Taking the scenic route from Bangkok to Koh Samui



Is August a good time to visit the island of Koh Samui in Thailand or will I be swept away by the monsoon rains? What's the best way to get there? I was planning on flying direct from Bangkok, but is there a cheaper option?

While the best time to visit Koh Samui is from December to February, August is pleasant, too. Unlike Bangkok, the island has its rainy season from September to November. Remember, though, that this is Thailand - it can get quite hot and humid at times, with an occasional thundershower to liven things up.

Bangkok Airways (www.bangkokair.com) has several direct flights to Koh Samui daily. A return flight costs from 7,020 Thai baht (Dh846), including taxes. Thai Airways (www.thaiwairways.com) flies from 13,120 baht (Dh1,582) return, including taxes.

An inexpensive option is to fly from Bangkok to Surat Thani, a city on Thailand's south-eastern coast and a bus- and ferry-ride from Koh Samui. A return flight with Air Asia (www.airasia.com) to Surat Thani from Bangkok costs from 2,700 baht (Dh325), including taxes.

From the airport, catch a minibus or van (about 150 baht [Dh18] per person) for the one-and-a-half-hour ride to Donsak Pier, east of Surat Thani. Ferries depart from the pier every half-hour for Koh Samui (150 baht [Dh18] per trip, per person) and the neighbouring island of Ko Pha Ngan. The boats to Koh Samui sail through the Samui islands, so not only do you save money but you get to journey along an extremely scenic route. Book tickets at the Raja Ferry office (00 66 77 471 151) outside the Surat Thani Railway Station or online at www.rajaferryport.com. If you aren't planning to spend a night in Surat Thani, don't take an evening flight - the last boat from Donsak leaves at 7pm.

One of the best ways to travel to Koh Samui is by the overnight train from Hua Lamphong Station in Bangkok to Phun Phin in Surat Thani. At Hua Lamphong, you have the option of purchasing a "combined" ticket, which includes the train fare, a bus transfer to Donsak Pier and an express boat ticket. The journey by train takes about 11 hours; add another two hours for the bus and ferry to Koh Samui. Combined one-way tickets cost 1,200 baht (Dh145) for first class and 800 baht (Dh95) for second class (visit www.thairailways.com for more information and timetables). Taking a day train, of course, means that you'll end up missing the last boat to Koh Samui.

The cheapest - and longest - way from Bangkok to Surat Thani is by bus. It's around an 11-hour, 650km road trip from Sai Tai Mai, or the Southern Route Bus Terminal, on Borom Ratchachonnani Road. First-class fares cost 346 baht (Dh42) per trip. Non-airconditioned buses cost 192 baht (Dh23) per trip.

Indika

Developer: 11 Bit Studios
Publisher: Odd Meter
Console: PlayStation 5, PC and Xbox series X/S
Rating: 4/5

Company Profile

Company name: Cargoz
Date started: January 2022
Founders: Premlal Pullisserry and Lijo Antony
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 30
Investment stage: Seed

SPECS: Polestar 3

Engine: Long-range dual motor with 400V battery
Power: 360kW / 483bhp
Torque: 840Nm
Transmission: Single-speed automatic
Max touring range: 628km
0-100km/h: 4.7sec
Top speed: 210kph
Price: From Dh360,000
On sale: September

The Details

Article 15
Produced by: Carnival Cinemas, Zee Studios
Directed by: Anubhav Sinha
Starring: Ayushmann Khurrana, Kumud Mishra, Manoj Pahwa, Sayani Gupta, Zeeshan Ayyub
Our rating: 4/5 

Company Profile

Name: Direct Debit System
Started: Sept 2017
Based: UAE with a subsidiary in the UK
Industry: FinTech
Funding: Undisclosed
Investors: Elaine Jones
Number of employees: 8

Glossary of a stock market revolution

Reddit

A discussion website

Redditor

The users of Reddit

Robinhood

A smartphone app for buying and selling shares

Short seller

Selling a stock today in the belief its price will fall in the future

Short squeeze

Traders forced to buy a stock they are shorting 

Naked short

An illegal practice  

ROUTE TO TITLE

Round 1: Beat Leolia Jeanjean 6-1, 6-2
Round 2: Beat Naomi Osaka 7-6, 1-6, 7-5
Round 3: Beat Marie Bouzkova 6-4, 6-2
Round 4: Beat Anastasia Potapova 6-0, 6-0
Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
Semi-final: Beat Coco Gauff 6-2, 6-4
Final: Beat Jasmine Paolini 6-2, 6-2

UAE currency: the story behind the money in your pockets
WHAT IS A BLACK HOLE?

1. Black holes are objects whose gravity is so strong not even light can escape their pull

2. They can be created when massive stars collapse under their own weight

3. Large black holes can also be formed when smaller ones collide and merge

4. The biggest black holes lurk at the centre of many galaxies, including our own

5. Astronomers believe that when the universe was very young, black holes affected how galaxies formed

Sarfira

Director: Sudha Kongara Prasad

Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

EA Sports FC 24

Developer: EA Vancouver, EA Romania
Publisher: EA Sports
Consoles: Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4&5, PC and Xbox One
Rating: 3.5/5

57 Seconds

Director: Rusty Cundieff
Stars: Josh Hutcherson, Morgan Freeman, Greg Germann, Lovie Simone
Rating: 2/5

Company profile

Company name: Fasset
Started: 2019
Founders: Mohammad Raafi Hossain, Daniel Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech
Initial investment: $2.45 million
Current number of staff: 86
Investment stage: Pre-series B
Investors: Investcorp, Liberty City Ventures, Fatima Gobi Ventures, Primal Capital, Wealthwell Ventures, FHS Capital, VN2 Capital, local family offices

Director: Nag Ashwin

Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

Company Profile

Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
Based: Cambridge and Dubai
Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

Confirmed bouts (more to be added)

Cory Sandhagen v Umar Nurmagomedov
Nick Diaz v Vicente Luque
Michael Chiesa v Tony Ferguson
Deiveson Figueiredo v Marlon Vera
Mackenzie Dern v Loopy Godinez

Tickets for the August 3 Fight Night, held in partnership with the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, went on sale earlier this month, through www.etihadarena.ae and www.ticketmaster.ae.

The specs

Engine: 2.0-litre 4-cylinder turbo

Power: 240hp at 5,500rpm

Torque: 390Nm at 3,000rpm

Transmission: eight-speed auto

Price: from Dh122,745

On sale: now


Latest
Most Read
Top Videos