus. Phantip travel, being the sole operator of bus services in the local airport, will take visitors on a 90-minute land journey to Donsak Pier. From there, travelers will be riding a ferry from Donsak to Koh Samui for another 90 minutes. The endpoint is Lipa Noi Pier in Koh Samui.
Guests need to take note that they need to arrive 30 minutes prior to their departure time. If the guests fail to catch the last service at 5:45 p.m., they can either take a night boat to Koh Samui or stay overnight in Surat Thani city and take the bus the next day.
7. Transport service to Koh Pha Ngan
If travelers are headed for the Full Moon Party in Koh Pha Ngan, buying Phantip shuttle bus tickets is one of the most convenient ways to go. To go from Surat Thani airport to Koh Pha Ngan, guests will travel to Donsak Pier in Surat Thani city via bus and transfer to a ferry headed for Thong Sala Pier in Koh Pha Ngan.
A ferry ride will take at least two hours and 30 minutes before arriving on the island. Night boats are also available for transportation should travelers miss the bus schedule.
8. Transport service to Koh Tao
For those who are headed to Koh Tao, travelers can proceed to the bus stop in front of the airport and ride the transport that’s headed directly to Mae Haad Pier in Koh Tao. it takes about 27 minutes to reach the port. Upon arriving at Mae Haad Pier, guests will transfer to a Lomparah high-speed ferry and travel for about five hours before reaching Koh tao.
If the Lomparah is already fully booked, guests can opt for Seatran Discovery in Donsak. However, this route will take two hours longer.
9. Night ferry to the islands
Whether guests are traveling to Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, or Koh Tao, night boats are available to transport tourists from the airport to their island destination. Tourists can ride a Phantip shuttle bus to Bandon Pier in Surat Thani city, which takes about 40 minutes.
The night ferry leaves at 11 p.m., and guests will be arriving at their destination early morning of the next day. This can help travelers save on an overnight cost for a hotel.