Koh Samui Airport Mini Guide
Known as the world's most beautiful airport, Koh Samui Airport is privately owned and operated by Bangkok
Airways who operate most flights to and from the island. What makes the airport so beautiful and indeed totally different to almost every other airport in the world, is that, except for the shops it is all outdoors! It is located only 2km from Chaweng which is the main village on the island and has both a domestic and an international terminal. Despite it's unusual appearance, the airport is now the fifth largest in Thailand and handles more than a million passengers a year.
Koh Samui Airport is so different to any other airport you'll have ever seen that it has been likened to a 5 star resort, it is so picturesque! It is constructed from natural materials as much as possible including thatched roofs and it is set in extensive lush tropical gardens. On arrival at Koh Samui you are transferred from the aircraft to the terminal on what appears to a larger version of a golf buggy, baggage reclaim is extremely quick and visitors can easily be out of the airport within 15 minutes.
If you are hiring a car at Koh Samui Airport then you will find most of the major international rental companies have a desk in the arrivals area and your car will be available for pick up outside. Should you be travelling onward to your accommodation by taxi, there are plenty of these waiting outside the terminal. Beware, however, the taxi drivers are noted there for charging whatever they like for the journey – there are no meters, so make sure you agree a price in advance or just hire a car so that you have the use of it for the rest of your holiday to explore this wonderful island.
There are no airport hotels as such, but as it is such a short distance to Chaweng, the main village on the island, this is no problem. In Chaweng and indeed all over Koh Samui there is a wide range of accommodation to suit all tastes and all pockets from backpacking hostels to the most luxurious resort imaginable.
The departure process in Koh Samui must be one of the best in the world, your baggage is scanned when you enter the departure area and you can actually be on the plane within 5 minutes of checking in, after being transferred in a golf buggy – not an airbridge in sight! Don't leave it too late though, because in the departure area is the shopping street and you are offered free cold drinks and snacks before you board your flight, just to give you a wonderful lasting impression of Koh Samui.
Koh Samui is the second largest island of Thailand and its economy is built on the tourism attracted by its pristine white beaches and countless coconut trees. There’s not a huge amount to do there but if you’ve hired a car, spend a day driving leisurely around the island on the only main road that skirts the coast.
You’ll be tempted to stop off more than once on the beautiful beaches. If you’re an adventurous kind, you can hire a local guide and scramble through the thick jungle vegetation to reach the central highest peak of the island.